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Toronto to close High Park during bloom of cherry blossoms

Last Updated Apr 22, 2020 at 4:35 pm EDT

Mayor John Tory has confirmed the city will be closing High Park for the duration of the bloom of the cherry blossoms.

There will be virtual events held to ensure residents can watch the bloom while still social distancing. The city is still working on how to bring it online and will provide more details in the near future.

Dates of the closure will be weather dependent, but it will likely happen in late April and early May.

Tory said they had looked into whether a partial closure would be enough to ensure physical distancing, but city officials determined it wasn’t possible.

He added he didn’t want to have to close the park, but “I want to save lives.”

The blossoms usually last between four and 10 days and attract tens of thousands of people during the bloom.

Cherry blossom trees at Trinity Bellwoods Park will be enclosed by fencing and will enforcement officers will be patrolling the area.

There are currently 4,069 cases of COVID-19 in the city and 210 people have died.

The city had previously announced that park facilities would be closed during the COVID-19 crisis, but that the lands themselves would remain open for people to walk through.

The neighbouring city of Mississauga also says it’s closing its main cherry blossom destination – Kariya Park – and will offer virtual tours.

With files from The Canadian Press