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High Park now closed for cherry blossom bloom

Last Updated Apr 30, 2020 at 8:41 am EDT

High Park is closed starting Thursday for the cherry blossoms bloom.

The city has launched a “BloomCam” so residents can still watch the High Park Sakura blossoms virtually — it is live now.

The closure, which is due to coronavirus restrictions within the city, will continue until the bloom is completed.

The blossoms usually last between four and 10 days and attract tens of thousands of selfie seekers and admirers during their bloom.

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

“This is about protecting public health and saving lives. I know this will be particularly frustrating for High Park residents who use the park daily for exercise,” said Tory in a release Wednesday.

“Thank you for your ongoing understanding that we are following public health advice and we appreciate your sacrifice over the next few days,” he added.

The city will also be providing multiple other live event experiences and walkthroughs of the park once the trees are in full bloom. The timing of the events will be weather-dependent, according to the city.

A coordinated enforcement team will be patrolling the park to ensure residents are complying. Those found violating the closure order can be issued a ticket of $750. The maximum fine is $5,000.

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

An area of Trinity Bellwoods Park in Toronto is fenced off on April 29, 2020, to keep people from gathering around the cherry blossom trees amid the coronavirus pandemic. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera