High Park will be car-free during the cherry blossom peak bloom

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no vehicle access in high park during peak bloom

Changes aim to increase public safety and ease traffic congestion both in the park and surrounding neighbourhood. Read on to learn more …

Updated April 2, 2019 - The City of Toronto made an important announcement for the 60th anniversary of the cherry blossoms in High Park - this will be the first year that vehicles will not be allowed to park or drive through the park during the peak bloom period between late April to early May. Read the complete post on the Toronto.ca website.

Some of you reading this may not like the changes. Please consider that during the bloom the entire neighbourhood is overwhelmed with hundreds of cars and thousands of people all trying to squeeze into High Park. There just is not enough space to accommodate so many visitors at once and keep it a safe experience for everyone to enjoy.

With these new changes, there will likely be many lessons learned for future cherry blossom blooms. I ask everyone to please understand and be considerate of the Park, and the neighbourhood as the only goal here is to make enjoying the sakura cherry blossoms be as safe and enjoyable for everyone.

What do the changes mean?

The City is committed to providing a safe environment for all visitors to the park. Due to safety concerns from traffic congestion and heavy pedestrian presence in and around the park during peak bloom, all non-essential vehicles will be denied access to all areas of High Park during the peak bloom. This means you will not be allowed to drive into the park to any of the lots near Grenadier Café, Children’s Playground or High Park Zoo. Also keep in mind that parking on the surrounding streets will be very challenging, as they will already be nearly full from residents and parking will be strictly enforced.

Ward 4 Councillor Gord Perks recently sent out a letter to High Park residents outlining the steps “to help minimize the impact of traffic and congestions in the area” and “ensure public safety in High Park”. He also went on to specify that “There will be a significant increase in the number of Parking Enforcement Unit officers (PEOs)” and that “they will be patrolling the streets around the Park.” Local residents in the past have complained of cars blocking driveways or double parking on streets and this year cars found illegally parked will be ticketed and even towed as necessary.

As we get closer to the peak bloom, more details will be released, and I will update everyone with any new information. Read the full letter on his website here.

TTC, bike or walking are encouraged

Alternative modes of transportation are strongly encouraged - just like any other year. Crowds tend to always be very heavy during peak bloom, especially in the late afternoon, evenings and weekends. Making arrangements to visit during more slower times, such as mornings and mid-day will allow you to enjoy the cherry blossoms under less crowded conditions.

Taking the TTC is also an extremely good option as the Park in located with a number of transit access points from all sides. Short walks from High Park, Keele and even Runnymede subway stations make it easy to get into the park. See my Map & Directions page for a more detailed view of where to see the trees and best TTC routes to take.

Accessible and Special Needs

I have now confirmed that only Wheel-Trans will be allowed to enter the park to allow those with special needs to see the cherry blossoms. You can learn more about this TTC service by visiting the website (link).

For more information, please contact traveltraining@ttc.ca or call 416-393-4111.

Online booking is also available! Go to mywheel-trans.ttc.ca to book online or call the RideLine at 416-397-8000 to book your rides.

more to come

I’ll be updating this page with more details as they become available and will alert everyone through this website and all the social media channels.

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