Here’s how you can enjoy the Kariya Park cherry blossoms in Mississauga while practising physical distancing

 

While spring is often a crapshoot in terms of weather (there was, after all, a short-lived snow "storm" yesterday), it's always been known for the beautiful flowers that emerge in April and May.

Every year, we all look forward to travelling to Kariya Park—easily one of the city's most scenic and beautiful parks—to check out the beautiful cherry blossoms and take spring selfies. Sadly, COVID-19 has temporarily stolen this tradition from us—but not entirely. 

The city recently announced that residents will be able to admire the blossoms from afar via the city's new blossom webcam.

The news comes a few short weeks after the city confirmed that it would be closing the park during cherry blossom season to prevent congregating.

At an April 22 press conference, Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said the park is too small to allow for proper physical distancing. 

"Kariya Park is an important part of our city as it honours Mississauga's special relationship with our twin city - Kariya, Japan," said Crombie in a statement. 

"Although residents can't admire the beauty of our cherry blossoms up close this year, they can still use their phones to do so from the comfort of their own homes. This is a temporary but necessary closure that will ensure the health and safety of our community during these unprecedented times. I look forward to seeing the blossoms in person next year."

Residents can access the live feed and view the cherry blossoms online beginning today (April 22) until their petals start to fall. 

The trees only stay in bloom for approximately two weeks.

The park features 65 cherry blossom trees of different varieties and colours.

The trees were given as a gift from Kariya, Japan.  

High Park, which attracts thousands of people during cherry blossom season, will also be closed to prevent congregating. The City of Toronto has indicated that it will release details on virtual access to the park in the coming days.  

While Mississauga's park amenities (parking lots, playgrounds, sports courts, etc) are currently closed, many parks and trails remain open for walking, biking, rollerblading, and dog walking.

Residents are reminded that they can be fined $750 for gathering with groups of more than five people (the rule does not apply to families of more than five people who live together) or accessing closed spaces or amenities. The city is patrolling parks and open spaces to educate residents and issue tickets if necessary.

Residents are also asked not litter or discard used personal protective equipment (such as masks or gloves) on private or public property. Anyone who cannot find a garbage or recycling bin is asked to take their waste home with them and dispose of it there. 

Those caught littering may be fined. 

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