Mississauga plants cherry blossom trees to mark 40th anniversary with sister city


Published May 9, 2022 at 5:33 pm

Seven new cherry blossom trees will be planted at Kariya Park in Mississauga on Wednesday. The event marks the 40th anniversary of Mississauga's sister city relationship with Kariya, Japan.

City of Mississauga officials will plant some special trees on Wednesday (May 11) to mark the 40th anniversary of Mississauga’s sister city relationship with Kariya, Japan.

The mayor of the Japanese city, which has enjoyed an official relationship with Mississauga since 1981, sent to Mississauga recently a special anniversary gift of six Somei Yoshino Sakura, a specific type of cherry blossom tree.

A seventh cherry blossom tree, provided by Mississauga-based Denso Sales Canada Inc., will also be planted at Wednesday’s ceremony at Kariya Park in the city’s downtown core.

The event gets underway at 3 p.m.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie will be joined at the tree planting ceremony by members of council and the City’s leadership team in addition to Mukesh Gupta, president of the Mississauga Friendship Association.

Although delegates from the two cities were unable to celebrate in-person in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a virtual celebration was shared on YouTube, which can be viewed below.

Mississauga has called Kariya its sister city since 1981. The Japanese city features a Mississauga Park, opened in 2001, that’s complete with a replica of Mississauga’s City Hall.

Kariya Park in Mississauga opened in July 1992.

The sister city initiative began in the 1950s as a way to promote communication between cities around the world. The original goal was to reduce conflict between nations in the aftermath of World War II.

The 40th anniversary celebration takes place at the height of cherry blossom season.

One of the best places to catch glimpses of the blossoms and their ethereal beauty is Kariya Park, nestled near Mississauga’s downtown core and named for this city’s sister municipality on the other side of the world.

The tranquil, Japanese-style park is often described by City officials and visitors alike as “a little oasis in the middle of a bustling city.”

The City says Kariya Park is home to several ornate garden beds, unique Japanese décor, a marsh and pond, rhododendrons, pines, ginkgo, sweetgum, magnolia trees and more than 65 cherry blossom trees of four different varieties.

Peak cherry blossom season typically comes in late April and into the first couple of weeks in May, depending on the weather. It lasts only a week to 10 days or so.

Cherry blossoms have a celebrated history in Japanese art and culture, the City notes, adding many of the world’s cherry blossom tree varieties come from the Japanese cherry tree (Sakura).

The delicate flowers, often soft white, blush pink and dark rose, bloom for just a few days at the start of spring, reaching their full peak in late April into early May.

Outside of Mississauga, people can catch cherry blossom season at High Park in Toronto, Centennial Park in Etobicoke (near Mississauga’s border), Broadacres Park in Etobicoke, Spencer Smith Park and Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington and, a little farther away, in Niagara-on-the-Lake.

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