Every spring thousands of people make the trip to High Park to walk amongst and admire these beautiful blossoms. The first 2,000 of these Sakura trees had been given as a gift from the ambassador of Japan to the people of Toronto, in 1959, for accepting re-located Japanese-Canadians after the second world war. More gifts followed over the years and this particular grove, on the east side of the park, was planted in 1984. The custom of hanami (flower viewing), originally limited to Japanese nobility, has become a rite of spring for many thousand Torontonians and visitors. The Japanese legend says that each spring a fairy maiden hovers in the warm sky and awakens these beautiful trees with her delicate breath. The window of opportunity is relatively small as these blooms only last for a couple of weeks and in some years don’t really bloom at all. Some say these blooms are a metaphor of life. Beautiful but quite short lived, a fleeting moment of beauty. While not native to the park these Sakura trees have become an important part of this wonderful eco-system.After the pretty blooms pass these trees will create fruit that helps feed many native song birds and small mammals as well as providing living space for small animals and insects. As they say, ” get while the getting is good”, these wonderful flowers will be gone soon, not to be seen for at least another year!