There’s something special about delicate pink petals floating down from above and carpeting the ground below your feet. And that’s exactly what we experience across the country come spring. The stunning cherry blossom tree is probably one of the most photogenic (though we’re partial to fall colors as well), and Canada is lucky enough to boast trees in cities right across Canada.
From the first blooms of the season, here are some of our favourite spots!
Probably the spot with the most fabled history, Vancouver comes to life with color each spring thanks to generous gifts from Japan. In the early 1930s, hundreds of trees were given to the city as a thank you to the Japanese Canadians who served in WWI. Today, the various species of cherry blossoms are both a reminder of that gift, while also adding beautiful bursts of pink to the city with over 40,000 trees.
The prime spots to find these flowers are Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, Burrard Skytrain Station, and various neighborhoods around the city. You can also check out the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival - online in 2021.
While exploring, consider these other Vancouver springtime activities.
Catch the grey west coast capital transform into pink each spring when the cherry blossoms burst onto the scene. All over Victoria, visitors can find the fabled blooms. Some iconic spots include James Bay, Beacon Hill Park, Fairfield, South Turner Street, Moss Street, and at the Victoria Clipper Ferry Terminal. From mid-March, the best of spring colours are on showcase at Butchart Gardens - be sure to book tickets early.
Looking for ideas in between strolls? Check out this 72-hour spring itinerary.
Explore the River Valley and the swollen North Saskatchewan River from the spring snow melt. From May cruise along 145 kilometres of trails by bike, segway or foot, to enjoy blossoms dotting the city. Hot spots, or rather pink spots, including Fairmont Mac Courtyard, George F. Hustler Memorial Plaza, the French Quarter, the Victoria Promenade, and the Alberta Legislature Grounds.
On the shores of Lake Ontario, the buds burst open and bulbs emerge to reveal a rainbow of colour across the region. In the warmth of May, catch cherry blossoms in the surrounding towns and stop and shop local in the myriad of cherry farms. Further south, flowers abound. Check out the Centennial Lilac Garden, the neighbouring floral clock and Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens which bursts to life with over 40 hectares of gardens. Explore the area by foot, or try a self-guided bike tour. There are spots all around the area, and this guide will let you know what’s blooming when.
Stay and enjoy the best of the Niagara region, from the famous falls to exquisite wineries.
Blooming in late April to early May, the pink wave continues in Toronto. High Park the cherry blossom central, also home to the High Park Cherry Blossom Festival, but other locations include Centennial Park, Trinity Bellwoods Park, Broadacres Park, University of Toronto, or Toronto Islands where there are 30 trees to wander amongst. Enjoy the short ferry ride before enjoying the day exploring the area.
Explore the energetic city of Toronto in full bloom this spring.
Montreal comes alive in spring with the blossoms signalling the long, warm summer days are on the horizon. Throughout May hues of pink from cherry, crabapple and magnolia trees spread a fragrance across the city. Visit Montreal Botanical Garden, Westmount Park, Avenue McGill College, Parc Jean Drapeau, Nature Park of Île-de-la-Visitation to catch a glimpse.
Spring is also the perfect time to sample the local maple syrup at local sugar shacks across the city.
Keep planning your spring getaway in Quebec.
They may be few and far between, but it’s worth trying to track down cherry blossoms in Ottawa. Your best bet is to check out the Central Experimental Farm National Historic Site, but others have had luck in the Ottawa River Valley as well.
If you’re partial to all blooms, consider the Canadian Tulip Festival in May - one of the world’s largest tulip festivals.
The season may be short, but the sight of thousands of petals in Canada’s vibrant cities is worth the visit.