The Best Places to See Flowers Bloom in Toronto in Spring
Published: April 6, 2023
Toronto is in full bloom in spring! While a visit to our city is great any time of year, we think April might just be the prettiest time in Toronto. With temperatures warming up, sunny skies overhead, and the return of outdoor activities, April is a fantastic time for travellers and locals to get outside to check out Toronto’s gardens, flowers, and our famous cherry blossoms.
Here are our picks for the best places to see flowers in bloom this spring during your visit to Toronto.
There is no doubt that Toronto’s High Park is a must-see at any time of year, but all of the city comes out to see the pretty pink cherry blossoms in April. Cherry blossom (or sakura) viewing is a centuries-old tradition that you can participate in right in the heart of downtown Toronto at High Park where most of the blossoms on display are of the Somei-Yoshino variety of Japanese trees. Noted for their pale pink shade, these are among the very first to bloom, welcoming in spring.
Pack a picnic or pick-up a coffee from nearby Roncesvalles Village and enjoy a warm spring under these blossoms, just minutes from UP Express Bloor Station. Be sure to take a break from the crowds enjoying the cherry blossoms to wander through the park’s many trails and paths to see tulips and wildflowers in bloom. You’ll definitely want to charge your phone to snap the perfect Instagram pic of the cherry blossoms – every UP Express train offers power outlets and free Wi-Fi so you can post your pics online.
Visitors arriving from outside downtown Toronto can easily travel to UP Express Bloor Station from Pearson Airport and UP Express Weston Station. With service running every 15 minutes, it’s a quick and convenient way to avoid the hassle of limited parking and traffic in High Park during cherry blossom viewing season.
Want to get a photo of Toronto’s cherry blossoms with the iconic CN Tower in the background? Head to Trinity Bellwoods on Queen Street West to capture this epic view! The popular park has pretty, pink blossoming cherry trees around its circular path complete with benches so you can truly savour the view. Fun fact: there’s a bridge buried under this downtown park.
You don’t have to head to a park to enjoy Toronto’s cherry blossoms. Stroll through the grounds of the University of Toronto around John P. Robarts Research Library, throughout the grounds at Exhibition Place, or along the aptly-named Cherry Street and Villiers Street intersection, just east along the waterfront from UP Express Union Station. Visit the City of Toronto’s cherry blossom website for up-to-date blooming status of the city’s trees.
St. James Park
Nothing says spring like tulips! Every May, visitors are drawn to St. James Park to take in tulips in bloom as they cover the park’s Victorian-style gardens complete with a central fountain, gazebo and iron garden archway next to St. James Cathedral. You’ll also find daffodils and hyacinths as you take a leisurely stroll through this east end park, just a 15-minute walk from UP Express Union Station. A popular park for local music performances, check out the park’s Instagram page for upcoming events.
Toronto Botanical Gardens
Located at the end of the Don Valley Ravine Trail, the Toronto Botanical Gardens may be a bit of a hike from downtown, but the journey makes for one spectacular spring bike ride through lush and winding pathways. Free to enter, four acres of beautiful, themed gardens of local flowers and plants await along with a café and gift shop.
Note that our bicycle policy has recently changed: Only bicycles that can be folded or stored in an aircraft-ready bicycle box are permitted on board UP Express. You’ll find Toronto Bike Share bicycles for rent outside of UP Express Union Station.
Allen Gardens Conservatory
One of Toronto’s oldest gardens, Allan Gardens Conservatory is the prime place to enjoy spring flowers in May, rain or shine! Built in 1854, the Victorian-style indoor botanical garden has six greenhouses filled with exotic flowers and plants. Stroll the outdoor garden to take in daffodils, tulips, and local wildflowers just a 20-minute journey via local transit from UP Express Union Station.
City Hall Podium Green Roof
Courtesy: City of Toronto
Did you know Toronto City Hall is home to the city’s largest public green roof garden? Just a 15-minute walk from UP Express Union Station, visitors can enjoy this urban park’s landscaped gardens, courtyards, terraces, furniture, and walkways – all with a unique view of downtown Toronto and Nathan Phillips Square! You’ll find a garden of greens, yellows, and golds in the spring with feather reed grasses, flowering coneflower, asters, Kentucky coffee trees and aromatic shrubs.
An outing the whole family can enjoy, Riverdale Farm truly comes alive in April. A 7.5 acre working farm in the heart of downtown Toronto’s Cabbagetown neighbourhood that’s free to visit, Riverdale Farm features local flower, herb, and vegetable gardens. Enjoy the garden plots here as you get a first-hand look at farm life and the resident cows, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens. Riverdale Farm is adjacent to Riverdale Park West making it the perfect place for a picnic on a warm, sunny, spring day.
Families travelling on UP Express can take advantage of special family discount rates while children ages 12 and under always travel for free. Plus, teens and post-secondary students get 40% off standard Adult fare when using PRESTO; adults and seniors also save on fares with PRESTO.
Toronto Music Garden
The Toronto Music Garden is one of the city’s true hidden gems. Located on the inner harbour of Toronto’s waterfront community just a short TTC streetcar ride or bike ride from UP Express Union Station, this charming garden is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with spectacular floral scents and views of Lake Ontario. Inspired by Bach's First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, each of the garden’s beautiful sections is designed to correspond with a different dance movement. Throughout the growing season you’ll find wild tulips, daffodils, lilacs, alliums, yarrow, lily of the valley and more.
The Gardener's Cottage
A hidden gem in Toronto’s east end in Kew Gardens, the Gardener’s Cottage is a flower-lover’s paradise! It’s no wonder this historic cottage was once home to the gardener of Kew Beach. Pretty petals bloom year-round, but in April the cottage welcomes spring with daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths in a palette of yellows, reds, and purples among the walking trails. Arrive here by connecting from UP Express Union Station to local transit or hop on a rental bike steps from UP Express and enjoy a leisurely cycle along Lake Ontario along the Martin Goodman Waterfront Trail to Toronto’s Beaches neighbourhood.
Toronto Flower Market
Courtesy: Toronto Flower Market
Beginning in May, the seasonal outdoor Toronto Flower Market returns to the city at the CAMH grounds on Queen Street West. Celebrating and supporting Ontario-grown flowers, plants, gardeners, growers, and florists, the market draws plant lovers from far and wide. Vendors here sell everything from fresh-cut floral bouquets, pressed flowers, arrangements, planters, and more. It’s also the place for green thumbs to get tips on growing their gardens at home. Check the Toronto Flower Market’s website for 2023 dates.
You can rely on UP Express to get to the Toronto Flower Market and these other fantastic garden destinations this spring, safely and quickly. With our comfortable and clean trains running every 15 minutes, seven days a week, we’re here to help you make the most of your time in the city.