Sakura season is fast approaching and according to Toronto cherry blossom expert Steven Joniak, our city is on track for a beautiful bloom this year.

Joniak, a.k.a. Sakura Steve, operates the local cherry blossom guide Sakura in High Park and monitors the progress of the trees each year.

Sakura Steve told Curiocity that while his findings are preliminary, the chances of a gorgeous blooming season are looking promising.

“So far the trees and the buds are looking as they should at this time of year which is a great sign they are on track to eventually develop into the beautiful cherry blossoms in the weeks ahead,” said Joniak.

“The typical time frame for the High Park sakura trees to bloom is around the end of April into early May, which at this early point seems to be the case.”

However, the real test will be in April. Whether or not they bloom early, late, or on time will depend largely on what the weather has in store throughout the month.

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“What can potentially move the dates sooner are unusually stretch of warm weather or even push them later if we experience a polar vortex event,” he said.

Joniak will be monitoring the trees closely in April to get a better sense of the timeline.

Those hoping to see Toronto cherry blossom activity a little bit early this year can head east of High Park, to the University of Toronto campus.

According to Joniak, “the cherry blossoms near [U of T] Robarts Library downtown tend to be the first to bloom in the city, and when they do, High Park will follow within 2-3 days.”

That said, the actual bloom dates “tend to be a moving target,” said Joniak. That’s why it’s important to follow along closely.

Either way, we can officially start the countdown!