Address: 3620 Kariya Dr.
Phone Number: 905) 615-4100
Kariya Park is a smaller scale alternative to High Park in Toronto, especially during cherry blossom season. The park resembles a Japanese garden and was made in honour of Mississauga’s sister city in Japan, Kariya. The utter peacefulness and serenity that comes with stepping foot into the garden is starkly contrasted by the tall condos that surround the park. It is an escape from the city that lies in the very heart of it. According to the park’s website, it was opened in 1992 and includes a variety of different plant life, including rhododendrons, pine, gingko and sweetgum trees.
When we visited, we hoped to see some Japanese cherry blossoms, as peak bloom was expected to happen the following week. However, upon arriving, we quickly learned that the only blooms we would get the chance to see were ones from the trees directly outside the entrance to the park. Our cold winter/sad early spring is likely to blame for the lack of blossoms, but we still got what we came for – and a little more.
Kariya is a wonderful space to relax by a duck pond, take some insta-worthy pictures by a Japanese-style piece of art, walk along a bridge, and really feel like you’re smack dab in the middle of Japan. The park definitely wasn’t as crowded as High Park gets around this time, although we’re not sure if that was because of the state of the current buds. Either way, this place is definitely worth a visit.
The park is also a short drive from Square One, so you can grab some food and go for an indoor walk there afterwards.