Cherry blossoms 2024: Where to see them in Vancouver

cherry blossoms in Vancouver are a stunning sight every spring

When spring comes to Vancouver, you’ll know it by the cherry blossoms. Every year in March, we’re tickled pink!

Updated Jan. 10, 2024

Each type of blossom only lasts for about two weeks, but there are nearly 60 different cultivars in the Vancouver area and so the entire season can go into late May. The tricky thing is that the bloom period is different every year depending on the weather. Some years, a spring deluge can come down and really hurt the blossoms. So, remember that timing is crucial to catch them at their best. In 2023, the peak time will be in the first week of April. 

Vancouver and its metro area are very lucky in the number of cherry trees it has. They were a gift from Japan, which gave 500 trees to the city in the 1930s as a symbol of friendship between Canada and Japan. Today, that number has grown to about 55,000 cherry trees in Metro Vancouver. 

While other cities around the world — such as Tokyo, Washington DC, Jinhae, Kyoto and Bonn — are known for their cherry blossoms, Vancouver is still considered one of the best places in the world to see them. 

Vancouver is doubly blessed because it's also home to a plethora of plum blossoms that look strikingly similar to their cherry counterparts. It's estimated that there are more than 10,000 trees in Vancouver alone, with many more scattered throughout the surrounding suburbs.

The way to tell them apart is that plum blossoms have a pleasant fragrance (cherry blossoms have only a faint scent) and their petals are rounded. Cherry blossom petals always have a little split or notch in them. You'll also know it by looking at the trunks: Plum blossom trunks don't have the horizontal lines that cherry blossom trunks do.

Plum blossoms have a longer lifespan, blooming for several weeks. Between the cherry blossoms and plum blossoms that blanket the region, Vancouver is a sight to behold in spring, and the season is a long one.

cherry blossoms in Vancouver are a stunning sight every spring
Akebono cherry blossoms: Aren't they stunning?


These are some of the top types of cherry blossoms in Vancouver and area, as well as when they typically reach peak bloom. For information on all of the cultivars, see the fabulous Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival site

Whitcomb: This spring cherry tree is the earliest of the blossoms to bloom. You'll see the vivid purple-pink petals everywhere starting even as early as February and going into March.
See it: A fabulous example of these blossoms can be found at Tisdale Park just south of Oakridge Centre in Vancouver.

Akebono: You'll see the soft pink petals of Akebono cherry blossoms staring in late March or early April. The blooms start out shell pink and fade to nearly white.
See it: A spectacular example of the Akebono blossom can be found at the Burrard SkyTrain Station in Vancouver.

Shirotae: Shirotae cherry blossoms, also known as the Mount Fuji cherry blossom, have large white double flowers and typically bloom in mid April.
See it: You can see one example of these beauties at Stanley Park near the Japanese Canadian War Memorial.

Umineko: Umineko cherry blossoms, also known as Seabird cherry blossoms, have delicate, five-petaled pure white flowers and typically bloom in mid-April.
See it: See these stunners at Queen Elizabeth Park near the duck pond.

Kanzan: Kanzan cherry trees are the most commonly planted of all of the flowering cherry trees in Vancouver, and one of the very prettiest. They're known for their deep pink double flowers and bloom in late April or May. The leaves emerge at the same time that the buds open.
See it: The most famous example of these trees, arguably, is on Arbutus Ridge in Vancouver.

cherry blossoms in Vancouver are a stunning sight every spring
The Graveley Street canopy in Vancouver, a must-see sight.


The City of Vancouver has numerous spots to view cherry blossoms in springtime; these are the most popular ones:

Stanley Park has rows of blossoming trees near the Rose Garden and the Japanese Canadian War Memorial. There are more trees near the underpass to Lost Lagoon.

Queen Elizabeth Park is home to several varieties of cherry trees that bloom at different intervals from early March to late April. Check out the slopes on the west side of the park or the area near the park entrance on 33rd Avenue.

Burrard SkyTrain Station, which is located in downtown Vancouver, is surrounded by cherry blossom trees, making it a remarkable spot to view the blooms.

Granville Island also has cherry blossom trees, and this is a particularly picturesque spot to view the blooms. Head to the east side of the island facing False Creek.

David Lam Park is located in Yaletown and is home to several varieties of cherry trees, including the Akebono and Kanzan varieties.

200 Granville Street, which is an office tower and the former home of the Vancouver Sun, has stunning trees. One of the great joys of working there was seeing the cherry blossoms every spring. From Waterfront SkyTrain Station, walk west on the sidewalk just past the parkade entrance and then head up the stairs to the plaza.

Vancouver City Hall has lovely trees flanking the statue of British explorer Capt. George Vancouver, for whom the city is named. If you face the other way, you'll get the trees with some of the cityscape in the background. Both are great views.

Graveley Street between Lillouet and Windermere streets is one of the most popular spots to view the blossoms. These are Akebono cherry blossoms.

Arbutus Ridge is a must-see spot. It's arguably the most beautiful (IMO) of all the cherry blossom locales. Cherry blossom trees seem to stretch forever along eight consecutive blocks on West 22nd Avenue from Arbutus Street to Carnavon Street.

East 3rd Avenue from Rupert Street to Skeena Street is another popular location. There is a perfect line of cherry trees, drawing the eyes to the Sikh Temple at East 3rd Avenue and Skeena Street.

• The University of British Columbia has more than 500 cherry trees. Nitobe Garden, which requires a ticket, is one of the most beautiful spots to view the blooms. You can also find cherry blossoms at the campus' Lower Mall and at the Chan Centre for no charge. 

Want to find more blossoms? Check out this fantastic interactive tree map from the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival. 

Springtime in Vancouver and the entire region means stunning cherry blossoms


They're everywhere! Here are some highlights. Please comment if you can recommend a suburb locale.

Check out the Akebono canopy at Buchanan Street and Rosser Avenue. You'll find this intersection near Brentwood Town Centre.

New Westminster:
According to the New Westminster Record, you'll see beautiful, mature Akebono trees at New Westminster City Hall. Neighbouring Tipperary Park and Friendship Gardens also have a variety of trees, all of which will bloom at different times, offering an extended season. See more spots here. 

Garry Point Park 
has gorgeous cherry trees set against the backdrop of the Fraser River. The Wakayama Kenjin Kai Society planted the trees in 2000 to celebrate the pioneering legacy of Richmond’s historic Japanese community.

Town Centre Park
has a number of stunning cherry blossoms, scattered throughout. The park is at 1299 Pinetree Way, just north of the Coquitlam Centre shopping mall.

Port Coquitlam:
You'll find some beautiful cherry blossoms in front of the Port Coquitlam City Hall at 2580 Shaughnessy St.

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Find more travel inspiration on my Instagram, @JuanitaNg

Springtime in Vancouver means cherry blossoms.