Rededication ceremony held at Toronto's Coronation Park
A Toronto park created in the 1930's to celebrate to coronation of King George VI has been rededicated as a memorial to Canada's First World War veterans.
Alongside Lieutenant Governor Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Mayor John Tory spoke at a ceremony Saturday morning as phase one of restorations to the park are now complete.
"This week is Remembrance Week, a very special Remembrance Week, and so it is fitting that we're here to rededicate the park and to revive this beautiful and meaningful commemorative function of the park," Tory said.
"We say the things we do on Remembrance Day, and these are ways in which we can indicate that we really mean it," he added. "We will make sure by so doing that future generations who visit this park will learn about them, those who we remember, will learn about their courage, and about their sacrifice."
Initially, the park contained a lone Royal Oak tree that was surrounded by a ring of silver maples to commemorate king George's 1936 coronation.
However, maple trees were later planted beyond the initial ring in memory of Canadian troops killed in WWI, with a granite and brass marker placed under each, inscribed with the name of a military unit.
After some of the plaques fell into disrepair, the city decided to launch the two-phase restoration project. New pathways, new engraved markers and benches, as well as new signage have all been installed.
The second phase of renovations will begin next year, and will be dedicated to the Maple groves themselves - something that Tory is thrilled about.
“We do lots of refurbishments of parks but rarely are we able to have something like this, which I think is appropriate given the importance of this park and all it represents,” he added.
- With files from CP24