Saturday 5 May 2012

Victoria Memorial Square, Toronto, ON

Gord and I did the Wellington Place: A Remarkable Neighbourhood Re-Emerges Over The Traces Of Two Centuries Jane's Walk this afternoon in Victoria Memorial Square. We got there a bit early and wondered around.

Victoria Memorial Square is a park and former cemetery in Toronto. Established in 1763 as the burial place for those affiliated with the nearby Fort York, it was the first cemetery to be used by European settlers in what would become the city of Toronto. The park today is the site of a monument to the War of 1812 sculpted by Walter Seymour Allward and completed in 1902.

The cemetery was established by Governor John Graves Simcoe and the first burial in the cemetery was his young daughter Katherine. It served as the military cemetery for Toronto until 1863 and saw some 400 burials, including a number of victims of the War of 1812.

The cemetery reached capacity in 1863 and was closed and largely abandoned. Over the decades, neglect and vandalism resulted in there today being only 17 surviving grave stones.

In the late 19th century, it was turned into a public park and has served as such since. It was restored between 2009-2011. Led by the Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association and Toronto Councillor Adam Vaughan, restoration included regrading, and elements such as lighting, pathways, street furniture, trees and other plantings, and a playground.

No comments: