By the time of Confederation in 1867, one quarter of the population of Canada were of Irish ancestry.  Although the Irish had been immigrating to what is now Canada for a long time, the Irish famine years of 1845 to 1849 saw an increase in the number of immigrants.  Immigration peaked in the summer of 1847;  boatloads of Irish settlers arrived.  Most were very poor and sick.  They landed in a number of places along the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, including Toronto.   Thousands of those Irish immigrants died in Ontario that summer, mostly from typhus (or typhoid fever).

Ireland Park is home to a memorial in honour of those immigrants. It is on the waterfront between Lake Ontario and the old Canada Malting Co. silos.

view of Ireland Park from the waterfront, and looking slightly north east.  A large shape made of limestone is on the left of the photo and a green space is beside it.  The silos of the Canada Malting Company are visible as is part of the Toronto skyline in the distance.

Sections of limestone fit together in a shape that resembles a boat.

Names are engraved on the sides of the limestone sections.  They are placed such that they are in the gaps between the sections.  At first they are not visible.  It is only when you are close to the stone that you can see the names.

Names in black lettering carved into the side of limestone.

675 names are carved in the stone. These are the known names of the 1000 to 1100 people who died shortly after they arrived in Toronto in the summer of 1847.

 

The park also has seven sculptures by Rowan Gillespie of Dublin Ireland.
The installation is called ‘Arrival’. 

Sculpture of a man with his arms upraised.  He is looking over part of the harbour towards downtown Toronto.

‘The Jubliant Man’ from behind.

close up of one of the sculptures in Ireland Park.  It is a man with his hands clenched in front of him and a worried look on his face.

‘The Apprehensive Man’

 for more information: the Ireland Park Foundation website

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