Anger as Toronto’s Irish famine park closed to visitors for three years
Constant promises to reopen park are never delivered on say supporters
Irish in Toronto are upset that Ireland Park, Toronto’s famine memorial, has been closed since 2010 despite constant promises from the authorities to re-open it.
The waterfront Ireland Park, in Toronto, dedicated to the Irish famine victims, was officially launched by former president Mary McAleese in 2007. However the Irish tourist attraction in Canada remains closed due to a construction site surrounding the area.
The $3.8 million park, including statues by Rowan Gillespie, remains behind a building site barricade and “no trespassing” signs, according to the Irish Times report.
Run by the Ireland Park Foundation, the memorial park was funded with $483,000 from the Irish Government, along with Canadian and private donors.
Ireland Park is a memorial to the 38,000 Irish who arrived on Toronto’s Lake Ontario shore between May and October of 1847. More than one thousand of them died that summer.
Inside the now closed park is a wall made of Irish limestone where the names of the dead immigrants are carved. There are also five bronze sculptures by internationally renowned Dublin-based artist Rowan Gillespie.
According to the Irish Times this wall is visible over the construction barriers and tourists are often seen attempting to take photos from the adjacent parking lot.
The park was closed in 2010. The Toronto Sun reported in March 2010 that Ireland Park was “almost impossible to find, let alone reach.” They also reported that the City of Toronto was planning to build a pathway to make it easier to access the park. However, the construction was more complex than previously thought.
In 2011 the Star reported, “A waterfront park that honours refugees from the Irish famine has been closed since 2010 and is unlikely to reopen until next year.”
Responding to this report the City of Toronto released a statement saying, “access to the park should reopen early in 2012.” However now, half way through the year, the park remains closed.
Robert G Kearns, Chair of the Ireland Park Foundation, told the Times that although he would be thrilled to see the park reopened it was a complex issue. He said that when the $4.8 million extension to the quay wall is complete it will enhance the park. When this project is complete it will provide a tree-lined lakeside promenade, a lasting legacy for hundreds of years.
The City of Toronto now estimates that the park will reopen in December 2013.
- Notre Dame sues federal government again...
- Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for...
- Caroline Kennedy “selfie” in Japan reveals...
- Irish university suspends Legion of Mary...
- Smithwick inquiry finds Irish police may...
- Ireland wins top spot on Forbes’ Best Countries
- Pope Francis calls capitalism “new tyranny”...
- Irish radio presenter suspended after anti-Isra
- Married priests could well be Pope Francis'...
- Katherine Webb and the morbid depths of US...
fine story. sorry I addressed you as doherty without the O' recently; you'll survive, yeah? good story way back in IC about Newt G visiting donegal/Unionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
Hey have ye heard the news 30.000 homes without power because the flags attached to them caught the wind & pulled them down-flags are like littleInquiries into pre-Good Friday Agreement Northern Ireland crimes must end
Niall, it has always been healthy for the prosecution services of a state to process actions on the evidence, or lack thereof, provided by the policeUnionists regret US envoy Haass’ call for new flag for Northern Ireland (VIDEO)
If Haass is such an expect onall things,may I suggest he peddle his wares to is own counrty? A country awash in problems. For a foreigner to offer h