Bishop Mary Irwin-Gibson of the Anglican Diocese of Montreal has announced the official transfer of the land upon which the historic Black Rock Monument rests to The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

The Anglican Church has officially donated the parcel of land on which the Black Rock Monument is located to the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

The Anglican Church has owned the parcel of land, measuring approximately 7,900 square feet, since 1870. This land ownership is a key component in the development of an appropriate memorial to those who are buried at the historic site which sits atop the largest mass grave in Canada.

“We are profoundly grateful to Bishop Irwin-Gibson and the Anglican Diocese for this generous gift,” stated Fergus Keyes, President of The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation.

“This donation represents a major step in the process to finally create the kind of facility at the Black Rock that recognizes the historical importance of the site not only for the Montreal Irish community but for all of Montreal.”

In 1859, the Black Rock Monument, located at the end of the Victoria Bridge, was erected in memory of more than 6,000 Irish refugees who lost their lives, largely to typhus- then called ship’s fever - during summer 1847, upon their arrival in Montreal.

The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation plans to create a park on the site that will serve as a memorial and world-class learning center on the Irish Famine and its impact on Montreal, Canada, and North America.  The Black Rock symbolizes one of the greatest humanitarian efforts ever seen in North America, as people of different races, religions and ethnic groups put aside concerns for their personal safety and administered to the stricken immigrants.

“The Anglican Church has important roots in Ireland and is very supportive of the objectives of The Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation to properly commemorate the victims of the Great Hunger who rest at Black Rock. The record shows that many Anglicans brought food and medicine to the fever sheds and two lost their lives in 1847,” said Anglican Bishop of Montreal, Mary Irwin-Gibson.

“For these reasons, we are delighted to donate the strip of land on which the Black Rock sits to the Foundation.”

Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation

Founded in 2014, the Park Foundation, which represents the collective interests of Montreal’s Irish community, as well as the greater Montreal community, is working closely with its primary partners, Hydro-Québec (which has donated a significant parcel of land for the new site) and the Ville de Montréal (which is shifting streets and infrastructure to allow access) to create a beautiful world-class memorial space around the Black Rock visitor’s center.

The memorial will also honor the many Montrealers spanning all languages, religions and origins who provided help and comfort to the dying Irish. Many of these caregivers, including Montreal’s Mayor at the time, gave their lives in this great humanitarian effort.

Watch below where Fergus Keyes, the President of the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation, briefly talks about the Black Rock's history and the group's plans:

Follow the Montreal Irish Monument Park Foundation's progress or donate to their cause here.