Queen's Park (Toronto)

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For the Toronto subway station of the same name, see Queen's Park (TTC).
Equestrian statue of Edward VII at the origin point of the park's radial footpaths

Queen's Park is an urban park in Downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Opened in 1860 by Edward, Prince of Wales, it was named in honour of Queen Victoria. The park is the site of the Ontario Legislative Building, which houses the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, and the phrase Queen's Park is regularly used as a metonym for the Government of Ontario.

The park is nearly an enclave of the University of Toronto, which occupies most of the surrounding lands. The park itself is technically owned by the University of Toronto, but the property was leased to the Government of Ontario in 1859 for a period of 999 years, set to expire in 2858. Ministry buildings of the Ontario government occupy other properties to the east of the park, in an area between Wellesley Street and Grosvenor Street. While not directly adjacent to the park, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum are both located nearby.

Features[edit]

Aerial view of the park and its surrounding transport features

The section of the park north of Wellesley Street follows the traditional British design, dominated by large trees that provide extensive cover during summer. Footpaths radiate outwards from an equestrian statue of Edward VII, which stands on a large mound at the centre of the northern section. The statue originally stood in India, but was moved to Canada after 1969, when India became a Commonwealth republic. The main north-south path runs between the statue and the war memorial of the 48th Highlanders at the park's northern tip. The site is approximately oval; however the southwestern edge of Queens Park "kinks in" somewhat. In the past, this was the bank of Taddle Creek. With the creek long-buried, the kink remains.

The oval park is bounded by Queen's Park Crescent East and West. These form part of a major through route consist of University Avenue (south of College Street), Queen's Park Crescent East and West, Queen's Park, and Avenue Road (north of Bloor Street). Queen's Park Crescent East and West carry northbound and southbound traffic respectively and are linked to make a complete counterclockwise loop around the park. University Avenue, Queen's Park (with no suffix), and Avenue Road have two-way traffic and lie in essentially the same straight line. Wellesley Street bisects Queen's Park Crescent slightly north of the loop's centre.

The Yonge-University-Spadina subway line runs below University Avenue, Queen's Park (the park, to one side of the legislature), and Queen's Park (the street), serving the area via its Queen's Park and Museum stations. Other public transit access is provided by the 5 Avenue Road and 94 Wellesley bus routes, and the 506 Carlton streetcar route.

The north section of Queen's Park is the 'saluting station' for the Province of Ontario. Gun salutes are conducted here to mark special occasions including Victoria Day (fired at 1200 EDT), Canada Day (fired at 1200 EDT), and Remembrance Day (fired at 1102 EST). Other salutes are also conducted here throughout the year as dictated by protocol.

Statues and monuments[edit]

The southern section of the park is the site of the Ontario Legislature, the seat of the provincial government. The grounds contain several monuments commemorating notable historical figures and events:

A sandstone monument with Italian marble figures and bronze plaques was erected on the University of Toronto Campus by the Canadian Volunteer Monument Campaign of 1866, Committee of Toronto citizens and its chairman, Dr. McCaul, then President of the University of Toronto. The monument was dedicated to those of the The Queen's Own Rifles of Canada regiment who were killed in action or who died from wounds defending her frontier in June 1866. [1]

A monument honouring militia volunteers who had died fighting against Fenian invaders at the Battle of Limeridge is located just west of Queen's Park in an isolated corner of the University of Toronto campus, at coordinates 43°39′45″N 79°23′36″W / 43.662637°N 79.393308°W / 43.662637; -79.393308 (Battle of Limeridge monument). Although this monument was in Queen's Park at the time of its unveiling in 1870,[2] it has since been cut off from the rest of the park by the construction of Queen's Park Crescent.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DHH - Memorials Details Search Results
  2. ^ "Celebration of Dominion Day—Unveiling of a Monument in Toronto—Imposing Ceremonies" (PDF). The New York Times. 1870-07-03. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°39′53″N 79°23′33″W / 43.664659°N 79.392453°W / 43.664659; -79.392453