Queen's Park (Toronto)
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. In 1854, the land was leased by the University of Toronto to the City of Toronto for a 999-year term. In 1880, a "portion of the Queen's Park [was] selected [and given to] the Government of Ontario, as a site for the erection of new Legislative and Departmental buildings". The land that is occupied by Legislative Assembly of Ontario is owned by the Government of Ontario. The north park is owned by the University of Toronto and leased to the City. 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 adjacent to the park, the Royal Ontario Museum and the Gardiner Museum are located nearby.
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
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:
- George Brown, one of the Fathers of Confederation, by Charles Bell Birch 1884
- King Edward VII, by Thomas Brock 1919; originally installed at the old King Edward VII Park (now Netaji Subhash Park) in Delhi, India in 1919, removed in 1967, sold in 1968 and re-installed in Toronto in 1969
- Sir John A. Macdonald, first Prime Minister of Canada, by Hamilton MacCarthy 1894
- John Sandfield Macdonald, first Premier of Ontario, by Walter Allward 1909
- William Lyon Mackenzie, leader of the Upper Canada Rebellion, by Walter Allward 1940
- Sir Oliver Mowat, third Premier of Ontario, by Walter Allward 1905
- Northwest Rebellion memorial
- John Graves Simcoe, first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada, by Walter Allward 1903
- Queen Victoria, by Mario Raggi 1870
- Sir James Pliny Whitney, sixth Premier of Ontario by Hamilton MacCarthy 1927
- Ontario Veterans Memorial
- Ontario Police Memorial, by Siggy Puchta 2000
- Queen Elizabeth II Rose Gardens, in honour of Her Majesty's Silver Jubilee in 1977 and Golden Jubilee in 2002
- Al Purdy, celebrated Canadian poet
- Canadian Volunteer Monument, by Robert Reid 1870
- Jesus Christ, central figure of Christianity
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. 
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 . Although this monument was in Queen's Park at the time of its unveiling in 1870, it has since been cut off from the rest of the park by the construction of Queen's Park Crescent.
- Arthur, Eric. 1979. From Front Street to Queen's Park. p67.
- DHH - Memorials Details Search Results
- "Celebration of Dominion Day—Unveiling of a Monument in Toronto—Imposing Ceremonies" (PDF). The New York Times. 1870-07-03.
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