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Berczy Park, Toronto, 2017[open in full screen]  

 
 

Berczy Family Sculpture is discretely standing in one corner of recently renovated park. Friends of Berczy Park were contacted by a nephew of the artist who made the Berczy Family sculpture, Almuth Lutkenhaus-Lackey, a well-regarded, German-born sculptor who emigrated to Canada. Her nephew recalls watching his aunt work on the sculpture in her studio wwewwaround 1980 when this park was first established.

Nearby plaque with this text is decribing history of this space: "This sculpture was donated by historical Society of Macklenburg, Upper Canada Inc., with the financial assistance of The Consumer Gas Company Limited and The Council of Metropolitain Toronto, in memory of Johan Albrecht Ulrich Moll, better known as William Berszy, born December 10, 1744 in Wallerstein, Germany. This architect and surveyor was co-founder off York [Toronto] in 1794 when John Graves Simcoe was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. His younger son, Charles Albert Berczy was the first president of the Consumers Gas Company from 1847 to 1856, and postmaster of Toronto. His older son William Bent Berczy, was a member of the Legislative Assemby of Upper Canada and like his father and mother, a gifted painter."

The park was first opened in 1980, replacing a parking lot and then it was closed in September 2015 for renovation.

  A key focal point of the renovated park was the replacement of the park's original fountain, with a larger two-tier fountain that incorporated sculptures with life-size cast-iron statues of 27 dogs and one cat. The park was redesigned by landscape architect Claude Cormier of Montreal.

Fifty new trees were planted in Silva Cell growing chambers, each tree having 30 cubic metres of soil provided for its roots to grow. The park officially reopened on June 28, 2017.

“I love Toronto,” Cormier enthuses. “I find it extremely dynamic. It’s true that getting anything done is difficult here, but there’s a fresh energy in this city. What I’m trying to do is create new types of landscape architecture. I did that at Sugar Beach and now at Berczy Park. I have to say, the public consultation process with this project was the best ever. The dog owners wanted a place to walk their dogs, parents wanted a place their kids could play and the BIA (Business Improvement Association) wanted a place for tourists. We brought those three groups together.”

The story of Berczy Park is the story of Toronto. It starts with a small downtown space carved out of a neglected site left over from the 1800s [when most of the area dissapeard in a great fire] and ends with a 21st-century facility that forms the centre of a diverse high-rise community.

  No one could have imagined how things would turn out on Front St. east of Yonge; the market, theatres, shops and office buildings are still here, but now they have been joined by condo towers and the thousands of people who inhabit them. Historic façades now sit beside structures so new the paint is barely dry.

The rear of the Gooderham Building is adorned by a mural by Canadian artist Derek Besant. Painted in 1998, the artwork reflects the facade of the Perkins Building opposite, and has a 3-dimensional look due to the trompe lóeil effect Besant employed.

“Jacob’s Ladder” in the park green-space is last addition to Breczy Park, designed by Toronto artist Luis Jacob.

My opinion is that "Dog Fountain" is way to "kitschy" for 21st century standards, but my 3 years old granddaughter loves it very much. I am overlooking this space from my balcony, so overtime space become useful everyday reality.

I have wishful thinking about this space, specially since north portion of St. Lawrence Market was demolished in November 2017. Some work resumed in September 2019, nothing visible so far.

One more view from October 2019 of this park is available here, this time as a 360˚ experience.

Next Dundas Square, Toronto

 
           
   
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Last time updated on February 10, 2020 15:42  
berzy park 360