The opening of Ireland Park on June 21st, 2007 was an historic event, twelve years in the making. Toronto’s waterfront is now home to one of the world’s finest Irish Famine Memorials, commemorating the famine migrants who arrived on Canada’s shores in 1847: those who lost their lives upon arrival, those who died helping the migrants in the hospital and fever sheds, as well as those who survived and became contributing citizens to the development of this city, province and country.
The vision of our architect, Jonathan Kearns (and Kearns Mancini Architects) has resulted in an award winning park design that provides a beautiful setting for limestone and glass sculptures and the stark, gritty reality of the emotive bronze sculptures by Irish Artist Rowan Gillespie.
We are deeply grateful to our patron, Michael D. Higgins, President of Ireland, and to the Governments of Canada, Ireland, the Province of Ontario and the City of Toronto for their support. I would also like to acknowledge the overwhelming support of the Irish community, led by our founding partner, the Ireland Fund of Canada, and the various Irish cultural societies and our many donors and sponsors. Their leadership and commitment has helped bring all the Irish community together under a common cause.
Thank you for being part of this journey with us. It is an experience we will all cherish for years to come and a legacy that we can now leave for our descendants, knowing that the history and stories of the Irish famine migrants to Toronto have at last been documented and recorded for all time.
Ireland Park will be a legacy on Toronto’s waterfront that will bring hope and inspiration to all migrants and visitors to the Park from all around the world.
Robert G. Kearns Chair & Founder, Canada Ireland Foundation