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Opened in July 2021, Grasett Park celebrates the response of the City of Toronto, particularly its physicians, nurses and other caregivers, to the influx of Irish migrants during the summer of 1847. Many of these migrants arrived gravely afflicted with typhus, known then as ship fever.
Situated at the corner of Adelaide Street West and Widmer Street (on the same plot of land as Toronto’s first purpose-built General Hospital), the park is named after Dr. George Robert Grasett, who was appointed as Medical Superintendent of the Hospital in June 1847 and who – along with fellow doctors, nurses, orderlies and other caregivers – died shortly thereafter from the same illness he sought to treat.
These courageous individuals played an important role in the medical history of the city. At the time, Toronto’s population was roughly 20,000. The arrival of 38,560 Irish migrants fleeing the Great Famine, including thousands who became sick during the perilous journey, quickly overwhelmed the Hospital’s capacity and resources. Temporary fever sheds were erected in the field behind the hospital, where Grasett Park now stands.
Opening & Dedication Ceremony – July 16, 2021
Grasett Park Design & Construction Team
Architecture & Design: Denegri Bessai Studio
Connor Turnbull, Jonathan Kearns, John Kissick, Robert Kearns, William Peat
Historical Research: Laura Smith, PhD
Construction Management: Boszko & Verity Inc.
Structural Engineering: Entuitive
Mechanical and Electrical Engineering: Smith & Andersen
Collaborating Architect: David Lieberman
Glass Structure & Installation: Explore 1
Metal and Stone Engraving: Accents of Distinction Stone
Granite Installation: Coivic Contracting
Lighting: Xbase Electrical
Canada Ireland Foundation acknowledges that Grasett Park sits on land that is the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and that it is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.