Grasett Park

Grasett Park

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

Lead Supporters

The creation of Grasett Park would not have been possible without the generous contributions of many community members. To honour the solemnity of the commemorative space, our donors graciously agreed that their contributions would not be recognized within the park itself. We therefore wish to highlight on this page our gratitude for the generous support of the lead donors listed below, whose contributions were essential to the park’s development.

Developed in Partnership with the City of Toronto

Supported by

Government of Ireland

Government of Canada

Government of Ontario

Private Contributors

The Haynes-Connell Foundation

Aaron Regent

Tyler & Claire MacNamara


TD Bank

Aidan Flatley

Pat Flatley

Mark & Emma Purdy

Jim & Silvia McGovern

The Duffy Family

The Robert G. Kearns Foundation

Robin & Mary Thistlethwayte

Arthur Kennedy

The Noel & Larry Friendship Fund


Tovtel Enterprises Inc.

Davies Howe LLP

Rady-Pentek & Edward Surveying Inc.

Griffith Property Services Ltd.

Rice Commercial Group

HESL Holdings Inc.

BA Consulting Group Ltd.

SIMTM Consulting Inc.

Jeffrey P. Shankman

Malone Given Parsons Ltd.

Geoff Smith

Jade Acoustics Inc.

Sweeny and Co. Architects Inc.

Randy and Patricia Grimes

Brian White

Bazil Developments Inc.

SCS Consulting Group Ltd.

Joe and Laura-Lee Mullan

Carrick Design Inc.

Schollen & Company Inc.

Hutchinson Environmental Services Inc.

C. Aurora Paving

Shoreplan Engineering Ltd.

D. Bottero & Associates Ltd.

Brendan Murphy

Lowes Consulting Group Inc.

Frendel Kitchens Ltd.

Hunt Design Associates Inc.

John Sullivan

Media Partner: The Globe & Mail

Grasett Park Design & Construction Team

Architecture & Design: Denegri Bessai Studio


Design Committee:

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

Land Acknowledgement

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.