Celebrating a century of High Park's Howard Memorial Gates

TORONTO, March 23, 2014 /CNW/ - Councillor Sarah Doucette (Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park) was joined by Parkdale-High Park electoral riding MP Peggy Nash and MPP Cheri DiNovo as well as other dignitaries at an event held today to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the opening of High Park's Howard Memorial Gates.

"Today we celebrate these gates, like those a century ago, to honour a man who was an important city builder," said Mayor Rob Ford. "His work as City surveyor and engineer, and as the generous donor of High Park, have all had a tremendous impact on the development and evolution of the city over the last 180 years."

The Howard Memorial Gates opened on March 19, 1914 to commemorate John Howard's deeding of High Park to the City of Toronto in 1873. On that opening day, Prince Arthur, the Duke of Connaught, who was the third son of Queen Victoria and the first member of the Royal Family to become Governor General of Canada, officially honoured the gates that welcome residents and visitors to Toronto's largest public park.

"These gates, which have remained unchanged, are a daily reminder to residents of just how far our city has grown over the last century," said Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the Economic Development Committee. "When the gates first opened, Toronto was Canada's second largest municipality with a population of around 400,000 people. Today we are North America's fourth largest city, with a population of 2.8 million."

The celebrations featured a parade, which included the Pipes and Drums of the 48th Highlanders and a local scout troop, marching to the gates at Parkside Drive. Many local and High Park-based groups provided exhibits and activities before and after the parade.

"Today's celebration shows the strong ongoing commitment and passion people have for John Howard's High Park legacy," said Councillor Doucette. "The support and involvement from the area's many community groups have once again shown all Torontonians that this park is a space for all ages and backgrounds to feel welcome."

This celebration was a joint project by Councillor Doucette's office and Colborne Lodge museum, the home of John Howard, one of Toronto's first architects who helped to shape the look of this city.

This project was supported by the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage Program, Department of Canadian Heritage. More information is available at http://www.toronto.ca/museum-events and http://highpark.org.

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

SOURCE: City of Toronto

For further information:

Media contact: Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications, 647-881-9854 (cell), sgerard@toronto.ca

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