TORONTO, Oct. 4, 2014 /CNW/ - City of Toronto representatives in partnership with the Garden Club of Toronto (GCT) joined June Callwood's family members and the Fort York community today to celebrate the opening of June Callwood Park located at 636 Fleet Street. The celebration included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and an interactive tour led by the local art group, Shadowland Theatre.
The new park honours the late June Callwood, a Canadian journalist, author, advocate and activist, through its design and art installation. The City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division (PFR) led an open, two-stage international design competition, including public participation, that resulted in the firm gh3 winning the competition.
The park's design is an inspired space for unstructured play echoing Callwood's interest in social justice issues especially involving children. The design uses Callwood's comment, "I believe in kindness" and physically maps its voiceprint throughout the park, making it a spectacular view from the upper floors of the buildings overlooking the park.
The 0.4-hectare park includes a reflecting pool, lighting, granite paving and benches, a hedge maze, bright pink rubberized benches and surfacing, and over 300 varied tree species.
PFR invested over $2.6 million in the park, $35,000 of which was donated by the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation. The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Canada Blooms, Patricia Martin (in memory of Robert Martin), Mary Sinclair, family and friends of Les Luka, and members and friends of GCT contributed $146,000 to purchase and plant the gardens and crabapple trees. Together with in-kind donations from Landscape Ontario, Earthco, and The Printing House, these private donors have helped make June Callwood Park a reality.
The park also features the City's first permanent sound-based public artwork and the first permanent public commission in Toronto by Montreal-based artists Stephen Bates and Douglas Moffat. The installation, called OKTA, was selected through a two-stage, open competition in 2009 by the Public Art Office, Cultural Services in the City's Economic Development and Culture division.
OKTA honours the memory of June Callwood by transforming some of her words about her experience of flying in a glider through clouds into an innovative sound work. The sounds are triggered by the movement of clouds overhead creating an ever-changing experience for the listener.
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SOURCE: City of Toronto
For further information: Media contacts: Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726, [email protected] (park inquiries); Shane Gerard, Strategic Communications, 416-397-5711, [email protected] (OKTA inquiries)