Official Opening of The McMurtry Gardens of Justice

    Celebration Includes Dedication of Garden to Roy McMurtry and Inaugural
    Sculpture "Pillars of Justice"

    TORONTO, June 15 /CNW/ - The McMurtry Gardens of Justice, a sculpture
garden and learning centre, was officially opened with an early evening
ceremony that featured the celebration of the inaugural sculpture the Pillars
of Justice, by noted artist Edwina Sandys.
    Located in the pedestrian avenue that runs from University Avenue to
Nathan Phillips Square between Osgoode Hall and the Courthouse at
361 University Avenue in Toronto, the sculpture garden recognizes the decades
of exemplary public service to the people of Ontario and Canada by the
Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, while beautifying the judicial precinct.
    "As a long serving public servant, elected official, jurist and diplomat,
the Honourable Roy McMurtry has been widely recognized for his compassion,
inspiration and dedication to the development of a fair, just and enlightened
society," said Madam Justice Gloria Epstein. "The official opening of the
gardens is the ideal tribute to a man who has represented the values of our
system of justice and will hopefully, through artistic expression, communicate
to the public the values that form the foundation of the rule of law and our
system of justice."
    "The Gardens of Justice, and the sculptures that will come to fill these
grounds, will help to inform the public about the values that form the
foundation of the rule of law and our system of justice while serving as an
inspiring and lasting tribute to Justice McMurtry's considerable legacy," said
Attorney General Michael Bryant.
    "Not only does this wonderful garden serve as a recognition and
celebration of Justice McMurtry, it also enhances the public realm and creates
a remarkable 'place' where before there was none," said Toronto Mayor David
    The Pillars of Justice, by Edwina Sandys, is the first of an estimated
eight sculptures that will grace the garden. The ten ton fifteen foot high
sculpture, fabricated in Windsor, Ontario, is a larger than life
representation of a stylized, eleven person jury standing in two rows under a
roof representing a courthouse. It has been conceived with the post for the
twelfth juror left vacant so that the viewer can perceive himself or herself
in that vacant post as an integral partner in the justice system.
    In the last twenty years, Sandys has produced four monumental sculptures
that were commissioned by the United Nations for their centres in Geneva,
Vienna, Rio de Janeiro and New York.
    Thanks to the participation of Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN)
the Gardens will also be an important component of on-going educational
efforts including student visits to the courthouse and will be supported by
teaching materials and the teacher training that takes place in the summer.
    The student visits will not only allow for an interesting exploration of
judicial topics and help youth to respect the system of justice and rule of
law, but the garden and its sculptures will also provide a first-hand
opportunity for the students to appreciate the potential of artistic
    The McMurtry Gardens of Justice will grow to as many as eight
professionally selected sculptures, all of which will reflect the important
role the system of justice plays in Canadian society. A formal Search and
Selection Committee, chaired by Aaron Milrad, is charged with the selection of
future artworks for the site. The Committee has been drawn from the art
community and consists of Aaron Milrad, President of the George Gardiner
Museum of Toronto and Chair of the Museum Trustee Association of America; Glen
Cumming, Former Director of the Art Gallery of Windsor, the Former Director of
the Canadian Contemporary Art Museum and the Director of the Art Gallery of
Hamilton; Lisa Fitzgibbons, Artist and Member of the Status of the Artist Sub
Committee and Minister's Advisory Council for Arts and Culture for Ontario;
Jane Perdue, Public Art Coordinator for the City of Toronto; and Dennis Reid,
Director of Collections and Research at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The
committee will be drawing on the arts community for assistance.
    The total capital budget for the McMurtry Gardens of Justice is estimated
to be $1.8 million, the vast majority of which was raised privately from law
firms, the legal professions, the judiciary, corporations, foundations and
individuals. Four lead donors, Rebecca MacDonald, the Law Society, the Justice
Education Network and the Toronto Lawyers Association have contributed in
excess of $100,000 each. The Province of Ontario has provided the site and Law
Gardens Inc. is inviting further donations to support this worthy project.
    To further beautify the courthouse precinct, Canada Blooms and its
partners have generously donated two gardens worth of flowers to fill the
fountains in front of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. The gardens,
designed by Colomba Fuller, are planted with strong, vibrant colours that will
brighten and cheer up an area that is otherwise serious by nature. Donors for
the gardens include: Canada Blooms, Bradford Greenhouses, Brookdale Treeland,
Landscapes by Lucin, Scotts Canada and Yorkshire Garden Services.

    About Law Gardens Inc.

    Law Gardens Inc. is a registered, charitable organization formed to
advance the concept of, raise money for, and co-ordinate the implementation of
the McMurtry Gardens of Justice and can be contacted at

    Note to Photo Editors: Photos of the McMurtry Gardens and the Pillars of
Justice by Edwina Sandys will be available after 7 PM

For further information:

For further information: Christine Mulkins, (416) 652-2544, (647)
242-3686,; Michael Forbes, (416) 999-3069,

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