In 1847, Toronto was a city of 20,000—until 38,000 Irish immigrants arrived that summer. On June 21, 2007, this memorial to the Irish Famine was opened at Éireann Quay by Mary McAleese, president of Ireland. The park was inspired by Rowan Gillespie’s “Departure” series of famine figures, which stand on Dublin’s Liffey quayside, depicting Irish emigrants looking out to sea. There are seven figures in Dublin and five in Toronto’s new park: They reach out to one another across the sea. The figures in Ireland Park were also created by Gillespie, and they are called the “Arrival” series. There is also a memorial in the park to the more than 1,100 people who died just after their arrival; as their names are discovered, they are inscribed in a limestone wall. Although it’s tucked away, it’s a worthwhile trek to find it and pause to think on this key time in history.
At Bathurst Street and Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON, Canada
Our Rating Neighborhood Across from Bathurst Quay Hours Daily dawn–11pm Transportation Subway: Union, then the streetcar 509 W to Dan Leckie Way, then walk W to Bathurst St Phone 416/601-6906 Prices Free admission Web site Ireland Park
MapAt Bathurst Street and Queens Quay West Toronto ON Canada Toronto
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