Yorkville Park may be one of the best places for a bit of people watching. But who knew that Yorkville’s most impressive billion was a rock?
In the 1950s, in the name of “progress”, the government demolished a row of Victorian houses in Yorkville to make way for the Bloor subway line. Residents rallied to have a park built over the subway but in the end, they got a parking lot. Three decades later, residents finally got their wish when the City of Toronto set up a design competition to build a neighbourhood park.
The $3.5 million Yorkville Park was designed with elements taken from Yorkville’s history and Canada’s diverse geographical landscape. Divided into eleven sections, it’s a series of unique gardens with each landscape representing a distinct feature including upland forests, marshes, groves, prairies, orchards and a herb garden. At the east end, you’ll find circular benches around Scots Pine trees. Further west is a row of crab apple trees. There’s also a marshy wetland with tall weeds and a wooden boardwalk as well a man made waterfall bordering the courtyard of benches and chairs.
But the most impressive or oddly misplaced feature in Yorkville Park, is a 650 tonne hunk of billion year old granite cut out of the Canadian Shield. Representing the roots of the ancient mountain range that has since eroded, the rock was transported to Toronto in pieces on twenty trucks and reassembled in the park.
So on a nice summer day, head to Yorkville Park and sit on that piece of granite and watch the rich and famous stroll by. How many times in your life can you say that you were sitting on a cool billion?