Memorial, just east of island airport ferry terminal at the foot of Bathurst Street bordering Lake Ontario
Work on the Ireland Park Project began in 2005 and final dedication took place 21 June 2007, the 160th anniversary of the famine immigrants’ arrival in Toronto in 1847. With a population of only 20,000, the city was overwhelmed with 38,000 Irish famine immigrants. Many had been suffering from typhus and cholera on board the “coffin” ships which brought them across the Atlantic. By the end of October 1847, 1,100 had died and were buried in a mass grave at Queen and Power Streets, next to St. Paul’s Church. Torontonians rallied at the time to give help .
In 1997, there was a world-wide celebration to mark the 150th anniversary of the Great Famine in Ireland. Memorials and parks were dedicated to this tragedy. One was a magnificent life-sized set of seven bronze figures depicting starvation by renowned Irish sculptor Rowan Gillespie given to the people of Dublin. Gillespie also agreed to sculpt figures depicting the arrival of the immigrants in Canada. An ensemble in Ireland Park at the foot of Bathurst Street depicts 5 gaunt and emaciated figures arriving in their new land. Their faces evoke the struggle and the terror of their voyage to this country. On raised pillars the names of the known 1100 lost have been inscribed.