A new public space for art and nature lovers has opened in the heart of the city. Dr. Lillian McGregor Park is described by the City of Toronto as a “natural refuge” in the downtown core.

The park is named after Dr. Lillian McGregor of Whitefish River First Nation, who was a dedicated nurse, community leader, and respected member of the Indigenous community in Toronto.

Although the 6,400 square metre park was completed in the fall, an official opening ceremony was held this week to honour Dr. McGregor’s legacy as well as Indigenous culture, community health, and spirituality.

The park features peaceful green space, seating areas, walking paths, a playground, an off-leash dog area, and art installations for the public to enjoy.

“The park’s design is inspired by the crane, which is Dr. McGregor’s family clan sign, as well as the rock outcrops, water, and reeds of her childhood home on Birch Island,” says the City.

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The artwork is weaved through the space and features a number of installations, including a family of crane sculptures, laser-cut aluminum reed screens, an abstract feather canopy, and a mosaic medicine wheel.

The art was designed by Kenneth Lavallee, a Metis artist from outside of Winnipeg.

“We are certain that our mother would be honoured and humbled by this tremendous recognition,” said the family of Dr. McGregor in a press release.

“The elements of the park bring to life the values and passion our mother demonstrated throughout her life and during her more than 60 years of service to the City of Toronto, her second home and one she loved.”

The next time you need an escape from the hustle and bustle, you can check out this tranquil new space at Wellesley and Bay Street.

Dr. Lillian McGregor Park

Where: 25 Wellesley Street West