If you live in Toronto, chances are you’ve taken a stroll or two through Yorkville. Who hasn’t? It’s one of the city’s boujiest neighbourhood and a hotspot for folks from all over. Well, you know that massive rock that sits smack in the middle of the area? Turns out it’s got a pretty interesting story behind it!
Even throughout the pandemic, the Yorkville rock is a great place for a little outdoor lounging. In the summer, it’s an awesome spot to sit and chow down on some gelato or ice cream from neighbouring shops. In the winter, it’s the perfect vantage point to enjoy area events like the Bloor-Yorkville Ice Fest.
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But before the sum of its parts became the Yorkville rock, those parts actually came from the Canadian Shield! According to Atlas Obscura, city officials weren’t satisfied with the local stones available when planning Yorkville Park. Which is why they shipped in the big guns.
The stone pieces are said to be one billion years old and needed 20 flatbed trailers to be transported into Toronto. All-in-all the Yorkville rock weighs about 650 tons. Wowza!
So why a massive rock in the middle of an urban park? We can thank architect Olesand Worland for that. According to the architect’s website, the Village of Yorkville Park was actually created as part of an international design competition sponsored by the City of Toronto.
The goal was to turn the park above the subway line into an urban oasis, while incorporating the Victorian history of the neighbourhood within the context of Ontario as a whole. Each feature of the area, from the rock to the light columns to the icicle curtain, is a visual representation of Canadian landscapes.
So there you have it! Turns out this Toronto landmark you may have never given a second thought, has a whole rich history behind it.
Now if you’ll excuse us, we’re craving a stroll through Yorkville…