The City of Toronto opened three designated sites for First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples to hold Sacred Fires. According to the city, the new sites are located at Allan Gardens, Christie Pits Park and, Norwood Park.
The sites were chosen following engagement with First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Toronto, who identified a need for Sacred Fire sites in these areas, stated the city in a release.
“Sacred Fires have existed since time immemorial for Indigenous Peoples and are used for wellness, healing and gatherings. The City recognizes the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples to have access to Sacred Fires. With designated sites, the City aims to create safer access to land for ceremony, minimize interruptions to ceremony and continue to build relationships to meet the needs of Indigenous communities,” it said.
The City of Toronto also states that additional sites are planned for the future.
“Sacred Fires connect us to the Spirit world, the natural world and to each other,” said Elder Blu Waters, Designated Sacred Fire Site Facilitator, Norwood Park. “They are an important part of Indigenous culture and I am glad to see the City taking action to make them more accessible to Indigenous Peoples in Toronto.”
For Indigenous community members looking to book the site, it is free of charge and managed by the City’s Indigenous Affairs Office (IAO). Each booking includes basic materials to build a Sacred Fire including firewood, a fire bowl, ash bin and chairs.
Allan Gardens – 160 Gerrard St. E.
Christie Pits Park – 750 Bloor St. W.
Norwood Park – 16 Norwood Rd.