Have you ever wondered about that giant rock that sits in the middle of Yorkville? I have, and my curiosity got me googling. Given my natural love of rocks and all things formed in nature – I had the following questions:
- where is it from?
- why is it here?
- how old is it?
- what is it?
- how much did we (Toronto) pay for it?
I’ve got answers!
It turns out that the urban park where the Yorkville Rock resides, marks the lot lines where historic Victorian houses used to exist. These houses were demolished in the 1950s to make way for the Bloor subway line. The former residents allowed the city to make way for the future, but were firm that they wanted a park to be built over top of the subway station. It took about 40 years, but eventually, the city kept its promise and the urban park was brought to life.
The City of Toronto hired architect Olesand Worland to create a park to befit the context and history of the Ontario. Although Toronto offered trees and flowers a plenty, there was nothing that could represent Ontario’s most extensive landscape. So he proposed to move a chunk of the Canadian Shield – whose rounded rocks are some of the oldest on earth. The granite outcrop would have to be transported from Gravenhurst to Toronto, in pieces, on 20 flat bed trailers. The rocks are approximately one billion years old, weigh 650 tons, and would cost about $300,000. This entire process would cost the city more than a quarter of a million dollars.
After much expected ridicule and outrage, the project was carried out and completed. It has since received widespread acclaim from architects and users alike, who enjoy the ancient mountain range right in the heart of the city. Thank you Olesand!
There you have it neighbors. Next time you are taking a stroll in Yorkville (post COVID 19, of course), buy yourself an ice cream cone, coffee, or whatever you fancy, and have a seat on a piece of the Canadian Shield. After all, the “Yorkville Rock” is the product of a promise kept to the Torontonians that parted with their Victorian homes, to allow for the city of Toronto to grow. This came with one condition – that this urban park would come to life for the generations of the future to enjoy. So lets enjoy it 🙂