Victoria Square was the site of several curious incidents during the last century. A Parks Department memorandum from 1927 reported that a meteorite recently had struck the base of the monument, wedging in a crevice and damaging it with "sulphrous fumes." An article in The Globe also made reference to this event; however, no physical evidence can be found to substantiate the story. A decade later park-goers were horrified when City workers accidentally unearthed human remains while installing a wading pool in Victoria Square.
VETERANS MONUMENT, PORTLAND SQUARE, c.1910
Toronto Public Library (TRL)
Canadian Postcard Collection, PC 3015
Although most of their descendents left Toronto long ago, the people buried in Victoria Square and those commemorated on the war memorial continue to draw attention. Whether or not actual bodies in the cemetery represent all of the regiments inscribed on the monument, the park has become a place of remembrance for widely varied individuals and groups.
Black community groups began making annual trips to Victoria Square in the 1950s to honour soldiers who served in the Coloured Corps during the War of 1812. As well, the 1831 suicide and burial of Lieutenant Zachariah Mudge recently moved Torontonian Michael Rudman to compose an opera, set in Victoria Square and inspired by the tragic story.
HEADSTONE OF LIEUTENANT ZACHARIAH MUDGE, 1880s
(JOHN ROSS ROBERTSON)
John Ross Robertson, Landmarks of Toronto, Vol.1, 1894
Continue reading the Heart and Stone exhibit
Commemorating our Collective History