HEART AND STONE: INTRODUCTION
An old and nearly forgotten cemetery, located a few blocks northeast of Fort York, is the final resting place for some of Toronto's founding citizens. Victoria Memorial Square is home to the city's first military cemetery and is one of its earliest public parks.
Standing in the park today you never would know that it holds roughly 400 graves, mostly those of men, women, and children connected with the fort who died between 1793 and 1863.
Over the course of its history, Victoria Square has been both an object of commemoration and a victim of neglect. It is an enchanting space. It whispers stories of 19th-century life and death, and it speaks to the values Torontonians have placed on their collective history.
VICTORIA SQUARE, 2004 (KEN GREENBERG)
Fort York stands on the site of the original British post founded in 1793 by the lieutenant-governor of Upper Canada, John Graves Simcoe. Today, seven of its historic buildings date from 1813-15. The fort saw continuous military services until the early 1930s when it was restored as a historic site museum. Together, Fort York and Victoria Memorial Square were designated as a National Historic Site of Canada in 2003.
MAP SHOWING VICTORIA SQUARE AND FORT YORK, 2005
Continue reading the Heart and Stone exhibit
Burying the Dead