The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden turns a barren jut of concrete, at the intersection of Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto, into a new public space of repose under native trees. Peace, not war, is celebrated here, through justice and reconciliation events, artistic and heritage expressions.
" Sharing heritage, we find one humanity"
We acknowledge that the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden is on the shared traditional lands of the Mississauga Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Wendat Indigenous people.
- welcomes people to Roncesvalles Village
- is designated on the Moccasin Identifier project of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation to mark it as a place of significant heritage
- features a beautiful landscape design by PLANT Architect
- acts as a meeting place for the community
- provides greenery, shade, and tranquility, in what was previously a barren location
- displays local, native species of plants and trees
- celebrates the rich history of Dundas Street, its origins as an indigenous trail and rise to prominence during the Battle of York 1813
- is part of the War of 1812 Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail Network
- presents the Peace Path: the first permanent, joint, community arts project between a Toronto community and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, who made treaties for the land of Toronto beginning in 1787
- features the first indigenous artwork on a traffic signal box on Toronto streets
- hosts a plaque with a QR code portal that acts as a hub for access to heritage and other social media content of community partners
FRIENDS OF THE DUNDAS RONCESVALLES PEACE GARDEN
Friends of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden began as a grassroots project called the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Group. We initiated the development of this site and drew community organizations and volunteers together in co-operative efforts to create a community project reflective of our wide range of interests and possibilities. We researched the stories of the land, reached out to necessary partners, advocated for development, conducted public meetings and community design workshops, lobbied for funding, designed and co-ordinated the engraved Peace Path pavers project, consulted on landscape design, published DRPG News, created and maintained a whole community identity that no entity could make happen without the collaboration of us all. We are all volunteers.
Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area manages the DRPG grounds, in co-operation with volunteers. Roncesvalles is a thriving and welcoming street because of its progressive vision. The RVBIA helped with advocacy, planning and contributed financially to the landscape design, the plaque, and to the Peace Path artworks.
Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation designates the Peace Garden as a place of heritage and continuing interest, with the Moccasin Identifier project. In recent years, this First Nation gave guidance and consulted for the recognition of First Nation interests, contributed to the landscape design, to the Peace Path artworks, to historical research and to the development of the plaque, which it co-funded.
Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto provides ongoing community garden support. "The Hort" gave guidance on the plants and trees selection and supported the Peace Path design workshops.
Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association encourages beautification projects in the local community. It was the organizational umbrella in the planning and advocacy phase of the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden Group.
Roncesvalles Village Historical Society combined with the Parkdale Village Historical Society in 2016 to create the Sunnyside Historical Society. It contributed to the historical research, hosted public forums for heritage presentations and supported the Peace Path design workshops.
Toronto Public Space Initiative designed public participation surveys and a community design workshop to help define the public interests for the DRPG.
Romero House celebrates 25 years of assisting asylum seekers in Toronto in 2016. It offered meeting space and opportunities for refugees to participate in the Peace Path design workshops.
Bishop Marrocco / Thomas Merton Secondary School (TCDSB) provided meeting space and facilities for Peace Path design workshops. Many of the young artists were students of the School.
RoncyWorks collaborates with Friends of Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden to tend the garden beds and keep the Peace Path clean. RoncyWorks’ volunteers maintain the curbside gardens along the length of Roncesvalles Avenue. They greatly appreciate everyone’s efforts to keep the sidewalks and gardens litter free and beautiful.
Cicada Design is producing a video of the development of the DRPG. It creates animated stories of inspired environments, communities and projects.
The City of Toronto through its BIA office and Economic Development & Culture programs, shared research, provided funding for design and for public consultation. Through the Beautiful Streets Program, Public Realm Section, Transportation Services, it provided funding and construction management. Through the "Outside the Box", StreetARToronto program, it funded artwork.
Councillor Gord Perks, City of Toronto, Ward 14, gave guidance, facilitated access to City programs and services and consistently followed through on promises of support.
WELCOME TO THE GRAND OPENING: SATURDAY JUNE 11th, 2016
11 a.m. - At the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden for the Opening Ceremony
12 noon - Indigenous Music Stage at Ritchie Avenue and Roncesvalles
11 AM - OPENING CEREMONY: Co-officiated with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, and the Friends of Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden. Councillor Gord Perks is Master of Ceremonies
Acknowledgement of the Land
Community Partners are named and thanked
Greetings from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation: Band Councillor Cathie Jamieson highlights contributions from her First Nation
Greetings from Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area: Len McAuley, Chair, highlights BIA contributions. Extends thanks to: John Bowker, former BIA Chair and Beautification Committee; Antonella Nicaso, BIA Office, Economic Development and Culture; Randy McLean, Manager Beautiful Streets Program, Transportation Services
Mary Tremain, PLANT Architect, is thanked for landscape design
Heritage highlights and designation of the Peace Garden for the Moccasin Identifier Project: Abby Bushby and Band Councillor Erma Ferrell
Featuring of Luminato’s “Trove” image: Veronica Feihl, Manager RVBIA
Presentation of Toronto’s first indigenous artwork on a signal box: Aura (Monique Bedard)
Presentation of The Peace Path, The first cooperative, community arts project between a Toronto group and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation: All participating artists identified and invited to later guide visitors through the designed pavers
Unveiling of the heritage plaque: Len McAuley and Cathie Jamieson
Thanks to audience, invitation to enjoy the first performances of Indigenous Music to be played on streets, trails or paths in more than 200 years, at Ritchie Avenue and Roncesvalles, and to Roncy Rocks along the length of Roncesvalles: Gord Perks
12 noon: INDIGENOUS MUSIC STAGE:
Elder Garry Sault, and Special Guest Chief Stacey LaForme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation – Welcoming, story-telling
Métis Fiddler Quartet – High spirited Métis music on violin, viola, guitar, cello and song
Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan) – Rock music inspired by untamed northern Manitoba landscape. Smoking hot rock with the heartbeat of a community
Métis music workshop
Manitou Mkwa - Singers and hand drumming family group from Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, devoted to support for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
Cheri Maracle – original jazz fueled music, infused with Mohawk heritage. Smooth, sultry, smokey vocals
Donna’s Boy – Blues/Rock band with harmonica, guitar, fiddle, pulses with Mi’kmaq roots. Dancing in the street is welcome