Monday, July 28, 2008

SAM SMITH PARK'S HISTORICAL PLAQUE

"Colonel Samuel Smith Park recognizes one of Etobicoke's first settlers. in 1793, Smith, of the Queen's Rangers, was granted Crown land by Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe. Smith's tract eventually extended from Lake Ontario to Bloor Street, between Kipling Avenue and Etobicoke Creek, and included some of this waterfront park. The park surrounds the former Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital, established and operated by the province from 1888 to 1979. It was the first health care facility in Ontario to use a decentralized "cottage" system. Generous lands surrounding the building were devoted to agriculture and gardening. Patients helped to construct most of the buildings here. The farms and gardens, maintained by patients, were both therapeutic and productive - a model of self-sufficiency and modern treatment. Colonel Samuel Smith Park provides a scenic access point to lake Ontario and the Waterfront Trail. This significant public greenspace and heritage resource includes a 21.5 ha lakefill area created by The Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservation Authority between 1983 and 1992. Habitat restoration projects include Carolinian tree and shrub plantings and the creation of a 3.6 ha wetland (a partnership project between Metropolitan Toronto, the province of Ontario and the Government of Canada). These projects help advance Metropolitan Toronto's goal for a healthy waterfront offering unique recreational opportunities. Colonel Samuel Smith Park officially opened September 8, 1996."

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