In recent years we have had the great fortune of opening a new park virtually annually in Willowdale. 2016 is particularly special as our community’s new Lee Lifeson Art Park – located between Princess and Hillcrest Avenues at Gladys Allison Place – will be not only celebrate the arts in our community and beyond, but will honour two hugely successful artists with local origins.
The initiative to create an art park, and to name it after Willowdale natives Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson, originated with John in 2012. John envisioned a space which encourages and celebrates the creative spirit. It seemed an opportune time to honour Lee and Lifeson, two of Canada’s more internationally acclaimed musicians as founding members of the band Rush.
The 7000 sq. metre park was built on land assembled over many years primarily through developer contributions. The musical theme will tie into many of the parks elements. The heart of the new park is a small outdoor stage and amphitheatre suitable for small acoustic performances. Pathways looping through the park will connect visitors to the stage, pavilion, permanent interactive sculpture installations and to the linear park system linking other local landmarks including Willowdale Park to the south and a short distance from John Mackenzie House and theParkview Neighbourhood Garden to the north.
We invite you to join John and the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation division for the grand opening of this facility, Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 12:30 PM. As part of the opening, Mayor Torywill be presenting the Key to the City to Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson. The opening will also feature music from Jacob Moon.
North York Arts will launch park programming along with Hotspot Signature Projects on Saturday, October 1 from 1 – 5 PM. More information on park programming is available on their website. Community based programming of this space is still evolving and will take greater shape in 2017.