Ontario Supporting Memorial Honouring Caregivers Who Died During Irish Famine

Cappabue National School
February 28, 2019
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Ontario Supporting Memorial Honouring Caregivers Who Died During Irish Famine

Ireland Park Foundation (IPF) is pleased to announce that the Government of Ontario is providing a grant of $200,000 over two years for the construction of Dr. George Robert Grasett Park.

Dr. George Robert Grasett was Chief Surgeon of the Emigrant Hospital in 1847 and died while caring for Irish migrants who arrived to Toronto to escape the Famine in Ireland. This urban park, located on the corner of Adelaide W. and Widmer Streets in Toronto’s Entertainment District, honours Dr. Grasett, as well as all of the medical professionals who made the ultimate sacrifice while tending to the influx of Irish migrants in 1847. It will also serve as a reminder of the help that Torontonians provided at a time when the city’s population of 20,000 accepted an influx of 38,560 Irish migrants, many of whom were suffering from typhus, an incurable and highly-contagious disease at the time.

Grasett Park will be located on the former site of the Emigrant Hospital fever sheds from 1847, which housed the typhus-stricken migrants whom Dr. Grasett and his colleagues treated. The park is crafted by Canadians using Canadian materials of Quebec granite and Ontario glass. It is expected to be completed in the summer of 2019.

IPF’s first project was the creation of Ireland Park on Toronto’s waterfront, beside Billy Bishop Island Airport. This multi-award-winning park commemorates the Irish migrants who died upon or soon after their arrival in Toronto in the summer of 1847.

“As most people were doing everything they could to escape the horror of the fever sheds, these brave men and women were walking in. They knew the personal risk; but they knew the greater risk of standing by and doing nothing. They demonstrated, opening the doors of our province means opening our hearts, and I’m proud that the province is able to play a role in keeping the legacy of these heroes alive.”

  • Kevin Flynn, MPP for Oakville
    “The Foundation is excited and heartened to see the coming-together of a great national and international alliance of benevolence to help us bring this project to fruition, involving the Government of Ireland, City of Toronto, Government of Ontario and the residents of Toronto. We are thrilled to be able to commemorate this powerful and humbling story of care and sacrifice in Toronto through the construction of this urban park.”
  • Robert G. Kearns, Chairman & Founder, Ireland Park Foundation


In 1847, 38,560 Irish migrants arrived to Toronto, when the city’s population was 20,000Nearly 1,200 of the Irish migrants and local caregivers died in 1847Grasett Park will be built using Canadian glass and granite.

For more information on Ireland Park Foundation, please click here.
For more information on Grasett Park, please click here.

Ireland Park Foundation
Office: +1 416-601-6906

Web: www.irelandparkfoundation.com | www.grasettpark.com

Office: 60 Harbour Street, 4th Floor, Toronto | ON M5J 1B7 | Canada