QUICK LINKS

 

    DOWNLOAD MAP 

 

             GO TO WEBSITE 

 

CITY OF TORONTO HIGH PARK PAGE 

 

TO RECEIVE EMAILS about High Park nature and stewardship events, contact mail@highparknature.org

TO VOLUNTEER contact stewards@highparknature.org or just come to an event

 

HIGH PARK NATURE

 

HIGH PARK STEWARDS

    

 

HIGH PARK NATURE is a joint project of the High Park Natural Environment Committee and High Park Stewards. We welcome your feedback, suggestions, articles and photos. Please contact us at mail@highparknature.org

ABOUT THE PHOTOS: Most of the photos on this site were contributed by local photographers and taken in High Park. Please do not copy or reproduce them without permission. If you would like to contribute photos (low resolution) for this website, please contact us at mail@highparknature.org

  HPNature is a member of Ontario's Nature Network


Custodians:

History 

The Story of a Fence

 

Near Colborne Lodge, the 1837 home of John George Howard who originally owned the estate that is today's High Park, there is a large tomb.

The tomb was designed and erected by Howard in 1875 two years before his wife Jemima Frances died and 15 years before his own demise at age 87. The vault, carved from Vermont marble, was surrounded with granite boulders piled up to create a huge cairn topped with a Maltese cross.

Look closely and you will see something unusual - a poem engraved on a thick brass plate wrapped around the gate post of a magnificent forged iron fence that fronts the site. The poem reads:

Saint Paul's Cathedral
For 160 years
I did enclose
Oh! Stranger look with reverence
MAN, MAN! UNSTABLE MAN
It was thou who caused the severance.



Howard, an early architect and engineer in Toronto learned from his brother-in-law in London England that the courtyard railing from Saint Paul's Cathedral was being torn down. The next day Howard wired his brother-in-law to purchase the railing, which had been designed by the cathedral's architect Sir Christopher Wren in 1714.

Howard Tomb in High Park
Flavio Belli

So, as the poem states, after having stood in London for 160 years, the heavy railing was transported across the Atlantic. All went well until the ship sank in the St. Lawrence River. Howard, not to be deterred, and after two years of preparation, had a portion of it raised from the river bottom at an expense greater than shipping it from London. Sadly, some of it was lost, with only enough for one side of the tomb being preserved and installed on November 18, 1875.

Today, 297 years after it was created and 136 years after it was installed in High Park, all we have to tell the remarkable story of the fence and possibly lament the irretrievable loss of a portion of it, is an enigmatic poem probably composed by Howard himself and barely visible to park visitors.

Compiled by: Flavio Belli

See also Park History

See reference in 1912 guidebook


hosted by canadianwebhosting.ca | powered by pmwiki-2.2.44
Content last modified on August 05, 2011, at 05:41 PM EST