Berczy Park’s redesigned dog fountain damaged before grand opening
Amara McLaughlin, CP24.com
Published Friday, June 16, 2017 4:18PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, June 16, 2017 5:39PM EDT
Toronto’s newly redesigned whimsical fountain – nestled behind the historic red-brick Gooderham Building in the St. Lawrence district – features dozens of dogs, a cat and large bone, but after more than a year of construction, the civic feature is already damaged before its official opening next week.
Friends of Berczy Park – a local community group – tweeted about a broken Golden Retriever sculpture at the base of the fountain running along Front and Wellington streets on Thursday, alleging that a skateboarder cracked its paw.
“Skateboarder hurts Berczy Park dog sculpture/broke paw. If you see destructive behaviour take their photo and call 51 Division police,” the tweet read.
Matthew Cutler, a spokesperson for the city’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation department told CP24 on Friday afternoon they’ve been notified of the damage.
“We’re aware that one of the statues was damaged, but we’re not certain what the cause was,” Cutler said. “It appears something hit the statue pretty hard.”
The city plans to move ahead with the official opening of the park space on June 28 before removing the statue for repairs.
Dog fountain part of $7.2M redesign
The new instillation was part of the park’s redesign by renowned Montreal landscape architect Claude Cormier – best known for his 2010 Sugar Beach design.
“We’re trying to create something that is positive, something that is optimistic, something that is playful and brings joy out of people,” Cormier told CTV News Toronto last February as construction was underway.
The remake cost $7.2 million and includes rows of trees, a garden, benches along with the fountain.
“Dogs and children is a big element that constitutes the life of this park,” Cormier said. “This is what the chemistry happen and then we invented this narrative to fournish the fountain.”
The massive three-tier structure took 16 months to build and is a nod to local furry friends. It’s complete with 27 cast-iron dog sculptures, one large bone and a cat.
Friends of Berczy Park and the city have stationed by-law signs reading “no skateboarding” on lamp posts around the park, reminding users of rules against destruction of property.