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June 5, 2003
Franklin the Turtle greets his friends at future site of The Franklin Children's Garden on Toronto Islands
  
Representing the children of Toronto, students from Island Public/Natural
Science School eagerly welcomed Franklin the Turtle for the preview of the
Franklin Children's Garden on Toronto Islands. Franklin the Turtle is the
popular and loveable storybook character known to children in Canada and around
the world. During the preview, the students participated in special activities
that gave them a glimpse of what is in store when the garden opens in 2004.

"We are calling the Franklin Children's Garden a 'landscape for learning' on
the Toronto Islands," says Councillor Pam McConnell, (Ward 28, Toronto
Centre-Rosedale). "The location which is visited by more than 1.2 million
people each year is ideal. And thanks to the generous support of our donors and
partners, we will create a captivating and imaginative setting for children to
learn about nature and the environment and discover the fun of reading."

Support for the Franklin Children's Garden comes from Kids Can Press: A Corus
Entertainment company, TD Bank Financial Group, Unilever, Franklin author
Paulette Bourgeois, Franklin illustrator, Brenda Clark, Toronto and Region
Conservation Authority, Great Lakes Sustainability Fund and the Great Lakes
Renewal Foundation.

The Franklin Children's Garden is designed by Toronto Parks and Recreation, the
landscape architecture firms of Schollen & Company Inc. and Janet Rosenberg &
Associates. It comprises approximately four acres and has several areas in
which visitors will enjoy hands-on features.

"We couldn't ask for a better way to celebrate Franklin the Turtle and all the
enjoyment he and his friends bring to children in Canada and around the world,"
says Valerie Hussey, President and Publisher, Kids Can Press. "We are delighted
that Franklin and his friends have inspired this garden."

The Franklin Children's Garden will have unique features to promote reading and
an understanding of nature. Its proximity to Lake Ontario is ideal for the
wetland area. The six areas of the Franklin Children's Garden are:

· Franklin's Pine Grove - to include bronze sculptures of Franklin and his
storybook friends created by Canadian sculptor Ruth Abernethy;
· Kids Can Press Little Sprouts Garden - a hands-on gardening feature for
children;
· TD Storybook Place - a stage and amphitheatre seating for storytelling
performances;
· Unilever Snail Trail - an elevated feature with trails and a lookout over the
wetland;
· Hide & Seek Garden - an architectural hide and seek feature including a
treehouse and garden maze; and
· Turtle Pond - 1.92 acres (1.2 acres of land and .71 acres of water) wetland
designed for turtles, amphibians, fish and birds.

"TD Bank Financial Group has a history of promoting Canadian children's books
and reading through a number of initiatives," says Suellen Wiles, Senior Vice
President GTA, TD Canada Trust. "We are confident that the Franklin Children's
Garden will encourage children to read."

"The Franklin Children's Garden provides an innovative venue for children and
adults to learn more about the environment and wetlands," says Catherine
McVitty, Manager, Environmental Affairs, Unilever Canada. "It is certain to
fascinate, entertain and enrich those who visit."

About Kids Can Press
Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned English-language publisher of
children's books, and a division of Corus Entertainment. Best known for the
popular Franklin series, of which over 50 million books have been sold
worldwide, the company has a backlist of more than 350 books for children of
all ages. As well as publishing picture books by award-winning authors and
illustrators such as Wallace Edwards, Linda Bailey, Michele Lemieux and Kady
Macdonald Denton, Kids Can has earned a reputation as an outstanding publisher
of non-fiction titles. Kids Can Press has worked with the Art Gallery of
Ontario, the Museum of Civilization, the Royal Ontario Museum and other
prestigious institutions to produce informative and engaging titles covering
science, nature, history and crafts.

About TD Bank Financial Group Community Giving (TDBFG)
TD Bank Financial Group's Community Giving program supports children, health
and the environment. In addition to the Franklin Children's Garden, TDBFG
supports a host of local, regional and national children's programs across
Canada, including TD Canadian Children's Book Week, Children's Miracle Network,
TD Canada Trust Scholarships for Outstanding Community Leadership and TD
Friends of the Environment Foundation.

About Unilever Canada
Unilever is one of the world's largest consumer products companies. It produces
and markets a wide range of foods and home and personal care products. In
Canada, Unilever employs over 2,300 people. The Unilever Canada Foundation
donates 1 per cent of pre-tax profits to organizations that support the healthy
development of children up to age 6, and organizations that work to restore and
protect Canada's rivers, lakes and wetlands. Unilever is best known in Canada
by brands such as Becel, Lipton, Red Rose, Slim-Fast, Hellmann's, Knorr,
Breyers, Popsicle, Bertolli, Sunlight, AXE, Vaseline, Vim, Q-Tips, Dove, Suave
and Degree.

About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
Toronto and Region Conservation is working for a Living City with healthy
rivers and shorelines, regional biodiversity and sustainable communities.

About The Great Lakes Renewal Foundation
The Ontario Great Lakes Renewal Foundation is a non-profit, charitable
organization dedicated to restoring and renewing the Great Lakes. The
Foundation was established in 1998 with a grant of $5 million from the
Government of Ontario.

About The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund
The Great Lakes Sustainability Fund (GLSF) is a component of the Great Lakes
Program's Great Lakes Basin 2020 Action Plan. The GLSF, which has evolved from
the Great Lakes 2000 Cleanup Fund, was announced in July 2000 and aims to
significantly accelerate work to restore the environmental quality of Canada's
remaining 15 Areas of Concern (AOCs). The International Joint Commission (IJC)
designated 42 AOCs, or pollution hot spots, within the Great Lakes basin in the
late 1980s, because of environmental concerns in these areas.

About Parks and Recreation
Parks and Recreation plays a major role in promoting a clean, sustainable city
through its responsibility for parks, open spaces and natural areas. Parks and
Recreation oversees more than 8,000 hectares of green space in which there are
more than 1,400 named parks. Parks and Recreation is also responsible for
administration and co-ordination of City owned and operated community centres,
aquatic facilities, ice surfaces, curling rinks, fitness centres, downhill
skiing facilities, golf courses, harbour ferries, sports fields, stadiums, a
track and field centre, pedestrian bridges, tennis courts, and playgrounds. For
more information on Parks and Recreation visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks.

Measuring 230.388 hectares and visited by 1,225,000 people each year, the 10
islands that make up the Toronto Islands, are connected with bridges and
interspersed by lagoons. For more information on the Toronto Islands visit
http://www.toronto.ca/parks/to_islands/island_index.htm.

For more information on the Franklin Children's Garden visit
http://www.toronto.ca/parks/franklin.htm.


Media Contact
Economic Development Culture & Tourism Media Hotline
416-560-8726

 

 

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