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September 20, 2011
City of Toronto and neighbourhood association honour Jane Jacobs
Today, Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity Spadina), Jim Jacobs - son of Jane Jacobs, and Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association representatives Ken Greenberg, Eti Greenberg and Scott James honoured the late Jane Jacobs by unveiling a pair of chairs in Ward 20's Victoria Memorial Square. The square is a hidden gem that is both a community park and a national historic site.

Jane Jacobs was well known for her interest in communities and urban planning. She lived in Toronto from 1968 until her death in 2006.

The two chairs in Victoria Memorial Square were made by the Spanish designers Montse Periel and Màrius Quintana. These durable chairs were made possible by the contribution of Jacobs' friends Ken and Eti Greenberg, and the generosity of the Escofet Company in Barcelona.

"When Jane came to visit us at our home, she discovered this wonderful square and lent her support and encouragement to the restoration as it progressed," said Eti Greenberg. "While she never saw the final results, this elegant and simple piece will provide a quiet, contemplative place to sit and watch the life of the park and reflect on her words and her presence in our city."

In a letter to the Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association (WPNA) in 2002, Jane Jacobs said: "Victoria Memorial Square will be an urban jewel, rescued from a wasteland of neglect and forgetfulness. It beautifully ties the city’s earliest roots into a living, caring, revitalized community. The whole city is made richer by this enlightened act of stewardship.”

The restoration of Victoria Memorial Square is now almost fully finished thanks to the efforts of the WPNA, which worked closely with Councillor Vaughan to implement a restoration plan. The plan included re-grading, lighting, pathways, trees and other plantings, furniture and a playground. A central monument sculpture by Walter Allward commemorates the rich history of the park, which was the cemetery for the Fort York garrison and contains approximately 500 graves, including that of an infant daughter of John Graves Simcoe, the founder of York (Toronto) and the first Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada.

"Jane's words and wisdom touched many communities in this city," said Councillor Vaughan. "It's only fitting that in a neighbourhood where she sat and contemplated the future, she be remembered by residents in such a fond way."

More information about Victoria Memorial Square is available at

More information about the Wellington Place Neighbourhood Association is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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