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Nathan Philips Peace Gardens begin move as part of $46.8 million square redesign

The Peace Park, long the centre of Nathan Philips Square and home to its own eternal flame representing the city's commitment to world peace, is being moved to the west side of the square as part of the redesign of the whole square.

"The new Peace Garden is going to be able to accommodate larger crowds," says Sheila Glazer, manager of strategic policy and projects for the energy and strategic initiatives section of the city's facilities management division. "But at the same time, it will be a more intimate setting for smaller groups than it is in the middle."

She says that whenever there were big events in the square, the Peace Gardens tended to not only be hived off, but it was generally where any necessary generators were placed. "Not exactly a tranquil, peaceful setting," she says.

The idea to remove the gardens from its symbolically central position was controversial when the square's new design, the result of a design competition, was debated by council, according to Glazer, but it passed what Glazer described as an "ultimately necessary" part of the $46.8-million redesign project.

The relocation has begun, with an expected 2011 re-opening, and a further re-commemoration in 2012 when the whole square is completed.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Sheila Glazer

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