Toronto is a cultural gold mine. For people seeking art, history and beauty, there are many monuments in Toronto that can be looked at and enjoyed. Knowing which monuments are the best can help tourists and visitors to have an enjoyable experience in the city.
The South African War Memorial, which opened in 1910, was designed to commemorate the Canadians who fought in the Boer war. Found on University Avenue, the South African War Memorial is a cast of three bronze figures standing below a column made of granite. Atop the column is a winged figure, also made of bronze.
The South African War Memorial, aside from being a stunning example of the artistry of its time, was also once a gathering place for people to honor the lost soldiers from the war. For twenty years after the war ended, Canadians would gather around war memorial monuments every year on February 27th (Paardeberg Day). This practice continued until the end of the first World War.
Fort Rouille is a monument built on the site of old Fort Rouille, an important trading post from Toronto’s earliest days. Also called Fort Toronto, Fort Rouille was built in 1751. The humble structure was built to hold only a handful of men at any given time. Despite its small size, Fort Rouille was important in developing the French alliance with the First Nations. The French garrison at Toronto burned the outpost in 1759.
Today, the monument to Fort Rouille is surrounded by paving stones that mark the original location of Fort Rouille. The modest monument is made from stone and features two canons on either side of the fort.
The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” is a monument located in front of Toronto’s Union Station. This elegant bronze sculpture was opened in 1985, and was designed to fit in well with the Beaux-Arts style of architecture in Union Station. The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” features a figure in the center of a globe, joining two meridians held up by doves.
The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” is meant to symbolize hope and collaboration among humans from different backgrounds and ethnicities. On the side of the statue, an inscription reads: “This monument, a tribute to multiculturalism, was presented to the city of Toronto on the occasion of its sesquicentennial by the national congress of Italian Canadians on behalf of the Italian Canadian Community.” The “Symbol of Multiculturalism” stands prominently in downtown Toronto to remind the people of the beauty of acceptance and peace among societies.
The relatively new work “Immigrant Family” is found at 18 Yonge Street. “Immigrant Family” is traditional in some ways, and non-traditional in others. “Immigrant Family” features a family consisting of two parents and a baby. The adults are huddled together around their child. As the name implies, the immigrant family is newly arrived, full of hope. The characters are simple and iconic. They appear huggable and sweet, like a picture on a greeting card. This innocent and lovable statue is an excellent representation of the rich history of immigration in Toronto’s culture.
For visitors who come to Toronto, these sculptures and monuments show how art is used to unify and delight the people of Toronto. For anyone who comes to the city, these monuments are a must-see.