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CHATTER: Heart Garden to honour residential school victims (Sept. 2019)

October 8th, 2019 · No Comments

The congregation at Trinity St. Paul’s United Church at 427 Bloor St. is awaiting an overhaul of its garden. Located at the corner of Major Street and Bloor, the new garden will be dedicated to victims of the residential school system and the legacy of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada.

More than 80 similar gardens, known as Heart Gardens, have already been planted across the country. Hearts are scattered throughout these gardens, each one representing a child who attended residential school. In 2017, more than 4,500 hearts were placed in gardens across the country.

At the closing ceremony of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada in 2015, Marjie Calla said a prayer in to explain the purpose of Heart Gardens:

“Help us open our hearts to others, pay attention to our thoughts, words, and actions, notice when we have hurt others and change our behaviour in the future. With this Heart Garden we honour the children who were lost or survived the Indian Residential System.”

The design of the new Heart Garden at Trinity-St. Paul’s was done by Annishinaabe artist and designer Solomon King. The garden will have a wooden screen behind it designed in a wave pattern to symbolize energy waves shaped by the circle of creation. It will also have poetry of regeneration written by various Indigenous writers inscribed into it. 

The Church had planned for the landscaping to begin in August of this year but the large number of construction projects on Bloor Street have forced a delay. Lynn Jondreville, a member of Trinity-St. Paul’s Indigenous Rights Solidarity group, expressed disappointment over this delay but says that the contractor is committed to beginning work on the garden in the spring of 2020.

If you would like to make a donation to the project, please visit

—Juan Romero/Gleaner News

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