Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: BerczyPark

“Family Group”

This bronze sculpture entitled Family Group by artist Almuth Lutkenhaus resides in Berczy Park in the St. Lawrence neighbourhood.

The sculpture is a family unit depicting a father, mother and two children. The man and the woman are facing each other and the base of these two figures join to form one solid unit. The small boy is resting against the front of the mother and the girl child is resting against the chest of the father. These children look as if they are secure within the family unit by resting in front of their parents and being enclosed by their bodies and encircled with their arms.

Commissioned in the 1970s by a local historical society, Family Group was at first accepted by the City of Toronto, but subsequently rejected on aesthetic grounds. Controversy ensued, with author Margaret Laurence contributing to the debate by declaring: The work seems to me to be a tender and beautiful tribute to the Berczy family and, by extension, a tribute to the concept of family everywhere. The sculpture was finally installed in 1982 with financial help from the Consumers’ Gas Company.

This sculpture was donated by The Historical Society of Mecklenburg Upper Canada Inc., with the financial assistance of The Consumer’s Gas Limited and The Council of Metropolitan Toronto, in memory of Johann Albrecht Ulrich Moll, better known as William Berczy, born December 10, 1744 in Wallerstein, Germany. He was co-founder of York (Toronto) in 1794 when John Graves Simcoe was Lieutenant-Governor of Upper Canada. His younger son, Charles Albert Berczy, was the first president of The Consumer’s Gas Company, from 1847 to 1856, and Postmaster of Toronto. His older son, William Bent Berczy, was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and, like his father and mother, a gifted painter.

plaque at the base of the sculpture

A Little Street Art

Urban Art Encountered On Today’s Walk

Polaris Prize Winner: Backxwash
On Yonge Street below College. Poster created by Illustrator Sam Island. Zambian born, Backxwash is the stage name of Ashanti Mutinta, the first transgender woman to win the Polaris Music Prize. The Polaris’s penchant for reaching beyond the mainstream in choosing Canada’s best album of the year continues with its $50,000 annual award going to Montreal-based artist Backxwash for her album, “God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It”. The album uses distorted samples of Ozzy Osbourne performing in Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and In Heaven a song from David Lynch’s film Eraserhead, alongside pointed words about her life experiences.

Utility Box
Bay Street at the corner of Richmond Street West

Big City Blooms by Alanna Cavanagh


The Original 6 Nations Peace Treaty by Quentin “Que Rock” Commanda


Old Town Toronto
Utility box in Berczy Park

Berczy Park

Berczy Park is situated near the St. Lawrence Market area, bounded by Scott Street, Front Street and Wellington Street.

The Park is named after William Berczy, a German-born architect, surveyor, and writer often considered a co-founder of modern Toronto with John Graves Simcoe.

Self portrait at Berczy Park

The Dog Fountain

The central feature of the park is a large, two-tier fountain with cast-iron statues of 27 dogs and a cat. The dogs are all looking up towards a large bone perched on the fountain’s peak:

Jacob’s Ladder by Toronto Artist Luis Jacob

Originally, the Jacob’s Ladder sculptures had a rope lattice suspended between the fingers of the two hands to form a string game for kids. Not sure what happened to them, but during my visit the strings were definitely missing.

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