A walk and monument honouring the LGBTQ+ community, its history, and its leaders

The concept of INSPIRE monument is that of a grand Phoenix rising out of the ground with its wing feathers engraved with the names of Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

It will be a design that elicits pride and becomes a Toronto tourist attraction and fixture. One that not only speaks of the LGBTQ community but of Canada being at the forefront of LGBTQ freedom and acceptance.
INSPIRE monument will be one of the world’s few locations dedicated to LGBTQ history and commemoration.

Note that the images included below are intended to communicate the park’s concept and are not intended to represent final design decisions.

George Hislop Park

20 Isabella, Toronto, Ontario M4Y 1N1

George Hislop (June 3, 1927 – October 8, 2005) was one of Canada’s most influential gay activists. He was one of the earliest openly gay candidates for political office in Canada, and was a key figure in the early development of Toronto’s gay community. As a symbol, George Hislop will go down in the statutes as the person who won survivor pension benefits for gays and lesbians. But, as a man, he will be remembered as a role model who showed generations of young men how to live openly and without shame. This park in the city’s Church and Wellesley neighbourhood is named in Hislop’s honour for his role as a significant builder of LGBT culture and history in Canada. We cannot think of a more befitting location for the INSPIRE monument.

The Phoenix

The phoenix is a mythological bird that recycles its own life. It means that he, she or they have arisen from the flames as a winner, beating all life challenges and defeating hard times. Therefore, the phoenix is a symbol of rebirth from the ashes of the past, and it also represents the victory of life over death, thus immortality.

The final design and concept of the phoenix will emerge from multiple community consultations and competitions. Artists, engineers and others will partner with the INSPIRE monument Committee.

Landscaping

Landscaping will be low maintenance and add beauty with indigenous plantings and greenery while minimizing the carbon footprint and conserving resources for future generations.

A Zen Garden will promote relaxation and stress relief as part of the INSPIRE monument experience. Striking in its simplicity, this will be a great attraction to tourists. The austere setting will also stimulate creativity and problem solving.

Solar powered LED cobblestone lighting on the ground will join the Phoenix monument to other monument and park features. This is meant to represent the path taken by our many heroes.

Other cobblestones installed at INSPIRE monument will be etched as part of sponsorship and fundraising efforts and have key contributors listed directly on the engraved stones as a testament to their generosity and support.

Technology

This site will be home to multiple technology features including phone charging stations, Wi-Fi access, security cameras and emergency safety station with LED lighting and audio accents to make the experience rewarding and complete.

The solar powered site will be renewable and sustainable by incorporating energy generating Wind Trees and energy storage technology to provide power to all its components.

The INSPIRE monument app will transform a visitor’s smartphone or tablet into a digital tour guide. App functions will Include:

  1. GPS to show them where they are in the city in relation to restaurants, clubs, and points of interest in the village.
  2. It will be LOCATION SENSITIVE, providing information about the monument as you move around it including audio bios of the Lifetime achievement recipients whose names are engraved on the monument. It will also tell the story of INSPIRE monument as they walk around. Sponsors and donations will be included in audio advertising.
  3. PROVIDE THE MOST CURRENT INFORMATION as recipients are inaugurated onto the monument each year as well as POI in the area.
  4. Visitor PHOTOS can be tagged to the INSPIRE monument FB page through the app.
  5. ACCESSIBILITY options on most devices for the visually and hearing impaired.
  6. MULTIPLE LANGUAGES can be offered via the app.

Furniture

The site will feature Kissing Benches and nature inspired outdoor seating. Steel and recycled park benches will be installed at the entrance perimeters of the park.

Organic and with no sharp lines, the seating in the surrounding area will be part of the overall artistry of INSPIRE monument; adding to nature rather than detracting from it.

Unique bike racks are an opportunity to bring more visual art to the space. These bike racks will be uniquely designed and made of recycled and durable materials.

Want to know more?

Send us an e-mail message to:

info@inspiremonument.ca

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