Just to the south of the Horticulture Building, now the Toronto Event Centre, stand twenty magnificent stone sculptures depicting ancient Gods of Greek mythology. Known as The Garden of the Greek Gods, the works were created by the late Toronto artist Elford Bradley Cox (1914-2003).
Cox carved the sculptures from huge blocks of limestone, using an air hammer and chisels. Among them are Medusa, Pan, Orpheus, Centaur, Minotaur, and many more. Hercules is the tallest, at over 3 metres.
The Gods’ first home, in 1964, was among the trees and trails of the Georgian Peaks ski resort. In 1976, they became a popular attraction at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. Two years later, Greek-born restaurateur Arthur Carmen purchased the collection from Cox and donated it to the City of Toronto for permanent public display at Exhibition Place.
E.B. Cox is widely acknowledged as Canada’s foremost sculptor in stone. He always intended that the Gods be in an outdoor setting, and encouraged children to climb upon them. His many works can be found throughout the city and province, as well as in public and private collections and galleries worldwide.
For further information about the Garden of the Greek Gods, please contact Exhibition Place Records and Archives, JEdwards@explace.on.ca, 416-263-3676.