The Garden of the Greek Gods — a collection of 20 sculptures by renowned Canadian sculptor E.B. Cox
On July 14th, 2021, Toronto City Council approved an agreement with the Toronto Event Centre. One of the provisions in the agreement permits Exhibition Place to relocate the Greek Gods to a more accessible community viewing location at Exhibition Place.
In September 2014, the Board of Governors approved a Working Group to evaluate options for relocating the Garden of the Greek Gods. Chaired by the CEO of Exhibition Place, the Working Group included Kathy Sutton (the artist’s daughter), staff from the local Councillor’s office, and representation from the City’s Museum and Heritage Services and the Toronto Greek Community, as well as Exhibition Place staff.
After a thorough analysis and consideration of 14 potential sites, the Working Group determined that the Greek Gods’ best location would be the Rose Garden area south of Bandshell Park. Notably, this site was favoured by the artist in 1979, prior to the establishment of the original sculpture garden on the south lawn of the Horticulture Building.
Some of the attributes of the Rose Garden site are as follows:
- Publicly accessible from existing waterfront path and from Martin Goodman Trail over the Bailey Bridge
- A flat, grassy area large enough to accommodate the entire collection, with space for children to safely play and to touch the sculptures
- Makes use of existing paved pathways that allow easy access for all
- The existing landscaping is suitable for the sculpture garden, and there is no need to remove any trees or gardens
- Benches and other seating areas are nearby, as well as good lighting
- Within walking distance of the local community – South Parkdale and Liberty Village
- Accessible by public transit; the Dufferin bus closest stop is located at TFI (Music Bldg.), and it is a 15-minute walk from LRT/GO
- Close to a restaurant for food and beverages, as well as washrooms
- An attractive location for school visits with a focus on popular Greek mythology; can be combined with tours of the wind turbine
- School bus and visitor parking available in front of Bandshell Stage & Taxi drop off
- Very historic area with other sculptures (Peace Fountain) and heritage structures (Scadding Cabin, Fort Rouille site)
- Fountains in the area could match the water theme of some of the sculptures
- Very popular site for wedding photos, picnics, pedestrian visits
- The sculpture garden will be a popular destination for the art-loving public and tourists
- Exhibition Place security staff would be regularly patrolling the area
Exhibition Place Chief Executive Officer, Don Boyle said “It was unfortunate for all parties that the leased area of the Toronto Event Centre included the Garden of the Greek Gods, however, through considerable interest-based discussions amongst the parties over the past 15 months, we were able to include this provision in the Toronto Event Centre agreement, achieving a favourable outcome for all parties.”
Kathy Sutton, the daughter of E.B. Cox said “I am delighted that an agreement has finally been reached to relocate the Greek Gods. It was Don Boyle who made this happen, and I am very grateful to him for everything he did to ensure all involved are happy with this new agreement. Along with numerous arts advocates and members of the local community, I’m looking forward to once again being able to enjoy this sculpture collection in a garden setting.”
More information will follow regarding the specific timeframe for the move.