Pickering’s Esplanade Park will transform into a Reflections Garden

Posted on Wednesday September 28, 2022

Pickering, ON, July 26, 2022 – On Sunday, MP Jennifer O’Connell, Mayor Dave Ryan, and City staff announced that the City of Pickering will receive over $350,000 in funding support from the Government of Canada to transform a portion of Esplanade Park into a Reflections Garden.

Funding support, in the amount of $255,375, is from FedDev Ontario through its Canada Community Revitalization Fund and will support enhancements to Esplanade Park in Pickering. Funding support, in the amount of $95,000, is from the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Commemorate Canada Fund, and will support new artworks at the Chestnut Hill Developments Recreation Complex and a celebration event.

In 2018, the City was fortunate to receive provincial support to complete Phase One enhancements to Esplanade Park through the Main Street Fund. This included the installation of several pieces of permanent public art, including four sculptures by artist Geordie Lishman titled, ‘Spirit of Pickering’, and two sculptures by artist Ron Baird titled, ‘Pollinators’. Phase One upgrades (landscaping and seating) were also completed in 2020.

Phase Two upgrades, which will be installed with the support of the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, include new pathways, gardens, seating, shade structure, playable musical instruments, and new permanent artwork.

“On behalf of the City of Pickering, its Members of Council, and residents, I thank the Government of Canada for providing $350K in funding via FedDev Ontario and the Commemorate Canada Fund that will go towards the creation of the Meditation, Mindfulness, and Music Park right here in our Civic Centre,” said Mayor Dave Ryan. “Vibrant, sustainable, and accessible public spaces are critical towards building a strong and connected community. I am confident that this new, innovative, and engaging park will become a prominent and popular destination for our residents and visitors seeking reflection, inspiration, and serenity.”

“The creation of a Meditation, Mindfulness, and Music Park is the perfect example of federal involvement in reimagining and revitalizing public spaces in our towns and cities to make them more accessible and more engaging,” said Jennifer O’Connell, MP, Pickering-Uxbridge. “The work will commemorate those who we lost during the pandemic while honouring our first responders and healthcare workers who did so much to keep us safe. I am proud to see federal funding going towards such a wonderful project in Pickering and very excited for what the completed space will bring to the area for residents and tourists alike.”

Following the pandemic, the Reflections Garden will provide a public space for people to practice self-care and reflection. The park will include sensory plantings, accessible seating, and playable musical instruments. In addition, there will be new public artwork titled, ‘Reflections’ by artists Studio F Minus, that will further tie in to the overarching theme of mindfulness and meditation.

Through this project, contemplative spaces will be provided to remember the victims of the COVID-19 pandemic including those living in long term care facilities such as Orchard Villa and the heroic efforts of first responders and front-line workers throughout the pandemic.


As the gateway to the east GTA, Pickering (population 94,000) is strategically located where Toronto, York and Durham Regions meet. An award-winning municipality, Pickering is slated for significant economic and residential growth; offering an unparalleled quality of life for those who live, work, and play here. Its dynamic City Centre has been designated by the Province of Ontario as both an Urban Growth Centre and Mobility Hub, and continues to evolve as a preferred destination for creative learning, memorable events, and unique experiences at the heart of a vibrant, connected, and engaged community.

Media Contact:

Laura Gibbs
Manager, Cultural Services
905.420.460  ext. 3709