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December 18th, 2018
Beaches Living Guide Spring & Summer 2018


TORONTO MUSIC GARDEN


Tiny perfect garden in sync with music

What better place to spend springtime than to roam around in this beautiful garden among buried speakers broadcasting classic music!


HISTORY

In the 1990s, an award winning landscape architect, Julie Moir Messervy and world famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma transformed a scrubby lakeside property into the Toronto Music Garden.

The idea for the park was originally planned for Boston, but frustrated by so much red tape that interfered with the planning, the two collaborators gave up on trying. Instead, they headed north to Toronto where they were warmly welcomed by Mayor Barbara Hall, Director of Parks Susan Richardson, and financial backer Jim Fleck.

Now over 15 years old, the masterpiece is one of the city's most interesting and delightful place to explore any time of the year.


ATTRACTIONS

The garden was designed to guide the visitor through six sections of the garden each one designed around the dance movements of a beautiful classical piece for the cello: Bach's Suite No. 1 in G Major for unaccompanied cello, BWV 1007. The dance movements are as follows:

PRELUDE - The first movement of the suite imparts the feeling of a flowing river through which the visitor can stroll.

ALLEMANDE - The allemande is an ancient German dance. Interpreted in the garden as a Birch forest, and the movement invites the visitor to swirl inward to various contemplative sitting areas, that move higher and higher up the hillside.

COURANTE - Originally an Italian and French dance form, the courante is an exuberant movement that is interpreted in the garden as a huge, upward-spiralling swirl through a lush field of grasses and brightly-coloured perennials that attract birds and butterflies.

SARABANDE - This movement is based on an ancient Spanish dance form. Its contemplative quality is interpreted by a circle of tall needle-leaf evergreen trees.

MINUET - The formality and grace of this French Dance is reflected in symmetry and geometry. This area of the garden includes a circular pavilion designed to shelter small musical ensembles or dance groups.

GIGUE - The gigue, or "jig", is an English dance, whose jaunty, rollicking music is interpreted as a series of giant grass steps that offer views onto the harbour.


FUN FACTS

Two Canadian artists created special features for the Music Garden: Tom Tollefson, architectural blacksmith, fabricated the Music Pavilion; and Anne Roberts, Feir Mill Design Inc., designed the Maypole.


EVENTS

Throughout the summer, the park offers free music concerts twice a week in the evening.


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