By Jon Law
History is alive on the grounds of Humber Lakeshore Campus.
The college has partnered with the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre to give tours of Colonel Samuel Smith Park, which surrounds the campus.
“We want to highlight the history of the park,” says the centre’s curator Jennifer Bazar. “It may be a man-made space but its history goes far beyond just the creation of the park itself.”
For anyone curious about the area, the monthly tours start Thursday, Nov. 8 at 4 p.m. at the Interpretive Centre at the Humber College Lakeshore Welcome Centre, and will cover the many walking trails and stunning views of the lake and city skyline.
The tours were launched following the popularity of the Humber Campus Asylum tours, and with the idea to help raise awareness of the local environment and history.
The area has a long history dating back to the Ojibwe Anishinaabe First Nation, who called the area Adoobiigok, or “Place of the Black Adders,” in the Ojibwe language of Anishinaabemowin. In the 1800s the area served as the property of Colonel Samuel Smith, who was the administrator of Upper Canada. The park grounds was also home to the Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital from 1889 till 1979. It was finally developed in the 1970s before becoming a public space in 1996.
“I think it’s great that students and the public can learn about the history of the school and the park,” says student Bree Krusznski.
The tours will take place on paved and hard packed surfaces to make them accessible for anyone who wishes to take part.
“It’s definitely a really nice area to walk this time of year,” says Krusznski. “I walk down there with my classmates all the time when the weather is nice.”
There is also an environmental spin in addition to the historical background. Guests will be told about the natural history of the park, such as the plant and animal species and the steps people can take to help preserve the environment.
“Learning about the history of the area and the community is very important,” says Bazar. “It gives us a stronger connection to the area and helps people want to preserve the land and help with clean-up days.”
Bazar is confident that public interest in the tours will bring attention to the Lakeshore Interpretive Centre’s efforts to preserve the area’s history and environment for future generations.
For more information visit: https://www.lakeshoregrounds.ca/events