New park’s theme based on Atwood’s Alias Grace

RICHMOND HILL COUNCIL approved designs for a new park that are based on a novel, Alias Grace, by Margaret Atwood.

The historical novel traces two murders that happened in the area in 1843. Thomas Kinnear and his housekeeper, Nancy Montgomery, were killed, and two servants in the household were found guilty of the crime. Grace Marks was sentenced to life in prison and James McDermott was hanged.

“Staff had read the book and said, ‘Oh, by the way, did you realize that this is pretty darn close to where those murders took place?’” said Coun. Lynn Foster, about the planning of the park. “And that’s why we went with the theme for the park of Alias Grace.”

Alias Grace Park, as it has been named with permission from the author and publisher of the novel, will be constructed between Ridgestone Drive and Aladdin Crescent, near Yonge Street and Elgin Mills Road.

Although the theme sounds a little dark, the designs reflect the novel, with references to imagery in the author’s writing through sculpture, plants, pavement designs and outdoor furnishings. For example, each chapter of the novel is named after a type of quilt pattern. Various quilt patterns will be rendered in the squares of the pavement.

The park will also include a playground, picket fencing, natural stone pillars and a flowering tree grove.

The design of the outdoor furniture, light fixtures and enclosures will also reflect early settlement in Richmond Hill, as it is described in the novel.

“We’re adding another great park to our series of parks throughout Richmond Hill,” Foster said. Construction is scheduled to being this spring.

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