Thursday, July 4, 2013


Dundas Driving Park is hands down one of my favourite places around the city. The park, located at the top of Cross Street in the beautiful bedroom community of Dundas, is surrounded by a circular roadway that allows you to literally "drive around" it. I have fond childhood memories of picnics under massive acorn trees and hot summer days splashing around the large wading pool. Today, the park is as vibrant as ever with a revamped wading pool and a brand new splash pad. There are baseball diamonds, playground equipment, picnic tables, a snack hut and dining pavilions with BBQ pits (perfect for large family/community events). And the cherry on top for FRESH BRICK lovers, is the park is bordered by streets stacked with jaw-dropping Victorian and early confederation homes!

The park gates, generously donated to the Town by Col. J. J. Grafton in 1911, are one of the most recognizable landmarks in Dundas.              

As you go through the gates, imagine stepping back to the mid-1860s. There's a harness race in progress on the new dirt oval that roughly outlines the perimeter of the park. This is one of Canada's earliest race courses. Dr. A. H. Walker, along with some friends, purchased this property from his father-in-law, George Rolph, who had owned the property since 1822.

Fast-forwarding through time: in 1886, the Town of Dundas, recognizing the need for a municipal public park, purchased the property for $3,500.00, and on February 7, 1887, By-law No. 388 was established by Town Council setting care and maintenance guidelines for the new park.

The park, however, was neglected for years, until 1905, when a Citizens' Committee was established to oversee the care of the park, and for ten years, they saw some major developments there. Lawn bowling greens were established; a grandstand, bandstand, and a wading pool were installed. In 1909, a log cabin was donated by Col. Grafton to the park for use as a picnic kitchen This cabin had been used by George Rolph, as a Justice of the Peace, to try minor cases (unfortunately, it burned down in 1964). In 1911, the famous park gates were put in place.

By 1915, the park had become "the finest public park of any small town in this fair Domain" thanks to the Committee of "public-spirited citizens" according to W. H. Moss (Dundas Mayor, 1907-08, and Dundas columnist known as the 'Old Boy').


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271 Hatt Street

17 Cayley Street

69 Sydenham Street

56 Albert Street

24 South Street West

223 Governor's Road

1 Springhill

42 Osler Drive

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