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Orangeville park named after long forgotten Queen Consort

November 20, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

It’s a central place for many activities over the year, located right in the middle of downtown Orangeville, behind the Town Hall.

You may have attended Remembrance Day ceremonies or watched a band during the Jazz and Blues Festival at Alexandra Park in Orangeville, but not a lot of people know the origins of the park’s name.

Alexandra Park was named after Queen Consort, Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII.

Edward VII has largely been forgotten. As the eldest son of Queen Victoria, he was at the time, the long heir apparent in history. He waited for his chance at the throne for almost 60 years, and only reigned for nine years once in power.

When the park was opened in Orangeville in 1903, it was seen fitting to name it after the current Queen.

The new park had a bandshell and a flag pole donated by the Dufferin Old Boys Association that flew a huge 24 foot long flag. The pole apparently wasn’t anchored that well as it came crashing down in a wind storm in 1909.

Originally the park site held the town’s stockyards. It was also the site of the first church in Orangevlle – the Bethel Presbyterian Church, which was built sometime before 1840.

When it opened, the park wrapped around the Town Hall to Broadway, but the Town later sectioned it off and sold some of the property leaving the park boundary as it is today.

While there were regular concerts in the park, eventually it was chosen as the site for the First World War cenotaph and memorial. The Monument was placed there in 1923 and updated after the Second Word War and the Korean War.

A new bandshell was constructed in 1992.

Also in 1992, a new memorial was added to honour those that served in wartime but survived. The memorial recognizes their contribution to the war effort.

A third monument was added in 2018 recognizes battles that the Canadian Armed Forces were involved in.

While Queen Alexandra, may be a footnote in history as a minor consort to a minor King, she still has at least one popular park that bears her name.



         

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