The retired heavy gun on the beach at Marie Curtis Park was earlier located at Riverdale Park
We owe thanks to Malcolm Archer of Long Branch for bringing our attention to the August 2005 issue of The Fife and Drum, the newsletter of the Friends of Fort York and Garrison Common:
Ken Purvis refers in the article to heavy guns, such as the long gun located at Marie Curtis Park, as “a quintessential symbol of Canada’s colonial past.”
He also refers to the Motto of Britain’s Royal Artillery. The motto is ‘Ubique’, the Latin term for “Everywhere.”
After years of action, a cannon’s barrel would be reduced in thickness, making it potentially dangerous to a gun crew. In their retirement phase, such guns would occasionally end up mounted on plinths (bases) in parks.
The cannon, said to be a 32-pounder, at Marie Curtis Park was one of five retired heavy guns that had been sent to Riverdale Park, a park on the Lower Don River, after a Toronto alderman had in 1881 requested some cannons to decorate the park. The person who had granted the request was A.P. Caron, Minister of Militia and Defence, who had visited Toronto in that year.
The cannons had been transported from Quebec City. One of the heavy guns, manufactured by the Carron Company of Falkirk, Scotland, eventually found its way to Marie Curtis Park.
Our May 2013 Jane’s Walk included a visit to the retired heavy gun.
An additional photo of the cannon during the May 2013 Jane’s Walk in Long Branch can be found here.
Posts that serve to place advances in military technology into a context include these ones: