The inception of Trillium Park focused on creating an identity whose core stemmed from diverse ecological zones and the inclusion of First Nations symbols, stories and language. As part of ongoing efforts to enhance park offerings, Ontario Place worked with key collaborators Walter Kehm, Principal, LANDinc; Professor Jonathan Ferrier, PhD, BSc, BA, Michi Saagiig Anishnaabe; and William (Bill) Deluca, Founder, Aldershot Landscape Contractors to develop the Trillium Park Plant Identifier Project.
The goal of the Trillium Park Plant Identifier Project is to provide information about Trillium Park’s botanical diversity. Visitors are encouraged to learn how to identify various botany with the installation of plaques throughout the site that call out the English, Ojibway, French and Latin names of each plant. The use of the Ojibway language is an integral representation of Ontario’s Indigenous heritage of living and working in harmony with nature. In addition to the plaques, visitors are welcome to explore Trillium Park digitally with a pop up map full of fun facts around how each plant was once used for either consumption and/or medicinal purposes in the past.
We acknowledge the land on which we are walking is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis. We acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. We are grateful to walk this land and we give thanks to the first peoples of Tkaronto, for being keepers of the sky, earth, and water.
This project was made possible with the support of private donors and Ontario Place Corporation.
Use the search function on the left or click on a point on the map to learn more about a plant or tree found in Trillium Park. Helpful hint: use the full screen function for an optimal experience.
Walter H. Kehm
Principal • LANDinc
Walter is a passionate lover of nature who began his career in forestry and then landscape architecture at Syracuse University. He honed his skills in landscape architecture and urban design at Harvard University followed by post-graduate studies in Italy. Walter has designed significant open spaces, parks and recreation facilities both internationally and across Canada, including Trillium Park at Ontario Place. He is also an award winning author with his recently completed book, “Accidental Wilderness: The Origins and Ecology of Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park”.
A key fixture in Walter’s career has been his work with First Nations communities throughout Canada in support of efforts to create sustainable community development plans. Walter worked in close collaboration with the Mississaugas of the Credit to incorporate significant indigenous symbols and flora into the design of Trillium Park.
A note from Walter:
Since Trillium Park opened, visitors have expressed an interest in learning more about its plant life. In response to this growing interest from the public, plant identification plaques that incorporate four translations were installed throughout the park to promote public education and engagement. The intent is to have school children and other park visitors study the plants and learn about their ecology, food, and medicinal uses. The use of the Ojibway language is important to remind people of Ontario’s Indigenous heritage with its rich history of living and working in harmony with nature.
Professor Jonathan Ferrier
PhD, BSc, BA, Michi Saagiig Anishnaabe
Jonathan Ferrier PhD Michi Saagiig Nishnaabe ndow. Nimoshag, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation Nindoonjibaa. Ferrier is an Anishnaabe scientist and Professor of Biology at Dalhousie University. His Anishnaabe (Ojibway) Mississauga heritage guides his work in Indigenous food, medicine, material culture, and linguistics. His laboratory studies the biochemistry and medicine related to preeclampsia, diabetes, cancer and emerging areas of interest to the Mississaugas of the Credit community.
A note from Jonathan:
Ferrier contributes the Anishnaabemwin flora translations visible on the plaques found throughout Trillium Park.
William (Bill) DeLuca
Semi-Retired • Aldershot Landscape Contractors Limited / Aldershot Landscape Maintenance Limited / Burlington Tree Farms Limited
Bill started working in the family business, Aldershot Landscape Contractors Limited, at the age of 12. After obtaining his education in business & economics, and horticulture from the Universities of Western and Guelph respectively, Bill began working full-time with Aldershot in 1968. Since then, Bill has continued to grow and build the firm on a foundation of quality workmanship, professionalism and ethical process.
Over the years, Bill has worked on many prestigious projects throughout Ontario, Quebec and Alberta including the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, Quebec; the War Museum in Ottawa and the Rock Garden and Rose Garden reconstruction at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington. Most recently, Bill and Walter joined forces to create and deliver Trillium Park at Ontario Place.
A note from Bill:
It was my sincere pleasure to work with Walter Kehm on the creation of Trillium Park. It has become, in the history of my firm, one of its most prestigious projects. When Walter approached me to become involved in the teaching aspect of this site, I immediately agreed to support his vision of identifying the various flora found throughout the site. We were more than eager to donate labour and materials in support of the project. I sincerely hope everyone will have a great experience when visiting Trillium Park and will learn from the educational plaques placed throughout it.