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cityscape

Jenna Morrison’s Memorial Is Full of Life

Reflexology footpath built in her memory is serene, but also vibrant and welcoming.

Photo by Peter Goffin.

Photo by Peter Goffin.

Jenna Morrison is known to many Torontonians as the cyclist struck and killed by a truck at Dundas Street West and Sterling Road in 2011. But she was also a mother, wife, and beloved member of the community. On Saturday, July 26, friends, family and well-wishers gathered at Dufferin Grove Park to unveil a special tribute to her: the Jenna Morrison Memorial Reflexology Foot Path.

A figure-eight circuit made up of cobblestones, the path massages the acupressure points of those who walk across it. Morrison, a yoga instructor and advocate of healthy living, had discovered this type of therapeutic installation on a visit to South Korea and long wanted to bring it to Canada.

On a bright Monday afternoon, with the opening ceremony three days past, the memorial has already attracted visitors. There is still a fence around the footpath, protecting the fresh sod abutting the path from trampling feet. But a pair of elderly women sits on a bench talking over this new addition to Dufferin Grove. A young couple sit in the sun just a few feet from the fence, and a university-aged girl reads a heavy book in the shade, her back against the barrier. The site will be accessible to the public in about a week—and once the protective fence comes down, people will be able to sit right along the curves of the footpath and walk along its stones.

Inside the fence, sparrows perch on the branches of newly planted saplings, while chipmunks scurry over raised cobblestones. Planted with grasses and muted flowers, the garden beds inside the looping reflexology path are rich and green, but not overly manicured. Simple concrete benches will one day attract anyone in search of a comfortable moment under the canopy of a nearby maple tree.

Just across the park there are a wooden playscape, a volleyball court, tetherball—all being used happily. There’s laughter in the distance.

The space surrounding the memorial is tranquil, yes, but it’s also alive—inviting, comforting, and communal. It’s a fitting tribute to a woman whose death has affected hundreds of people in her community and across Toronto.

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