Those who frequent the strip of downtown parkettes stretching from Dundonald to Charles Streets have been wondering what happened to the mysterious monument to “Barney.” In autumn, the memorial stone went missing after having been damaged, but has now been reinstated onto its concrete base just off Gloucester Street in the Norman Jewison Parkette. But what’s the story behind this odd little commemoration?
It’s actually a drinking fountain for dogs—not a grave marker—and was named for the beloved yellow lab of legendary local film director (and former cab driver) Norman Jewison (Moonstruck, In The Heat Of The Night). The offices of Jewison’s Yorktown Productions overlook the “pocket park,” and Barney often frequented the green space now named for his owner. The dog died in 2001, not long before the park was dedicated.
When plans to honour the famous filmmaker were announced, Jewison asked that the fountain be installed so that other dog lovers could press the foot pedal and give their pets some relief with a nod to Barney. Sadly, the drinking basin is sometimes vandalized and doesn’t always work, but it’s good to see the charming peculiarity repaired in time for warm weather.
Photo by Marc Lostracco.