Bri­tish Home Chil­dren mon­u­ment com­ing to Toronto

Packet & Times (Orillia) - - NEWS -

A new Toronto mon­u­ment set to be un­veiled in the city’s west end Oct. 1 hon­ours thou­sands of young chil­dren taken from Great Bri­tain years ago to work in Canada. The soon-to-be-erected re­mem­brance rec­og­niz­ing Bri­tish Home Chil­dren is be­ing cre­ated from a rough block of sand-blasted gran­ite sourced from a Que­bec quarry and will also fea­ture a piece of ship steel com­plete with a brass port­hole from the MS JADRAN; a 1950s ship sym­bolic of the type of ves­sel that would have car­ried the chil­dren to ports in Mon­treal, Que­bec City and Hal­i­fax from 1880 to 1946. A fundrais­ing cam­paign headed by Lori Oschef­ski of the Bri­tish Home Chil­dren Ad­vo­cacy & Re­search As­so­ci­a­tion raised more than $16,000 to com­mis­sion and com­plete the mon­u­ment that pays tribute to the more than 100,000 girls and boys aged seven through 14 who came to Canada as do­mes­tic help and farm labour from Bri­tain. Al­though iden­ti­fied as ‘or­phans,’ only about three per cent of these chil­dren were ac­tu­ally par­ent-less with most re­vealed to be vic­tims of poverty and the sys­tem of work­houses preva­lent in the United King­dom at the time. The wes­t­end Toronto mon­u­ment also serves as a tribute to 75 chil­dren, whose bod­ies were later dis­cov­ered in two un­marked graves in the city. “The graves and lives of the 75 chil­dren buried at Park Lawn Ceme­tery is a poignant re­minder that al­though many chil­dren thrived in Canada, many did not,” Oschef­ski said. “Our coun­try is dot­ted with the graves of lost Home Chil­dren, sadly, many will never be found. Ev­ery child who came to Canada de­serves to be rec­og­nized.”

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