The Holodomor is the name given to the genocide by famine that occurred in Ukraine from 1932 to 1933. Millions of Ukrainians perished as victims of a man-made famine under Joseph Stalin’s regime, with 25,000 dying each day at the peak of the famine.
The Toronto Branch of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress obtained approval of a treed area at Exhibition Place from the City of Toronto as the site for the location of a Holodomor Memorial. By some estimates, this location receives ~4 million visitors per year.
Site design concept
The Holodomor Memorial shows a central position for the iconic sculpture “Bitter Memories of Childhood” by the Ukrainian artist Petro Drozdowsky. The status is approximately 5’-0” high and is placed fairly low in relationship to the grade for everyone’s accessibility and to the greatest effect of the work. This work is a key element that is shared with other Holodomor Memorials around the world and is sited in a prime location that allows for framed views in many directions. The sculpture is framed by plantings and a low seating wall. A light trellis for shade form a part of the memorial.
Pathways leading from three different entry points along Strachan Ave. draw people in to learn more about the Holodomor, with views through the existing trees towards the central figure. Three small ‘satellite’ gardens allow visitors to pause along these pathways, creating a contemplative narrative where the other important symbols of the Holodomor are expressed in low relief elements.
These elements would include the broken millstones, in contemporary and effective ways to give cultural support to (and not to overwhelm) the ‘Bitter Memories of Childhood”. The expression of these symbols and their gardens were developed with the Ukrainian community, the CNE Board, and the City of Toronto to create contemplative spaces that lead to the gathering place of the Monument. The siting of the monument would allow for those special occasions where there will be many people and work well when there are only a few visitors learning about the Holodomor.
The entrances to the Memorial can be made through the existing metal fence where the pathways connect to the Strachan Avenue sidewalks, with gates that can be closed when required for the Exhibition events. Lighting focused at low levels will be provided to accentuate the Memorial dais.
While the Holodomor Memorial has been completed, your donation will assist with ongoing maintenance costs; costs to host the annual 4th Saturday of November Commemoration community assembly and for the production of education materials.
Cheques may be sent to:
Toronto Ukrainian Foundation
145 Evans Avenue, Suite #208
Please note on your check “Holodomor Memorial”
Thank you for your interest in the Holodomor Memorial Project in Toronto.