Friends Of MArie Curtis Park
preserving its natural character by promoting responsible and respectful use
Marie Curtis Park was created in 1959. It was established following Hurricane Hazel, which devastated houses and cottages that were formerly on the park and claimed lives in 1954. Municipal authorities decided to set this parkland aside as a buffer zone to help control flooding in the area. The park was named after Marie Curtis, former Reeve of the Village of Long Branch, who had been instrumental in the formation of a regional parkland system.
Prior to European settlement the area was occupied by Anishinaabeg and Mississauga First Nations. In the late 18th century the parkland was part of a group of lands that Toronto purchased from the Mississauga First Nation. What is now Marie Curtis Park was part of the lands given to United Empire Loyalist Colonel Samuel Smith, who fought for Britain in the Revolutionary War. Although the general area was used mostly for agriculture in the century that followed, in the early 20th century this land was parceled into lots for summer cottages, thus initiating the modern urban settlement of the park, which was subsequently terminated following Hurricane Hazel.
Marie Curtis Park has a unique landscape feature in the form of its retired cannon. This was one of five retired heavy guns brought from Quebec City and that had been sent to Riverdale Park following a Toronto authority’s request in 1881. The cannon was built in 1803 by the Carron Company.