Today, Councillor Ana Bailão (Ward 18 Davenport) and City staff joined Darlene Burke, (mother), Florian Schuck (husband), Lucas (son), friends and members of the Dufferin Grove Park community to honour the life of Jenna K. Morrison with the opening of a reflexology footpath with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.
Jenna Morrison was a loving daughter, mother and devoted wife who passed away suddenly as a result of a traffic accident. Jenna was a yoga instructor, a Thai massage therapist, and a very spiritual person. Her loss was a great blow to her community.
"The tragic loss of a daughter, mother and wife is a devastating experience. The City is proud to honour the life, spirit and work of Jenna K. Morrison with the first Reflexology Foot Path in a public park in Ontario, here in Dufferin Grove Park," said Mayor Rob Ford. "As one walks the path barefoot or in socks, the sole, and therefore acupressure points are massaged which stimulate parts of the foot to improve physical health."
"Jenna Morrison lived her life as an active and well-loved member of our Ward 18 community. Today we celebrate Jenna's life and contributions by opening this reflexology footpath. Together, we have worked to realize Jenna's dream and also provide a permanent public amenity in Dufferin Grove Park." said Councillor Bailão.
Jenna discovered the reflexology footpath many years ago. Based on Chinese medicine, the footpath uses various textures which stimulate points on the feet to improve physical health. Jenna always wanted to build a path like this in Toronto. Today the path becomes a reality.
"I was fully aware from the beginning of this project that I was functioning as an ambassador for Jenna’s vision," said Florian Schuck, her husband. "This path is unique, not only to this park, but as unique as Jenna was to her friends and family and the people she touched."
"The infinity loop design of the path connects us to her and us to ourselves and us to each other with no beginning and no end," said Darlene Burke, Jenna's mother. "It is also emblematic of the spiritual, emotional and mental and physical worlds showing the interconnectedness which surrounds all of humanity."
"It has been an honour to collaborate with Florian and the City on this very unique project. To the best of our knowledge this is the first reflexology path to be installed in an Ontario municipal park and I can’t think of a better place for it. Part memorial, part healing centre and part secret garden, this is a truly one of a kind park amenity for a one of a kind community," said Howard Nauboris, Landscape Architect, Cosburn, Nauboris Ltd.
The path consists of a bed made of concrete in which cobblestones of various shapes and sizes are embedded to various degrees. Some are upright while others are flat, protruding the surface of the concrete at slightly different heights. The path begins simply and progresses to several degrees of difficulty. One does not have to keep moving along the path, but may choose to stay in one place to reap the benefits. Users may also step off the path when the path is too difficult for them and continue to walk along beside the path.
The path features the embedded initials of Jenna K. Morrison, a light standard, a community mosaic wall, a handrail for assistance while walking, boulder accents, native sedge ground cover, upper evergreen ground cover and an asphalt walkway leading to the path. The path is designed to be walked in all directions depending on preference for use. A handrail is provided as support.
The path was designed in the shape of a number eight, the sign of infinity which was a significant symbol to Jenna Morrison.
Funding for the parks was provided by community fundraising and the City of Toronto.
The park is located in the central park area, by the main path of Dufferin Grove Park, 875 Dufferin St.
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