Kariya Park was officially opened on July 7, 1992 on the eleventh anniversary of our twin-city relationship with Kariya, Japan. The park was designed by Mississauga city staff landscape architects in 1989. The plans were reviewed by counterparts in Japan to ensure that the flavour of Japan was captured before construction began.
The park was built in two phases. The first phase included the gate house which is adorned with copper grills of Rabbit-Eared Irises, one of Kariya City’s emblems. Inside the gatehouse is a stone tsukabai basin which was hand-carved by sculptor Fumio Naito and is used for cleansing your hands. There are two walkways with a variety of plants and trees including Redbud, Sweetgum, Ginko, tree peonies, Katsura and Japanese maple.
In July of 2001, delegates travelled from Japan to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the twin-city relationship between Kariya and Mississauga. A special part of this celebration was the Phase II Opening of Kariya Park with the highlight being the unveiling of the ‘Friendship Bell’. This bronze bell has images of iris flowers around the perimeter and an inscription that reads “By welcoming the new century this bell is produced as a symbol of everlasting friendship between the City of Mississauga and the City of Kariya”. Cast in Japan, the bell is rung on ceremonial occasions.
Prominent on the bell and in the park is Kariya City’s symbol. The symbol includes a wild goose (Kari) about to take flight and a figure 8 (ya), both symbolic of further development in the future. The open area above the figure 8 indicates vibrant activity. The combination of the two symbols produces the city’s name, Kariya.
Kariya Park is open to the public seven days a week, 7:00 am to 9:00 pm, through the entrance on Kariya Drive, just off Burnhamthorpe Road east of the Mississauga Civic Centre. For more information on Kariya Park visit the City of Mississauga’s website.
Mississauga Park, Kariya, Japan
Mississauga Park was opened in 2001 in honour of the 20th anniversary of the twinning of Mississauga and Kariya, and the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Kariya as a City.
Mississauga Park is 3.0 hectares or 7.5 acres area. It incorporates a number of elements to represent both Mississauga and Canada including: a large metal maple leaf sculpture, a log cabin constructed washroom, eight rocks with Canadian native petroglyphs, a replica of Mississauga’s Civic Centre and a sculpture of a bear in a canoe called “The Water Road”.
The bear sculpture by artist John McEwen was presented by the City of Mississauga in commemoration of the opening of the park in 2001. The piece symbolizes Canadian history and culture carried from the past to the future. Behind the sculpture a wavy garden is planted with the spring blooming flower, Phlox, representing water.
The creation of the park was over four years. Its theme is “Forest, Meadows and Flowers”: the wide-open meadow areas represent Mississauga. Mississauga Park (officially named Sawatari Park) opened with a large celebration on March 24th and 25th, 2001.