In August 2016, Frances Dafoe, a longtime resident of South Rosedale offered to donate a large cast iron urn to the City of Toronto Parks Department to be placed in Craigleigh Gardens Park. The urn was a family heirloom purchased originally by Charles Gibson, Dafoe’s grandfather and noted architect in the development of early Toronto. The urn had been located at numerous family properties in South Rosedale before arriving in Ms. Dafoe’s vacation residence in Jupiter Island, Florida.
Ms. Dafoe was a famed figure skater, and with partner Norris Bowden, captured four Canadian Pairs Championships, two World Figure Skating Championships and won the Silver Medal for Canada in the 1956 Olympics in Cortina, Italy. She was the recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, and had a significant career as a costume designer with the CBC. In consultation with ERA Architects and Ms. Dafoe’s son, Blake Melnick, South Rosedale Residents’ Association has determined that the urn has significant heritage value to the City of Toronto. Since Ms. Dafoe’s passing in September 2016, the SRRA has determined to collaborate with the City of Toronto to see the urn find its place in Craigleigh Gardens Park.