Kariya Park. It is the heart of Mississauga. It is situated at the south of Square-One shopping Mall. The Park features Japanese style gardens, pavilion, magnolia, cherry trees, rhododendrons, hydrangea, daffodils, tulips and several sculptures gifted to us By Kariya City in 2001. The ideas of the Japanese garden are to “delight the senses and challenge the soul” as well as create the sense of balance and aesthetics. It was officially opened in1992 in Mississauga, honouring the eleventh anniversary of our twin city relationship with Kariya City.
There is a history behind the Kariya Park. It was started after World War11 in 1960. The idea was to connect cities over the World to reduce the conflicts and coldness among them. It was to create awareness among the citizens.
Near the main gate at right hand side there is a Tsukubai basin. In Japan these basins are meant to wash hands before entering a holy place to purify the visitors. The beautiful pond is affectionately named ‘duck pond’, it is a habitat for many animals like ducks, geese, baby turtles, sometimes swans. During the first pandemic time in 2020, I saw a crane in the pond, sitting on a boulder waiting for fish. I wrote about it in Mississauga Writers Group Facebook.
A small adorable bridge enclosed by exquisite trees and clean water. It is a popular spot for models and wedding photo shoots.
Recently I noticed a crew of garden keepers came from Toronto City to help the Mississauga garden keepers. It is a voluntary work. I spoke to one of them; he said “We have beautiful parks in Toronto, but nothing like that. You cannot compare with this one.” He is right; it is a very peaceful park. Because of their hard working the Park looks so alive and beautiful.
Every day in early morning except Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, a group of Garden Keepers come here to clean the Park. : take all dry leaves and twigs from the trail that fell from trees, clean ponds water and take all the trashes from bins. Sometimes they sprinkle environmental friendly product ( ReNew) to kill algae in ponds. It naturally improves water health and dirty through oxygenation. I have mentioned before that it is a voluntary service and they love to work here.
Here every creature of our Creator seems very happy including His best molded creation, us as human being. There is a line in Quran Sharif, that “The creation of the heavens and earth is greater by far the creation of mankind, though most people do not know it (Sura 40: 57). We are a part of His Creations. I comprehend clearly when I look at the different trees, the shape of leaves, trunks, branches, flowers and colours, all the animals in the park and elsewhere, mountains, oceans, seas and planets; all He took great care to create them. I enjoy every time coming here in the morning to enjoy the fresh air.
It always attracts me since we settled down here in Mississauga. I find peace and tranquility here, in especially in the morning. Some people do their Yoga practice; some do Tai-Chi in the Pavilion, some people take sits in chairs and enjoy the peaceful scenic beauty. I usually walk in the trail and later take a sit in the chair under the big chestnut tree facing the ponds and pavilion; perfect place for my breathing exercise. The reflection of cherry flowers in the pond and its rippling water increases the beauty of the reflection out of the world. All are so soothing to see! I watch how squirrels both black and grey are looking for food or chasing each other on the grass. They are so playful animal! The difference between the squirrels, birds and me are that; all of us are very hungry. They try to satisfy their stomachs and I try to feed my soul by absorbing the beauty and peace of this park. One pair of Cardinals is a regular visitor here. They know that they are beautiful birds, sometimes I imagine that they love to show their beauty like the show business people. Some red winged birds, though they are beautiful but little bit noisy. Always try to remind everybody as their presence in here. I take photo whenever I get a chance. There is a cute stone sculpture of a boy and girl embraced in a sweet hug with joy on their faces. The pavilion is divided into two sections represent the two cities; Mississauga and Kariya cities, united in the centre with the friendship bell.
Fish and ducks swim leisurely, mother ducks very affectionately protect their ducklings as they swim in the water, baby turtles take sun-bathing on boulders, ducks prefer to take sun-bath on the roof of the pavilion, chirping birds socialize in their own way, even the trees whisper each other through their leaves; when cool breeze passes through them, colourful butterflies flatter their wings constantly and sitting one flower to another, bees are busy to collect honey. Japanese maple trees are showing their unique red coloured beauty from other trees. It seems to me that the whole Kariya Park is a stage, all trees and animals are actors and we are the spectators to enjoy the show. All are living here harmoniously. As Mississauga residents we are lucky and very proud of having Kariya Park in our neighbourhood.
Note: The history portion I have taken from Web side of Kariya Park. I came to know about the ReNew product from the garden keepers.