Mississauga’s newest park will be named after its Vietnamese community.
Park 317 at 240 Matheson Blvd. W. will officially be known as Saigon Park after a group of Vietnamese Canadians known as the Saigon Park working committee approached the city in 2017 to have the park named.
Saigon Park is expected to be complete in early 2019 and will feature a one-kilometre fitness circuit, outdoor exercise equipment, a pier with lookout points, shade structures, picnic tables, seating and a public art installation by local artist Ferruccio Sardella. The park’s total area is 8.76 acres.
The Saigon Park working committee approached the city to have the plot of land named after Saigon, a metropolitan city in Vietnam which is known as Ho Chi Minh City under the country’s current communist government. For the thousands of Vietnamese Canadians who fled communism after the fall of Saigon, the city is a symbol of freedom and democracy.
Mayor Bonnie Crombie and Ward 5 Coun. Carolyn Parrish initiated the naming request after hearing from the committee.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to honour a community that has done so much for the city,” Crombie said.
“This was probably the quickest park naming we’ve ever done, it’s well deserved,” Parrish said.
Mississauga welcomed many Vietnamese refugees during the 1970s and 1980s, specifically at the Dixie Neighbourhood Centre which welcomed and settled those fleeing the Vietnam War. Today, more than 14,000 Vietnamese Canadians live in Mississauga.
Abbot Thich Tam Hoa from the Phap Van Buddhist Cultural Centre was at the general committee meeting on June 27 to thank city council for the naming decision.
The Saigon Park working committee consists of several Vietnamese Canadians who live in Mississauga and many of them trace their roots to Saigon.
Ali Raza ( Mississauga News)