Spencer Smith Park, located along the Burlington Waterfront brings people from all over the province to enjoy its beauty and exciting lifestyle. From festival-goers and foodies enjoying Canada’s Largest Ribfest or Burlington’s annual Sound of Music, to those going on an evening stroll, or their daily morning run, Spencer Smith Park has it all.
Going back to 1920, the town property from Nelson Avenue to Burlington Avenue was drained, cleaned up and designated as Lakeside Park, which was the beginning stage of what is now Spencer Smith Park.
Through Spencer Smith’s efforts with the Burlington Horticultural Society, the initial small Lakeside Park was expanded and became the destination of the Burlington waterfront. In 1933, the Burlington Horticultural Society, which was under Smith’s leadership at the time, cleaned up the shoreline below Lakeside Park and further developed the park. Nine years later, the park was renamed Spencer Smith Park and has kept the name ever since.
In recognition of his hard work, there is a landmark in Spencer Smith Park with the inscription, “Erected by the Burlington Horticultural Society in honour and memory of Spencer Smith for his outstanding contribution and leadership in the Beautification of Burlington. He laboured for 25 years on the Executive during continuous membership of 36 years from 1919 – 1955.”
As well as his outstanding work for local parks throughout Burlington, Smith established a town nursery at Burlington Central High School. Here, hundreds of seeds were planted and as they grew became trees that were planted in many neighbourhoods throughout old Burlington.
Whether you’re visiting a patio on the outskirts of the park or going for a walk on a Saturday afternoon, take a moment to remember how far the park has come and the hard work and continuous effort done by Spencer Smith.