Two weeks ago—just before Canada Day—a new community centrepiece powered up for the first time in the heart of Markham’s emerging Downtown, on Birchmount Road north of Enterprise Boulevard. Designed by Canadian-born, California-based urban folk artist Patrick Amiot, the 50-foot "Pride of Canada Carousel" is now complete after starting construction in Spring 2015. A June 28th VIP preview revealed the new carousel and Quadrangle Architects-designed open glass pavilion to area residents.
The new attraction—commissioned by Christopher Bratty of The Remington Group to serve as a community centrepiece for the new Downtown—was opened to the public in dramatic fashion on Canada Day, in an event attended by dignitaries including Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti.
Built by Daniel Horenberger of Brass Ring Carousel Company—manufacturer of notable carousels like Disneyland’s King Arthur Carrousel—the Pride of Canada Carousel puts a unique spin on the classic fairground attraction, with the traditional horse and carriage inspired ridable sculptures replaced with classic representations of Canadiana. Similar to the General Electric solar-powered Carousolar—also manufactured by Brass Ring Carousel Company—the Pride of Canada Carousel is entirely powered by solar energy.
Patrick Amiot's 44 rideable sculptures—which include detailed painting work by his wife Brigitte Laurent—were fabricated from repurposed materials, and include representations of Canadian culture including a beaver, a moose, an ice skate, a Mountie, and famed schooner Bluenose. The carousel also features more whimsical inclusions like a duck, a mermaid, and a bumblebee.
Inspired by Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn and Pier 39 Carousel in San Francisco, the Pride of Canada Carousel is part of an effort to foster an active street presence in Markham's nascent Downtown community. With a number of residential and commercial developments now open in the surrounding area, several under construction, and many more planned, this pavilion should become quite the lively spot over the next few years.
Since July 2, the carousel has been open seven days a week between the hours of 10 AM and 8 PM. Tickets for the attraction can be purchased at an on-site electronic ticket booth at a rate of $2 per ride.
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