City of Toronto Park Named for Founding Friend of Popular Television Series
TORONTO, Sept. 14 /CNW/ – Parks and Recreation– Councillor Laura Jones
and Linda Schuyler of The Playing With Time Foundation officially dedicated
the park at Degrassi and Queen to Bruce Mackey, founding friend and supporter
of the early Degrassi TV Series.
Born and raised in Toronto, Bruce enjoyed a lengthy career with the
Toronto District School Board as a teacher and librarian at Earl Grey Senior
Public School for 25 years. Bruce supervised the student parliament, east end
community walkathons, the yearbook and school newspaper, always instilling the
importance of civic pride in his students.
“Bruce’s love and enthusiasm for this community was something I’ll always
remember,” said Penny Lansley, niece of Bruce Mackey who traveled from England
to take part in this event.
“This and his knowledge of the area was undoubtedly a big influence. I am
so proud of my family’s roots in the east end of Toronto and always feel at
home in this part of town.”
Over the past 20 years, until his untimely death from cancer in 1997,
Bruce was involved with the early Degrassi TV series, opening his home to
young filmmakers, Linda Schuyler and Kit Hood, who were making a short
children’s film from which the Degrassi Street series was born.
“Through Bruce Mackey’s generosity and support, a small little film
production was shot on location at his home, 98 Degrassi Street. This
production became the pilot for many children’s series in the future-series
that would make Degrassi Street known throughout Australia, Britain, United
States and 50 other countries around the world. A teacher, dog-lover, local
historian and true friend, Bruce was a spiritual founding partner of the
‘Degrassi tv shows,'” said Linda.
Bruce’s enthusiasm for his diverse neighbourhood lead to Degrassi Street
homes, the grocery store, the local parks and schools being featured in the
early episodes of the Degrassi series.
“Formerly Wardell Park, the new Bruce Mackey Park is 1.75 hectares of
leisure green space featuring a pathway, benches, hardwood and coniferous
trees that will be of great benefit to the community,” said Councillor Laura
Jones, Ward 30 Toronto Danforth.
Councillor Jones, Linda Schuyler, Penny Lansley and a former student
Danny Ciraco and other members of the Playing with Time Foundation unveiled
plaques that will serve as a permanent tribute to Bruce Mackey and his
Visit our Web site at www.toronto.ca