The Hancock Woodlands Park used to be a nursery run by the Hancock family. In 2010, the Hancock family sold to the City of Mississauga, seven acres of the ten acre parcel that used to be the nursery. They did this so that the nursery could be turned into a park and thereby ensure that the stunning plants and trees are preserved and can be enjoyed by the public. The alternative would have been for the family to sell to a developer! So we are truly lucky to have this jewel of a park in. (PS the twenty acres of green purchased by the city in the last four years is over and above these seven acres!)
The park land also has a few buildings that date back to the time when the park was a family-owned nursery. Some of these buildings have historical significance as well. In particular, Header House was converted into makeshift bunkhouses during the Second World war, when the Hancock family hired Japanese Canadians to work at the nursery. By allowing them to live on site, it enabled the Hancock’s to bypass wartime legislation that would have placed the Japanese workers in internment camps.
The Hancock family and the neighbourhood was keen that we be able to find a way to continue to use these buildings despite converting the lands into a park and I am so pleased that we have indeed found a way. The office space will be turned into a community gathering place while the plan is for Header House to be used as a studio by artists. Stay tuned!
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