Revitalized Piazza Dante Park offers culture and enjoyment to diverse community

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City of Ottawa

Somerset Ward Councillor Diane Holmes celebrated the official reopening of Piazza Dante Park today. She was joined by community leaders, including members of the Italian Canadian Community Centre (ICCC) and the local community.

Originally launched as a Centennial project in 1967, Piazza Dante Park now boasts carved granite entrance columns designed by local artist cj fleury, games tables, benches and a bust of Dante on a pedestal, a fountain/splash pad, and the monuments honouring the sacrifices made by local Italian-Canadian veterans and internees of the Second World War.

"This park has been an important gathering place for generations, which is why I'm so pleased to see it rejuvenated and updated for future families to enjoy," said Mayor Jim Watson. "Our residents provided invaluable input and worked with our staff to make these improvements happen. Piazza Dante Park is a jewel of Little Italy and I want to thank everyone involved for their hard work."

Councillor Diane Holmes has seen the project evolve since it was introduced in 2006. "Piazza Dante Park has been a work-in-progress engaging many people over the past six years. The results are top notch  a vibrant gathering place for people of all ages, interests and cultures."

The City provided $430,000 for the renovations, while the Department of Canadian Heritage paid for the erection of the memorial monuments and $30,000 was generously donated from community sponsorship.