The Lady of the Lake

One of the most notable, and at times controversial, features of Lakeview Park is the fountain featuring a sculpture of a young girl.  Known affectionately as “The Lady of the Lake” the sculpture was erected in an illuminated pool donated by General Motors of Canada and was located in the southwest corner of the park. We are grateful to Dale Thissen of Whitby’s Stafford Monuments who provided additional details from his records about the sculpture and fountain. It was Dales’s father Charles and  grandfather Ernest Stafford that supplied the sculpture for the installation.  Officially known as “Pool of Dreams,” the fountain features a 4 foot high statue of a young girl leaning on a rock and is made of Carrara marble, named for the region in Italy from where it comes. Carrara marble is known for its white or blue grey colouring with a soft feathery effect. This marble is popular for building décor and sculpture and has been used in some of the most notable monuments in the world including the Marble Arch in London and the Pantheon in Rome.

Lady of the Lake Statue, July 1997; from the Dowsley Photograph collection, Oshawa Museum archival collection (A016.10.111)

The sculpture was carved in Italy and arrived by ship into the Port of Montreal on February 16, 1959. The total cost for the project was $3389.00 (in 1959 dollars) which included the sculpture, pool construction, foundation assembly, design, and tablet inscription. 

Image courtesy: Laura Suchan

The official pool and statue dedication in May 1959 was marked with some controversy when some residents of the community felt the statue should have included clothing.  Still the statue continued to grace its corner of the park for more than 40 years, eventually retiring its jets of water to become a flower garden.

Lady of The Lake, 2017; © Oshawa Historical Society

In 2001 the fountain was given a new lease on life when it was moved from its original location to grace pride of place within the Oshawa Museum precinct of Lakeview Park. A new pool was constructed and once again jets of water sprayed over the young girl. Today the Lady of the Lake continues to delight the many visitors to Lakeview Park as she has done for more than 60 years.

Eric Sangine
Cover Her Up! The Debate About the ‘Lady of the Lake’ Statue, 2017.

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