In the early hours of May 20, 2018, a fire broke out at Sunnybrook Stables killing 16 horses and completely devastating the barn. Toronto Fire responded immediately, sending 50 firefighters, and were able to save a dozen horses but not the barn. Those that were saved have been relocated to the CNE stables. While it is early in the investigation, it is thought that some numb-sculls were playing with fireworks nearby.
The barn was built over 100 years ago by Major Joseph Kilgour who owned the Canada Paper Box Company. After his death, his wife Alice donated the land to the City of Toronto to be used as a park.
Many generations of Torontonians have enjoyed the park, over the years, myself being one of them. I visit the park every week or two and have always stopped by to visit the horses at the stables. In my youth, we would ride our bikes to the park to enjoy this “country lifestyle” situated in the city. There are many who are mourning the loss of the beautiful horses which may have been averted if sprinkler systems were installed.
The stables have had a reputation of deeply caring for the horses which were pampered on a daily basis. Seeing those people interviewed on TV this week feel as though they have lost children in this tragic fire. Each of these horses had their own personality and reflected the love and care they were given by the people at Sunnybrook Stables.
I am going to miss their sweet faces and demeanor. There has not been any talk, as yet, to rebuild the barns but it’s still very early and I’m sure barn will be built again.