As part of the celebrations marking 70 years of diplomatic relations between Canada and Greece, the Canadian Embassy inaugurated last Saturday, a new green space in the center of the Greek city of Thessaloniki.
The Park of Canada features an Inuit sculpture and a memorial to William Lyon Mackenzie King, a noted philhellene who served as prime minister of Canada during the Second World War. Funds for the creation of the park, which is located at the intersection of Aghia Sofia and Mackenzie King street, were provided by the Embassy of Canada and the Canadian company McCain Foods.
The ties between Canada and the northern Greek city have always been very strong. As German troops closed in on Thessaloniki in 1941, Canadian PM Mackenzie King relayed his support for the Greek cause, “When the birthplace of the finest civilization the world ever experienced, the country to which we owe what makes life superior and more beautiful, faces such an attack, the place of all real people is by her side.”
Today, Thessaloniki and Ottawa are sister cities and direct flights between Thessaloniki and a handful of Canadian cities are expected to commence in the near future.
Thessaloniki’s deputy mayor for quality of life, Konstantinos Zervas noted: “We have collaborated with a country that is a friend and with a sister city, to enhance another corner of our country. These collaborative actions underline the outward-looking character of Thessaloniki and honor the cities and countries that have been our friends throughout history and with whom we share strong ties.”
“The inauguration of the Park of Canada underscores the solidarity and friendship between Canadians and Greeks during World War II, a friendship that remains strong until today,” added Canadian Ambassador Robert W. Peck.