Riverside Park was officially opened in Guelph in 1905 and immediately drew in visitors with its versatility as a park, playground, and picnic area. Along with the playgrounds, ice cream stands and a zoo it also became a popular spot to swim, and eventually became a notable spot to take swimming lessons. Riverside park has been a staple in Guelph for more than a century with its attractions, events, and spacious greenery. One such attraction is the floral clock shown above, which is diligently maintained for the admiration of its viewers. While the Arboretum may have its beat when it comes to flowers and fauna, the iconic area has become a place for public events and family outings.
The park was initially almost 15 acres in size but has increased to more than 80 acres today and has been the location for many popular Guelph events, including Ribfest. More than a decade after its original opening, more attractions started to appear in the park. One such was the carousel designed by Allan Herschel, and another brought out decades later was the miniature railway, both would shortly become the most popular attractions to young families. The carousel itself was bought in the 1970s by the city of Guelph from North America’s traveling amusement corporation and brought to Riverside Park.
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