Kariya Park, what can I say? If there was ever a place for truly everyone, this is it. Kariya Park is territic if you're a new mother with a brand new baby. It's even better if you're Very Old --if for no other reason than it's a wonderful way to see brand new babies tucked happily in their strollers. Memories of your own young family...
If you're a Boomer like me, Kariya Park is a perfect place to bring your parents (my mom soon 80 and my dad soon 84 delighted in it). If your parents are a little slow on their feet, or must now use canes or walkers, Kariya Park is still Perfection for them. Don't hesitate to bring a parent even if they're restricted to a wheelchair.
Kariya Park is Perfect for Seniors because of its Compactness.
Kariya's paths wind in and around and among trees and ponds. It means there's no need to walk anywhere to see stuff. Stuff simply surrounds you at every step.
In short, there's no walking to a Destination. Destination happens as soon as you step into that park. Compact Perfection.
Your senior will feel very safe there. Mississauga staff are all about working the flowers and shrubs. The message is clear. This is a Place of Peace. This is a Place of Refuge. This is a Place of Perfection.
And when senior-legs can't step any more, there are plenty of strateglcally-placed benches for rest. Benches with seniors in mind. Just so Perfect. Your Greatest Generation parents will delight in the ducks. Ducks so tame they skid mere feet from your head as they drop from the sky to splash-land in Kariya's ponds.
There are fat koi shining orange and gold just under the water's surface. Perfect.
There are three species of turtles. Red-earred sliders catch rays on a perfect basking rock --reptilian sun-worshippers all.
Near a smaller pond, and always resting in the shade a sharp eye will spot a Painted Turtle --the only representative of her species that I've spotted to date.
And then there's Kariya's resident Snapping Turtle. What a DELIGHT! Go to the southern pond. Look for a round-rock-and-smaller-rock combination. Yes, to find this turtle, you have to look for something that looks like two rocks. The odd thing about The Kariya Snapper is she looks more like rocks than many of the Kariya real rocks do. That's the thing about Japanese Gardens --all is not as they seem.
Like I said, Perfection.
And everywhere are sounds --chirps, trills, cheeps, clucks, quacks, honks and the muted voices of people speaking in many different languages. Kariya Park.
Then there are the Perfect Colours --Emerald Green, Moss Green, Hunter Green, Sea Foam Green. Lavender, Blush Pink, Crazy-crazy Purple, Wine Red.
Wine Red... The perfect Japanese Maples. Blazing Crimson in Bright Sun.
Kariya Park -- Jewel.
The best memory I had taking my parents to Kariya Park last week was their interaction with a new mother sunning her baby in a carriage. My dad commented on the turtles basking on a rock and the young woman overhead him. She pointed to a neighbouring condo. She said she lived there and visited the park frequently.
"There are ten turtles when the rock is full." and then she proceeded to tell us about the turtles. She spoke of them affectionately and with the reverance of someone who truly understands turtles.
Perfect. That's the other thing about Kariya. There's opportunity to connect here with others. My, how important is it for Seniors to be and stay connected. Meeting others keeps a Senior's world open and engaged.
So in addition to seeing babies, toddlers and kids, Seniors will also meet other Seniors at Kariya Park.
Yes. Kariya is also a Pefect People Place. You can sit on a bench and watch People. Here you can delight in the Diversity of Mississauga. There's just so much to celebrate here --of Things Done Right.
No exaggeration. It's possible to go to Kariya Park every single day and not be bored. That's also part of Kariya's perfection.
Do yourself a favour and go --and take someone you love.
When you do, stroll over to the south pond and look for a rock that looks more like a rock than all the other rocks along the shore. You'll eventually be rewarded with a barely perceptible hint of movement --that'll be her.
Then be patient. The snapping turtle will raise her head, nostrils will poke through the water's surface and she'll sip air. Guaranteed, she'll blink at you.
I don't know the turtle's name. I'm pretty sure she has one --likely named by Mississauga Staff. It's even possible that she goes by hundreds of names. Doesn't matter, I gave her a new name anyway --as can you.
I named her "Nando."
Here is Video of Nando, Kariya's beautiful, charismatic Snapping Turtle. Nando is named after Mississauga Ward 7 Councillor, Nando Iannicca.
Kariya Park, Mississauga. Jewel. Perfect.