If you have visited Hastings Park, you may have noticed the monument and statue honouring Canada’s immigrants nestled in the beautiful Il Giardino Italiano gardens. What you may not know is that Boffo Properties’ founder Tarcisio Boffo commissioned this monument to, in his words, pay tribute to the “immigrants who came from Italy with the dream of establishing a new life with dignity in this province and city.” Internationally respected sculptor from Italy, Sergio Comacchio, designed and created the statue, which was erected in September 2000.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s thousands of Italians settled in Vancouver, particularly in the Commercial Drive neighbourhood, where Boffo Properties headquarters stands today. Through hard work, determination and old-world values, the Italian immigrant community started families, businesses, and made meaningful contributions in their new home. Tarcisio notes that, like him, the immigrants who came to Canada more than half a century ago came here “in a state of great anticipation and trepidation. It was our joyful experience, however, to be welcomed here by a tolerant society.”
Next time you are in the neighbourhood, visit the Il Giardino Italiano gardens and see the statue and monument to remember the wonderful Italian pioneers who have contributed so much to our city.