A floral installation set up in front of Michael Garron Hospital in East York on the afternoon of Monday, July 6, was created as a symbol of hope and gratitude towards frontline health care workers for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic
The installation was designed by Jackie O Floral Affairs and organized by the hospital foundation and Feel Good Flowers.
The giant heart-shaped flower arrangement features roses, daisies, lilies and carnations(all in red) and is displayed in front of the hospital’s Coxwell Avenue entrance. Measuring eight-by-seven feet, the installation has more than 800 flowers in it.
“It’s beautiful, it’s bright,” said Todd Kjargaard, owner of Jackie O Floral Affairs which designed the installation, in a press release issued by the hospital. “It speaks a different language but we all understand it.”
Feel Good Flowers is a local initiative founded by communications and event specialist Amy Burstyn-Fritz. Launched during the pandemic, it engages florists to install vibrant installations at hospitals across Toronto as a visual way to thank health care providers.
Todd has worked on 10 of the 15 installations Feel Good Flowers has created so far. He says he’s been itching to design a heart so it was “perfectly kismet” when he discovered MGH is known as the Heart of the East. “It was a coincidence, but it was a good coincidence,” Todd said in the release.
For Sarah Bingler, occupational therapist at MGH, the flowers help brighten what can be tough days at the hospital.
“These little tributes and gestures from the community really do pick up your spirits and remind you that you’re part of a bigger picture of fighting COVID-19 and getting through this pandemic,” she said in the release.
Bingler added that she appreciated the acknowledgement as she and her colleagues continue their duty of providing care on the frontlines.
“It means so much to know that people recognize we’re doing this every single day, that we’re showing up, that we’re risking being faced with the virus and helping people who have contracted the virus,” she said. “It’s helpful to know that people are thinking of you.”
David Benchimol, associate vice president of Fitzrovia Real Estate which sponsored the Feel Good Flowers installation, said the hospital has been instrumental in the fight against COVID-19.
“We hope this installation brings happiness and joy to people’s faces as they walk by it,” Benchimol said in the release. “And that it reminds the health care workers and patients that people care about them and the community supports them.”