Saint John memorial garden tribute to homeless people who died in fires at tent sites

Winston Tyler, father of Rae Tyler, who died in an encampment fire in March that also killed Jonathan Calhoun, doesn’t want his daughter being memorialized by the tragic sight of charred remnants left from the fire that killed her. Motivated by the thought of Rae’s three young children, Winston pulled together community members to create a garden in her memory.

“They’re going to eventually come down here and want to know where their mother died,” he said. “I didn’t want them to see a charred, bad area …  I don’t know, maybe Rae was talking to me.” Winston recently unveiled the Rae of Sunshine memorial garden in the spot where the fire occurred, named after his daughter.

He has been planning the garden since the weeks following his daughter’s death in the late March fire on Paradise Row. The garden is also dedicated to Jonathan Calhoun, who died in the same fire, and Evan McArthur, who died in an encampment fire in January in the same area. There are large, raised garden beds with early signs of flower growth. The space has small tables and benches surrounding a cross. Nearby there is a patch of earth with three white hearts, which Winston said represents mental health. He built the garden with the help of local community groups and businesses.

Read the full story on CBC:

Scroll to Top