While trying to discover some information behind the old restroom building in Memorial Park, I came across a few old advertisements for the neighbourhood from 1925, when it was first being laid out.
I wasn’t able to discover anything about the restroom building. The city was planning to demolish and replace it at least 5 years ago, and obviously those plans stalled. Around the building on the ground are several sewer grates, dated from 1926. The building likely dates to around that time, when the park was established.
The gates were designed by local architect Cameron & Ralston, who also designed Kennedy Collegiate on Tecumseh Rd at McDougall. The gates cost $2,000 and were built with money donated to the city by the Essex Land Company, who were the original owners of the property which became Memorial Park.
In doing some research, it seems that Memorial Park was almost named something else. It was originally named Memorial Park when it was first acquired by the city in 1925. It didn’t open until 1926, once improvements to the site were made. Suggestions were debated by the parks commission to name it Kennedy Park (after W. C. Kennedy) and also Meretsky Park (after a prominent citizen and member of the parks commission). In the end the name Memorial Park was kept in honour of the soldiers who lost their lives in the great war, which had only ended, less than a decade prior.