Take off your shoes and walk on this permanent memorial to dead cyclist Jenna Morrison

© Martin Reis

A year and a half ago, cyclists in Toronto were deeply moved by the tragic death of Jenna Morrison, a 38 year old yoga instructor who was killed by the right hook of a turning truck without sideguards.

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

Those of us who were outraged by this totally needless death participated in a massive ride to the site, and watched the installation of the usual ghost bike that would temporarily mark the spot. Unfortunately, for most dead cyclists, that is about as much of a memorial as they get.

But before she died, Jenna was trying to do a project in Toronto: a reflexology footpath. According to the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation:

Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge/CC BY 2.0

When Jenna came back after a trip to South Korea in 2001, she was enthusiastic about her discovery of the reflexology footpath. The reflexology footpath consists of a bed made of concrete in which cobblestones of various shapes and sizes are embedded to various degrees. Some are upright while others are flat, protruding the surface of the concrete at slightly different heights.

As one walks the path barefoot or in socks, the sole, and therefore acupressure points of the foot, are massaged. The design of paths varies, but more often consists of a loop that allows the visitors to engage more than once over. Accompanying the path are benches for rest and removing shoes, as well as trees and shrubs for an “oasis.”

The therapeutic effects of the footpath and oasis were so immediate and obvious to Jenna that she felt inspired to have one in Toronto as her city of residence and place of health practice.

They are very popular in South Korea, especially with seniors. Now there is a campaign to build one in Toronto in memory of Jenna Morrison, in the always interesting Dufferin Grove Park. It will be " a memorial footpath that reflects her spirit of contributing to the health and wellness of Toronto."

Personally I would have preferred to see a protected bike lane named in her honor, or parliamentary legislation named the Jenna Morrison Mandatory Truck Sideguard Act, but this is pretty cool. I am donating here.

Tags: Bike-Friendly World | Bikes | Toronto

2014 Gift Guide

WHAT'S HOT ON FACEBOOK