Scarborough park named after Denham Jolly

From Left: Actor David Harewood,
Denham Jolly, Janice Williams and
Michael Thompson

A new chapter in Toronto’s history was written as Scarborough welcomed its newest park. Jolly Way Park was dedicated on Saturday, November 4th,with a grand ceremony at Kennedy and Ellesmere Roads. The park, spanning 1,353 square meters, is a tribute to the pioneering spirit of B. Denham Jolly, a prominent human rights advocate, philanthropist, and broadcasting pioneer.

Jolly Way Park, nestled within the Dorset Park neighborhood at 965 Ellesmere Rd., is part of a condominium development project at 1001 Ellesmere Rd. It promises to become a vibrant community hub, offering amenities such as a playground, outdoor fitness equipment, seating with shade, accessible pathways, and lush greenery. The city actively sought  community involvement in the park’s design, emphasizing inclusivity and accessibility.

The park’s namesake, Jamaica-born Brandeis Denham Jolly, expressed his profound gratitude for the recognition. “It’s more than an honor,” Jolly remarked. “Most people are forgotten once they pass. But with this recognition—first the street and now the park—my name will live on long after I am

Michael Thompson Denham Jolly


In 2017, the City of Toronto unveiled plans for a new subdivision street, Jolly Way, named after Denham Jolly. His remarkable contributions to the city include ownership of the weekly Contrast newspaper, co-founding the Black Business Professional Association, and launching Canada’s first Black-owned radio station, Toronto’s FLOW 93.5. Jolly’s legacy extends to owning and operating a nursing home in Mississauga and penning his autobiography, “In the Black: My Life,” published in 2017.

Scarborough Centre Councillor Michael Thompson expressed his belief that Denham Jolly’s contributions deserve to be celebrated.

“I couldn’t think of a jollier way to expand this reach than to ensure the street and park reflect the deep and diverse community connection,” Thompson said.

Mark Klym and grandson Eli Jolly-Klym, Denham
Jolly, Nicole Jolly-Klym and Janice Williams
Group of kids from the neighborhood with Denham Jolly and Michael Thompson

“The naming of the park and street after Jolly is a testament to the community’s appreciation for his contributions.”

Neighborhood residents actively participated in choosing amenities for the park, reflecting the spirit of community engagement. The park offers a diverse range of facilities, including a playground for children, outdoor fitness equipment for fitness enthusiasts, picnic umbrella tables for gatherings, Muskoka chairs for relaxation, and bottle-filling stations to promote sustainability.

As Jolly Way Park opens, it stands not only as a symbol of appreciation for Denham Jolly’s remarkable life but also as a testament to the power of community collaboration in shaping Toronto’s future. It is a fitting tribute to a man whose legacy will now live on in the heart of Scarborough for generations to come.