top of page
black day in july sculpture gordon light
Noella Story
black day in july sculpture orillia.PNG
Millennium Trail | Orillia, ON

Black Day in July Sculpture

A point of interest on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour available on the Tripvia Tours App for Android & iPhone.

Listen to the tour audio!

Audio Excerpt

The leaf sculpture in front of you, is known as Black Day in July. It's part of a series of three sculptures to honour local musician Gordon Lightfoot, created by figurative artist Timothy Schmalz.

The artwork encapsulates the meaning of the famous Lightfoot song called Black Day in July, which was inspired by the 1967 Detroit Riot. One line in particular from the song led to the design of the sculpture. It goes like this. Yes, I'll sing it for you.

“Why can’t we all be brothers? Why can’t we live in peace?”

Yikes. I won't do that again, promise. Perhaps you're wondering what The 1967 Detroit riot was for? Well, the precipitating event was a police raid of an unlicensed, after-hours bar known as the blind pig. It exploded into one of the deadliest, and most destructive riots in American history. It lasted five days and surpassed the violence and property destruction of Detroit's 1943 race riot, 24 years earlier.

The result was 43 dead, 1,189 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. The scale of the riot was the worst in the United States since the 1863 New York City draft riots.

Artwork like the sculpture here, and the song by Gordon Lightfoot that inspired it, serve to preserve the memory of those lost, as well as help prevent similar tragic events like the Detroit Riot from occuring in the future.

WALKING TOURS 1-02 after edits-02.jpg

Millennium Trail

Walking Tour

This POI is featured on the Orillia Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour, part of the Tripvia Tours mobile app available for Android & Apple.

Experience the beautiful waterfront trail in a unique and entertaining way!

Tours can be downloaded on WIFI and don't use any mobile date during tour.

Entertaining & Educational

Knowledgeable tour guides point out interesting things as you walk or bike.

Each POI has a fun multiple choice trivia question that adds to the fun.

Tour experience is the same in either direction.

Discover your destination with the Millennium Trail Audio Walking Tour!

More Tours Nearby