Toronto Mayor John Tory presented the key to the city to the members of Rush – Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart – at the official opening of the new Lee Lifeson Art Park on September 17.
"From Willowdale to the world, the Key to the City of #Toronto is theirs," Tory tweeted. "Congrats RUSH!"
Lee and Lifeson were on hand for the presentation, which also included an acoustic performance of the 1982 Rush classic, ”Subdivisions”, by Hamilton, ON musician Jacob Moon.
The Lee Lifeson Art Park in the North York neighborhood of Willowdale features new trees, grass, benches and unique music-themed art installations.
“Our friendship started very close to here and our musical life together began very close to here,” said Lee during an interview with former CBC host George Stroumboulopoulos. “We’re obviously thrilled and amazed that someone would want to do something like this and put our names on it, and we’re really happy for the community that there’s some investment arts and leisure for this neighborhood.”
“Art is the thing that elevates you out of whatever situation you’re in," added the bassist. “Art is constant for that. Art is the thing that you pour your heart into, that whatever you’re doing, whatever aspect of life, whatever situation you find yourself in, art elevates it. It heals. It’s given us everything in our lives, so to be associated with that kind of thought and that kind of concept is amazing, fantastic.”
Rush formed in 1968 in Toronto’s Willowdale neighborhood when Lifeson started a high school band that eventually included his classmate, Lee, on vocals, bass and keyboards; drummer Peart, from St. Catharines, ON, joined the band in 1974.
From Willowdale to the world, the Key to the City of #Toronto is theirs. Congrats RUSH! #KeytoYYZ pic.twitter.com/Y00UM98K9L— John Tory (@JohnTory) September 17, 2016
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