Still a Reflection of Family?

As time has progressed, so have society’s ideas, values and ways of understanding of things. One way in which society has both changed and progressed is in our definition of what a family is. The concept of a family and what a family consists of is hard to define and is complicated in many ways. Since the 1980s, there has been an increased recognition of different types of family structures in Canada.

According to Stats Canada, 1981 was the first year common-law relationships were documented and only in 2006 were same-sex marriages counted in the census. Today families consist of single-parent families, childless families, step and blended families and same-sex marriage families, and that is just to name a few. The definition of family is no longer limited to just the nuclear family, consisting of a married opposite-sex couple and their children.

The “Family in the Fountain” statue is located in downtown Guelph, and has resided there since it was built in mid-1980’s. The statue itself depicts a nuclear family consisting of a father, mother and their baby. Over the past 30 years, Canada’s idea of what a family is has changed drastically. Considering this, does that mean the “Family in the Fountain” statue no longer is a valid reflection of the current definition of a family? For me personally, I disagree with this statement.


The statue was funded and raised by the Italian-Canadian community in Guelph. The piece was made to represent the family community of Guelph. It represents how families have shaped the city of Guelph into the caring and respectful community it is today. Even though it physically does not represent all the different varieties and structures that families come in, it does reflect the spirit and the joy of family. This to me is still a valid reflection of the family, and because of this, the statue can and should be enjoyed as a symbol and celebration of compassion, love and family in the city of Guelph for many years to come!

Chelsea Fielding

Exploring Our Favourite Guelph Stationary Icons

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