torii square park

torii square park 2 

torii square park 4



Park Amenities

  • Paved walking path
  • Pavilion (1)
  • Picnic tables (4)
  • Sculptures - including a kinetic sculpture


CLASSIFICATION: Neighborhood park

SIZE OF PARK: 1.7 acres

There is a place in Historic Westminster where design and history transport visitors to a world more than 5,800 miles away. Located just feet away from the intersection of 76th Ave. and Lowell Blvd., a unique gateway ushers guests into a sacred place of remembrance and honor. Flowering cherry trees line the perimeter symbolizing a place of renewal and the fleeting nature of life. These themes are the story behind Westminster’s Torii Square Park, which was designed to serve as much more than just a play space when it was first conceptualized nearly 50 years ago.


Nearly a decade before Torii Square Park was dedicated, Westminster welcomed a new member to our community from Japan. A young woman by the name of Yuko Nakamura Kishimoto found her way to Westminster through the City’s Rotary Club Exchange Student program. She attended Westminster High School from 1967 to 1968, having a profound impact during her short time here. Sadly, in 1974, Kishimoto and her unborn child passed away after the 25 year old suffered a stroke. As a plaque in the park honoring her life reads, “[Yuko] came to America with dedicated gifts of love, intelligence and courage creating a bond for international understanding. Her untimely death is memorialized to remind us that sharing, as life itself, goes on forever.”


In 1975, the Westminster Rotary Club donated the funds to develop Torii Square Park in memory of Kishimoto. To align with the theme of honoring prominent Westminster residents, a plaque in the park was also dedicated to Pleasant DeSpain, whose family owned the very first residential homestead in Westminster located just north of the park in 1870.


Throughout the years, the City of Westminster has continued its mission to honor Kishimoto, and in 2013 the park was renovated to instill more of the exchange student’s Japanese culture and background in its features. One of the most eye-catching renovations was a large, red, gate-like structure that greets guests at the entrance. The structure is called a “torii” and is utilized in Japanese culture as a boundary between the sacred space of a shrine and ordinary space. In April 2022, the City’s forestry team also planted 14 Pink Flair Cherry Trees throughout the park, a nod to the significance and symbolism that cherry blossom trees have in Japan.

torii square park 3637866040569929606     Grand opening of Torii Square Park in 1975