Old City Hall Cenotaph, Toronto

Last updated
Toronto Cenotaph
(Old City Hall Cenotaph)
Toronto Cenotaph.JPG
The cenotaph outside of Old City Hall
Coordinates 43°39′07.70″N079°22′54.21″W / 43.6521389°N 79.3817250°W / 43.6521389; -79.3817250 Coordinates: 43°39′07.70″N079°22′54.21″W / 43.6521389°N 79.3817250°W / 43.6521389; -79.3817250
Location Toronto, Ontario
DesignerW.M. Ferguson and T.C. Pomphrey [1]
TypeWar memorial
MaterialGranite
Beginning date1924
Completion date1925
Opening dateNovember 11, 1925
Dedicated toThose who served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War

The Old City Hall Cenotaph is a cenotaph located at the front steps of Old City Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. [2]

Cenotaph "empty tomb" or monument erected in honor of a person whose remains are elsewhere

A cenotaph is an empty tomb or a monument erected in honour of a person or group of people whose remains are elsewhere. It can also be the initial tomb for a person who has since been reinterred elsewhere. Although the vast majority of cenotaphs honour individuals, many noted cenotaphs are instead dedicated to the memories of groups of individuals, such as the lost soldiers of a country or of an empire.

Old City Hall (Toronto) building in Toronto

The Old City Hall is a Romanesque civic building and court house in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It was the home of the Toronto City Council from 1899 to 1966 and remains one of the city's most prominent structures. The building is located at the corner of Queen and Bay Streets, across Bay Street from Nathan Phillips Square and the present City Hall in the Downtown Toronto. The heritage landmark has a distinctive clock tower which heads the length of Bay Street from Front Street to Queen Street as a terminating vista.

Toronto City in Ontario, Canada

Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the most populous city in Canada, with a population of 2,731,571 in 2016. Current to 2016, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA), of which the majority is within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), held a population of 5,928,040, making it Canada's most populous CMA. Toronto is the anchor of an urban agglomeration, known as the Golden Horseshoe in Southern Ontario, located on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A global city, Toronto is a centre of business, finance, arts, and culture, and is recognized as one of the most multicultural and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

Originally built after World War I to commemorate Torontonians who lost their lives in services for Canada, the memorial also commemorates those who died in World War II and the Korean War. [3] It was modelled on The Cenotaph at Whitehall in London, England, constructed using granite cut from the Canadian Shield, and unveiled on November 11, 1925. [4] The City of Toronto lists the artists as "Ferguson/Pomphrey", [5] which were an architectural firm located at 282 St. Clements Ave. in north Toronto. Their design was selected from among 50 designed submitted after City Council's request to replace a temporary wooden structure that had been used each Remembrance Day since 1919. The two Toronto architects received a fee of $2500 for the work; this was 10% of the cost of the $25 000 project. The work was completed in budget and on time. There was some controversy before the monument was unveiled; "the only wording on the Cenotaph would be a simple four word statement “TO ALL WHO SERVED.” Then someone realized that this monument was in fact a cenotaph, a structure that by the very definition of that word (from the Greek kenotaphion - kenos, empty + taphos, tomb) signified an “empty tomb.” " As a memorial to those who had died and are buried elsewhere, it was felt that TO ALL WHO SERVED was inappropriate in such a case. After much discussion, the original inscription was removed and replaced with the current TO OUR GLORIOUS DEAD. [6]

World War I 1914–1918 global war originating in Europe

World War I, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history. It is also one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Korean War 1950–1953 war between North Korea and South Korea

The Korean War was a war between North Korea and South Korea. The war began on 25 June 1950 when North Korea invaded South Korea following a series of clashes along the border.

The memorial features a stone laid by Field Marshall Haig on July 24, 1925. [7]

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig British Field Marshal

Field Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, was a senior officer of the British Army. During the First World War, he commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front from late 1915 until the end of the war. He was commander during the Battle of the Somme, the Battle of Arras, the Third Battle of Ypres, the German Spring Offensive, and the Hundred Days Offensive.

The site is one of several locations used for Remembrance Day commemorations in Toronto. [2]

Remembrance Day memorial day on 11 November

Remembrance Day is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty. Following a tradition inaugurated by King George V in 1919, the day is also marked by war remembrances in many non-Commonwealth countries. Remembrance Day is observed on 11 November in most countries to recall the end of hostilities of First World War on that date in 1918. Hostilities formally ended "at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month", in accordance with the armistice signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente between 5:12 and 5:20 that morning. The First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.

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National War Memorial (Canada) Canadian war memorial

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Vernon March British artist

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Canadian war memorials

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Preston Cenotaph Grade I listed sculpture in Lancashire, United Kingdom

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Manchester Cenotaph

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The Cenotaph war memorial located in Whitehall, London, England

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Southampton Cenotaph War memorial in Southampton, England

Southampton Cenotaph is a First World War memorial designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and located in Watts Park in Southampton, southern England. The memorial was the first of dozens by Lutyens to be built in permanent form and it influenced his later designs, including The Cenotaph on Whitehall in London. It is a tapering, multi-tiered pylon which culminates in a series of diminishing layers before terminating in a sarcophagus which features a recumbent figure of a soldier. In front is an altar-like Stone of Remembrance. The cenotaph contains multiple sculptural details including a prominent cross, the town's coat of arms, and two lions. The names of the dead are inscribed on three sides. Although similar in outline, Lutyens' later cenotaphs were much more austere and featured almost no sculpture. The design uses abstract, ecumenical features and lifts the recumbent soldier high above eye level, anonymising him.

Rochdale Cenotaph war memorial in Rochdale, Greater Manchester

Rochdale Cenotaph is a First World War memorial on the Esplanade in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, in the north west of England. Designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, it is one of seven memorials in England based on his Cenotaph on Whitehall in London and one of his more ambitious designs. The memorial was unveiled in 1922 and consists of a raised platform bearing Lutyens' characteristic Stone of Remembrance next to a 10-metre (33 ft) pylon topped by an effigy of a recumbent soldier. A set of painted stone flags surrounds the pylon.

Midland Railway War Memorial war memorial in Derby, England

The Midland Railway War Memorial is a First World War memorial in Derby in the East Midlands of England, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens and unveiled in 1921. It commemorates employees of the Midland Railway who left to fight in the First World War and who died while serving in the armed forces. The Midland was one of the largest railway companies in Britain in the early 20th century, and the largest employer in Derby, where it had its headquarters. Around a third of the company's workforce left to fight and 2,833 were killed.

Norwich War Memorial war memorial in Norwich, England

Norwich War Memorial is a First World War memorial in Norwich in Eastern England. It was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, the last of his eight cenotaphs to be erected in England. Prior to Lutyens' involvement, several abandoned proposals had been made for commemorating Norwich's war dead, and by 1926 the newly elected lord mayor was determined to see the construction of a memorial before he left office. He established an appeal to raise funds for local hospitals in memory of the dead as well as a physical monument. He commissioned Lutyens, who designed an empty tomb (cenotaph) atop a low screen wall from which protrudes a Stone of Remembrance. Bronze flambeaux at either end can burn gas to emit a flame. Lutyens also designed a roll of honour, on which the names of the city's dead are listed, which was installed in Norwich Castle in 1931.

Mike Filey Canadian journalist and author

Mike Filey is a Canadian historian, journalist and author. He was awarded the Jean Hibbert Memorial Award in 2009 for promoting the city of Toronto and its history.

References

  1. Wayne Reeves; Christina Palassio (2008). Toronto's Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets. Coach House Books. p. 105. ISBN   978-1-55245-208-0.
  2. 1 2 Mike Filey (2008). Toronto: The Way We Were. Dundurn. pp. 57–58. ISBN   978-1-77070-350-6.
  3. "Old City Hall Cenotaph, Toronto". National Defence Canada. 2008-04-16. Retrieved 22 May 2014.
  4. Mike Filey (1996). From Horse Power to Horsepower: Toronto: 1890-1930. Dundurn. p. 1906. ISBN   978-1-55488-173-4.
  5. "Cenotaph - Toronto". City of Toronto. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  6. Filey, Mike (November 8, 2014). "History of Toronto's cenotaph". The Toronto Sun. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  7. "Old City Hall cenotaph Haig carving.jpg". photo in Wikimedia Commons. September 20, 2017. Retrieved September 23, 2017.