Old City Hall Cenotaph, Toronto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Toronto Cenotaph
(Old City Hall Cenotaph)
Toronto Cenotaph.JPG
The cenotaph outside of Old City Hall
Coordinates 43°39′07.70″N 079°22′54.21″W / 43.6521389°N 79.3817250°W / 43.6521389; -79.3817250Coordinates: 43°39′07.70″N 079°22′54.21″W / 43.6521389°N 79.3817250°W / 43.6521389; -79.3817250
Location Toronto, Ontario
Designer W.M. Ferguson and T.C. Pomphrey[1]
Type War memorial
Material Granite
Beginning date 1924
Completion date 1925
Opening date November 11, 1925
Dedicated to Those 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]

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, was 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]

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

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


  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. ^ a b 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. 

External links[edit]