The National Wall of Remembrance Project and Updates
Update as of 15 August 2023
On 14 August 2023, a Sod Turning event took place with Federal, Provincial and Municipal representatives officially marking the beginning of construction. Photos and a video of the activity can be seen on the Construction page.
Update as of 07 July 2023
In May 2023, an archeological assessment was completed on the site. Nothing relevant was discovered that would prevent the project from moving forward. Photos and a video of the activity can be seen on the Construction page.
Update as of 29 March 2023
In December 2022, Kingston City Council formally approved the Project; work will commence Spring 2023 with an archeological assessment of the site.
Update as of 08 August 2022
NWORA would like to take this opportunity to update you with our memorial project and secondary objectives.
As you may be aware, our memorial project was unanimously approved by Kingston City Council on 9 July 2019 after the Mayor, Bryan Paterson, made a motion to support this project.
Since then, through consultation with the Kingston City Staff, we’ve had numerous outstanding meetings (most were through Zoom).
During the COVID-19 pandemic things slowed down somewhat, but we are still progressing in a very positive manner.
In 2020, we also took the initiative to launch two new programmes, the Community Memorials Programme and Education Outreach Programme. The first is to provide funding to a maximum of $5K to any community in Canada that needs help for repairing/renovating a military monument to their fallen, or even build a new one. So far, we have helped about 10 communities, and we are still receiving additional applications. Our primary contact point for this programme is mainly through the Royal Canadian Legions across the country.
For the Education Outreach Programme, our approach is to reach out to schools in communities where funding is provided by NWORA for the refurbishing of their monuments. Schools are given an initial package to work from (this package is put together through a partnership with Big Ideas Group Consulting Inc.) so they can do research on the fallen and come up with stories, pictures, anecdotes, etc. We are anticipating that school boards will be really eager to participate in this endeavour. We are looking to potentially tie some of this research into helping to update CanadianFallen.ca .
As far as our memorial project is concerned, we have moved leaps and bounds primarily through the hiring of a professional architect (Jennifer Demitor) who is fully engaged and absolutely thrilled with this project, and is well respected by the city staff.
Working with City Hall, we have received the ok for a location which is absolutely prominent and historical from a military perspective. This site is the Sir John A. Macdonald Park, on Lake Ontario waterfront, across from KGH Hospital, where the Murney Tower and Museum are located, as well as the City Memorial for Remembrance Day ceremonies. We could not have asked for a better location, especially that the city has a Waterfront Master Plan that will rejuvenate this entire area with new sidewalks and paths, resting areas, etc. We already presented our proposal to the Heritage Committee, a potential stumbling point, and it was very well received by them as well.
Our Image Committee is working hard with developing the right images/montages in concert with a variety of experts to include representation by the City of Kingston staff.
In 2021, NWORA made the decision that our memorial would also include those fallen before Confederation, including an important piece about the aboriginal contributions to founding our country, and we’re receiving a lot of support for this.
With the help of our architect, we presented our Project Report to one of the Directors for the City of Kingston who has the lead for this project. She’s extremely pleased with the Project Report and has passed it on to various city staff for review. In a month or so, an Implementation Plan will be put together by City Staff to be presented to City Council for approval later on this summer. Once approval given, we can then proceed with the first shovel in the ground and moving ahead with the construction. Our current timeline has the project done by Remembrance Day 2023.
Earlier this year, NWORA made the decision to no longer have an Advisory Board, as its role has greatly diminished over the years. Instead, we created the ‘Friends of NWORA’, which includes all former members of the Advisory Board. We also felt it would be a great idea to have one or two Patrons and are pleased that two extremely well known and respected Canadians have agreed to help support our cause: The Honourable Peter Milliken, O.C., P.C. – Speaker of the House of Commons (2001-2011) and Honorary Colonel (rtd) A. Britton Smith, M.C. Q.C. – Founder and Chairman of Homestead Land Holdings.
This project will create a single place of remembrance for all Canada’s fallen heroes – an installation that families, friends and the people of Canada can visit and pay homage to our war dead. It will honour our fallen in all conflicts of record starting with the earliest. Although most of our war dead are buried in foreign lands, have no known grave or died at sea, this marker will bring our boys and girls home.
This will not be a war memorial taking the place of local cenotaphs or sacred memorials that already exist. It will have two components: a series of panels portraying the various conflicts Canada has engaged in, and a virtual “Wall,” www.canadianfallen.ca. A presentation of names of each fallen hero together with biographies and photographs. Annually a glossy magazine will focus on aspects of the various conflicts with reviews, editorials, memoirs, stories, verse, and memorials to heroes who paid the supreme sacrifice for our country.
The right location for the installation is crucial. The National Wall of Remembrance Association believes that Kingston, Ontario, is the right place, for Kingston is the birthplace of much of the present Canadian Armed Forces.
Under the French regime, Cataraqui as it was then known became a defended trading post in 1673 consisting almost entirely of Fort Frontenac and its garrison. After its conquest by General Bradstreet in 1758 it fell into British hands. In 1783, following the American Revolutionary War, it became the “King’s Town” and the focal point of British Empire Loyalist settlement. Fort Frontenac has had a military function ever since – after the British troops left in 1871 most notably as Téte de Pont Barracks, home of the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery, and then as the Canadian Army Staff College and its Canadian Armed Forces successors. In 1903, Canadian Boer War hero, Major Bruce Carruthers, established the first independent school of military signalling in the British Empire in Kingston.
The Royal Military College (RMC), established in 1874, was built on the site of the earliest Canadian civil-marine and naval stations. HMCS Cataraqui, one of Canada’s leading naval reserve units, carries on that fine tradition today. Old Fort Henry, along with its associated Martello Towers, was built as part of Canada’s defences in the 1830s on the site of an earlier wooden fort and is today one of the country’s outstanding tourist attractions. It is a designated National Historic Site guarding the entrance to the Rideau Canal, itself a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kingston was the first capital of the United Province of Canada.
Today, Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston directly employs more than 8,000 regular soldiers, reserves and civilians. It provides support for operations in Afghanistan and training and education through the schools of Military Intelligence and Communications. It provides higher education at RMC and trains staff officers at the Canadian Forces Land Command and Staff College. At any time, some 2,500 students are attending one or other of the base military or educational schools. CFB Kingston also sends some 600 sailors, soldiers, airmen and women on operational duties each year in support of United Nations operations around the world.
All in all then, the Limestone City is the natural choice for this noble and patriotic installation – a gesture and gift to Canada’s posterity that will only grow over the years as the full potential of this 21st century salute to our fallen comrades is developed and the torch is passed from hand to hand by a dedicated group of public-spirited and patriotic citizens. This endeavour will be something that any true Canadian can be proud of – a gift to last.
Letters of Support
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)
It is with great pride that Local 115 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) support and endorse the National Wall of Remembrance Association project.
This project is aligned with our community. It respects and represents strong military history. That’s why we commend the organizers of the National Wall of Remembrance Project, a project to honour all Canadians who died in conflicts back to the War of 1812. Once completed, Kingston, Ontario will house a national monument with international significance. Honouring the war dead is something this and every community should take great pride in.
Please accept this letter as formal recognition of the value of this project.
Chief of the Defense Staff
“As Chief of the Defense Staff, I am pleased to support and endorse this very honourable project – one that will provide a continuing legacy that pays a lasting tribute to those men and women of our armed forces who have fallen in the service to their nation. The planned location at the Communications and Electronics Museum in Kingston is the right choice, given its proximity to so many other current and historical reminders of that city’s military history.”
“Also, let me offer my personal thanks to the NWRA for its continuing support to our living veterans through its support to such programs as the Wounded Soldier Fund.”
“I wish you and the Association great success in seeing this project through to its timely completion.”
The Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans in Canada
“The Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans in Canada Association supports and endorses the National Wall of Remembrance project. We are Canada’s oldest veterans’, ex-service persons’ and community service organization with more than 18,000 members and 70 units throughout Canada.
We believe that it is imperative for this and future generations to remember the sacrifices of our veterans. The National Wall of Remembrance, a 21st century tribute to the more than 117,000 Canadian heroes, who have given their lives in all conflicts to ensure our freedom, will provide a great opportunity for both remembrance and education.”
Shoulder to Shoulder,
Martello Unit 377 ANAFVETS in Canada
“This Unit fully supports and endorses the National Wall of Remembrance Project to recognize all our fallen Canadian Heroes from the past and to the present day.
This project when completed will be a source of pride for all Canadians and truly reflect our unity and pride in our Country.
The Executive and members wish all involved the best of success in your endeavors.”
Shoulder to Shoulder
J.W. O’Brien, CD
President, Martello Unit 377
ANAFVETS in Canada
Canadian Airborne Brotherhood
“The Canadian Airborne Brotherhood supports this most (Wall of Remembrance) worthwhile project.”
James E Steed CD
Canadian Airborne Brotherhood
Royal Kingston United Services Institute
Bob Myhill, President
The Royal Kingston United Services Institute