Exploring Great Destinations in the Niagara Region, Ontario, Canada
the clock tower

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Exploring Niagara-on-the-Lake

The Memorial Clock Tower

The Memorial Clock Tower or Cenotaph was built as a memorial to the town residents who were killed in action during the First World War. It is a unique structure, designed by Charles, M.Wilmott, a noted Toronto architect and Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (MRAIC).

Towards the end of WW1 many prominent Niagara citizens felt that a memorial was a fitting tribute to their fallen friends and neighbours who fought so valiantly during the Great War. A committee 27 people was formed, chaired by J.M. Mussen, who would later become mayor and it was decided that a memorial could be erected at a cost of $8,000.00.

The newly formed committee had it's opponents. James Maphee, Mayor at the time objected to the plan stating that he would rather see a new hospital built at a cost of $10,000.00. A new sports park and a new high school were also proposed. On June 28th, 1920 the matter was put to a vote and the townspeople decided with 316 votes for a clock tower, 237 votes for the new hospital ,72 votes for a traditional memorial, 4 votes for a new sports park and only three votes for a new school.

The Memorial Clock Tower was unvieled on June 3, 1922, giving the town the distinction of being the only community in Canada to have a war memorial in the centre of it's main street.