Park will be created around cenotaph

A few parking stalls is a small price to pay to create a park in honour of the stone soldier who has watched over Ross Street for the past 87 years, says Red Deer city council.

A few parking stalls is a small price to pay to create a park in honour of the stone soldier who has watched over Ross Street for the past 87 years, says Red Deer city council.

On Monday, councillors agreed to transfer $130,000 from the Public Realm Reserve toward creating a small park around the cenotaph, which was erected as First World War memorial and unveiled by Gov. Gen. George Byng, First Viscount of Vimy, on Sept. 15, 1922.

City planner Tara Lodewyk, in her report to council, said the statue and its location have high value both as a war memorial and as an architectural piece.

Carved from Tyndall stone, the soldier was the first commissioned piece made in Canada by architectural sculptor Frank Norbury, who had recently moved to Edmonton from his home in Liverpool, England.

Norbury deliberately faced the soldier toward the train station at the western end of Ross Street, where hundreds of young recruits said goodbye as they started the first leg of their journey overseas.

It now stands in honour of all soldiers, past, present and future, said Lodewyk.

Councillor Larry Pimm, who chaired the city’s historical preservation committee during the 1980s, recalled the furor that was raised at the suggestion that the cenotaph be moved to a different location.

“I can remember a long and emotional debate in which the community, by and large, said we want it so stay in the heart of the community,” said Pimm.

“This is going to be a splendid park. This is one of the pictures of Red Deer that makes us . . . have a sense of home.”

Building a small park around the cenotaph is among the top priorities in the Greater Downtown Action Plan, said city manager Craig Curtis.

Work on the park will start once a neighbouring office building has been finished.

The cenotaph and park will not interfere with the two lanes of traffic flowing through the city’s centre, said Curtis. There were two lanes before the office construction was started, there are two lanes now and there will be two lanes when the job is finished, he said.

At least one public open house will be held and there will be significant opportunity for residents and downtown businesses to have their say in the park’s final design, said Curtis.

Just Posted

Red Deer area businesses recognized at Business of the Year Awards night

“It’s an honour just to be nominated.” The popular words echoed throughout… Continue reading

Child sex offender should get 12 years: Crown prosecutor

Stuart Peter Hunt has pleaded guilty to 10 child sexual exploitation and pornography charges

Legalizing cannabis cost estimate for Red Deer just under $400k

Although the province of Alberta has announced $11.2 million for cannabis legalization,… Continue reading

WATCH: Every square tells a story: Edmonton expert is exploring Red Deer’s quilting history

Community members can bring in family heirloom quilts for documentation

Red Deer-area dads going through divorce are invited to Man Up

Support group formed to focus on positive activities, networking

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

PHOTO: Say goodbye to City Hall Park flowers

A sure sign that winter is on its way is when City… Continue reading

PHOTO: Chew On This! campaign draws attention to national poverty

Lunch bags were being handed out in front of The Hub downtown… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

Most Read