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Grand Parade Cenotaph to Undergo Major Restoration

(September 9, 2009) - Beginning this week, the Cenotaph in Halifax’s Grand Parade will undergo an extensive restoration to ensure it enjoys its historic place of pride in the community for generations to come.

This summer, HRM, in funding partnership with the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs, undertook a project to clean the bronze work and stones of the monument and reset some stones that have shifted over the years. While the work was intended to be of short duration, further examination found the 80-year-old Cenotaph has significant structural issues including deterioration of the concrete foundation and loss of grout between the large granite blocks.

Subsequent tests of the concrete and a thorough examination by Structural Engineers have determined the Cenotaph needs to be dismantled so the deteriorating portion of the foundation can be replaced. The deterioration is generally a result of the combination of the quality of the concrete used in the base when the Cenotaph was built and the action of water and frost over the last 80 years. The concrete of today is much more advanced than that available to the original builders in 1929.

During the upcoming work, the various bronze pieces on the monument will be carefully removed and treated by a conservator. The work is being carried out by qualified Structural Engineers, Conservators, and Stone Masons.

While the Cenotaph is not currently in danger of falling, future damage to the stones and the bronze work must be prevented to ensure its place in the Grand Parade for years to come. The work by Wildwood Masonry is expected to take eight weeks and costs approximately $150,000.00, with a further $50,000 in costs for engineering services, conservation work and associated expenses.

Discussions have been held with Royal Canadian Legion and Veterans Affairs. Due to the nature and need for careful execution of the work, arrangements are being made with The Legion, Veterans Affairs, and DND, should the Cenotaph work not be completed prior to November 11th, 2009.

The Cenotaph is constructed of local Terrance Bay Granite with bronze elements including a sculpture of a victorious but grieving Britannia (also representing Nova Scotian motherhood), three ceremonial wreaths, the names of First World War Battles honours, a dedication, the coat of arms of both Nova Scotia and Canada, as well as a Victory Cross. The Bronze work was done by John Massey Rhind (1860-1936), a significant and prolific sculptor in his time, whose pieces include the Bronze Doors of Trinity Church in New York City, Grant’s Tomb, The Grand Army of the Republic Monument in Washington D.C., and various Civil War monuments and sculptures which adorn many significant buildings throughout North America.

The Cenotaph honours those who served and those who fell in the First World War, the Second World War, and the Korean War. It is also the focus of Halifax's Remembrance Day Ceremonies, honouring service personnel from those wars as well as the men and women who have served and died in subsequent military conflicts and peace keeping initiatives, including Afghanistan. The Cenotaph was dedicated on Dominion Day (July 1st) 1929, by Former Prime Minister Robert Borden.

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Shaune MacKinlay
Manager, Public Affairs
Halifax Regional Municipality
(902) 490-6531

Jamie MacLellan
Cultural Affairs
Halifax Regional Municipality
(902) 490-1039




Above content last modified Thursday, November 02, 2023 at 11:40am.