ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting the Canadian National War Memorial, Ottawa, Ontario: poignant monument with Chateau Laurier as a backdrop

Updated on March 5, 2012
Flag of Canada
Flag of Canada | Source
Provincial flag of Ontario
Provincial flag of Ontario | Source
The National War Memorial in Confederation Square, downtown Ottawa
The National War Memorial in Confederation Square, downtown Ottawa | Source
Ottawa on Canada Day. (Chateau Laurier may be seen behind the National War Memorial.)
Ottawa on Canada Day. (Chateau Laurier may be seen behind the National War Memorial.) | Source

Vernon March's design in tribute to Canadian sacrifice

Ottawa's National War Memorial of Canada (French: Monument commémoratif de guerre du Canada ) was officially inaugurated by HM King George VI and HM Queen Elizabeth in 1939 in the presence of approximately 100,000 people. It was designed by Vernon March (1891-1930) and unveiled in 1939. March died prematurely while work was in progress and several members of his family participated in the completion work on the monument, March's design of which had been approved in a public competition.

On a pedestal of Canadian granite, various figures of World War One service personnel, including nurses, each about 2.4 metres tall, march through a triumphal arch. At the top of the arch are two allegorical figures representing peace and freedom. The figures are cast in bronze. The Dominion's Department of Public Works oversaw the construction project.

Originally the purpose of the National War Memorial was to honour the Canadian fallen of World War One. Following Canada's participation in World War Two and the Korean War, the scope of the dedication was widened in 1982 to include the fallen of these wars also. The Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was incorporated into the Memorial site; the previous resting place of these remains was a cemetery near Vimy Ridge, France, scene of the World War One battle with distinguished Canadian military contribution in 1917. The nearby Valiants Memorial (French: Monument aux Valeureux ) was inaugurated in 2006.

With the presence of these nationally commemorative monuments, their location in Downtown Ottawa is aptly named: Confederation Square (French: Place de la Confédération ).

A backdrop to the National War Memorial is the Chateau Laurier, now known as the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. This imposing and monumental building has been an Ottawa landmark and a leading centre for hospitality since its opening in 1912. The second photo, right, depicting the Memorial, shows the Chateau Laurier at twilight, in the background to the right of the picture. The Chateau Laurier, executed in limestone, was built Montreal architects Ross and Macdonald parnership, with earlier plans drawn up by New York City architect Bradford L. Gilbert. The whole, with its turrets and masonry, gives a pleasing resemblance to a French château . On a sombre note, Charles Melville Hays, President of the Grand Trunk railroad, which commissioned the Chateau Laurier, perished in 1912 on the RMS Titanic , before he could attend the hotel's official opening.

Because of Ottawa's Federal vocation, I am including an image the Canadian Maple Leaf flag as well as the Provincial flag of Ontario.

Also worth seeing

Ottawa 's visitor attractions are numerous, but a few of these include the Parliament of Canada, and Peace Tower, on Parliament Hill, Laurier House, the Rideau Canal, Rideau Hall, and many other public buildings and museums.


How to get there: Air Canada flies from various North American destinations to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport / Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa; car rental is available; however, visitors may wish instead to use OC Transpo public transit for travel within the Ottawa / Gatineau area. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

For your visit, these items may also be of interest


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)