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Niagara Falls
Friday, September 29, 2023
Exploring photos: Memorial Hall, Ontario’s first purpose-built museum
Memorial Hall in NOTL was Ontario's first purpose-built museum. SUPPLIED

In June 1907, our organization, the Niagara Historical Society opened Memorial Hall, Ontario’s first purpose-built museum. According to our founder, the preliminary drawings of the building were completed by a “celebrated young sculptor” named Walter S. Allward. He is now known for his iconic and breathtaking monument commemorating the great Canadian victory at the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The museum was later altered by architect William Bryson Allen (1838-1911) who designed many buildings in the region. This two-storey building has been relatively unaltered since it was built. The foundation is constructed from coursed rubble, reportedly obtained from the ruins of the Indian Council House and Hospital (originally built on the Commons in 1816-17 and destroyed by fire in 1881). The plinth of the walls and the sills of the openings are made of cut limestone, obtained from the former John Rogers Dry Goods Store on Queen Street, which was demolished circa 1900. Our building really is an artifact in itself.

A special day: On June 4, we celebrate our museum’s history with Janet Carnochan Day and offer free admission to all our visitors. So, come by for a visit.


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