14.2 C
Niagara Falls
Monday, September 25, 2023
Cenotaph renovations could start before end of year
The cenotaph serves not only as a memorial for those lost in battle, but as a landmark for the town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Julia Sacco

After looming tall over Queen Street for more than a century, Niagara-on-the-Lake’s landmark clock tower cenotaph is in desperate need of internal repairs.

Members of a residents committee dedicated to overseeing the cenotaph’s rehabilitation say they’re hoping work to fix its internal damage will begin before the end of the year.

Peter Warrack, a member of the cenotaph committee, said though much of the cenotaph’s damage is not visible to the public eye, it is affecting vital parts of the building’s structure.

Elements such as cement pointing and windows have been desperately in need of restoration since at least last spring, he said.

“We’ve decided that the goal was to have it done this year, as already more than a year had passed and we didn’t want it to deteriorate any more,” Warrack told The Lake Report.

He and the committee have been working with the town to raise money for renovations and have almost reached the remaining goal of $28,000 needed for construction to begin before 2023 is over.

Warrack said members are “very confident that we will have the funds in place to start the renovations.”

“We would still encourage individuals and businesses, particularly businesses in the shadow of the cenotaph, to donate if they haven’t already,” he said.

He highlighted two aspects of the cenotaph’s importance to the town: it is a monument of remembrance for the people who fought and died in the two world wars and it also acts as a focal point on Queen Street.

“As my wife said to me, ‘Could you imagine what the town would look like without the cenotaph? When you look down Queen Street, it would just be a long street,’ ” he said.

He explained that the town will ultimately decide when renovations are to begin, but he is confident of starting before cold weather sets in.

“I don’t think the restoration will be finished for this year, but it will be started. And the main thing is to start the inside as opposed to outside,” Warrack said.

In a statement to The Lake Report, the town said that the goal is for renovations to begin “as soon as possible.” Requests for tender for the work are now being prepared.

“Once the procurement process is completed and a contractor is selected, the town will work with the successful contractor to confirm the renovation start date,” the statement read.

The total estimated cost of renovations is around $80,000, the town added, but the actual price will be confirmed through the tender process.

Subscribe to our mailing list