Toronto's Historical Plaques
Discover Toronto's history as told through its plaques
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The Soldiers' Tower
Photos and transcription by contributor Wayne Adam - Posted November, 2014
On the northwest corner of Hart House Circle, near the entrance to Soldiers' Tower can be found this plaque. An identical one stands on the north side of the tower, immediately next to it. Here's what they say:
Coordinates: 43.663502 -79.395022
The Soldiers' Tower is the University of Toronto's war memorial. A few months after the Armistice ended the First World War on 11 November 1918, the University of Toronto Alumni Association began fundraising to build a memorial tower to honour the alumni, students, faculty and staff who had served and died in the war. The names of the 628 men and women who died while in service are engraved on the Memorial Screen in the west arcade. In 1949, the names of the 557 university men and women who died in service in the Second World War were engraved on the two walls of the archway.
The cornerstone of the Tower was laid on 11 November 1919, the same day that Hart House was officially opened. The Tower was dedicated at commencement in June 1924 and the clock and carillon were added in 1927. Its location between Hart House and University College was chosen to symbolize the union of the new with the old.
The 43 m Tower is second only to the Peace Tower in Ottawa as Canada's tallest war memorial. In the top section are hung the 51 bells of the carillon. The Memorial Room inside the Tower immediately above the archway houses artifacts illustrating the contributions of the university community to the defence of Canada's freedom. The Garden of Remembrance was completed in 2002 on the western side of the Memorial Screen.
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