Victory Square Cenotaph, Vancouver

This teeny-tiny little square piece of land has seen a very large amount of Vancouver history over the almost 126-years it has been squished between West Hastings, Hamilton, West Pender, and Cambie. And, every time I walk by there seems to be some sort of drama: a movie shoot, a protest, a police incident, or a bunch of people smoking dope.

If only this little piece of parkland could speak. What secrets would it tell? Drama from the old Granville townsite? Of the moment when L. A. Hamilton drove the first survey stake into the ground at Hamilton and Hastings and started building the street system for the city? Stories of the Vancouver fire? The 1971 riots? Of the brave soldiers who left the city in the 1910s and the 1940s… never to return?

The large cenotaph in the park was officially unveiled on Sunday, 27 April 1924 in memory of those who served in the Great War… atop the spot where tables were set up in 1914 for men to enlist in the war. From this moment onward, the park has been the site of Vancouver’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.

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