Some of the history of the city gets a bit of spit and polish

By Pepper Parr

August 13th, 2021



The small details are what often reveal what is underneath the surface.

A community where people pick up after other – when there is a candy wrapper on the ground they pick it up, tuck it into their pocket and throw it away when they come across a waste container.

When crossing a busy street and an older person is spotted they pause and ask if they can walk across with them because the crossing light might be just a little short on the time it gives.

A very attractive fountain has been repaired and refurbished. Some of the cultural history now on display

There is a fountain that now sits in the small park immediately to the north of city hall where the Cenotaph stands and where there are a couple of Vimy Oaks taking in the sun and doing their osmosis thing.

The fountain is older than the city. It was paid for by citizens who wanted to commemorate the life of King Edward VII – the closest he ever got to Burlington was Niagara Falls.

The citizens if the city were God and Country first people proud that they were part of the British Empire.

Looking very imperial, King Edward ruled at the end of the Victorian Age when the British Empire ruled the world.

Some of the official portraits of Edward VII – first son of Queen Victoria )  are resplendent – a true representation of his time.  He wouldn’t get the time of day now – that was then.

The fountain was first located next to the Royal Theatre on Lakeshore Road – tucked in between the theatre and what was then a Royal Bank.

It was later moved to Spencer Smith Park where is was on display for a long period of time – (no one seems to have exact dates) then when natural decay took over it was put in storage.

In 1977 the Optimist Club put up the money to have it refurbished and this time it was placed next to city hall in a space that will be given a new name later in the year.

The fountain which has water troughs at its base that seem a little small for a horse to drink from – some doubt that a horse ever drank from the fountain.

A metal band at the top of the fountain explaining the what and why of the Fountain

All no matter – the King Edward VII fountain is back in place; rust removed, holes patched and a glistening coat of paint making it just as attractive today as it was when it was first unveiled.

Although the fountain hearkens back to the days of colonialism, it is rightly situated near the Cenotaph in Veteran Square where the Remembrance Day ceremonies are held.  Proof positive that Burlington does try to respect and keep its heritage – they are the kind of people who pick up those candy wrappers.

Related news story.

Fountain finally going to get the attention it needs.

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3 comments to Some of the history of the city gets a bit of spit and polish

  • Alan Harrington

    Yes – the good people at City Hall maintenance got the job done just in time for Heritage Week. Well, “almost” done. A light and globe are still planned to be installed at the top. Stand by.

  • Thank you David but we certainly cannot take the credit. We were waiting for this article as we noticed the fountain was back in place last week, when we passed in the car.. We were just about to ask if David Barker knew who we had to thank for this as we had failed miserably. We tried all means inlcuding a personal conversation at the fountain with Councillor Bentivegna and a letter to the President of the Historical Society in addition to our delegation. It must be almost two years ago now. Thank you Mr. Editor as it was obviously Alan Harrington, thank you Alan We were so afraid the same thing was going to happen when we heard it was gone, as happened to the Chestnut Tree although promised by Council a replacement has never been planted at the Cenotaph (that we are aware of). Not there as often as we used to be (daily).

    It was particularly important to us that it be cleaned up and put back after its location was renamed Veterans Square as Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch who served in World War II remaining in the world and this fountain was a symbol of gratitude for answer to “Long may she reign over us..” as it was dedicated to, we believe, her silver (25 year jubilee). and June 2, 22 will; be her 70th – what an amazing woman she is especially when she was definitely not born to be Queen (hopefully our historians will get on that for her 70th)… Thank you to all who played a part in the restoration it looks beautiful and it was certainly a master craftsman who did it, can’t wait to see it up close.

  • David Barker

    Please everyone would you join me in thanking Dave and Anne Marsden for this.

    I may not agree with many of their stated policy and social positions, but I wish to acknowledge that it was their actions which initiated the repair and restoration of this beautiful heritage piece. Dave and Anne delegated to the Heritage Burlington Advisory Committe, first drawing the Committee’s and City’s attention to the terrible state of disrepair that the fountain found itself in back in 2019.

    Thank you Anne & Dave

    Editor’s note: Add Alan Harrington to that Thank you list.