This is embarrassing - three major errors in a plaque put up behind the war memorial.

News 100 blueBy Ed Keenleyside

November 9, 2015


The city recently installed attractive and informative identification plaques on many of our public art displays. A brief explanation is provided so that the public will know who the artist was or how and why the piece of art came to be.

There is a plaque beside the Spiral Stella outside the Performing Arts Centre and another tucked in behind the clock on Brant Street outside city hall.

Keenleyside - plaque wording

Ed Keenleyside points to three significant errors in the plaque the city put up explaining the background of the war memorial just north of city hall.

The City is to be congratulated for this effort… but when there are errors on any of those plaques, it is embarrassing.

The errors on the plaque beside the Cenotaph Memorial is embarrassing. Within the handful of sentences describing this important monument, are the following mistakes:

1. There are 38 World War I casualties listed on the memorial, not 39.

2. The 38 fatalities listed are soldiers from the Great War (or World War I ), not from the Second World War.

3. There are 44 local service people listed from the Second World War, not 43.

In addition to the embarrassing errors on the plaque, I wonder why the Korean War Veterans are recognized at the base of the Cenotaph but the Afghanistan War Veterans are not recognized.

Keenleyside with partial monument

Ed Keenleyside can’t understand why the plaque that explains the history of the war memorial he is standing beside has so many errors on it.

I am currently researching the names of the 82 casualties etched on the Cenotaph with plans to publish an informative book, which will put faces and personalities to those who died so many years ago.

I have information on all but one name and that person, J. W. Williamson, is among the 44 World War II fatalities. If anyone can identify this person I would be most grateful. Please contact me at if you can help.

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3 comments to This is embarrassing – three major errors in a plaque put up behind the war memorial.

  • Senor Senior

    Sad isn’t it when younger (than me) city staff can’t count properly and don’t know the difference between World Wars I and II. Must have missed that class.

  • Alan Harrington

    Originally the statue was located not “just at a park on Lake Ontario” – but positioned directly in front of St Luke’s Church on what is now Spencer Smith Park in Burlington.

    The plaque should mention that Ivor Lewis was an accomplished Canadian sculptor who also created the well known statue of Timothy Eaton (seated) at the Eaton Centre. (How many people remember touching his shoe for good luck?) That famous statue now graces the Royal Ontario Museum.

    Burlington has a lot of history to be proud of.

  • henri de beaujolais

    That for pointing out the shoddy research Ed.

    Good thing these plaques can easily be removed and updated at the cost of only a few hundred dollars.