The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park

On November 9, 2018 we opened the gates to a modern living memorial in commemoration of the centenary of the armistice of the First World War.

Project Overview

As a centennial project to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge as well as the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Vimy Foundation has created the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, adjacent to the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in northern France. This 4 acre commemorative park complements the surrounding area and will be a reflective space for visitors to Vimy. Built on private farmland purchased by the Vimy Foundation, the property has required extensive demining and preparation prior to creation of the park.

On November 9, 2018, two days before the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War, the Vimy Foundation opened the gates to a modern living memorial in commemoration of the centenary of the armistice of the First World War.

The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park

Park design

The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park is designed as a place for reflection about the role Canada played in the First World War and an opportunity to honour the Great War generation. All elements of the park have been carefully chosen. Design by Linda Dicaire, Landscape Architect.

The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park

Vimy Oaks

The Centennial Park features 100 Centennial Trees dedicated to Canadians. The repatriated Vimy Oaks commemorate the living spirit of those who fought and testify to the intimate relationship between people and nature even in the most tragic circumstances. The four rows of trees in the centre circle commemorate the four Canadian divisions that participated in the battle in 1917.

In 2017, we invited Canadian poets to write a poem dedicated to the repatriated Vimy Oaks in France for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Poets and Poet Laureates from British Columbia to the Maritimes wrote heartfelt poems expressing their thoughts and feelings toward the bravery and sacrifice of our soldiers. Their poems communicate the belief that their spirits will live on through the planting of the Vimy Oaks and that each tree will be a silent requiem for the past and a symbol of our commitment to still stand on guard in the future.

See the Vimy Oaks Poetry

History of the Vimy Oaks

After the Battle of Vimy Ridge was won, many soldiers realized that they had been part of something truly great. Leslie Miller, born in 1889 in Milliken, Ontario was in the Signal Corps. In the months following the Battle, he travelled across the Ridge setting up wireless listening posts. The Ridge was completely devoid of structures or vegetation due to shell fire but he came across a half buried oak tree. He gathered up a handful of acorns.

Those acorns were subsequently planted by him on farmland in Scarborough, ON, which is now home to the Scarborough Chinese Baptist Church. He called his farm the ‘Vimy Oaks’. Today, several of the original oaks survive. However, there are no original oaks on the Vimy Ridge site.

The Vimy Foundation, in partnership with the Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation, worked to repatriate these Vimy Oaks of Scarborough-Agincourt back to Vimy, France, to help preserve Canada’s First World War legacy through the creation of a living memorial.

On October 29, 2018, French children from the nearby town of Givenchy-en-Gohelle assisted with the planting of several of the Vimy Oaks at the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park. Thank you for your help!

Other key elements

Centennial benches

The paths through the Centennial Park create a unique perspective of the Vimy Memorial, surrounded by Vimy Oaks. Centennial benches, placed throughout the park, provide an opportunity for gathering, dialogue, and extended reflection, all essential elements to conflict resolution and peace that the monument inspires. Scroll down for the list of Centennial Bench donors.

The Bugler

Camp Borden was founded in 1916, training nearly fifty thousand soldiers for service in The Canadian Expeditionary Force. For many of those soldiers, their first action was during the Battle of Arras, and specifically the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The Memorial Sculpture of the Bugler is generously provided by CFB Borden. The Memorial Sculpture of the Bugler, designed by the Canadian artist Marlene Hilton Moore, invites visitors to reflect on moments one hundred years earlier, as the bugle call rang out at the dawn of morning of April 9, 1917, and again on November 11, 1918 at the beginning of peace. A twin Bugler is installed at CFB Borden in the Borden Legacy Park, calling to the now-empty trenches that once trained soldiers before they left for battle overseas.  

Centennial Park Flagpole

Standing tall like the Vimy Oaks around it, the Canadian flag flies proudly. The flagpole is sponsored by Molson Coors, in memory of Captain Percival Molson, M.C.  “To you from failing hands we throw / The torch; be yours to hold it high.”


Centennial Benches

Thank you to our generous sponsors whose contributions helped shaped the Centennial Park.

In memory of Helen Allen Stacey who connected thousands of needy children with adoptive parents and Col. C.P. Stacey, professor and official historian of the Canadian Army in the Second World War.

Remembered by their loving families and friends.

The Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation

In Memory of Lieutenant Leslie Miller

Gift of the Rossy Foundation

The Government of Ontario is proud to pay tribute to the Canadians heroes who bravely fought to preserve our values and freedoms. We are forever grateful for their service and sacrifice.

In grateful memory of the men of the 13th, 42nd and 73rd Battalions C.E.F. who valiantly fought here in 1917.

Perpetuated by: The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada

The Graham & Gayle Cooke Foundation Vancouver, Canada

In loving memory of grandfather Pte. Hugh MacDougall, 1/1st Lovat’s Scouts Yeomanry Wounded at Gallipoli, Sept., 1915. Je Suis Prest.

Karen Girling, Bruce MacLellan, Ally and Sara,

in memory of those who served.

In dedication to the brave men and women who fought for freedom at Vimy Ridge

On behalf of Husky Injection Molding Systems

New Brunswick Remembers

Donated by the Province of New Brunswick

John and Pattie Cleghorn and Family

Rocky Mountain Rangers 172 Battalion Kamloops BC Canada Hon. Lt. Col. T.D.F. Newell

In memory of: Donald Wilfred Machum 4th Canadian Mounted Rifles 1895 – 1966 Donald Alexander Machum 1927 – 2007

Miner Family Canada

Asseyez-vous. Enjoy the view of freedom they would insist. John Adie RFA 1914-18.

Hamilton Academy of Medicine in support of Docs on Ice

The Province of Alberta

remembers those Albertans who served their country in the First World War, and subsequent wars.

10th Battalion Calgary Highlanders “The Fighting 10th”

In memory of all soldiers who served and gave their lives for our freedom. Fasken

The gift of The Peter Cundill Foundation on behalf of F Peter Cundill 1938-2011;

a great Canadian, whose deep understanding of history afforded him a profound appreciation of the valour and the gritty determination displayed by his countrymen at Vimy.

The Government of Nova Scotia commemorates Nova Scotians who served, and continue to serve Canada.

We shall never forget their service and sacrifice.

In memory of their valour and their bravery.

The people of Manitoba, Canada will never forget the many who fought and died for our freedom.


Centennial Trees

We would like to thank our generous donors who helped bring this memorial to life with their kind contributions.

In memory of Capt Frank Edgar Hamblin, 5th Canadian Mounted Rifles

From the Capern Walimaki Family

In loving memory of our ancestors who sacrificed for us all.

The Vickers Family

in memory of Gunner Arthur Vickers and Private Arthur Fordham

Courage Remembered – In loving memory of G. Kingsley Ward and Adele E. Ward

Amelia & Lino Saputo Jr. Foundation

Robert Quartermain

Ainslie Hogan and sons

Honour – Courage – Sacrifice / Royal Canadian Navy

The Burton Family

In memory of Graham Burton

Graham Campbell & Rachel St. John

The Knights and Dames of the Order of St. George Canada.

We Will Remember You.

Robert Francis

In memory of soldiers of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry who paid the supreme sacrifice 9-12 April 1917

Royal Military Colleges of Canada, Class of 1973.

Truth, Duty, Valour / Vérité, Devoir, Vaillance

The Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, The Royal Regiment of Canada, and the 48th Highlanders of Canada

salute their perpetuated CEF battalions – 3rd, 15th, 58th, 83rd, 92nd, 95th, 123rd, 124th, 134th, 166th, 170th, 198th, 204th and 255th. We will remember them!

Barry & Elizabeth A. Peacock

In memory of Robert Charles Peacock

Donnelly Automotive Group, Ottawa

The Men and Women of Operation Guardian Force who care for and Remember our Veterans

Shan & Rav Rupnarain, Edmonton, Alberta

“But honor the sacred mem’ry / Of those who for honor tried” Frank S. Brown, The Pats, 1915.

The Wyant Family

in memory of Lieutenant-Colonel Gordon M. Wyant, OC, CD, QHP

Bain Family

In memory of Pvt William Arthur Wilcox, 15th Bn, lost at Festubert, France May 21, 1915

The Galt Family.

In memory of the brave souls who fought for our freedoms. We owe you immeasurable Gratitude.

Harold S. Hadley & Claudia J. Kennedy

Maureen Bianchini Purvis, Randall Purvis, Sara McNeill, Keely Yates, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Dedicated on behalf of the No Stone Left Alone Memorial Foundation, to all that rest upon this sacred Canadian land in France. We encourage all and especially, the world’s youth, to gaze upon its beauty and understand that the oak tree is a symbol of Bravery, Power, Protection and Truth. Please remember their sacrifices and the strength it took to defend us. We hope all will make a pledge, when they stand before it, to remember. May they be commemorated forever and our gratitude infinite. Peace be with you.

Honouring the sacrifices of University of Toronto students, alumni, faculty and staff.

The Clarke Family

To honour ARLINGTON CLARKE and the many brave Canadians who fought at Vimy Ridge.

The Boquist Family

Tattersall family and Heathbridge Capital Management

We will remember them. Forever grateful, the Tattersall family and Heathbridge Capital Management

The Cadets of the Eastern Arctic.

Thank you for your Gift of Freedom.

Irene Topits

A.Coburn & D.Auringer families

In memory of Thomas Wilson, 196th Battalion CEF

Flinker Family

Joseph L. Campbell and Joan Miller-Campbell

The Vimy Oaks Legacy Corporation

In Memory of Lieutenant Leslie Miller

The Ritz & Hunt families

in memory of Pte Harry Franklin Ritz (78th Bn)

We remember Jack and Fred Evans, brothers from Parkland, Alberta, who died at the Somme in Nov. 1916

Craig, Debois, Isaacs, Mierins, Tilgner, Warner.

Remembering Those Who Sacrificed Their Lives For Ours

Robert C. Douglas and Joanne R. Sutherland

In Honour of James R. Sutherland Sr. 44th Bn(Manitoba)

For Brave Valentine, with Love The Hyatt Family

The Croxon Family

The MFL Jaques Family

In loving memory of Lieutenant Maurice Alexander Jaques, lost Sept 3, 1916

Costigan family

In memory of Major John Francis Costigan, 50th Battalion infantry. April 4th 1917 Canada.

The Dalglish Family

In memory of Bill and Joan Livingston

The Fraser Family

In memory of Frederick Thomas Lodge & John (Jack) Fraser

Matt and Erin Giffen & Family

Ken and Dianne Griffith & Family

Mr. & Mrs. S. Mehta, Mississauga, ON

In memory of our beloved servicemen who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Requiescat in pace.

Pembcorp Automotive Group

In loving memory of our angel Barbara (Glica) Sweeney 1957 – 2019. You live in our hearts.

In Memory of General Sir Arthur Currie

The Wood Family

in memory of Flight Lieutenant John Harvie Wiley

Karen Miller and Gerald McDonnell

The family of Pte. Thomas Lloyd Smith – April 27, 1917, Vimy Ridge

Randy & Carolyn Peek & Family

The Glover Family

honours Sergeant Winfred (Fred) Alexander Glover, 21st Battalion, Canadian Infantry

Le 22e Régiment, le Régiment de Maisonneuve, les Fusiliers Mont-Royal

La Municipalité régionale de Halifax est honorée de soutenir le maintien du legs des chênes de Vimy.

The Kelsall Family

In honour of Corporal Samuel Lester Kelsall 58th Battalion 9th MGC 3rd Division

Ian & Christie Gray Family, Port Credit Ontario

Shannon Family

in loving memory of of our grandfather Wilfrid J. Fagan

The Men and Women of the Royal Canadian Chaplain Service / Les hommes et les femmes du Service de l’aumônerie royale canadienne

LCol William and Carolyn Patton

In memory of LT T.J. Taylor, Cpl R. Anderson, and Pte W. Coolen

TAO Asset Management

The Mews Family

In memory of Lieutenant Henry (Harry) George Reginald Mews

Mike Stollery Automotive Partnerships

In honour of Private G. R. Mowforth

In memory of Andrew Powell

Landscape Ontario

The Shanahan Carriage Company

in memory of Lieutenant-Colonel John H. Chipman, MC, VD

The Kelleher Family

In memory of Dr. W.R. Harwood


Industrial Alliance

Alan Greenberg, Darcia Rowntree and Families


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