Spencer R. Higgins, Architect Incorporated

Volunteers' Monument at Queen's Park  
Restoring Toronto's Oldest Free-Standing Monument  

The Volunteers' Memorial was built in 1870 to commemorate the volunteers of Toronto who fell at the Battle of Ridgeway in the Fenian raids of 1866. The Fenian raids took place between 1866 and 1871, and were orchestrated by a group of Irish-Americans, the Fenian Brotherhood, whose intent was to gain independence from Britain by capturing Canada. Located on the west side of Queen's Park Crescent, the structure is the oldest free-standing monument in Toronto.

This Italian-Renaissance-style monument was sculpted by Robert Reid of Mavor & Co. of Montreal and unveiled on Dominion Day 1870.

Following extensive research and analysis, conservation work began in October of 2006. The monument needed urgent repair including stabilisation of its core. The project focused on preserving the monument in its current form, and adopting various protective measures to ensure its longevity. Through-flashings were installed at all of the major horizontal locations to lessen moisture migration through the masonry. The centre beehive-shaped core of the structure was rebuilt. The masonry was cleaned and marble statuary poulticed. Areas of stone delamination were repaired using fine crack injection techniques, and the most deteriorated stone blocks were treated with a moisture-permeable consolidant. Work was completed in December of 2007.


Volunteers' Monument at Queen's Park
Toronto - 2008