41, West Street, City of Brantford, Ontario, N3T, Canada
Bell Memorial Park
41 West Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Bell Monument, located within the Bell Memorial Park at 41 West Street, is situated north of Wellington Street in the City of Brantford. The cast bronze monument was designed in the Art Deco style by sculptor Walter S. Allward and was created in 1917.
The Bell Monument was designated, for its cultural heritage value, by the City of Brantford, under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act (By-law No. 132-2005).
The Bell Monument represents a momentous occasion in Canadian History. In memory of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone, the Bell Monument commemorates this 1876 invention, in the City of Brantford. Designed by renowned sculptor, Walter S. Allward, the granite and bronze monument was commissioned by the Bell Telephone Memorial Association, with Alexander Graham Bell's permission. The first long distance transmission was made in August 1876, between Brantford and Paris Ontario.
In 1906, the Bell Telephone Memorial Association was formed for the purpose of commemorating the invention of the telephone and perpetuating the name of the inventor. By 1908, invitations were sent to sculptors in Europe, the United States and Canada and the winning entry was a submission by Walter S. Allward. He was one of Canada's greatest sculptors, who also designed the Brant War Memorial. The success of the Bell Monument led to Allward's commission for Canada's Vimy Memorial in France. Some of his work is on display in the National Gallery in Ottawa.
Allward conveyed the story of distance conquered by the telephone through the Bell Monument. He used two large cast bronze figures to represent sending and receiving messages. Between these figures runs the line of a telephone, and binding the whole sculpture together is the line of the earth's curvature, expressing the world-wide use of the telephone. The rear of the monument has a stone fountain with bullfrog gargoyles while the cut pilasters depict images of the British crown and the maple leaf.
Source: City of Brantford By-law 132-2005.
Character defining elements that contribute to the heritage value of the Bell Monument include its:
- location in Brantford, home of Alexander Graham Bell
- cast bronze figures representing the sending and receiving messages
- phone line binding the two figures representing the curvature of the earth and expressing world use of the phone
- stone fountain with bullfrog gargoyles
- cut pilasters with the British crown and maple leaf
- layout of the site with the centralized sculpture by Walter S. Allward, a celebrated Canadian sculptor
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
2005/01/01 to 2005/01/01
Theme - Category and Type
- Developing Economies
- Technology and Engineering
Function - Category and Type
- Commemorative Monument
Architect / Designer
Walter S. Allward
Location of Supporting Documentation
City of Brantford
100 Wellington Square
P.O. Box 818 Brantford, ON
Cross-Reference to Collection