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Confederation Park

501 George Street North, Peterborough, Ontario, K9H, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1983/11/21

View of Confederation Park in City of Peterborough, 2004; City of Peterborough, 2004
View of Confederation Park
View of Cenotaph in Confederation Park, City of Peterborough 2004; City of Peterborough, 2004
View of Cenotaph in Confederation Park
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Other Name(s)

Confederation Park
Confederation Square

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/10/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The park is situated in the central part of Peterborough, towards the north end of the downtown core. It is surrounded on all sides by significant historic properties, including the Peterborough Armouries, Peterborough Collegiate and Vocational School, City Hall, and the Peterborough Family YMCA. The park contains the Cenotaph War Memorial, the Brown Memorial, and a granite representation of the City's Honour Roll of the World Wars. Confederation Park is recognized for its heritage value by the City of Peterborough's Bylaw 1983-158.

Heritage Value

The heritage value of Confederation Park resides it being the location of Peterborough's only burial ground between 1825 and 1851. This land was purchased in 1825 with a land grant from the Canada Company and was shared by the Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church and Church of Scotland for burials. By the mid 1840's, the burying ground was running short of space, and in 1851 the cemetery was closed and many of the Protestant remains were moved to the new cemetery at Little Lake, or the Methodist cemetery, now known as Pioneer Park.

The heritage value of Confederation Park also lies in it use as a park space throughout the years. From 1875 to 1884 the area was used as an agricultural park. In 1884 the Town Council granted money to the Agricultural Society to set up decorative gardens for the new "Central Park" because the livestock barns were considered an eyesore. In 1975, to mark the Sesquicentennial anniversary of the Peter Robinson immigration, a large flowerbed was placed at the front entrance of the park, opposite City Hall.

The heritage value of Confederation Park is also embodied through the three memorials in the square. The first, a drinking fountain was erected in 1886 in memory of Captain Edward T. Brown, a grandson of Thomas Stewart, one of the original settlers of Douro Township, now part of Peterborough. Captain Brown was the only local militia member to die in the Northwest Rebellion in 1885. Constructed of Ohio sandstone, the memorial was designed by local and noted architect and engineer, John E. Belcher.

The second memorial is dedicated to Peterborough's fatalities of World War One. Designed by Walter Seymour Allward, the creator of the Vimy Ridge Memorial in France, the citizens of Peterborough erected this monument, which was unveiled in 1929. In 1978, bronze plaques were attached to the base of the Cenotaph, with the names of war dead from the Second World War and the Korean conflict added to the original World War One Honour Roll.

The third memorial was erected in 1967 by the ex-servicewomen’s branch 452 of the Royal Canadian Legion. The monument invites visitors to view the names of the Peterborough’s casualties of war in the Honour Roll in City Hall.

Source: Heritage Designation Brief, Office of the Clerk, City of Peterborough Bylaw 1983-158

Character-Defining Elements

Key elements that embody the heritage value of Confederation Park include:
-The public park space, surrounded by local historic buildings.
-The Peter Robinson flowerbed at the George Street entrance to the park.
-All other natural landforms, plantings and pathways.
-The three memorials; the Brown Memorial, the Cenotaph, and the granite representation of the City’s Honour Roll of the World Wars.
-Any burials or other remains from the original cemetery.




Recognition Authority

Local Governments (ON)

Recognition Statute

Ontario Heritage Act

Recognition Type

Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1825/01/01 to 1851/01/01
1875/01/01 to 1884/01/01
1886/01/01 to 1886/01/01
1929/01/01 to 1929/01/01
1967/01/01 to 1967/01/01
1975/01/01 to 1975/01/01
1978/01/01 to 1979/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Function - Category and Type




Religion, Ritual and Funeral
Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure

Architect / Designer

John E. Belcher



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Heritage Preservation Office, City Hall, City of Peterborough, File 1983-158

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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