March 30, 2022
Creation of The Eaton Family Walkway at the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park in Vimy, France
March 30th, 2022 – Montréal, Qc – The Vimy Foundation
The Vimy Foundation is proud to announce a three year, 1.2-million-dollar partnership with the Eaton Family for the creation of a new walkway in the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, situated in Vimy, France, near the Canadian National Vimy Memorial. The walkway will include sculptural elements, a greenspace and a paved allée that will be integrated into the original design.
This new development will connect the existing parking area to the entry gate and feature a greenspace island reaching in the parking area. Imagined by Linda Dicaire, the noted Canadian landscape architect who is behind the Park’s original design, the walkway will be both a functional entryway and a sculptural artwork.
This partnership continues the legacy that the Eaton Family has with the First World War and its commitment in caring for other Canadians. At the outbreak of the war in 1914, Sir John Craig Eaton, then president of T. Eaton Co., intensively supported thousands of employees serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force and continued an impressive range of philanthropic activities with his wife, Lady Flora Eaton.
This new addition to the Centennial Park will greatly benefit the 600-800,000 international visitors who annually come to see the Canadian National Vimy Memorial and provide a spectacular entry point tothe Centennial Park.
“During the First World War, the T. Eaton Co. faithfully supported its enlisted employees, continuing to maintain the wages of those who served and paying medical bills for those who were wounded. In 1917, Sir John Craig Eaton (1876-1922) also sent an aid train loaded with supplies to Halifax after the catastrophic Halifax Explosion, to aid the thousands of inhabitants who were now homeless. Today, the Eaton Family joins forces with The Vimy Foundation in commemorating Canada's tremendous war effort by funding the creation of The Eaton Family Walkway in the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, in Vimy, France. Together, our partnership will continue to convey our First World War history as we preserve and promote Canada’s ongoing legacy of leadership.”
- John Craig Eaton II, KStJ, O.Ont., D. Com.
“The Vimy Foundation Centennial Park, built adjacent to the Canadian National Vimy Monument in France, opened for the 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge in 2017. The park was designed as a contemplative space where visitors could sit down on a park bench to reflect upon the battle which had transpired literally under their feet, and to admire at leisure the nearby twin pillars of the magnificent Vimy Monument.
What the Centennial Park had been lacking was a main entrance and pathway to welcome visitors. That is why we are thrilled to announce that the Eaton family foundations have generously agreed to fund the construction of such a pathway, which will be known as the Eaton Family Walkway.
We cannot thank the Eaton family foundations enough for this wonderful heritage gift to visitors of all nations who visit the hallowed Vimy battlefield.’’
- Christopher Sweeney, Chair of The Vimy Foundation.
Read our full press release here: