Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation
The Canadian Firefighters Memorial



CFFF logo


The National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation (CFFF) announced in September 2010 the winning concept for the construction of the Canadian Firefighters Memorial which will be erected on LeBreton Flats. The team, comprised of artist Douglas Coupland from Vancouver and Mary Tremain, partner at PLANT Architect Inc. from Toronto, won the Canada-wide competition with their concept “We Were There”.

“I wanted the monument to convey deep emotion and simple dignity,” said artist Douglas Coupland. “I want people to eat their lunch there, read, play with their kids — and each time they do so, a small part of themselves will reflect on firefighters and what they do every day when they go to work.”

The new memorial, intended as a national commemoration recognizing firefighters and firefighting from all parts of the country, is to be located on a prominent site owned by the National Capital Commission at LeBreton Flats near the Canadian War Museum. This highly visible site, on Wellington Street at the corner of Lett Street, was prepared in 2009 by the NCC in anticipation of this monument.


Foundation Director Cary Taylor points to his father’s name on the scale model of the CFM name wall as winning architect Mary Tremain looks on. The artists even included all the current names from the CFFF LODD list on the scale model.

Monunment design

Foundation Director Cary Taylor points to his father’s name on the scale model of the CFM name wall as winning architect Mary Tremain looks on. The artists even included all the current names from the CFFF LODD list on the scale model.

Memorial design

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Following a 2-stage procurement process, including a Request for Qualifications and then Tender for General Contractor Services, the Canadian Fallen Firefighters Foundation selected Prestige Design and Construction to implement the PLANT/Coupland memorial design.


Prestige has undertaken restoration and renovation work on some of Canada's most notable historic, heritage and tourist landmarks including Confederation Park, Wellington Street and the Governor General's Residence.  They provide site development, construction and construction management services to commercial clients in addition to delivering hardscape (hard landscaping) design and construction services for many of Ottawa's finest residences, heritage homes and diplomatic properties.


Through the years Prestige has consistently delivered quality and value for its customers and has established integrity and trust as it's hallmark in the Ottawa construction community.



The PLANT/Coupland design was further refined and, working with the NCC, Federal Land Use and Design Approval was granted on May 2, 2011. The groundbreaking ceremony took place on May 12, 2011 with representatives of the CFFF, the Federal Government, the National Capital Commission, and firefighters from across Canada in attendance.

ground breaking ceremony

In photo left to right; CFFF Chaplain Bruce Rushton; Artist Doug Coupland; Architect Mary Tremain; NCC Executive Vice President of Operations Jean-François Trépanier; CFFF President Robert Kirkpatrick; Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, the Honourable John Baird; MP for Nepean‑Carleton Pierre Poilievre.


To see more photos of the Groundbreaking Ceremony click here.

During the brief ceremony, the President of the CAFC, Hamilton Fire Chief Rob Simonds, presented the Foundation with a cheque for $200,000 towards the Memorial.


CAFC 200k cheque.jpg

Currently, the foundations and site services have been implemented at the memorial site and the team has begun installation of the Picasso granite for the Memorial Name Wall.  The bases for both the Lone Pine and the bronze firefighter statue and firepole are ready and will accept these additions to the site next spring when final landscaping/planting will be completed.  GBA continues to provide project/construction management services on behalf of the Foundation. Unveiling is scheduled for September, 2012.


NCC logoThe National Capital Commission, which is responsible for major commemorations in the nation’s capital, allocated land for the CFM in the LeBreton Flats area of Ottawa close to the new War Museum, just to the west of Parliament Hill. This area is significant in the fire history of our nation’s capitol as it is the area where the Ottawa-Hull conflagration of 1900 crossed over from Hull on the morning of April 26, 1900 after destroying 1300 buildings. On the Ottawa side of the river the fire razed 1400 buildings and killed seven. At the end of the day the fire was stopped from spreading downtown near the exact spot the monument will be located. The monument will also be located close to the spot where Captain John Lowry of the Ottawa Fire Department was killed in the line of duty on August 12, 1896 on Booth St.
In 1962 the National Capitol Commission expropriated the LeBreton Flats area land but plans for its use went undecided for years. Until the new War Museum was built in 2004 the area remained virtually vacant. Soil, contaminated from years of heavy industry, has recently been removed clearing the way for new development. The N.C.C. now has plans underway to revitalize the area and include housing, parkland, cultural institutions, open areas for festivals and monuments including - The Canadian Firefighters Memorial. The CFFF is a registered charity and operates by fundraising. For information regarding the Canadian Firefighters Memorial, please visit: