During the year of 1967, Canada was celebrating its 100th birthday. All year long, the entire country was consumed with various Centennial activities. Nearly every community throughout Canada participated with their own Centennial projects. Here in my town, the city was extra patriotic when they built a new public school and a swimming pool, along with a stylish fountain in the middle of Queens Square at the entrance to the arched Main Street bridge. Centennial School and Centennial pool are both still in operation today, however, the fountain almost didn’t make it to Canada’s 150th celebration.
The Centennial fountain in Queens Square is truly a work of art and a thing of beauty. Paid for by the Gore Insurance Company, the shape of the fountain is of the Canada Centennial symbol: the stylized Maple Leaf used exclusively for the year long event. Jets of water shoot straight up from each of the leaves. Concrete benches lined each side of the fountain, and trees were planted along the outer edge of the square. The trees have since grown tall and strong, providing shade in the summer, and a place to hold decorative lights during the Christmas season each year.
At one point during its lifetime, plumbing issues arose within the fountain. Corrosion had set in to the various pipes, creating a costly repair issue for the city. That summer, the fountain was silent and dry, creating a bit of a political storm within the community. One one side, some people were reluctant to have the local council spent lots of taxpayers money on a restoration on a somewhat forgotten fountain. However, on the other side of the issue, there were enough people that knew and respected the history of the fountain, remembering why it was built in the first place. In the end, the Gore Insurance Company once again stepped up to foot the entire restoration bill. Once again, the wonderful and historic Centennial fountain in Queens Square was fully restored and in perfect working order, just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday celebration.
The stylish Centennial fountain at Queen’s Square in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.