Shrine Peace Memorial – A Beautiful Monument at Exhibition Place

2022 - The Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition Place. In 1958, the surrounding fountain and gardens were added. On the left is the Bandshell
2022 – The Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition Place. In 1958, the surrounding fountain and gardens were added. On the left is the Bandshell

The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place in Toronto. The monument symbolizes the now two centuries of peace between Canada and the United States. It was presented to the people of Canada by the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, known today as Shriners International.

The Angel of Peace

American sculptor Charles Keck designed the Shrine Peace Memorial. It features a bronze figure and a white granite semi-circular bench set on a stone base.

The Angel of Peace, also known as the Goddess of Peace, is a winged figure standing tall on a globe of the world supported by three sphinxes (a symbol of the governing body of the Shriners). Her arms are upraised, and she holds two olive branches (the symbol of peace). The bench that arcs around the figure says, “peace be on you” and the returning wish, “on you be the peace.” This is the English translation of the salutation between two Shriners.

The Memorial faces towards the United States, which is south-southwest.

1933 - The Shrine Peace Memorial, designed by Charles Keck, is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice the former Manufacturers Building in the background
1933 – The Shrine Peace Memorial, designed by Charles Keck, is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 663)

The Presentation Ceremony

On June 12, 1930, the presentation of this beautiful monument took place at the closing of the Shriners 56th annual convention. It was the grand finale of the organization’s four-day “whoopee” in Toronto.

For the unveiling and to accommodate the volume of spectators, a special area was set up about half a kilometre from where the monument is situated. A replica of the statue was created for the Shriners reviewing stand. Bleachers stretching a mile on Lake Shore Blvd W were filled with over 100,000 people.

Before the ceremony, there was a huge parade. Thousands of Shriners in their bright and varied uniforms, along with Shriners bands with 2,500 instruments, were separated into two divisions – one at The Princes’ Gates and the other at Dufferin Gate. They proceeded to march towards the ceremony taking place on Lake Shore Blvd W. During the parade, boys were shouting, “peanuts and popcorn!” Planes flew a mere 15 m over the crowds, a parachute drop displayed the flags of the nations, and the Good Year blimp roared overhead.

Speeches from dignitaries, the Right Honourable William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada (speaking from Ottawa) and the message of goodwill were carried out through amplifiers in the crowds and also to millions of listeners through the relatively new marvel of radio.

1960 - Postcard of the Shrine Peace Memorial. Notice in the background, from left to right, the roof of the former Transportation Building (later known as the International Building), the Bandshell Café (today known as Acqua Dolce), the Bandshell and the Horticulture Building (today known as Grand Bizarre)
1960 – Postcard of the Shrine Peace Memorial (CNE Archives)

Did You Know?

  • In 1931, floodlights were added to the Memorial. The beacon represents the great sacrifices made by Canadians in the interest of peace.
  • In 1958, the Toronto Parks Department ringed the monument with a large fountain and beautiful gardens. Two smaller fountains were also added on each side. The Memorial was rededicated to the cause of peace by the Right Honourable John C Diefenbaker, Prime Minister of Canada.
  • Between 1959 and 1960, $10,000 in coins were tossed into the fountain. The funds were donated to charity.
  • On July 4, 1989, the monument was once again dedicated during a Shriners convention.
  • The Shrine Peace Memorial received heritage status from the city in 1993.

Who are the Shriners?

They are a fraternal organization based on fun, fellowship and philanthropy. The Masonic society was founded in New York City in 1870 and was originally known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. The fraternity’s symbols are based on an Arabian theme, including their most recognizable symbol, the fez. In 1922, they established the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and the organization continues to support it. Now known as Shriners International, there are over 300,000 members worldwide.

Shrine Peace Memorial Photos

2022 - The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the photo the Acqua Dolce (once known as Bandshell Café), the Bandshell, and in the distance, the Carillon Tower, originally the Carlsberg Carillon
2022 – The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the photo the Acqua Dolce (once known as Bandshell Café), the Bandshell, and in the distance, the Carillon Tower, originally the Carlsberg Carillon
1961 - The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the background, from left to right, the former Transportation Building, the Bandshell Café (today known as Acqua Dolce), the Bandshell, and in the distance, the Government Building (today known as Medieval Times Building)
1961 – The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the background, from left to right, the former Transportation Building, the Bandshell Café (today known as Acqua Dolce), the Bandshell, and in the distance, the Government Building (today known as Medieval Times Building) (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 536, Item 748)
2022 - The Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition Place. In 1958, the surrounding fountain and gardens were added. On the left is the Bandshell
2022 – The Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition Place. In 1958, the surrounding fountain and gardens were added. On the left is the Bandshell
1960 - Postcard of the Shrine Peace Memorial. Notice in the background, from left to right, the roof of the former Transportation Building (later known as the International Building), the Bandshell Café (today known as Acqua Dolce), the Bandshell and the Horticulture Building (today known as Grand Bizarre)
1960 – Postcard of the Shrine Peace Memorial. Notice in the background, from left to right, the roof of the former Transportation Building (later known as the International Building), the Bandshell Café (today known as Acqua Dolce), the Bandshell and the Horticulture Building (today known as Grand Bizarre) (CNE Archives)
2020 - The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. The figure is made of bronze, and the bench is made of Canadian white granite
2020 – The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. The figure is made of bronze, and the bench is made of Canadian white granite
1974 - The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. The Angel of Peace is a winged figure standing tall on a globe of the world supported by three sphinxes. Her arms are upraised, and she is holding two olive branches. Notice the Better Living Centre in the background
1974 – The Shrine Peace Memorial is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. The Angel of Peace is a winged figure standing tall on a globe of the world supported by three sphinxes. Her arms are upraised, and she is holding two olive branches. Notice the Better Living Centre in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 95, Item 42)
1968 - A crowd around the Shrine Peace Memorial fountain watching the Canadian International Air Show
1968 – A crowd around the Shrine Peace Memorial fountain watching the Canadian International Air Show (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 96, Item 49)
1933 - The Shrine Peace Memorial, designed by Charles Keck, is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice the former Manufacturers Building in the background
1933 – The Shrine Peace Memorial, designed by Charles Keck, is located in the Rose Garden on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice the former Manufacturers Building in the background (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1231, Item 663)
1930 - Shrine Peace Memorial is located on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the background the Ontario Government Building, today known as Liberty Grand
1930 – Shrine Peace Memorial is located on the south side of Exhibition Place. Notice in the background the Ontario Government Building, today known as Liberty Grand (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 16, Series 71, Item 7973)
June 12, 1930 – Crowds in the bleachers and the Shriners reviewing stand during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade on Lake Shore Blvd W
June 12, 1930 – Crowds in the bleachers and the Shriners reviewing stand during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade on Lake Shore Blvd W (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20735)
June 12, 1930 – A group of officials at the reviewing stand revealing the Shrine Peace Memorial during the parade. For the unveiling and to accommodate the volume of spectators, a special area was set up about half a kilometre from where the monument is situated. A replica of the statue was created for the event
June 12, 1930 – A group of officials at the reviewing stand revealing the Shrine Peace Memorial during the parade. For the unveiling and to accommodate the volume of spectators, a special area was set up about half a kilometre from where the monument is situated. A replica of the statue was created for the event (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1233, Item 20239)
June 12, 1930 – Crowds in the bleachers and the Shriners reviewing stand during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade on Lake Shore Blvd W
June 12, 1930 – Shriners walking along Lake Shore Blvd W during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade. Notice the Good Year blimp overhead (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20734)
June 12, 1930 – The Shriners reviewing stand during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade on Lake Shore Blvd W. The maple leaf was green, and "PEACE" was written in white flowers
June 12, 1930 – The Shriners reviewing stand during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade on Lake Shore Blvd W. The maple leaf was green, and “PEACE” was written in white flowers (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20737)
June 12, 1930 – Crowds along Lake Shore Blvd W during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade. Notice in the background on the left the Exhibition Flyer and in the centre background the "New Fort," today known as Stanley Barracks
June 12, 1930 – Crowds along Lake Shore Blvd W during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade. Notice in the background on the left the Exhibition Flyer and in the centre background the “New Fort,” today known as Stanley Barracks (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20745)
June 12, 1930 – Crowds along Lake Shore Blvd W during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade. Notice in the background the former Women's Building and the former Manufacturers Building
June 12, 1930 – Crowds along Lake Shore Blvd W during the Shrine Peace Memorial parade. Notice in the background the former Women’s Building and the former Manufacturers Building (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20746)
June 12, 1930 - Looking north towards the unveiling of the Shrine Peace Memorial at Exhibition grounds. Notice the former Manufacturers Building on the right
June 12, 1930 – Looking north towards the unveiling of the Shrine Peace Memorial at Exhibition grounds. Notice the former Manufacturers Building on the right (CNE Archives)
May 16, 1930 - The Shrine Peace Memorial is being constructed on the south side of Exhibition grounds. Notice in the background the former Manufacturers Building
May 16, 1930 – The Shrine Peace Memorial is being constructed on the south side of Exhibition grounds. Notice in the background the former Manufacturers Building (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1233, Item 20237)
May 16, 1930 - The construction of the Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition grounds. The white granite bench says, "peace be on you" and the returning wish, "on you be the peace." This is the English translation of the salutation between two Shriners. Notice in the background the former Bandstand and the Horticulture Building (today known as the Grand Bizarre)
May 16, 1930 – The construction of the Shrine Peace Memorial on the south side of Exhibition grounds. The white granite bench says, “peace be on you” and the returning wish, “on you be the peace.” This is the English translation of the salutation between two Shriners. Notice in the background the former Bandstand and the Horticulture Building (today known as the Grand Bizarre) (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1266, Item 20239)
2020 - Shrine Peace Memorial plaque
2020 – Shrine Peace Memorial plaque
1975 - Shriner in his mini Ford Model T being towed during a parade
1975 – Shriner in his mini Ford Model T being towed during a parade (City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 1526, File 103, Item 38)
SOURCE
  • City of Toronto Heritage Register: 100 Princes’ Blvd
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jun 12, 1930, pgs 1 & 13
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jun 12, 1930, pg 1
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Jun 13, 1930, pg 1
  • The Globe Newspaper Archives: Aug 31, 1931, pg 13
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Aug 9, 1958, pg 5
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Apr 28, 1961, pg 1
  • The Globe and Mail Newspaper Archives: Jun 30, 1989, pg A2
  • The Ex
  • CNE Heritage
  • Exhibition Place: History
  • Shriners International: About Shriners
  • Al Kader Shriners: History of Shriners
  • Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
  • Vintage Photos: City of Toronto Archives & CNE Heritage