Vimy - The mourners at dusk © P.FrutierVimy - The mourners at dusk © P.Frutier
©Vimy - The mourners at dusk © P.Frutier|P.frutier

Discover the Canadian National Memorial

In Vimy


“To the valour of her sons in the Great War, and in memory of her sixty thousand dead, the people of Canada have erected this monument.”

The Canada Memorial

Representing a national remembrance, the Canada Memorial is the image of a relationship of solidarity between two countries. As early as April 1915, during the First World War, Canadians came to support French soldiers on their territory and in Belgium, particularly in April 1917, during a confrontation on Vimy Ridge against the German army. Although the Canadians won the battle, they suffered heavy losses: 3,598 men died in the name of peace at Vimy Ridge and 66,000 over the entire conflict.

A gift from France to Canada

From April 9 to May 16, 1917, the Battle of Arras, which stretched from Vimy to Bullecourt in the southern Pas-de-Calais, witnessed the British, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders fighting against German troops. The objective of this offensive by the British Empire was clear: to create a diversion to allow the French army to carry out its own offensive on the Chemin des Dames.

Vimy Ridge, to be exact, is the historical witness of a merciless battle for the Canadian troops. Between April 9 and 12, 1917, the Canadians mobilized their forces there to retake this peak at the risk of their lives. More than 10,600 people were killed and wounded during the Battle of Vimy Ridge. The land in the Hauts-de-France region was a witness to an eternal bond between France and Canada and was offered to the nation of combatants. As a token of their esteem, the Lensoise countryside now makes room for the memories of those lost for their homeland.

Walter Seymour Allward is entrusted with the creation of the memorial building. Out of love for his nation, driven by a desire to transcribe a collective feeling, he imagined in a dream the very allegory of memory. From the names of the soldiers killed by this battle, to the values shared by the two nations, this memorial monument is the symbol of a tribute to the greatness of the sacrifice of these Canadian soldiers.

Canada's National Memorial Opens its Doors to Remember Canadians of the First World War

Dive into history through this honored place!

Fascinating and moving at the same time, the Memorial today welcomes more than 800,000 people each year.

Construction of the building began in 1925, under the direction of Canadian architect Allward. It would take 11 years to see the monument take shape and the famous columns of the National Memorial rise into the sky. Two pillars embodying the two countries beset by war, united in their fight for peace and freedom. Indeed, it is on these same pylons and on the base of the monument that the values shared by France and Canada appear through allegorical figures representing Peace, Justice, Truth, Knowledge, Valor and Compassion, respectively.

At the top of Vimy Ridge, overlooking the hill, a sculpture as majestic as it is emblematic draws the attention of visitors. The “Canada in Mourning” statue takes the form of a woman, her gaze sadly directed toward the symbolic tomb of her army. At her feet, the released emotions are almost palpable…

“Today, like so many mothers who have lost their child, I remain inconsolable.”

Inaugurated in 1936, the Canadian National Vimy Memorial opened its doors at the time before the eyes of King Edward VIII and French President Albert Lebrun. On the grounds of past battles, 6,000 former Canadian soldiers present for the occasion wear the symbol of the nation: the maple leaf reseda beret.

Today, on the eve of its 100th anniversary, the National Memorial is in the hands of our French-speaking allies: from managing to visiting this monument, Canadians are honoring the courage of their ancestors. Young Canadian students are volunteering to take part in the commemoration by becoming, for a few months, the site’s guides.


A visit rich in history, sharing and emotion: the Canadian National Memorial is a must-see monument of the past, present and future. Passing through this region of the Hauts-de-France, visitors come to gather and reflect in this memorial site that exudes an unparalleled purity of honor.

In addition to the monument, the Canadian National Memorial Park, which is accessible to the public all year round, hosts an interpretation center: reconstructed trenches, underground tunnels, landscapes dotted with shell holes and mines… It is a complete tour of the historic site that the team of the Canadian National Memorial offers.

The National Memorial Park of Canada is open to visitors free of charge at the following times:
  • From 04/03 to 31/03: the Memorial is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm.
  • From 01/04 to 15/05: the Memorial is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm.
  • From 16/05 to 30/10: the Memorial is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 6pm but also from 11am to 6pm on Mondays.
  • From 31/10 to 09/12: the Memorial is open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 9am to 5pm and then, from 11am on Mondays.

📍 Canadian Memorial and Park, 62580 Vimy

📞 03 21 50 68 68