Evergreen Avenue is both a living memorial and a community beautification environmental project in Victoria Park, Smiths Falls. It honours veterans, peacekeepers, residents and families of the Smiths Falls area. The park features a shaded walkway with benches and granite dedication stones, with native trees and shrubs all described on an interpretive panel at the west end of the walkway near the Tourist Information Centre. The environmental focus is to encourage residents to use native plants in their yards and to consider that plants act as greenhouse gas sinks.
September 16, 2023 Event
The 2023 Evergreen Avenue Dedication ceremony is planned for Sunday, September 17 at the Smiths Falls Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion starting at 1:30 p.m. This year four recipients will be recognized: John Halpin, Hal Botham, Clayton Holbrook and Jack Traynor. Their profiles are here.
September 25, 2022 Commemoration
The 2022 commemorative event was held at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 95 in Smiths Falls, the first time the event has been held indoors. The 2020 and 2021 Victoria Park dedication ceremonies were missed during COVID, so there were 29 new memorial stones to two community leaders and veterans to be dedicated. Please see the names on the right sidebar of this page. Guests were encouraged to take a walk over to Victoria Park following the dedication to see where the new stones have been placed.
June 8, 2019 Commemoration
This year’s Evergreen Avenue dedication ceremony took place Saturday, June 8 at Victoria Park. Seven new memorial stones were be dedicated, and several people recognized for the environmental accomplishments.
Stones have been placed in memory of George and Phyllis Lemay, Raymond Healey, Marty and Bob Dales, James Bobier, Len and Isobell Curran, Lyle Gibson and Doug Kilpatrick. Read more in Desmond Devoy’s Inside Ottawa Valley story.
These environmental advocates were also recognized: Michelle and Jeff Dunfield, Heather Mitchel-Adam, David and Sharon Brown and Sandra Jones. See our news post for more.
September 22, 2018 Commemorative Service
An Evergreen Avenue’s dedication ceremony took place Saturday, Sept. 22 , 11:00 a.m. at Victoria Park. Seven additional memorial granite stones were added along the pathway to commemorate veterans, community builders and other special people. Three names were added to the Cenotaph at the northwest corner of Beckwith St. S and Canal Streets. Several memorial stones at the east end of the walkway were removed in advance of the construction to replace the combine lock’s hydraulic gates and repair the basin walls and have been reinstalled.
The ceremony will include tributes honouring Russ Beach, Ian Fraser, Dave and Edna Good, Judge Donald Smith, Phyllis Warden, Rebecca and Capt. J. Warden, and Norma and Lorraine Whiten. Click on each name to access the written tribute.
The following photos were taking by Kathy Botham for the Smiths Falls HomeTown News.
Vimy Memorial Project 2017
On June 3, 2017, a memorial stone was placed honouring those that lost their lives in the WW1 Battle of Vimy Ridge on April 1917. The memorial was made possible thanks to the generous contributions of the Rotary Club of Smiths Falls, Royal Canadian Legion Br. 95, the Kinsmen Club of Smiths Falls, Wing 443 and Kinkaid Loney Monuments. See closeup of the stone.
2015 and 2016 Celebrations
On June 4, 2016 five new granite tribute stones were dedicated during an outdoor celebration at Victoria Park. See an account of the event in the REAL Update, July 2016.
A celebration event took place June 6, 2015 at Victoria Park to pay tribute to eight individuals named in new granite memorial markers. The celebration also coincided with the unveiling of a new interpretive panel, made possible by the generous donation of one of REAL’s long-time supporters.
The date was chosen to commemorate D-Day of WW2 as well as Canadian Environment Week.
See some photos from the celebration.
Donors may choose to honour a loved one with by having an engraved granite stone installed along the pathway.
These granite stones measure 8″x12″x3″ and are produced locally. Donors can have up to 20 characters per line for 3 lines of engraving. Effective May 2015, the price is $250 per stone.
For more information, please contact Peter Au at at (613) 284-8338.
See an updated list of Granite Stone Inscriptions.
- To beautify our environment and provide a means to reduce CO2 pollution.
- To commemorate veterans and others from Smiths Falls.
- To teach others about native plant material attracting wildlife, and controlling CO2 emissions.
- To provide boaters and campers with an attractive route between downtown and the park.
A new Lion’s Club wading pool was constructed between the walkway and the canal, and Evergreen Avenue volunteers have assisted the 2000 Old Home Week Committee in the construction of a new picnic shelter in 2002. These additions complement the existing play structures and the World War II Harvard Trainer displayed there by the 443 Rideau Wing of the Air Force Association of Canada.
In the summer of 2012, the paver lights originally of 2012 the paver lights were all replaced with granite marker stones .
In 2015 a new interpretive panel replaced the original wooden interpretive kiosk at the west end of the pathway.
The development of Victoria Park has been accomplished by volunteers who installed benches and paver lights in the summer of 2000, and planted the first shrubs and trees in the fall of 2000. In 2001 more trees and shrubs were planted and the official dedication ceremony was held. In 2002 volunteers built the picnic shelter, the interpretive kiosk, and added a dedication stone. Committed volunteers take care of mulching and watering on hot summer days. We welcome new members to join our mission, and the help of residents in the fight against vandalism.
The Evergreen Avenue project is overseen by a voluntary Co-ordinating Committee. As of spring 2018, Peter Au and Ken Graham are Co-Chairs, and Keith Anderson is the Treasurer. Other members are Dick Donaldson, William Widenmaier, John Hambleton and Enid Rabb. We recently welcomed Klass Vandermeer to our team.
The Evergreen Avenue Coordinating Committee continues to accept donations to fund this community project. All donors are recognized in a permanent Donor Book which is on display at the Tourist Information Kiosk in Victoria Park during the tourist season, and at the Chamber of Commerce during the winter months.