Long Awaited Canadian Flag Goes Up On Riverfront

Canadian Flag at a Remembrance Day ceremony 2015. (BlackburnNews.com File Photo).

It is the day members of The Great Canadian Flag Project have been waiting for; the day they raise a giant Canadian flag on Windsor’s riverfront.

In Dieppe Gardens, at the foot of Ouellette Ave., residents can watch as a 60′ by 30′ flag will be raised to the top of a 150′ flag pole installed recently. The raising starts at 10:45am Saturday, just as the 11th Annual Mayor’s Walk to celebrate the City of Windsor’s 125th birthday wraps up.

City council approved the project in February 2015, and since then the group has been raising money to pay for the installation and ongoing maintenance of the flag pole and flag since. Government Relations and Grants Manager for the Great Canadian Flag Project Team, Mary Baruth says they’ve raised all the money and more.

“As part of the agreement with the city, was that we had to raise $100,000 for an ongoing maintenance fund,” says Baruth. “At the end of the day, I think we’ve raised close to $350,000 between the Government of Canada Canada 150 grant that we received for $150,000, plus all the generous donations from people who donated everything from $5 all the way up to $25,000.”

The group has also established an endowment fund to pay for maintenance in the years ahead, and residents can continue to donate to it through the Windsor-Essex Community Foundation.

Baruth says the flag will be seen for some distance, acting as a celebration of what it is to be Canadian.

“People who mailed in donations to us often wrote lovely little stories that went with it. Whether it was that they were immigrants to this country and how they felt — and how they thought this was such an important part of our waterfront,” she says. “You know a lot of people think that just across the river is another part of us, or that we might be part of the States. And, we’re not. We’re proudly Canadian.”