Victory Square occupies a small triangle of land where a noble granite cenotaph stands as a memorial to Vancouverites who lost their lives in the First World War. The park is designed to be safe and welcoming to all, with large, proud trees, small and large gathering spaces, and a rolling lawn.
Originally this was the site for Vancouver’s first court house which was built in 1891. It was torn down in 1912 and later was filled with recruiting marquees for World War I soldiers. In 1917 an Evangelistic Tabernacle covering half the site was erected.
In March of 1918 the Provincial Government leased the property to Vancouver for 99 years and it was known as Government Square. Returning soldiers used the site to demonstrate conditions in the dugouts and trenches of the war and carried out military displays firing rockets into the air, all to raise money for charity.
In 1922 the park was given the name Victory Square and in 1924 the Cenotaph was built through public subscription. The cenotaph was designed by G.L. Sharp, architect, town planner and Park Commissioner (1936-1937). The granite was supplied by the Vancouver Granite Company and the erecting contractors were Stewart and Wylie. Mr. Stewart died as the result of an accident on the cenotaph building site. The cost of the monument was $10,666 and is 30 feet high with a twelve foot base.
Between 2002 and 2004 the Victory Square site was much improved with hard landscaping and the recognizable “Soldier Hats” that adorn the lamp posts there.