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Plaques of Kitchener Town – and City Halls

K-W City Hall Plaque
K-W City Hall Plaque
Two plaques across the south entrance to Council Chambers in Kitchener’s City Hall, flanking pictures of the mayor and city councillors, are contributions of the GCBPA. The two plaques were presented by members of the GCBPA at the opening of the New City Hall in 1993 and commemorate two earlier City Halls, which are pictured as reliefs in bronze. The Berlin – later Kitchener – Town Hall, as it was then called, was completed in 1869 and served functions as diverse as a Market (in its basement) and as an Opera House.

When the Kitchener Town Hall could no longer serve the growing population, it was replaced in October 1924 with a majestic new City Hall, which is pictured on the second plaque shown below. The clock-tower, which was painstakingly reconstructed much later at ground level in Victoria Park, can also be seen on the relief. This City Hall served Kitchener for 50 years.


Millenium Thumbprints

Millenium Thumbprints
Most local citizens will remember the 2000 thumbprints collected here and in Berlin, Germany and then cast and assembled in bronze as a Millenium project to welcome the Year 2000. Kitchener Artist Marshall Ward, who conceived the idea with colleagues Charles Baker and Christopher Griffin, collected 1,000 prints from Berliners in Germany and 1,000 from Kitchener residents. The print on the right shows the tremendous detail captured in the process.
Berliner Thumbprint
The Thumbprint shown here on the left belongs to a prominent Kitchener businessman. (Photo: U. Kampmann)

The entire collection of bronzed thumbprints and dedications are mounted on the wall of the ramp just to the west of the Main entrance to City Hall on the King Street side (see photo above).

It is said that anyone who touches the thumbprints will connect to Kitchener’s past, present, and future. Close-ups of the dedications are shown below.

Millenium Thumbprints
Millennium Thumbprints - Artists' Plaque
Millennium Thumbprints - Dedication