DeCew House Heritage Park

Thorold, Ontario

Project Description

In honour of Canada’s 150th birthday, a First Nations Monument is being created at DeCew House Heritage Park to celebrate the heritage and ongoing history of First Nations peoples, the founding role they played (and continue to play) in the ever-evolving North American culture, and Laura Secord’s extremely important interaction with First Nations warriors in Decew’s Field.

This project will create a barrier-free path for wheelchair and scooter access into and out of the monument, as well as to other scenic parts of the site. The monument will also include seating along the path for young children, seniors, and those easily fatigued; tactile and sensory indigenous plantings; and digital educational interpretation to help those with vision loss to better understand the visual and symbolic aspects of the monument.

Project Team Q&A

  1. Why did you decide to break down barriers in your community?

    The First Nations Peace Monument in DeCew House Heritage Park is a memorial designed by world-renowned architect and human rights activist Douglas Cardinal that celebrates an important part of our shared Canadian history. We expect that approximately 15% of visitors to the site will have mobility issues and we recognize that people with disabilities have a right to experience and engage with our nation’s history with everyone else in the community.

  2. How is this project going to make a difference in your community?

    Because of the irregular terrain around the monument, having a barrier-free pathway was important so that those with mobility issues could experience the rich history at the site during Canada’s 150th year and for the 150 years beyond. The additional accessibility features will serve children, seniors, and those with vision loss, making the site more inclusive.

  3. What’s the best thing about being a Barrier Buster?

    Inclusiveness. Respect for all. We were inspired (and amazed) by how much we learned about disability and accessibility in the process of applying for support from the Rick Hansen Access4All Barrier Buster fund, and we welcome the opportunity to build upon disability awareness for those attending the First Nations Peace Monument, as well through the digital educational opportunities at the site for years to come.