Friday, July 07, 2017 - 1:15 PM

City and Partners Commemorate Great Fire of 1892

Aftermath of great fire of 1892, St.John's NL

The City is organizing a weekend of events on July 8 to 9 to commemorate 125 years since the Great Fire of 1892.  Events will be held at Bannerman Park, The Rooms and other locations throughout downtown and will include an archival photo exhibit, a song and story circle concert, and a historical walk through the area affected by the fire, among many more.

“The Great Fire of 1892 represented a turning point in the history of St. John’s,” said Deputy Mayor Ron Ellsworth, Chair of Community Services. “It’s important to recognize this turning point and how it came to shape the city that we all know and love today.  This weekend also is a time of reflection as we consider the issues of fire safety especially in the close quarters of downtown, and the future of development in the city.”

During the Great Fire three quarters of the City was destroyed, leaving up to 12,000 people homeless, and the commercial areas of downtown St. John’s wiped out. The events are funded in part by the Government of Canada.

“As we commemorate this tragic event and turning point in the history of St. John’s, we have a chance to look upon our past and consider how it has made us who we are today,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “This year, as we mark Canada 150, we are joining together to celebrate our collective journey and our achievements. We have a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the many moments and events that have shaped our country and to appreciate our linguistic, cultural and regional diversity. As Minister of Canadian Heritage, I want to thank everyone involved in creating the wide variety of events that commemorate the Great Fire of 1892.”

In addition to the weekend events, the City is partnering with Downtown St. John’s, with design assistance from Destination St. John’s, on a window animation project where archival images related to the Great Fire will be displayed in storefront windows later this summer.

"Downtown will be a commemorative gallery where individuals can view the historical images of the Great Fire in the context in which they occurred," said Scott Cluney, Downtown St. John's Executive Director. “I invite the public to come and see the images that will be displayed in storefronts in the area, appearing throughout the summer.”

Residents and visitors are invited to attend the events and commemorate this important anniversary with the City. All event details and info are at stjohns.ca/greatfire.
 
Media Contact:
Kelly Maguire
Media Relations
City of St. John's
709-576-8491
kmaguire@stjohns.ca