The Great Canadian Flag Project
In May, 1980, a man named Thomas G. M. McDade proposed a giant Canadian flag project to then Mayor Bert Weeks and members of Windsor City Council. McDade was new to Windsor from his native Montreal, Quebec. He was very patriotic man. He loved his family and his country. And, he had a great and abiding respect for our nation’s flag.
He recalled having witnessed in person the raising of the “new” Canadian Flag over the Peace Tower in Ottawa on February 15, 1965 and hearing the Prime Minister of Canada, the Rt. Hon. Lester B. Pearson declare:
“May the land over which this new flag flies remain united in freedom and justice; a land of decent God-fearing people; fair and generous in all its dealings; sensitive, tolerant and compassionate towards all men; industrious, energetic, resolute; wise and just in the giving of security and opportunity equally to all its cultures, and strong it its adherence to those moral principles which are the only sure guide to greatness”.
Though he worked in earnest to see this project succeed, the proposal for a large and substantial flag in Dieppe Gardens did not pass. Mr. McDade died ten year later never realizing his dream.
His idea for a flag lay dormant for many years. Though many have talked about it—some talk predating McDade’s proposal —it wasn’t until 2012 that the present project began to take shape.
In a letter submitted to City Council on December 4th, 2012, , a formal proposal was made to City Council to fly a substantial flag—60 ft. by 30 ft.—on a flag pole that rose 150 feet out of the ground just north of the intersection of Ouellette Avenue and Riverside Drive. A detailed proposal dated May 8th, 2013 was directed to the City Clerk in accordance with the City’s Plaques, Monuments and Memorials Policy and the Public Art Policy.
Windsor City Council approved the project in principle subject to a detailed reporting by City Administration and soil testing to be done on the proposed site.
Soil testing was done by C.T. Soils and a soil drilling engineering report dated February 25th, 2014 was submitted for review. An analysis and review of the project was completed by City Administration and submitted.
On Tuesday, February 17, 2015, in a unanimous decision of City Council, the Great Canadian Flag Project was officially approved. The Great Canadian Flag project, originally proposed by Thomas McDade, was about to become a reality!