• Mayor Iain Lovatt’s resolution asking Town Staff to conduct public consultation over the approved placement of a decommissioned tank in Memorial Park, as well as the relocation of the Town’s cenotaph and removal of the Stouffville Horticultural Society’s 150th Canadian anniversary garden, passed at Council today.
  • The proposed memorial at Park and Booth Drives, notably the inclusion of a tank and the removal of the garden, has seen significant community opposition since being approved in December.
  • The resolution reads as follows:
    • Whereas, on December 6, 2023, Council passed a resolution regarding the Cenotaph
      Relocation and Tank Donation;
    • Now therefore be it resolved that Council direct staff to undertake public consultation to obtain feedback with respect to the future design of the memorial area as noted in the report.
  • The resolution passed unanimously.


Speaking to his item, Mayor Lovatt noted a large amount of critical correspondence submitted to him and members of Council following their approval of the project. “It is more than appropriate for us to have more public consultation from the community on this item,” he concluded.

Councillor Sue Sherban echoed the sentiment and endorsed the consultation, referencing over two dozen emails she has received over the removal of the garden and installation of the tank at the site. Sherban noted her ongoing support for bringing the cenotaph back to Memorial Park and highlighted conversations she has had with Mayor Lovatt and Staff regarding possible consideration of alternate locations for the future memorial.

Calling her past position and comments in support of accepting the tank insensitive and naive, Sherban also apologized to members of the community who may be negatively impacted by the proposal. Sherban specifically mentioned refugees and those whose PTSD may be triggered, the Stouffville Horticultural Society, and residents of her ward in opposition to the garden removal and/or installation of a tank anywhere within Stouffville.

“I’m the first to admit that we don’t get it right all the time,” Lovatt explained, “and often times, we need to have a second sober thought.” However, he emphasized the importance of residents participating in Council process before decisions are made and highlighted the availability of Council agendas—which are posted online via the Town’s documents website and social media accounts.

“Far too often, there is a reaction after a decision has been made,” Lovatt noted. “If there is something [on the agenda] that is going to draw your attention, do a little homework and dig in. Because we want to hear from you, we want you to participate.”

Lovatt thanked members of the Stouffville Horticultural Society for a meeting he held with them last week and expressed gratitude for their attendance in Council Chambers today. The group published a petition prior to Council’s meeting opposing the removal of their garden, which had garnered over 280 signatures at the time of publishing.

“The [consultation] process…is going to not only allow the Horticultural Society’s concerns to be noted, but also the broader public’s,” Lovatt proclaimed. “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we want to hear from you.” Details regarding the consultation process and schedule will be presented by Staff at a future date.

*Drawing property of NAK Design Strategies, as posted to the Stouffville Town Hall Twitter account