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NCC provides update on design of Memorial to the Victims of Communism

The National Capital Commission (NCC) Board of Directors received an update today on the design of the Memorial to the Victims of Communism. Subsequently, the Board gave federal land use approval for the decontamination of the site.


Following recommendations by the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty (ACPDR) and NCC planning and design experts, the Department of Canadian Heritage and ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture implemented a number of important changes to the design of the memorial.


The ACPDR, which is comprised of eminent architects and planners from across Canada, provided comments on three successive versions of the memorial design, resulting in 10 principal recommendations. As a result, the architect has proposed a series of improvements that include:

Significantly reducing the scale of the memorial in keeping with the design guidelines established for the site. The memorial design now occupies 37% of the site rather than 60% as originally proposed, and its overall height has been lowered by 50%.

Retaining existing landscape elements and mature plantings in a strengthened landscape design that more than doubles the total number of trees on the site.

Permitting greater visitor access to the memorial site, including improved universal accessibility.

Emphasizing the theme of Canada as a land of refuge in the memorial’s imagery and its interpretive message.

Addressing the remaining security, safety and maintenance concerns.

Introducing a more neutral and nuanced lighting design for the memorial.

Introducing noble materials to ensure that the memorial is compatible with the character of the other buildings in the Judicial Precinct and on Confederation Boulevard.

Improving the winter experience at the site through lighting and landscaping.

“With the benefit of advice provided by the NCC’s Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty, the Victims of Communism Memorial is advancing towards a federal design approval,” said Dr. Mark Kristmanson, Chief Executive Officer of the NCC. “The proponents can now take into account the comments resulting from the NCC’s public board meeting in order to finalize the memorial’s design.”


The following table outlines some of the changes made to key elements of the original competition design for the memorial.


2.      10.97 m

3.      8.12 m

4.      5.81 m

5.      4.13 m

6.      2.90 m

7.      2.33 m

2.      6.18 m

3.      4.28 m

4.      2.62 m

5.      1.23 m