A symbol of friendship between Canada and France, the memorial stands at the heart of 250-acre park overlooking the coal basin. Its magnificient white pylons commemorate Canada’s 11285 soldiers who were lost on French soil during the Great War. Within a 107 ha park, the site offers a trip back in time to the Great War, with preserved trenches, underground tunnels (available only by guided tour). The Visitors Center displays the Battle of Vimy Ridge on 9 April 1917 and Canada’s participation in the First World War.
Visitors Center and Trenches opened on Mondays from 11:00 am to 5:00 am and from Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed from middle of December to middle of January, except the Memorial.
The crowning achievement of the Centennial celebrations will be the unveiling of state-of-the-art Vimy Visitor Education Centre ($5 million was committed by the Government of Canada in 2013) near the Canadian National Vimy Memorial in France – a project from Veterans Affairs Canada in partnership with the Vimy Foundation.
While the Vimy monument itself is of course stunningly beautiful, currently visitors are given little context at the existing information booth as to why Canadians fought and died there; why Vimy remains special to the Canadian soul; and how Vimy, and other First World War battles at which Canadians fought, forever altered Canada’s status on the world stage.
In the new Visitor Education Centre, visitors will always remain firmly grounded in their surroundings thanks to a wall of windows stretching across the entire length of the building's rear wall. While windows play an obvious architectural role, they also symbolize the Centre's educational goal of providing a window on Canada's First World War experience. Entitled We Will Remember, the Center's exhibit traces Canada and Newfoundland's involvement in the First World War through the stories of everyday Canadians whose lives were forever changed.
The new Interpretation Center inaugurated on April 8, 2017 and open to everybody since April 10, 2017.