Today I have a single door.
Just one … but I’d like to think it’s a mighty fine door, even if it is actually an iron gate.
It’s the only entrance/exit to the Pioneer Tower located in Kitchener, and the tower is one of the 150 Unusual Things to See in Ontario that The Widow Badass and I went looking for last weekend.
It is a structure built to honour the early German pioneers who came inland to develop the rich farming communities of Southern Ontario. Early in the 1800s, Pennsylvania-German settlers began flooding into the area, and in fact Kitchener was actually called Berlin until 1916 when its name was changed in response to anti-German sentiments during World War I.
This tower was built in 1925, to counterbalance those anti-German sentiments. There was a wave of German-Canadian nationalism and the tower was to symbolize the significant contributions made by the German-Canadian community in the development of the area.
It stands somewhere between 19 and 22 metres high (depending on what source you read) and is clad in field stone, said to symbolize the hard work of clearing the fields. It must have been a prominent feature on the landscape at one time, but now finding the tower is a bit of a challenge. Urban sprawl has been bloating all communities near Toronto and this tower is now largely hidden as part of a small park in a large subdivision of new homes. Beside the tower is a tiny graveyard made up of two families from the original founding pioneers in this area.The design of the tower even includes the small detail of a weather vane on the top in the form of a tiny Conestoga wagon. It symbolizes the transit of those early pioneers from Pennsylvania, and even the local college is called Conestoga.Sadly, we weren’t able to climb the tower. I suspect there was a time when there was no barrier to entry, but now it is by appointment only – and a week’s notice needs to be provided.
Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm Frampton at Norm 2.0.