Four months after it was ceremoniously unveiled during a gala celebration, the heritage plaque honouring Clara Hughes at the top of Sydenham Hill does not yet have a permanent home.
Organizers of the Clara’s Climb plaque project made it clear the pedestal feature unveiled at the Sydenham Road lookout on April 27 was temporary, and would be affixed permanently in the coming days. But subsequent issues over the summer have delayed completion of the project.
Christopher Redford, heritage presentation coordinator at the City of Hamilton and staff liaison to the joint plaquing sub-committee, said Clara’s Climb co-chairs Cecilia Carter-Smith and Clare Crozier wanted the plaque to be attached directly to the Sydenham Hill lookout’s stone wall, rather than on a pedestal.
“This necessitates considerable re-pointing work to be done on the wall,” Redford said. “It is my understanding that when that can be arranged, the plaque will be situated.”
Crozier, a well-known Dundas resident and chair of the Dundas Museum and Archives Board, said organizers are mandated to take direction from the Niagara Escarpment Commission on exact location of the heritage plaque – and the change came from that organization.
“Under their direction it is to be places into the lookout wall,” Crozier said.
A contractor was hired to bolt the plaque to the face of a stone and place that stone in the wall, and completed that task in July – but discovered a crack in the stone after it was in place.
“With this revelation they removed the stone, took it back to their shop and will have it in place at a yet to be determined date,” Crozier said. “The big stumbling block is in finding a proper stone.”
Niagara Escarpment Commission staff could not be reached for comment by deadline.