Windsor·CBC Q&A

Giant Canadian flag goes up in Windsor

The Great Canadian Flag Project will raise its flag Saturday morning at the foot of Ouelette Ave., after more than five years of hard work by a small group of Windsorites.

Saturday marks raising of flag 18 metres long and 9 metres high flag, attached to a 45-metre-tall pole

Peter Hrastovec led the Great Canadian Flag Project in Windsor. (Tony Doucette/CBC)

The Great Canadian Flag Project will raise its flag Saturday morning at the foot of Ouellette Ave., after more than five years of hard work by a small group of Windsorites. 

Peter Hrastovec was the leader for the group that oversaw and pushed for the project and is looking forward to the giant maple leaf waving on the Windsor riverfront on Saturday.

Two massive cranes were brought in to install the flag pole last week. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

He talked with CBC Radio's Tony Doucette about how it felt to see half a decade of work come to fruition.

"I'm looking at this and it's still a dream, it's so surreal. It's kind of like my own twilight zone. I can't believe that it's happening," said Hrastovec. "I'm happy that on this fabulous riverfront we're going to show this incredible flag that means so much to so many people in the world."

Lowering the base of the flag pole onto its base was an intricate procedure with workers on the ground helping guide the crane. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

TONY: This project is not cheap. $350,000 is what you needed to raise to make this happen?

"That's correct. That includes the construction, installation, the engineering costs ... everything's made in Canada, it's all Canadian built. We have an additional $100,000 of money that we're close to finish raising which is going to be the maintenance cost for future flags... we are just under $20,000 from our goal."

After five years, members of the Great Canadian Flag Project committee watch as the base of the 45-metre pole is installed. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

TONY: The flag is supposed to go up that pole Saturday morning at 11 o'clock. You'll see that flag go up at the same time as everybody else. It'll be your first look at it?

"The first time the community, including the people on our committee and all those involved in the City and so forth, we're gonna see it for the first time as it's hoisted.

I'll feel pride and humility. Pride in the fact that this is a great country and its a wonderful flag. Humility that we did something here as a group, we have a great committee. We just plan after we look at the flag just to fade away and let everybody enjoy this flag for the years to come."

Crews put down the base of the 45-metre pole for the Great Canadian Flag project on Windsor's waterfront. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

"The one thing I'm going to think about on Saturday morning is my immigrant parents. My father to his dying day said 'Canada's the greatest country in the world' and he said always embrace it.

This is a great country, a wonderful country, where dreams can come true. This flag is symbolic of all the things that are good in our country."

Peter Hrastovec waiting for the crane to erect a pole for the Great Canadian Flag Project. (Derek Spalding/CBC)

"To everybody in the community, O Canada, our Canada."

The Raising of the Great Canadian Flag begins at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday May 20 at  Dieppe Gardens in Windsor.

with files from CBC Radio's Windsor Morning

now