top of page
  • Writer's pictureESSEX FREE PRESS

Mural dedicated to Edward Charles Maedel unveiled

by Sylene Argent

The Town of Essex’s Arts, Culture, and Tourism (ACT) Committee unveiled a mural dedicated to Edward Charles Maedel last Thursday evening.

Essex’s newest piece of outdoor artwork is located on the exterior walls of the recreation centre on Gosfield Townline, which is named after the man who was not only a successful businessman, but community supporter.

Members of the local committee that is dedicated to enhancing and promoting various arts and culture in the municipality, were onsite for the unveiling.

Councillor Brad Allard, who is the Council rep on the ACT Committee, noted Maedel was someone who demonstrated passion and pride within his community.

Maedel was a local business leader. He bought a struggling soft drink company on Talbot Street in 1908, which he renamed “Maedel Beverages.” He made soft drinks and sold the product throughout the county. In 1935, he received the first Pepsi Cola franchise in all of Ontario, and the second franchise in all of Canada. He later built a new shop at the corner of Talbot Street and Brien Avenue. In 1989, the Maedel family sold the business to a company from Toronto.

He was also a community-minded individual. Maedel helped to establish Boy Scouts in Essex, volunteered with youth sports and activities, provided leadership within the Essex Rotary Club, served as a firefighter, and helped support the construction of a bandshell.

Among the many artifacts now on display in the Maedel Community Centre, is the original bandshell plaque.

“This beautiful mural honours Edward Charles Maedel and the beautiful, rich history Essex holds,” Allard said.

Members of the ACT Committee, Essex Council, and Maedel’s descendants, including great-grandson, Doug, were onsite to unveil the mural.

Due to his dedication to the community, in April of 2020, Essex Council voted to rename the Essex Community Centre the “Maedel Community Centre, in his honour.

The reason for the name change was to clarify where recreation programs were being held. The Town of Essex has three recreational facilities in Essex Centre, each with similar names, which created confusion.

CAO Doug Sweet, who was the Director of Community Services at the time, suggested the name. A survey was issued to the community to gather public feedback on the idea, with 88 percent of the survey’s respondents supporting the name change to the “Maedel Community Centre.”

In January of 2021, Maedel’s family put out a call to the community, in search for items relating to “Maedel Beverages,” so that they could be displayed in the facility named in his honour.

When revealing changes made to the Maedel Community Centre in celebration of its renaming last year, Doug Maedel said he was thrilled to see the Essex Community Centre renamed in honour of his family member, who was very much involved in the community.

He noted when his great-grandfather passed in 1974, around 200 vehicles participated in the funeral procession.

bottom of page