The Canadian sculptor Walter Seymour Allward won a competition, of some 160 submissions, to design the memorial. One of Canada's most famous sculptors of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, Allward was born in 1876 and died in 1955. He is known for creating some of Canada's finest sculptures and monuments.

The view from Canadian National Vimy Memorial 

He chose Seget limestone which came from an ancient Roman quarry located near Seget, Croatia. Difficulties with the material delayed construction of the memorial. He also chose limestone bonded to a cast concrete frame, a relatively new construction method. Human figures sculpted from large blocks of stone are also featured.

The task of inscribing the names did not begin until the early 1930s and a typeface that Allward designed for the memorial was used.