History, Beauty and Function
The Toronto Necropolis was established in 1850, and is one of Toronto’s oldest and most historic cemeteries. Its picturesque location, collection of sculpture and Victorian buildings also make it one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the city. Some of Toronto’s finest examples of High Victorian Gothic architecture can be found in the fully restored cemetery entrance, chapel and office. Beautiful stained-glass windows grace the interior of the chapel, which is a popular choice for services.
The Necropolis is the final resting place of such prominent individuals as Toronto’s first mayor, William Lyon Mackenzie, journalist George Brown, founder of what is now The Globe and Mail, John Ross Robertson, founder of the Toronto Telegram, and, more recently, Federal NDP Leader, Jack Layton. Also buried here are Anderson Ruffin Abbot, the first Canadian-born black surgeon, and world-champion oarsman Ned Hanlan. In addition, the Necropolis contains a monument honoring Samuel Lount and Peter Matthews, hanged in 1838 for their roles in the Mackenzie Rebellion.
The Toronto Necropolis continues to offer a range of interment choices, including ground burial and cremation.
There is still limited burial space available at the Necropolis, including single grave lots, which can accommodate two interments and which permit a flat marker. Please check with our office for availability.
More and more, people are choosing cremation for themselves or their loved ones. Simply one method of preparing remains for final disposition, cremation offers a variety of options for memorialization. Most people who choose cremation also want a lasting memorial, and a place for family and friends to go to pay tribute and remember. One option is to place cremated remains in a columbarium, which is an arrangement of niches containing cremation urns.
For those who choose cremation, the Toronto Necropolis offers:
Marble-fronted niches in the chapel columbarium;
Urn spaces in special areas. “Onward,” a sculpture in polished black granite by Canadian artist Kosso Eloul, forms a central feature for urn spaces;
Memorial scattering areas, located in the perennial flowerbed and the rose garden. On top of a memorial for the cremation scattering area is a sculpture by Canadian artist Juliet Jancso. The work depicts a family of three, and represents the Depression-era Cabbagetown community. Small plaques can be placed at the base of the sculpture.