The Necropolis, 1850, is one of Toronto’s oldest cemeteries

TORONTO’s “city of the dead”, the Necropolis, covers 7 treed hectares (roughly 18 acres) in the centre of Cabbagetown at 200 Winchester Street

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Among those buried here: William Lyon MacKenzie (1795-1861), celebrated reformer; John Ross Robertson (1842-1918), journalist and philanthropist; Thomas D. Morrison (1796-1856), third mayor of Toronto; Senator John MacDonald (1824-1890); Edward Hanlan (1856-1908), World’s Champion Oarsman; George Paxton Young (1824-1890), philosopher and teacher; William Thomas Aikens (1827-1897), physician; the Honourable George Brown (1818-1880), journalist, one of the Fathers of Confederation.

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This memorial <PHOTO ABOVE> honours Peter Matthews and Samuel Lount, who died for political freedom and a system of responsible government.  They were among the ‘patriots of 1837’, hanged following a rebellion.  “Their minds were tranquil and serene; no terror in their looks were seen; their steps upon the scaffold strong.  A moments pause . . . their lives were gone.”

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Nearby <PHOTO ABOVE>, the gravesite of World Champion oarsman, EDWARD HANLAN.

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The Gothic Revival chapel, built in 1872, is the oldest of 10 Commemorative Services properties in Ontario.  The Necropolis was Toronto’s second non-sectarian cemetery, replacing the Potter’s Field of Old York (in the area of today’s Yonge at Bloor Streets).  984 bodies were transported from Potter’s Field, where they were buried in a special section known as the “Resting Place of Pioneers”.  In 1933, the Necropolis Chapel opened Ontario’s first crematorium.

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