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

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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