St. James Cemetery

Dating back to the 1840s, the St. James Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in Toronto, Canada. As you walk the scenic graveyards, you'll see prominent local names. A Gothic Revival church is another historic landmark at this well-established cemetery that's situated just west of the Don River. Click to book your Toronto tours.

History

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In the early 19th century, Toronto had a population of less than 20,000. This relatively small city was primarily concentrated on modern-day Queen Street. The Anglican Church had a strong presence in the community, so there was a big demand for services and facilities for local followers. The St. James Cemetery opened in the middle of the 1840s to accommodate the city's growing population. At the time, the lot that was designated for the cemetery was considered rustic and remote from urban life. Within two decades of opening, the graveyard was expanded with the addition of a chapel. Cumberland and Storm designed the architectural plans for the new structure at the cemetery. Georgetown stonework was heavily used for the construction of the property's most elegant building. Today, many of the chapel's original interior and exterior design features are visible. For example, the green-colored roof has a pitched configuration that's seen from the surrounding neighborhoods. Timber beams and stained glass windows are other notable elements of the historic chapel. The chapel is also one of the finest Gothic Revival landmarks in Ontario. Shortly after World War II, St. James Cemetery built a crematorium to accommodate the population boom in Toronto and the neighboring suburbs. Space was limited at the graveyards, but there was still a big demand for burial sites in this well-established facility. Click to book your Toronto tours.

Notable Burials

From politicians and businessmen to entertainers and scholars, some of Toronto's most prominent individuals are buried at the St. James Cemetery. One of the most eye-catching structures at the cemetery is a mausoleum that holds the remains of James Austin and his family members. In 1870, Austin established the Dominion Bank, which has evolved into one of Canada's largest banking corporations. The grave of Sir William Pearce Howland is another highlight at the grounds. This prominent politician served as the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 1868 to 1873. Two of his sons served as mayors of Toronto in the late 19th century. One of the founding members of the Canadian Confederation, James Cockburn is another high-rank politician who was laid to rest at this site. Considered one of Toronto's most prolific architects, E.J. Lennox is buried at the St. James Cemetery. He was the mastermind of some of the city's most iconic landmarks, such as the Gothic Revival Casa Loma mansion and Romanesque Old City Hall. Dedicated to the Cawthra family, a tall pillar is another attraction at the grounds. One of the first tenants of Toronto, this family played important roles in local business, politics and culture for generations.

Visiting St. James Cemetery

St. James Cemetery is located on Parliament Street in Toronto's Cabbagetown neighborhood. Running just north of the cemetery, Bloor Street East has several rapid transit stations. The Castle Frank and Sherbourne stations are served daily by the Bloor-Danforth Line. Known as Line 2 of the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), this subway route links downtown Toronto with several other adjacent districts. Most of the stations are located on the busy Danforth Avenue, which accommodates eastbound and westbound traffic. Visitor parking is limited at the cemetery, but there are some options just west of Parliament Street.

Location: 635 Parliament Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M4X 1R1

Click here to visit St. James Cemetery official website.

Published On: 2019-06-07
Updated On: 2019-06-07

Note: This information can change without notice. Confirm all details directly with the company in question.

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