The Toronto Necropolis is located at 200 Winchester St (on the north side, across the street from Riverdale Farm) in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood of Toronto.
Some of Canada’s Finest Examples of Gothic Revival Architecture
The cemetery itself dates back to 1850 and is on just over 18 acres. The historic burial ground features wandering pathways and natural vistas. Architect Henry Langley (who passed away in 1906 and is buried here) designed the beautiful chapel, open woodwork gates, and superintendent’s lodge, built in 1871/72 at the cost of $8,632. These structures are considered some of the country’s most outstanding examples of Gothic Revival architecture.
The chapel has a large arched stained glass window that lights the nave, a bell tower placed uniquely at the rear over the sacristy and a tri-colour slate roof. A thoughtful design, funeral processions enter through the porch, pass through the nave to the chancel and then through the sacristy to the cemetery grounds.
The Early Settlers of the Town of York
There are 984 Early Settlers of the Town of York re-interred at the Toronto Necropolis. Their remains were moved here from Potter’s Field during the mid to late 1800s. Potter’s Field was the area’s first non-sectarian cemetery and was located at the northwest corner of Yonge and Bloor Sts from 1826 to 1855. There were 6,685 people buried there, and while most were moved, some may still be under the high rises and shops in Yorkville.
Notable People Interred at the Toronto Necropolis
- William Lyon Mackenzie (Toronto’s first Mayor)
- George Brown (journalist and one of the Fathers of Confederation)
- Anderson Ruffin Abbott (first Canadian-born Black surgeon)
- Ned Hanlan (world-champion oarsman)
- J Ross Robertson (founder of the Toronto Telegram newspaper)
- Kay Christie (Nursing Sister during WWII and POW from 1942 to 1943)
Necropolis is Greek for “City of the Dead.” Ontario’s first crematorium also opened here in 1933. The Necropolis is located across the street from Riverdale Farm (once Riverdale Zoo).
Toronto Necropolis Photos
- City of Toronto Heritage Register: 200 Winchester St
- Ontario Heritage Trust: 200 Winchester St
- Mount Pleasant Group: Toronto Necropolis
- Veterans Affairs Canada: Nursing Sister Kay Christie
- Photos: Denise Marie for TorontoJourney416
- Vintage Photos: Toronto Public Library