Project 365 – Day 272: Mount Royal and Notre Dame des Neiges cemeteries
September 28 2012
The Mount Royal cemetery covers 165 acres and is located to the north of its larger neighbor that covers 343 acres. Mount Royal Cemetery is celebrating it’s 160th anniversary this year and was predominantly serving the English Protestant population. Notre Dame des Neiges opened 2 years later in 1854 to serve the Roman Catholic population.
Notre Dame des Neiges is the larges cemetery in Canada and third largest in North America. On its own the size is impressive, but when you include Mount Royal, the cemeteries cover a breath taking (no pun intended) area. Both are kept in wonderful condition and each boasts a collection of trees and shrubs that will delight nature lovers.
I really liked the sculpture on this monument for a Dutch family who emigrated to Canada from the town of Nijverdal in 1951. The inscription on the base I found poignant:
“A family exploring distant horizons and diverse possibilities
facing unforeseen challenges searching for the self and the promise of tomorrow.”
An area of the cemetery (section L5000) was purchased in 1950 by the Federal Government and is now the final resting place of almost 1,200 war veterans.
Overall there are more than 2,400 veterans buried and commemorated in Mount Royal cemetery.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but there is only one opening in the fence separating the two cemeteries. Shortly after World War 1, to emphasize the comradeship and uniformity of sacrifice of Protestant and Catholic soldiers, the Imperial War Graves Commission insisted on an open passage between the two plots and the Cross of Sacrifice was erected. The Cross of Sacrifice can just be seen in the following image behind the foreground monument. This image was shot from the Notre Dame des Neiges side.
It was a bit of a ‘spur of the moment’ visit and I ended up wandering around a little aimlessly. I later read that you can pick up a free guide from the main offices that highlight the resting places of well known persons, as well as the locations of trees deemed to be rare or of special interest. Hopefully I will get a chance to go before the end of Autumn.
To view images in gallery format, simply click on one of the images below.
Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.