St. James Cemetery (Toronto)

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St. James Cemetery
Chapel of St. James-the-Less in St. James cemetery
Established 1844
Location Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Country Canada
Coordinates 43°40′13.9″N 79°22′5.29″W / 43.670528°N 79.3681361°W / 43.670528; -79.3681361
Type Anglican Episcopal Cemetery
Owned by Cathedral Church of St. James in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
No. of interments 89,000 interments and 75,000 cremations

The Anglican St. James Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Toronto still in operation, being opened in 1844 as the burial ground for St. James Cathedral.

The cemetery was opened in July 1844 for the burial of people professing the Anglican faith. At that time most of the city’s population of 18,000 lived south of Queen Street West and the cemetery's present location during that era must have been regarded as being outside city limits. The cemetery was necessary as the burial ground around the cathedral itself, in use since 1797, was out of room.

Recognizing the growing trend towards cremation throughout the world, a crematorium was added in 1948. To date over 89,000 interments and 75,000 cremations have taken place at the cemetery.

The cemetery itself is home to the Chapel of St. James-the-Less which sites atop a knoll at the highest point in the cemetery. In its vigorous, harmonious composition, this small funeral chapel is a splendid example of Victorian Gothic design. Its sense of strength and spirituality is derived from the subtle contrast of its stone walls, enveloping roofs, and soaring spire. Erected in 1860 and opened in 1861, the chapel was designed by Frederick William Cumberland and Storm, one of Toronto's leading 19th-century architectural firms. It and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.[1][2]

The entrance to the cemetery is located at the intersection of Bloor and Parliament Streets, overlooking the Don River ravine. Just to the west is the St. James Town neighbourhood, which is named after the cemetery.

Notable interments[edit]

A part of St. James Cemetery, with the Austin family mausoleum in the background.

The cemetery is the final resting place of many of Toronto's oldest families and notable citizens:

War Graves[edit]

The cemetery contains the war graves of 42 Commonwealth service personnel, 16 from each of the two World Wars.[3]


  1. ^ Chapel of St. James-the-Less Anglican Church, Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada
  2. ^ Chapel of St. James-the-Less Anglican Church, National Register of Historic Places
  3. ^ [1] CWGC Cemetery Report. Breakdown obtained from casualty record.
  • Jones, Donald. "Tombs of Toronto's first families A walk in St. James' Cemetery recalls the pageantry in our past." Toronto Star. Toronto, Ont.: Oct 02, 1993. Sec. C. pg. G.8

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′14″N 79°22′05″W / 43.670526°N 79.368163°W / 43.670526; -79.368163