One Day One World: 8 am to 9 am

This week, I’m going from the hustle and energy of rush hour at Union Station, to the quiet tranquility of Mount Pleasant Cemetery in the heart of mid-town Toronto.

This  former 200 acre farm became a non-denominational cemetery in 1876 and at the time, was considered well out of the city.

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I was first introduced to Mount Pleasant about 12 years ago as a mecca for runners during the winter months when city sidewalks become icy and treacherous.  In fact, this morning was my first visit to the cemetery when it wasn’t bitterly cold outside with everything buried under a thick layer of snow.

When we arrived shortly after 8 am, the cemetery was already buzzing with runners, dog walkers, cyclists, and a small army of grounds-keepers mowing and blowing.

Add to this noise, the sound of busy traffic heading downtown, the rush of the subway as it pops out from underground at nearby Davisville Station, and the airplane traffic overhead from Pearson International over 30 km away.  In the midst of all this noise was a very heated argument at a construction site on the other side of the cemetery wall that involved considerable yelling and swearing.

Peaceful? … maybe not so much today, but still very beautiful

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Cemeteries are fascinating places full of history, interesting monuments, and unspoken stories of lives lived and lost.  It is here that you can truly see that time waits for no man – rich, poor, young or old.

From famous politicians and former heads of government …

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… to Business Titans …

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Wealthy families …

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The brave …

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… and those who died much too young ….

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Mount Pleasant Cemetery is a place filled with giant chess pieces, crypts large and small, simple stones, obelisks, and contemporary granite walls that mark the lives of those who rest here.

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In the 8 to 9 am hour, we roamed only a small portion of the cemetery with so much more to visit and reflect upon.  A place to remind us that, all too often, we tend to fuss and worry about things that really aren’t important.

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I’m not so sure about the ‘well-organized’ mind, but it certainly applies to the curious mind.

This was my world today between 8 am and 9 am.  For more of the One Day One World Project, visit Northwest Frame of Mind.

About Joanne Sisco

Retired but not idle. Life is an adventure - I plan to continue to embrace it.
This entry was posted in Adventure, Photo Challenges, Random Stuff, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to One Day One World: 8 am to 9 am

  1. Pingback: Thursday Doors: The AfterLife | My Life Lived Full

  2. Pingback: Finding Peace In Solitude – Photo101 | My Life Lived Full

  3. treerabold says:

    Beautiful photos. I love walking around old cemeteries…
    And as you said… “It is here that you can truly see that time waits for no man”

    Like

  4. ChristineR says:

    I was shocked to hear of joggers using the cemetery, but I changed my mind after I thought about it. Death is part of life and there is no real reason for them to be kept separate. I love cemeteries and have traisped through plenty in search of relatives in my family history forays. Mackenzie King – what a wonderful sounding name! Loved all the photos. Thanks for a terrific post.

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    • joannesisco says:

      I agree with you Christine. I think it is wonderful that cemeteries are used by the living for living. They are beautiful places.

      Mackenzie King was one of our more colourful Prime Ministers. An interesting character 🙂

      Like

  5. beeblu says:

    So much for RIP, with all that above-ground activity going on. 😄 They are rather interesting places – so many stories buried there.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I think it’s wonderful that this beautiful spot isn’t a dead space (pardon the pun) and is enjoyed and appreciated by the living.
      I agree with you about the stories. I’m fascinated by other people’s stories and there is a wealth of history buried in every cemetery.

      Like

  6. jannatwrites says:

    Cemeteries are kind of creepy to me, but I can’t deny the old, ornate headstones are fascinating (only in the daytime, though 🙂 )

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      In the daytime when it’s bright and sunny vs a dense fog? 😉
      When I first set out that morning, it was VERY foggy where I live – about 17km from the cemetery. I was a rather disappointed since I’m not a good enough photographer to capture the atmosphere of a cemetery in dense fog. I was afraid I wasn’t going to have any decent shots for my post.
      Half way down to the cemetery, I literally drove out of the fog bank into bright sunshine. It never ceases to amaze me how the weather conditions can change so dramatically from one part of the city to another.

      Like

  7. Woolly Muses says:

    I love taking a stroll in old cemeteries…although haven’t done so for some time. I remember exploring the Auckland cemetery in New Zealand and finding whole families who had died within days of each other. At the time I could only speculate the cause of death. Marvellous and varied headstones, monuments as in Mount Pleasant.

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  8. NancyTex says:

    I love visiting cemeteries. I asked my hosts in Charleston to take me to the city’s oldest. Still need to write up that recap post. One of these days…

    Your new camera is delivering the goods, Joanne! Nice shots.

    Like

  9. Well, Joanne, I have a thing for cemeteries. As a small child, my German grandparents often took me for walks through the beautiful park-like cemetery near their home. When we lived in New England, the ancient slate tombstones in the abandoned graveyards told such amazing stories if you studied them carefully that we would often park the car and study them for an hour or two. And now we live in Richmond, VA, home to one of the country’s most beautiful cemeteries, and a top tourist destination, the amazing Hollywood Cemetery. I hope if you ever come to Richmond, you’ll put it on your list. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the photographs of Mt. Pleasant which is startlingly beautiful. Lovely post and photographs. Thank you!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I too have a thing for cemeteries … sometimes it’s sad, sometimes it’s meditative, but it’s always interesting.
      I just did a quick search on the Hollywood Cemetery and read about the Richmond Vampire. These stories always make for interesting tours! No wonder it is a popular tourist destination 🙂
      I’ve been to Richmond once a very long time ago. Would love to go back again 🙂

      Like

  10. That angel photo is phenomenal Jo, absolutely stunning with the light shining down through the tree branches xx

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  11. Love this piece. You have a wonderful style, Joanne. Visuals, commentary, emotional hit… the works.

    Like

  12. sinewavelife says:

    Great post. Cemeteries are so lovely; military cemeteries are particularly touching. I enjoy your blog so much.

    Like

  13. Sammy D. says:

    How timely!! Hub and I are on a road trip and after long day in car and checking into hotel, we walked back into parking lot for fresh air to see if there was anywhere to stroll. Lo – a small cemetery up a grassy hill – no ornate statues and headstones like yours (love your photos) but nice wandering through to look at the family names and dates while enjoying some turning leaves.

    Thanks for adding to my serenity on the road!

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I don’t know why, but walking through a cemetery provides a calming and meditative experience all of its own. It seems to reconnect me with what’s important and help me let go of the petty and irrelevent.
      Hope you enjoy your road trip!!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. You are so right about cemeteries…they really are the most beautiful places! Can you believe my brother actually had his wedding pictures taken in a cemetery? No stones visible of course, but just the scenery was enough to make great pix. I thought he was crazy at the time, but have since learned that cemeteries always do seem to be the top of the line as far as beauty goes.

    Like

  15. This place looks lovely. Is it a current cemetery or a full one? I hope the latter as I can’t help thinking what it would feel like to have all those people running around you while trying to say goodbye to a loved one.

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    • joannesisco says:

      It’s still a current cemetery.
      You’ve made a good point though. I’ve only been to 2 interments – my parents – but it was in a very small town and a quiet cemetery far from town. In a big city where it seems that there are always people around, it would be quite different.

      Like

      • I only remember one interment – of a school friend who was killed in a car crash (the same year as my sister and niece – such a horrid year). The family ones have been cremations so it’s different. However, I know when I go to visit where my sister’s and niece’s ashes are interred, I don’t think I would want runners and picnickers around me. In fact, in thinking of the cemeteries where I live, they’ve always been quiet, reflective places. Mount Pleasant Cemetery seems to be viewed more as a park than a cemetery. It’s really interesting.

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  16. Joe says:

    Pretty amazing place 🙂 you are correct when you say cemeteries are full of history. My wife and I visited Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in New York last fall and besides Washington Irving being buried there there were A lot of famous people like Andrew Carnegie (United States Steel) and Carnegie Hall, and also The Helmsley’s (the NY Hotel billionaires who left their entire fortune to her dogs. Very interesting indeed.

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    • joannesisco says:

      some of those stories are about a life well-lived and others are sad in the shortness of life or implied tragedy.

      I have visited many cemeteries around the world and war cemeteries are the most painful.

      Like

  17. Heyjude says:

    I’m another one who likes to wander around churchyards and read the headstones. Mostly I like the old ones where a sense of history can be found, or as in one where I live, has been turned into a nature reserve and is always peaceful. Another interesting post about the place where you live.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks! There is so much interesting stuff around us and I’m really enjoying having an opportunity to experience some of it 🙂
      My hope is that other people find it as interesting as I do!

      Like

  18. So many stories in one space. Watching cities grow and spread always makes me wonder what my neighborhood and favorite places will be like in 50 years. Thanks for bringing us along on your morning visit.

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  19. Pingback: 1 Day 1 World Project: 8:00 am – 9:00 am | Northwest Frame of Mind

  20. Mrs. P says:

    I love cemeteries, especially old ones. So many stories of earlier times. I have seen the resting places of many of my ancestors and have always been curious about the “Find a Grave” program.

    Odd to have so much unrest in what one would normally expect to be a quiet place.

    Like

  21. You chose such an interesting cross section of society to photograph – great tour. I offer visit older cemeteries when I travel – such a different perspective on our cultures.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks for the nice compliment. I try to think of things that might be interesting to other people besides me 🙂

      I too have gone to cemeteries in different countries. It is surprising some of the different practices.
      hmmm – a potential blog post?

      Like

  22. Helen C says:

    Very interesting. Here we have cemetery walk once a year. Each year a number of sites are chosen and actors present their stories. It is a popular event. Helen

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  23. It’s never occurred to me to take a quiet walk among the ever resting spirits. Went on a cemetery tour once with a guide. Soo interesting. Maybe once of these days I’ll try a stroll but it will now have to be in spring. Thanks for the idea.

    Like

    • joannesisco says:

      I don’t live near a cemetery, so it’s not something I would otherwise think to do.
      Many of them are like magnificent park lands with fountains and benches.
      We saw so little of Mount Pleasant today. I think I would like to go back. We discovered that next weekend they will have a tour and I suspect it will be very interesting.

      Like

      • I bet it will. The cemetery tour I experienced talked about who the Masons were in the city, where they were buried, what they contributed to the city, what their symbols stood for etc.
        Do try to attend. i’d love to hear what the tour will offer.

        Liked by 1 person

  24. The Stavro’s… a modest bunch they. 🙂 Enjoyed these photos.

    Like

  25. Looks fabulous in autumn colours 🙂

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  26. I love Mount Pleasant cemetery but haven’t been there for a few years. Have they finished the construction? It’s certainly a busy place but I love the history too. 🙂 Great pics, by the way! 🙂

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    • joannesisco says:

      Thanks. From what I could see, the construction is all finished. They built a new centre and completed a major upgrade on their crematorium.
      There’s also a new section that includes water features and a memorial wall … at least that’s what I think it is … small little ‘boxes’ in a wall for cremated remains.
      There is a Remembrance Forest which I really liked.

      Like

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