This is the second post related to my recent visit to the Necropolis in downtown Toronto.
The first thing that caught my attention about this cemetery was its name *Necropolis* which means “City Of The Dead”. It was founded in 1850 and is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city … tucked away in a discreet corner close to downtown, virtually hidden from view.
Until a few months ago, I didn’t even know it existed.
The entrance to the cemetery is through a white gated archway connecting a stone Gothic Revival chapel to the cemetery office.
It seems that one’s final resting place isn’t always *final* when a developer decides that the location is prime real estate. That’s what happened in the mid-1800s to over 6,600 people interred at the city’s first non-denominational cemetery known as Potter’s Field.
Also known as The Strangers’ Burying Place, Potter’s Field was located in what is now the prestigious Yorkville area of downtown Toronto. Over a 30 year period starting in 1851, all the graves were relocated to either the Necropolis or Mount Pleasant Cemetery to facilitate development of the growing city.
Unlike Mount Pleasant Cemetery with its elaborate family mausoleums, the Necropolis is a more modest place. It has all the quiet dignity suitable for a cemetery but without the overt ostentatiousness.
So we were rather surprised when we encountered a monument that didn’t seem to fit into this humble neighbourhood.
A search down a steep hill and around the back uncovered the entrance to a crypt.
I haven’t been able to find out who H.A. Knowles was, but this crypt has left me very curious. Hidden in a shady, back corner of the cemetery, perched on the edge of a steep hill with an entrance that is both difficult to reach and uninviting when found … this was someone who clearly wanted privacy.
I almost felt like I should apologize for trespassing.
Thursday Doors is a weekly photo feature hosted by Norm 2.0.