This cemetery was opened in the 1850’s to replace Potter’s Field/Stranger’s Burying Ground as the city of Toronto grew. Potter’s Field was located at 50 Bloor Street between Bay and Yonge Streets in what is now the high-end retail and residential neighbourhood of Yorkville.
The Necropolis is a non-denominational cemetery and as the burial ground it replaced the vagrants and homeless with no one to claim were buried here when it first opened.
The cemetery is located in the Cabbagetown section of the city north of the Riverdale Farm and just east of the Don Valley.
The cemetery is the location of the first crematorium in Toronto.
Several famous Canadians are buried in this cemetery including Toronto’s first mayor – William Lyon McKenzie, George A Romero – father of the modern zombie movie and Jack Layton – former Leader of the Canada’s Federal New Democratic Party.
The cemetery is also the resting place of the hundreds of children who were struck down far too young by countless childhood diseases in the days before vaccinations. In the late 19th century children would account for 40% of in the deaths city wide.
The cemetery is owned by the non-profit Mt Pleasant Group of Cemeteries. Their official stance on hauntings is neither denial or affirmation out of respect for the families who have loved ones buried in their cemeteries.
Apparitions in Victorian clothing are seen on the meandering paths through the gothic tombstones. Many have claimed to have captured these apparitions on film.
There are numerous – too numerous to dismiss – reports of people being touched by disembodied misty hands that reach out of thin air.
Other Activity: cold spots; feelings of unease and of being watched; electrical disturbances; disembodied voices including full conversations and light anomalies.
This cemetery sits in the middle of the most haunted section of the city of Toronto including: Kensington Apartments, St James Cemetery, Prince Edward Viaduct (see above), Rosedale Valley Road and the Old Don Jail all of which will be covered in future articles.