The Friends of the Mount Royal Cemetery helps preserve and promote the tremendous natural and historical treasure that the Mount Royal Cemetery has become since its founding in 1852.
Many cast and wrought iron artifacts have been preserved by the Friends through the restoration of 22 wrought iron fences which surround old 19th Century family plots with most of them having had corrosion on over 80% of their surfaces. Six metal monuments, which nowadays are very rare, were also restored as well as 12 metal doors on old family mausoleums of which 7 had been covered with concrete.
An inventory was taken of 8,670 monuments located in historical sections to evaluate their condition and then take action. Urgent repairs were made on 478 monuments which were prioritized by the results of this inventory. Complete restoration was accomplished of 2 monuments of important historical and architectural value, and vegetation was completely removed from 154 hidden monuments.
Thirty-one informative plaques have also been installed by the Friends to commemorate burial sites of people important in the history of Mount Royal Cemetery and their great achievements in local history. Historical research projects were sponsored through grants to University students to obtain more information on various subjects for historical tours and for texts on commemorative plaques. A tree brochure was produced to outline the 100 species of trees on the Cemetery property with plaques installed on 100 trees to identify the different species with their botanical names. This brochure is available free at the cemetery office. Educational activities such as historical walking tours, tree tours, lectures, bird watching, art and photo exhibitions are held annually free of charge to the public.
The Friends has also accomplished many projects to maintain and improve the landscape and bring beautiful colours to the scenery, such as the restoration of 16 perennial beds in keeping with the original appearance along roadways. Some 1,200 shrubs have been planted to restore the original appearance of two historical sections and 5,000 square feet of wild flowers have been planted to beautify the old Free Ground.
Informative plaques have been installed throughout the Cemetery by the Friends of the Mount Royal Cemetery to commemorate burial sites of well-known Montrealers who have contributed to the development of the City as well as the founding and evolution of the Cemetery. Other plaques recognize specific sections in the Cemetery or great accomplishments of outstanding people who now rest in Mount Royal Cemetery. This map shows the location of all the plaques throughout the Cemetery.