Located on the North Slope of Mount Royal the hills and valleys of beautiful Mount Royal Cemetery provide a surprising succession of views over its 165 acres. The Mount Royal Cemetery, one of the first rural cemeteries in North America, was incorporated in 1847 under an Act of the Provincial Parliament of Canada. It followed the trend of American rural cemeteries of the mid-1800’s which was to be located outside of the city and to combine horticulture and commemoration. For this reason Mount Royal Cemetery became a beautiful garden on the mountain with the romantic notion of a city of the dead overlooking a city of the living.
Founded in 1852 by the Protestant community of Montreal the cemetery is a private non-profit organization. Administered by 21 Trustees elected as representatives of the six founding denominations, it is open to persons of all faiths and races. Burial rights in perpetuity were offered and by so doing, the Cemetery Management made the commitment that no graves would ever be reused or abandoned. Since its founding the Charter of the Company has never been changed and still stipulates that all profits should be entirely devoted to the embellishment and improvement of the property.
A walk through Mount Royal Cemetery is a lesson in history, revealing close to 200,000 life stories, each special in its won way. Majestic monuments, obelisks and statues have been erected over the years and coupled with a long history of careful landscape planting and grounds management, resulted in Mount Royal Cemetery being designated a National Historic Site by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. A plaque commemorating this event was erected at the Cemetery’s main entrance in 2002, the year of Mount Royal Cemetery’s 150th anniversary.
A stroll through Mount Royal Cemetery brings to view many excellent specimens of trees and shrubs and an annual program of maintenance and reforestation has ensured the continuity of Mount Royal Cemeteries “arboretum” for more than a century and a half. An index and map showing the exact location of over 100 trees species in Mount Royal Cemetery is available in the cemetery office. Each tree listed on the map is marked by a plaque indicating both its common and latin names.
Throughout the year numerous tours and events are held for those interested in learning more about the rich historic and natural treasure of Mount Royal Cemetery. Please refer to our current event schedule for more detailed information on the activities.
In addition to organized group tours a printed guide is available for a self guided walking tour of the historic persons buried in Mount Royal Cemetery.
1297 Chemin de la Forêt, Outremont, Québec H2V 2P9