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New Cemetery Site

The reinterment of the Elmbank burials at Assumption Cemetery is meant to mirror a 19th century Catholic cemetery in Ontario. The combination of archaeological investigation, historical research using primary sources and the genealogical histories of families as well as the systematic re-burial process, monument restoration, landscaping and the creation of a main memorial provide us a rebirth of the Elmbank mission at its new site. If you are interested in viewing the exact location of a specific burial, please phone Assumption Cemetery Office at (905) 670-8801.

View the plan showing the new site at Assumption Cemetery in Mississauga.

The present Elmbank Cemetery is in four sections:

  • The first section is a restoration of Elmbank Cemetery as a 19th century Canadian Catholic cemetery, thanks to the monument (tombstone) restoration pr​ogram. The monuments found at the airport site that were related to identified human remains were accordingly erected at the appropriate burial sites.
  • The second section contains the human remains that were identified but for which no monument exists. For each of these burials, contemporary burial markers were suggested.
  • The third section includes all unidentified human remains and is located east of the main memorial monument.
  • The fourth section is the exhibition of monuments found at the airport site not matching identified burials.

Reconstructed historic cemetery with restored historic gravestones

Stone Conservation and Restoration Program

​The stone assessment and conservation program was designed to facilitate moving the surviving monuments and stones from Elmbank to Assumption Cemetery.

Past natural disasters such as Hurricane Hazel, as well as human interventions at the cemetery resulted in the dislocation of a large number of the stones. Prior to the initiation of this project, some of the larger monuments, most of them stone but one small one being made of iron, were clustered together on a concrete slab, while others were standing in various places about the site. Few were in their original locations.

Most of the flat tombstones, which had fallen, had been moved and mounted on six double-sided concrete cairns. While they were originally set in concrete, most were merely lying in place. Smaller stone fragments, however, were assembled and set in concrete along the bases of the cairns (See photo on right). Some of these fragments were decorated but many were not. Many of the stones were unidentifiable due to age and wear.

Prior to any of these stones being moved, the condition of each stone was assessed and documented in both written and photographic form. Monuments were classified as to the state they were in and whether or not they could be re-erected. Those that could be re-erected at Assumption Cemetery were restored and treated as necessary. Monuments to individuals whose remains were identified were relocated with the re-interred remains. 

The goal of this program was to construct a respectful memorial of the original cemetery, using as many of the original stone elements as possible. All stones and fragments have been moved to Assumption Cemetery.

Conservation program undertaken by Susan L. Maltby, Conservator, and Per Neumeyer, Stone Carver and Conservator.

Closeup of restored light stone grave markers

Dedication Ceremony

On July 10, 2004, a mass was celebrated and the newly restored Elmbank Cemetery was blessed at the new site in Assumption Cemetery in Mississauga. Msgr. John Murphy, Chancellor for Spiritual Affairs of the Archdiocese of Toronto, was the main celebrant, joined by Father Mike Doyle, C.S.Sp., Father John Cotter from Michigan and Deacon Bert Sandford.  

​"A Cemetery is all about things that last. Today we are here to re-dedicate a cemetery that was established some two centuries ago. It contains the mortal remains and memorializes the lives of the ancestors of many who are here." 
- Excerpt from Monsignor Murphy's Homily​