1884 Unwin, Browne & Sankey: Plan of the old Military Burying Ground Victoria Square, Toronto

Victoria Memorial Park in 1913. Grave markers are visible
along the back fence. Image courtesy City of Toronto Archives,
Fonds 200, Series 372, Subseries 52, Item 192.
In 1883, the Deputy Minister of the federal Militia and Defence Department appointed a committee to arrange for the repair and maintenance of the neglected military burying ground in Victoria Square. The committee was chaired by a federal government appointee, Colonel (later Major-General) W.D. Otter. The City was represented by the Mayor, the City Treasurer and the City Commissioner.

This plan was prepared as part of the committee's report. Only a partial key to the numbered graves survives (see below). The number of burials before the cemetery was closed in 1862 is unknown, but is estimated at 400-500. For more on the burial ground, see here.

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Plan of the Old Military Burying Ground Victoria Square, Toronto, 1884

Plan of the Old Military Burying Ground Victoria Square, Toronto, 1884
by Unwin, Browne & Sankey.
Image courtesy City of Toronto Archives, Fonds 200, Series 1115, File 11

The two-page listing of known plots in the cemetery plan was made two years later, in 1886, after the Military Cemetery Committee had done as much as it was able to reconstruct the burying plan and inscriptions. Thirty markers of some sort had survived. Today, a century and a quarter later, just 17 gravestones survive, only a dozen of which can be identified. See here for more.

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Victoria Memorial Square Plot list 1

Victoria Memorial Square Plot list 2

Any volunteer transcriptions of the above would be welcome.
Genealogists may wish to cross-check the above with OGS (search cemetery ID 5852).

This next rough sketch, found among the papers of the Military Cemetery Committee, was drawn in 1886 by the Rev. Alexander Williams of St. John's Garrison Church for a meeting in the Mayor's office. It is less valuable for its strict accuracy than for showing the shape of things to come as the square was reduced to its present configuration. Parcels B, C and D were tabbed for an extension of Wellington Street West. Parcels E and G having valuable frontage on Bathurst Street would go for private development. Parcel F owned by by St. John's Church was finally sold off in the 1960s. After serving as a parking lot for forty years, it was developed for a rental apartment building in 2005. Only the dead in the cemetery may have saved the park from suffering the same fate.

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Plan of square, Rev. Alexander Williams

Plan by Rev. Alexander Williams.
Key to burials and Williams plan images courtesy City of Toronto Archives, RG 251, Box 1.

Next map: 1889 Hering & Gray: Plan of the City of Toronto, Proposed Intercepting Sewers and Outfall
Back to: East of Garrison Creek