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Canadians Buy Condos Next to Cemeteries

by SteveTuesday, February 28, 2006

The National Post reports that condo buyers in Toronto, Canada are paying a premium to have a condo overlooking a cemetery.

Apparently, all the condos overlooking parks and other beautiful scenery are all taken up. So, folks have found that having a view of a cemetery is just as serene and beautiful.

But not just any cemetery, only those that are filled up. The newer cemeteries often have backhoes digging out plots.
Mr. Johnston said mature cemeteries such as Mount Pleasant are the ones residents want to be next to, as opposed to active ones where burials are a regular occurrence. "They don't want to look out their window and see digging," said Mr. Johnston.

At Mount Pleasant, residents get to be near what the cemetery describes as a "park-like setting" that is home to one of North America's finest arboretums. Sculptures abound at the cemetery and, of course, there is no shortage of flowers.
The concept of the "memorial park" actually hit its "hey day" in 1800s, from about 1830 to beginning of the 1900s. The Bonaventure in Savannah, Georgia, and Mt. Auburn in Cambridge, Massachusetts were great examples. They were more than just park-like, almost nature-like, with ponds, trees, an assortment of flora and wildlife like rabbits, deer, and an assortment of birds. Families visited these places for picnics and social events. They also had amenities like benches, tables, fountains, even amphitheatres.

Today, most memorial parks are simply seen as cemeteries.

It's interesting that urban cemeteries are serving in another capacity, to provide great scenery. It'll perhaps help towards their own preservation.

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