Gems from Toronto’s past—the 3rd military cemetery


When visiting Fort York, after entering the roadway from Fleet Street, in the distance, on the left-hand side, there is a small brick wall where a Canadian flag flutters in the breeze. It is easily overlooked when visiting the fort, as it is to the west of the fort, closer to Strachan Avenue. It is the third military burial ground for soldiers and their families who served the regiments attached to Fort York.

The first military cemetery was established by Governor Simcoe in 1793 for the burial of his eighteen-month old daughter. It was located in what is today Victoria Memorial Park at Stuart and Portland Streets, in the King/Bathurst area.

The second military cemetery was situated to the west of the fort, close to the present-day site of the Dufferin gates of the CNE. It was abandoned after it became apparent that the ground was unsuitable for burials. The bodies that had been interred there were removed and placed within the grounds of at the site shown in the above photo—the third military cemetery. The first internments in it were in 1860s, and the cemetery remained in use until about 1911. However, there is one stone that indicates a burial was placed in the cemetery much later. 


                The plaque on the brick wall on the east side of the cemetery.


A sketch that appears in John Ross Robertson’s book, “Landmarks of Toronto—Volume 1,” published in 1894. It depicts the old cemetery. The view is looking east toward Fort York. The walls and buildings of the Fort can be seen in the background.


The east side of the wall that contains some of the gravestones of the 3rd military cemetery.


The west side of the wall and the gravestone that are encased in it.

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                                            Gravestones encased in the wall


View of the cemetery looking east from near Strachan Avenue. Fort York is hidden by the trees to the west of the fort.

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St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church at King and Simcoe Streets.

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An architectural gem – Grossman’s Tavern at Spadina and Cecil Streets

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An important historic building that disappeared from the northeast corner of Spadina and College

Historic bank building on northeast corner of Spadina and Queen West

History of the Backpackers’ Hotel at King and Spadina

Hamburger corner – Spadina and Queen Streets

Lord Lansdowne Public School on Spadina Crescent

The Victory Burlesque Theatre at Dundas and Spadina

The Dragon City Mall on the southwest corner of Dundas and Spadina

Buildings on the west side of Spadina a short distance north of Queen Street.

History of the site of the Mcdonalds on northwest corner of Queen and Spadina

A former mansion at 235 Spadina that is now almost hidden from view.


Military hero of the War of 1812 lived near corner of Spadina and Queen West.

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The Art Deco bus terminal at Bay and Dundas Streets.

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Campbell House at the corner of Queen Street West and University Avenue

A study of Osgoode Hall

Toronto’s first City Hall, now a part of the St. Lawrence Market

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The Black Bull Tavern at Queen and Soho Streets, established in 1822

History of the 1867 fence around Osgoode Hall on Queen Street West at York Street

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Toronto’s architectural gems in 1912

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History of Trinity Bellwoods Park

A history of Toronto’s famous ferry boats to the Toronto Islands

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