Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver

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Mountain View Cemetery, Vancouver
Cemetery Mountain View Vancouver.jpg
Year established: 1887
Country: Canada
Coordinates: 49°14′05″N 123°05′35″W / 49.23472, -123.09306
Type: Public
Size: 105 acres (420,000 m2)
Number of gravesites: +130,000
Website: Mountain View Cemetery

The Mountain View Cemetery located in Vancouver British Columbia was established in 1887 and serves as a municipal cemetery.


Mountain View Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the Vancouver Metropolitan area. It began operation in 1887, with the acquisition of a parcel of land now known as the "Old Cemetery". It is bounded on the east by Fraser Street, on the south by 37th Avenue, on the north by 33rd Avenue, and on the west by a row of tall trees which today stand well within the present boundaries of the site.

In 1901, land north of this was purchased from the Horne Family, and became known as the "Horne 1" Addition. Land to the south, comprising the Jones Farm, was added in 1910 and is designated as the "Jones 1" and "Jones 2" Additions. The "Horne 2" Addition, adjoining "Horne 1" on the west, was acquired in 1922.

In 1919, a tract bound by 41st Avenue and 43rd Avenue was added. Known as the "1919" Addition, it accommodates many of the victims of the 1917-1919 flue epidemic, as well as the victims of a 1920s B.C. Coast shipwreck ( The Sophia).

The last addition was added on the western boundary in 1941 and is known as the "Abray Park" Addition, taking its name from a squatter who occupied an orchard and grazed cows in the area until the land was included in the cemetery.

The total acreage is now 105 acres and approximately 130,000 bodies have been interred here. Multiple burial is permitted and in many cases, husband and wife are interred in the same grave. In the past, persons unable to pay, followed the same practice of two bodies to a grave. More recently, burials of indigents are single burials.

In the Old Cemetery, the City set aside a block of graves in the Jones Addition for burial of deceased ex-service personnel. Most of the graves in this block are those of the young men who returned to Canada following service in France and subsequently died of their wounds. Other blocks of graves were reserved in later years for servicemen in Horne 2 and also in Abray Park.

Perpetual maintenance of the graves is a relatively recent innovation. In the past, there was no requirement that the family purchasing a grave, had to provide care for it. Consequently, even as late as the 1950s, large tracts were cared for only by scything of the grass. At that time, the cemetery supported a thriving population of pheasants, raccoons, snakes and other small forms of wildlife.

As the cemetery became crowded, most of the trees which once provided a park-like atmosphere, were removed. Pathways were used for new graves and restrictions were placed on the types of monuments erected in order to facilitate easy care. Vandalism is prevalent and many of the loveliest old monuments have been broken and later removed.

In the early years of development, special agreements were entered into with a number of fraternal organizations for burial of their deceased members and their families. Under these agreements, blocks of graves were set aside in the Jones Addition for the Masonic Order (Ancient Free and Accepted Masons), the Oddfellows, the Ancient Order of Forresters, and the Knights of Pythias These graves are easily identifiable by the engraved insignia of the various organizations.

In the Old Cemetery, in years gone by, it became the custom for families from the Chinese Community to choose grave sites next to those of other Chinese families and so a large block of graves grew up in this manner. The Community acquired a block of sixteen grave sites and built a Chinese Buddhist Shrine.

Similarly, a block of Japanese graves developed next to the Chinese and a Shrine-style monument also erected. Again by custom, a group of Russian graves developed in Horne 2 and are easily identified by the distinctive three-barred cross of the Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian script of the epitaphs. Next to the Russian, a large block of Italian graves grew up and nearby, a few Greek graves appeared.[1]


The Cemetery is located on the west side of Fraser Street from 31st to 41st Avenues in Vancouver British Columbia.

"We Rest Here"

The following Signals members are buried here.

Headstone Service Number Rank and Name Grave Location
Baldwin, James grave marker.jpg
H38658 Sigmn J Baldwin Abray 2. Plot 17. Lot 3.
Irvine, Arthur Donald grave marker.jpg
K37137 Sigmn AD Irvine Abray 3. Plot 26. Lot 3.
Kent, Howard grave marker.jpg
K34710 WOII H Kent Abray 6. Plot 13. Lot 16.
Lanctot, Douglas Raymond grave marker.jpg
K35452 Cpl DR Lanctot Abray 2. Plot 14. Lot 5.
Murray, George Forsyth Taylor grave marker.jpg
K35456 Sigmn GFT Murray Abray 3. Plot 25. Lot 8.
Robertson, William Herbert grave marker.jpg
2024482 Spr WH Robertson Jones 3. Plot 11. Lot 2.

See also

Veterans' Affairs Cemetery Page