I’ve been going out for rides around the City of Toronto on my bike lately and I thought that this would be a good home for stories and pics of what I see along the way.
So, on May 7th I went on a bike ride from The Esplanade to York Mills Baptist Cemetery. Located at 104 York Mills Road, in North York, Toronto, and hidden behind a chain link fence, shrubs, and between two single family houses, this tiny plot of land is home to what might be Toronto’s smallest and certainly most forgotten cemetery. I drove by it a few years ago and always thought it would be a good location to bike to and take pictures of, since so few exist online. It’s a nice bike ride, along the Don River bike path for most of the way and then through part of the Bridle Path. I took some pictures of the weird gargoyle statues along this path as well, but most are of the cemetery itself.
I was surprised to find that the cemetery gate had an unlocked latch, so I was able to go in and take close hand pictures. The graves appear to date from the 1840s to the 1920s, prior to the cemetery being closed in 1945. I was also surprised to note that some of the grave stones are better upkept than others, or at least that some, like the obelisk, appear to have had parts of the marble replaced. The writing on others, however, is worn totally smooth.
Even more interesting is the number of Gooderham graves, as in Gooderham & Worts, whose brewery you can still see in the Distillery District. It turns out that Ezekiel Gooderham was one of the first pastors of the attached church, which was demolished in the 1940s or 50s. His descendant George Gooderham was responsible for saving the cemetery from demolition in the 1940s.