Cemeteries

Please note:  Access to Victoria Lawn Cemetery is allowed for cemetery business and visitors. The mausoleum will open to the public daily at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. for visitors starting June 20, 2020. Additional information is outlined below.  

 Victoria Lawn Cemetery COVID-19 Information

At this time Victoria Lawn Cemetery is open for burials, services and visitors. 

The Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO) has permitted cemeteries to take the appropriate restrictions and protect the health and well being of your family and the greater community, while minimizing any disruption to the services taking place. We know this poses an extra hardship on grieving families, however, people are being asked not to congregate in the cemetery. Unfortunately, these are necessary measures.

Cemetery Practices during COVID-19

The expected practices at cemeteries during the COVID-19 pandemic are that:

  • At the time of making the funeral arrangements it is the responsibility of the funeral director to organize an appropriate number of pallbearers to carry the casket from the funeral vehicle to the lowering device when arriving at the cemetery.
  • Funeral establishment operators will deliver the casket to the grave and have little or no contact with the cemetery staff.
  • Once the funeral establishment staff and family leave then only will the cemetery staff approach and lower the casket.
  • The Registrar expects that both funeral establishment operators and cemetery/crematorium operators will use disinfectants on the casket prior to hand off from one to another. This is, and must be, routine practice.
  • Pallbearers can be any combination of funeral staff, family, mourners, or cemetery staff who are comfortable with serving in this capacity.
  • The BAO supports additional reasonable measures our cemeteries are putting in place to keep families and staff safe. They recognize that should staff become exposed to COVID-19 they would be unable to work for the quarantine period and thereby threaten the operation of cemetery.

Outdoor Funerals and Visitation

  • The persons conducting the funeral must ensure that no more than 50 people are in attendance.
  • All persons attending the gathering must remain at least two metres apart from each other and from persons conducting the funeral unless they are members of the same household.
  • The persons conducting the funeral must ensure that it is conducted in compliance with the advice, recommendations and instructions of public health officials, including any advice, recommendations or instructions on physical distancing, cleaning or disinfecting. 
  • There is no contact permitted between funeral staff, mourners and cemetery staff, including pallbearers. The Registrar’s Directive of April 7, 2020 outlines this in greater detail.

Visiting Deceased Loved Ones

We are allowing individuals to visit the graves of loved ones, however they must maintain physical separation from others, and cannot gather in groups of more than ten. 

The Holy Trinity and Garden of Memories mausoleums will be open to the public daily at 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A maximum of 20 people will be allowed inside Garden of Memories at any one time, and 15 inside Holy Trinity. Disinfection efforts will occur throughout the day. 

Cemetery Gardening

The City is not planting flowers at the cemetery or any other locations this spring. The water lines at the cemetery have now been turned on for the season.

Additional Information

For additional information about these directives or to learn more about cemeteries and the bereavement sector during this pandemic please visit the Bereavement Authority of Ontario website

St. Catharines has some of the most beautiful and well-kept cemetery grounds in the Niagara Region and southern Ontario. Victoria Lawn Cemetery, maintained by the City of St. Catharines, is the largest cemetery in the area. The city is also home to many privately run cemeteries, serving a diversity of faith, culture and religion, including the Victoria Lawn Cemetery.

Victoria Lawn Cemetery

Established in 1856 in the east end of the City beside the Welland Canal, Victoria Lawn Cemetery consists of 170 acres of grave sites today, with more than 79,000 people interred and 155 years of history.

Photo of Victoria Lawn Cemetery

About the Victoria Lawn Cemetery

Situated beside the Welland Canal in east St. Catharines, Victoria Lawn Cemetery was established in 1856 by the Town of St. Catharines.

The Town hired renowned landscape gardener Robert Mundy to plan the cemetery and plant the flower beds and trees.

Originally named The St. Catharines Cemetery, Victoria Lawn Cemetery took its current name in honour of Queen Victoria of England at the turn of the 20th century.

In 1918, the Cullinen Mausoleum on Queenston St. was constructed to include about 300 crypts.

By the 1920s the original cemetery was running out of space, and the farm across Queenston St. was purchased and became the New Cemetery. By the 1960s the New Cemetery was again short of space, so additional land was purchased at the south end of the cemetery.

In the 1980s a number of mausoleums were built to meet with the demands for entombment.

In 2000, the Garden of Memories Mausoleum was established and is currently being used.

Other buildings such as the Carillon Bell Tower, the Chinese Pagoda and Mountainview Homes gazebo have been donated to make the cemetery more enjoyable and comforting.

Today, Victoria Lawn consists of 170 acres of grave sites, more than 79,000 people interred and 155 years of history.

Cemetery Marker Rules and Regulations

When honouring the memory of a loved one, you may be considering adding a personalized, homemade or sentimental marker to their plot. However, there are several rules and regulations that govern what can be added to a grave site. Please read the below carefully and the Cemetery By-law.

The Superintendent has authority to remove any marker that doesn’t meet the standards set out in the City of St. Catharines Cemetery By-law without notice. 

In compliance with the City of St. Catharines Cemetery By-law:

  • No work to erect or alter a marker shall be undertaken until an application has been approved by the Superintendent and fees and charges paid in full.
  • Not more than one marker may be erected on any lot.
  • The work authorized under a marker application must be performed by a qualified contractor under the direction of the Superintendent.

Download a complete list of Cemetery Marker Rules and Regulations.

Queenston Courtyard Columbarium
 The Queenston Courtyard Columbarium, a distinctive and commemorative feature of Victoria Lawn Cemetery, gracefully blends the historic landscape and provides cremation inurnment for a maximum of two inurnments per niche.The Columbarium features five distinctive buildings:
  • Serenity Court
  • Tranquility Court
  • Integrity Court
  • Eternity Court
  • Harmony Circle
 Garden of Memories Mausoleum
Opened in 2000, the Garden of Memories Mausoleum is dedicated to the memory of your loved ones, allowing for the option of entombment in a crypt or inurnment in a niche.
 Walking Tours
Learn more about the history and legacy of our community through the contributions of individuals such as Dr. Theophilus Mack, William Hamilton Merritt, Reverend Anthony Burns, and Fonce Val (Jack) Haney, by taking a self-guided walking tour. Brochures are available at the Cemetery office, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by calling (905) 688-5601 ext. 1557.
 Administration Building
In 2018 the City constructed a new administration building for the Victoria Lawn Cemetery, replacing the original, 1856 administration building.Located on the north-west corner of the property the new, barrier-free, building provides increased work space, accessible public washrooms, meeting rooms and a guest services counter. 
 Office Hours and Location
 Office hours: Monday to Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.Address: 431 Queenston St., St. CatharinesPhone: 905.688.5601 ext. 1557
 Fees
 For more information about fees view the 2020 Cemetery Rates and Fees for St. Catharines residents. Victoria Lawn Cemetery also offers inscription bronze products
Copyright © 2014 The Corporation of the City of St. Catharines