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June 10, 2009

Unregistered Cemeteries in Ontario

Did you know that unregistered cemeteries in Ontario exist only at the whim of the local land owner?

From the Ontario Genealogical Society (OGS) website

The Ontario Genealogical Society is aware of about 1 200 unregistered cemeteries in this province. "Unregistered" means that the provincial government does not recognize it as a cemetery and so it has no legal protection. It can be removed at whim and without notice.

We have been attempting to get them registered but the Registrar, Cemeteries Act (Revised), has informed us that it is up to the owner of the land where the cemetery is located to apply to have it registered. The Registrar will not simply add them to his list as was done by his predecessor in the early 1990s. Leaving this situation in the hands of the land owners is not satisfactory as they have no incentive to register the cemetery.

OGS is asking for help. They have provided a list of unregistered cemeteries in every County/District in Ontario. If you see a cemetery that is of interest to you, the OGS asks us to write to our MPP asking why it is not registered. Names and Addresses are provided.

Please do your part to help protect these cemeteries where our ancestors are buried.

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