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Beechwood Cenetery Irish Connections

2019-07-28

Beechwood Cenetery Irish Connections

Many Irish born and the descendents of Irish immigrants are buriewd at Beechwood Cemetery in Ottawa. Nick McCarthy, the Director of Marketing, Communications and Community Outreach provides an insight into some of those people and their historical impact on Ottawa and Canada.

Beechwood Funeral, Cemetery & Cremation Services was founded in 1873 just fourteen years after Queen Victoria selected Ottawa as the capital of the Dominion of Canada. At that time, city council had decreed burials were not permitted within the city limits, so Beechwood was located beyond what were then Ottawa’s boundaries. Stretching over 160-acres of land, Beechwood now resides on part of the original McPhail farm (100 acres) and the MacKay/Keefer estates. It became a prime example of the type of rural cemetery that emerged in the United States and Canada in the 19th century characterized by winding roads, picturesque vistas, wooded groves, unique landscaping, as well as monuments and markers of considerable architectural and historical interest.

The original shareholders of The Beechwood Cemetery Company of Ottawa were prominent residents, led by Joseph M. Currier. After his death, Currier’s home became the official house of Canada’s Prime Ministers.

Originally perceived to be the Anglo-Protestant cemetery of Ottawa, today Beechwood is a reflection of Canada’s identity as a multicultural, multi-faith society with sections reserved for religious and ethno-cultural communities. This shift began in the 1920’s when the Chinese community wanted to have a section within the cemetery. Beechwood, being one of the oldest and largest cemeteries in Ottawa, naturally was the perfect fit to be the final resting place for their community. It is designed according to Chinese religious principles, and distinguished by a Pagoda to honour the community’s ancestors.

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Filetype: MP3 - Size: 13.6MB - Duration: 59:09 m (32 kbps 44100 Hz)



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