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Early Bytown residents honoured

An antique carriage pulled by black horses
Early Bytown residents were reinterred at a ceremony at Beechwood Cemetery on Oct. 12.
By on November 20, 2023
Photography: 
LEIGH ANNE WILLIAMS

The City of Ottawa held a solemn ecumenical service honouring seven early citizens of Bytown as their remains were reinterred at Beechwood Cemetery on Oct. 12.

The four adults and three children were originally buried at the Barrack Hill Cemetery, Bytown’s first public cemetery, which was in use from 1827 to 1845 and was located in the area of modern-day Ottawa’s downtown between Sparks, Elgin, Albert and Metcalfe streets.

Graves were first discovered during construction of the Ottawa Light Rail Transit system in 2013. Experts at the Canadian Museum of History analyzed the remains to learn more about the lives of people living in the city at that time. Services were held to reinter 79 individuals in 2017, and another 30 in 2019. The seven people reinterred this year are believed to be the last of those who were buried at Barrack Hill Cemetery.

The Rev. Canon David Clunie represented the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa offering a prayer and blessing during the service that also included clergy from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Ottawa-Cornwall. Bishop Shane Parker also attended the service.—Staff

The Rev. Canon David Clunie at the Beechwood ceremony.
The Rev. Canon David Clunie was one of an ecumenical group of clergy who conducted a service of reinterment, honouring seven people who were originally laid to rest in the Barrack Hill Cemetery.

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