Fairview Lawn Cemetery is a fascinating place to encounter some of the tragedies that have befallen Halifax, Nova Scotia. Most notably, Fairview is the final resting place of more than 100 people who were lost in the sinking of the Titanic, as well as many others who died in the 1917 Halifax Explosion that devastated the provincial capital.
Fairview Lawn Cemetery is a nondenominational municipal cemetery with sizable Greek and Chinese sections. Many of the gravestones are simple gray granite with engraved names and dates. Most visitors explore the final resting places of those who died in the Titanic disaster, including the poignant Grave of an Unknown Child. When no one claimed the baby boy’s body, sailors from the vessel that recovered him from the water raised money to erect a monument for him. In 2012 he was identified as Sidney Leslie Goodwin, a 19-month-old Briton who was traveling with his family.
You can visit the cemetery independently or book a sightseeing tour of Halifax, some of which also journey to Peggy’s Cove and its famous lighthouse.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Fairview Lawn Cemetery is a must-see for those interested in Titanic and Maritime history.
- The cemetery is free to visit, and no reservations or tickets are required.
- This is still a working cemetery, so please be respectful as there may be mourners on the grounds.
- The cemetery is accessible to wheelchair users and strollers but may require some assistance on slight inclines.
How to Get There
Fairview Lawn Cemetery is located on Windsor Street, on the edge of the hip North End in Halifax. The Titanic graves are in the back lot; there are signs to help you find them. Street parking is available.
When to Get There
Fairview Lawn Cemetery is open year-round. The site is fully outdoors with no shelter from the elements, so choosing a fair-weather day is your best bet. Summer is the busiest season in Nova Scotia. Once winter hits, gravestones may be obscured by snow and it may be too cold to spend a lot of time there, but you’ll nearly have the place to yourself.
Here Lies J. Dawson
After the 1997 release of the movie Titanic, a previously unremarkable grave marked as the final resting spot of J. Dawson garnered a lot of attention as being the possible inspiration for Leonardo DiCaprio’s character, Jack Dawson. The grave belongs to Irish crew member Joseph Dawson and, according to director James Cameron, was not an influence on the movie—yet that hasn’t stopped fans from leaving flowers, ticket stubs, and other tributes on the headstone.