Dating back to 1852, the Mount Royal Cemetery is actually one of the oldest rural cemeteries in North America. The 165-acre (67 hectares) National Historic Site of Canada is a terraced cemetery on the north slope of Mount Royal, and is just one of the many things to do on Montreal’s iconic mountain. It is the resting home of Canada’s former Prime Minister Sir John Abbott, the author Mordecai Richler, John Redpath, John Molson, Arthur J. Nesbitt, Titanic victims and many other illustrious figures.
An atmospheric place if there ever was one, the Mount Royal Cemetery features century-old trees, luxuriant terraces and colorful gardens. It was built following the mid-18th century American trend of locating rural cemeteries outside of the city, and to use horticulture and romance as a mean of commemoration. The particular case of Mount Royal is quite special; as it is built on top of a mountain, it was often said to be a city of the dead overlooking a city of the living.
But more than just a cemetery, this exceptional piece of land is also home to over 145 species of birds, plants and trees, making it a must for nature lovers visiting Montreal.
The Mount Royal Cemetery is located in the Outremont district on the north slope of Mont-Royal. It can easily be accessed on foot from Outremont or Plateau Mont-Royal, or by bus via route 11. There is also ample on-site parking. In March, April, September and October, the main gates are open from 9am to 6 pm. From May through August, they remain open until 8pm, and in November through February, they close at 5pm. Historical guided tours recall the life of famous figures who are buried here. Printed guides are also available for self-guided walking tours.