The 343 Acres That Is Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery

***I did not know this before I went inside the cemetery, but you are supposed to obtain written permission from the cemetery if you want to take photos inside.  Please keep this in mind.*** 

This is going to be a bit of a photo intensive post, but you can’t really walk away from 343 acres of land without a few photos.

It may seem a bit weird to take a photo trek through a cemetery, but this is no ordinary cemetery.  Buried here, is the “who’s who” of Quebec and Canadian history.

To find out which prominent figures of Quebec and Canadian history are buried here, follow this link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Notre_Dame_des_Neiges_Cemetery#Notre-Dame-des-Neiges_Cemetery

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Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery is the largest cemetery in Canada and was declared a National Historic Site of Canada in 1999.

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Don’t kid yourself, you will never be able to walk this cemetery in one day.  It has 55km of lanes!!!  Below, is Robert Bourassa’s (former Quebec Premier) grave.  I just happened upon on it.  It may look grand, but there are thousands of other monuments in the cemetery that put it to shame.  I was actually quite surprised that it was just there, among everyone else.

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Below is a spot that really grabbed my attention.  At first, you think it is just an open area for the monument that you see.  But once you walk closer, you will see it is a special place for children to be buried.  There were some teddy bears and other items laying on the ground, but covered with leafs.

I did not check out the dates on the grave markers, but i can only assume that the kids buried here may be still-borns, pre-mature babies that did not make it or babies that could not overcome what ever illness they may have had.  It was very sobering to see.

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The one thing that was quite obvious, was the fact that the cemetery is segregated.  From what i could observe, anyone of who was Asian (Korean, Chinese, Vietnamese, etc.) seemed to have been relegated to their own acreage of land.  Same for anyone from Eastern Europe, Latino/Spanish, etc.  In other words, you did not have the Asians buried among the Russians for example.  Funny how we all live and inter-mingle together here on earth, but are segregated at death.

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I was not the only one there not visiting a loved one.  There were people taking walks, walking their dog, taking photos like me and bloody cyclists!  Of course, these morons all think they are in the Tour De France and whip around the lanes like no one else is around.  Just once, i would like to take a peaceful walk in a park or any green space and not come across cyclists.

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Below is Jean Drapeau’s (former Mayor of Montreal) grave site.  Again, very simple, not grand and in no special place.

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It was a really nice afternoon and the rain held-off.  In terms of a photo-trek, i would mark this one up as one of the best i have had.  It was very peaceful (obviously), serene, plenty of nature and plenty of photo opportunities.

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Thanks for looking.

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