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Human remains discovered during Ottawa transit line construction to be laid to rest

Daily Commercial News
September 22, 2017

Human remains and casket materials from Ottawa’s earliest cemetery, which were discovered under Queen Street during the O-Train Confederation Line construction in 2014, will now be laid to rest at their permanent home at Beechwood Cemetery.

Barrack Hill Cemetery was commissioned in Bytown, now known as Ottawa, in 1827 by Lieutenant-Colonel John By, who was the royal engineer overseeing construction of the Rideau Canal. The cemetary was created primarily in response to a high death rate among residents due to outbreaks of disease, states the City of Ottawa’s website.

As Bytown’s population grew, the cemetery was soon in the middle of the city. In the mid-1800s, plans were made to reinter the human remains at the newly established Sandy Hill Cemetery, now known as the Macdonald Gardens Park.

According to the City’s website, it was discovered that not all of the individuals resting at Barrack Hill Cemetery were removed. Following the discovery, archeologists disinterred the remains and moved them to the Canadian Museum of History for analysis, in an attempt to learn more about the individuals that first inhabited Bytown, adds the website.

The City of Ottawa, in collaboration with appointed representatives responsible for the discovered individuals, will hold a public visitation where 52 caskets containing the remains of the individuals will be displayed as part of Canada’s sesquicentennial events in 2017.

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