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Remains of early Ottawa settlers buried again at Beechwood Cemetery

Andrew Foote, CBC News
October 1, 2017

The remains of dozens of people buried decades ago and unearthed during light rail-related construction in downtown Ottawa were once again laid to rest on Sunday.

Representatives from Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic churches were gathered for the ceremony at the Beechwood Cemetery, where the remains of 79 people were buried in a plot near the National Military Cemetery.

Many of the speakers there said the people now resting in plot 106 in the east end of the cemetery were brave early pioneers of what became the nation’s capital.

“They remind us we stand on the shoulders of people gone before us and we need to remember them,” said Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.

There people were buried in the first cemetery in what was then known as Bytown, Barrack Hill’s Cemetery, which is now the east end of Albert, Queen and Sparks streets in downtown Ottawa.

Col. John By set up the cemetery in 1827 as the Rideau Canal was being built nearby, according to the City of Ottawa.

By the mid 1840s, the city had grown around the cemetery and some — but apparently not all — the remains were moved.

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