Canada’s Oldest Regular Cemetery: Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

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Old Tombstones, Garrison Cemetery, Annapolis Royal, N.S.

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Canada’s oldest formal cemetery is Garrison Cemetery, which is situated adjacent to historic Fort Anne in Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.  While Garrison Cemetery is not as large as the nearly-as-old eighteenth-century burial grounds in Halifax, the setting — amidst the rolling hills of the Fort’s grounds and the sweeping Annapolis River close by — is especially picturesque. Given that Annapolis Royal served as both the capital of Acadia and later as the first capital of Nova Scotia, the well-worn tombstones on the cemetery grounds are quite old indeed, as attested by the protective marker frames in several of the pictures below from a trip last Fall.  (Click any image to enlarge)

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Similar Posts:

• Halifax’s Beautiful Old Burying Ground

• Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

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Weathered Tombstone, Old Loyalist Burial Grounds, Saint John, N.B.

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Cemeteries are places of transcendent reverence, contemplation and connectedness.  I’m particularly moved by final resting grounds that are situated in locations that cause them to be part of a people’s day-to-day lives.  One of the best and most visually gorgeous of these is the very old Loyalist Burial Grounds in Saint John, New Brunswick, which, like Halifax’s Old Burying Ground, is in the heart of the city’s downtown core.  These pictures from a recent trip on a brisk November morning makes clear that the majestic tombstones dating to as early as 1783 are very much a part of the urban environment built up around them.  With its winding walkways, inviting benches and vast shade trees, the Loyalist Burial Grounds is as much a frequented park space as it is a place for memory and serves as a peaceful oasis amidst the surrounding hustle and bustle.

Another Favorite Publisher: Firefly Books

Firefly Books Logo

Not long ago I commented on the remarkable Canadian publisher Douglas & McIntyre.   Another nifty Canadian publisher worth taking note of is Firefly Books, which emphasizes non-fiction.  Aside from McClelland & Stewart, a major Canadian publisher that is a division of Random House, it seems that when it comes to high quality books from Canada one of these two outfits is sure to have had a hand in such works.  While Richmond Hill, Ontario-based Firefly produces a high number of science, nature and “how to” type books, the titles that stand out for me are those focused on art and photography.  Their volumes in those two areas are among the best on their subject matters.

Pictured above is a random selection from the Firefly catalog.  Coincidentally, I have four of these and each is very well done for its subject matter.   Of these, David Silcox’s The Group of Seven and Tom Thomson, is the subject of an earlier post here, and I plan to comment on Pat & Baiba Morrow’s The Yukon and George Walker’s Graphic Witness — each mesmerizing in its own way — in the next few weeks.

Although it’s generally not fair to judge a book by its cover, the graphic elements of book design can play a role in pulling in a prospective reader.  So it’s a minor complaint that the website for Firefly Books, unfortunately, does not do its catalog justice in this respect.  When searching for a book a listing of titles is initially displayed and one must click on the title to get more information and only then get a visual on a given title.  Of course, this is a non issue once you’ve located the book for which you were searching or already have it in your hands

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