St. Thomas Cemetery Company: Who needs to reach out to who?

At the April 13th council meeting, Coun. Linda Stevenson suggested members should revisit the $59,000 St. Thomas Cemetery grant that was denied during budget deliberations in March.

West Avenue Cemetery in St. Thomas

West Avenue Cemetery in St. Thomas

Mayor Heather Jackson stressed on several occasions Monday the cemetery had not contacted the city and she re-iterated, “I’m surprised we have heard absolutely nothing from them.”

However we have obtained a copy of a fact sheet provided by Lesley Buchanan and the St. Thomas Cemetery Company to Mayor Jackson and all members of council outlining in fairly detailed fashion the current situation.

Certainly this would qualify as a communication between the company and the mayor and council, would it not?

As a side note, the city chose this year not to have a representative on the company’s board of directors – the first time this has happened since an agreement was signed in 1990.


St. Thomas Cemetery Company (STCC) formed 1850

Incorporated in 1869 – by an Act of Provincial Parliament. City Fathers initiated and established a Board of Directors

Registered Charity 1988

We refer to St. Thomas Cemetery as West Ave

1924 – STCC implemented Perpetual Care and Maintenance Funds

STCC implemented C & M Funds at $50 per plot to be put in a Fund where the capital grows and at the interest is used to maintain the cemetery.

If every plot in the cemetery paid the C & M Fee we would have $134,500.00
Ont. Statues 1926 Ch. 63 refer to perpetual care funds and the investment but only refer to funds that have come into the hands of the owner presumably on a volunteer basis whereas R.S.O. 1937 Ch. 351, C8, SS 1 cl(e) provides for an order in Council to require the collection of Perpetual Care

Ont. Reg. 63/44 S26 S.S. 2 requires PROFIT cemeteries to collect perpetual care at 15% of the sale price or $0.10 per sq. foot whichever is greater.

1957 – The Cemeteries Act was amended requiring all Cemeteries to establish a C & M Fund.

1912 STCC purchased the Welding Farm in Yarmouth Township; the realization was that another site was going to be required. South Park Cemetery is 25 acres. Currently, 12 acres are developed and 13 acres are rented as farm land.

South Park Cemetery is in the Municipality of Central Elgin

Funeral, Burial, Cremation Services Act (FBCSA) S.O. 2002 Chapter 33, 171(1) O. Reg. 30/11
If an owner can no longer maintain a cemetery it is declared abandoned… the local municipality within whose geographic boundaries the land of the cemetery is located shall be responsible for the maintenance of the cemetery.

This includes both for profit and not-for-profit cemeteries.

We have $386,000 in our Care and Maintenance Fund

We have approximately 12,000 monuments and markers at West Ave, One Mausoleum, one columbarium.

It takes 2 people 6 days to cut – West Ave

It takes 2 ½ people 1 day to cut – South Park

We have approximately 70 interments yearly

We employ 2 full time, 1 seasonal full time, 3 or 4 (depending on the year and our summer grants) summer students for 4 months. Our Gross Payroll is $119,000

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