Mount Pleasant Cemetery, located on the border of Leaside, is a large green space where people have an opportunity for quiet contemplation, exercise, and enjoyment. The province set up the cemetery as a statutory trust in the 1800s.
It is the view of many local residents, including Friends of Toronto Public Cemeteries (FTPC), that the cemetery, together with the nine other GTA cemeteries that make up the statutory trust, have more recently been operated like a private corporation by the Mount Pleasant Group.
A recent Ontario Court of Appeal decision confirmed the existence of the statutory trust, but overturned a lower-court decision that the cemetery is a charitable trust and should therefore be subject to various public oversight provisions. The Court of Appeal, however, also noted that the province has the power to change this arrangement.
The LRA supports the long-time advocacy of FTPC to ask the province to update the legislation governing the trust. The cemetery should be treated as a substantial public asset, not be governed privately, and be subject to public oversight and transparency.
Please consider signing their petition: Tell Premier Ford to Keep Mount Pleasant Public: Update the legislation immediately to safeguard our public trust!.
Photo credit: Jason Paris (2009), “Mount Pleasant Cemetery Walk”