Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mount Pleasant

Mount Pleasant Cemetery isn't merely a final resting place for over 166,000 Canadians and a designated National Historic Site of Canada, it is 200 protected acres of great natural beauty in the heart of midtown Toronto. Its rolling hills and diverse forests are home to a unique collection of artworks and rare plant species that evolve with each generation.

Mount Pleasant’s tree collection has become one of North America’s finest arboretums. Along with the abundant trees, large flower gardens, birds and other wildlife that create a park-like setting, some of the city's the finest architecture can be found among the sculptures and memorials created by gifted artists and craftsmen of a past era.

I've had the good fortune of living adjacent to this gorgeous greenspace for a decade now. I went for a walk there yesterday with my friends, and I took a few new shots to add to an ever-expanding portfolio of my cool next-door neighbor:

This is my summer balcony view of Mount Pleasant. All that green camouflages the TTC Davisville train yard below.

A view from the old part of the cemetery down into modern plots in the ravine...

The classical Greek architecture of the Timothy Eaton family mausoleum.

A rare (and massive!) copper beech tree flanks the crematorium building.

Copper beech tree detail

Memorial garden
and brilliant flowering trees

amazing wildflower gardens
Billions of berries

 True story: I was focusing in on these flowers and got photobombed by a Monarch!
(click to enlarge)
The Massey crypt is the grandest of family monuments on the grounds.
Designed by renowned Toronto architect E.J. Lennox in his signature Romanesque Revival style,
this tiny bone castle is a true marvel...

(click to enlarge)
...topped with an allegorical statue of Hope.

(click to enlarge) Detail of the stone carved rear turret

(click to enlarge)
The "tuning fork" tree behind the Massey crypt. Given the short height of the fork,
I assume the tree was purposely grafted to grow in this manner over a century ago.
But maybe it was born this way?

A forest of obelisk monuments that reach toward the tree tops. One gets a deep sense of phallic overcompensation.

There are many bench monuments throughout Mount Pleasant, but I'm ignorant to the etiquette of tombstone furniture.
Is it okay to actually sit on this?
Do you have to be a relative or friend of the family?
Do you have to be topless?
I started to take a rest here, but that granite was scorching hot in the afternoon sun, and these two chicks kept tryin' to touch me.

Not so creepy looking in the sunshine...
Simpson crypt wrought iron door detail.

If I were 20 years younger, I would totally climb this badass twisty tree.

The rolling hills of Mount Pleasant lead to the Central Ravines / Beltline Discovery Walk - a great place to escape the city without leaving it.

1 comment:

SkylersDad said...

Wow! It is a beautiful place and you took some amazing photos.