Cemetery Operator License 3304001

The City of Thunder Bay owns two cemeteries within the City of Thunder Bay: Mountain View Cemetery and St. Patrick's Cemetery, which are located side by side. The cemeteries offer traditional graves, cremation plots, a columbarium wall and carefully landscaped grounds. The cemetery grounds are 73 acres and include six military plots established for those who served in the Canadian military services.


1351 Broadway Ave (corner Highway 61 and Broadway Avenue), Thunder Bay, ON


Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 12 pm and 1 pm - 4 pm, closed Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays.

Cemeteries are open to the public daily, a half hour before dawn to a half hour before dusk, year round. Please observe physical distancing.

Mailing address/contact information

Mountain View Cemetery
1351 Broadway Ave
Thunder Bay, ON  P7K 1L8

Telephone: 807-625-3014

Fax: 807-475-8537

Email: leadhandmountainview@thunderbay.ca

More information

For more information, download the Bereavement Authority of Ontario's Consumer Information Guide.

Local & regional cemeteries operated by City of Thunder Bay

Under Operator Licence 3304001, the City of Thunder Bay operates five cemeteries in or near Thunder Bay:

Mountain View Cemetery (site 04145) was established in 1884 by Peter and John McKellar. At that time, many burials were relocated from a downtown cemetery located on the bank of the Kaministiquia River near the foot of Donald Street (close to Thunder Bay's City Hall) to Mountain View Cemetery.

St. Patrick's Cemetery (site 04146) was established adjacent to Mountain View Cemetery in 1889 on lands purchased from  John McKellar by the Roman Catholic Clergy of Fort William.


History of Mountain View and St. Patrick's Cemetaries.
Fort William’s first cemetery consisted of a few acres of fenced-in land on the Kaministiquia River, one and one-half miles from its mouth. When this site, known as the “old town plot”, was required for industry, the bodies were removed and taken to the newly-opened Mountain View Cemetery site (owned by Peter and John McKellar) which was located seven miles from the mouth of the Kaministiquia River.1  On November 5, 1901, Fort William town Council passed By-law 280 which enabled them to acquire lands for a public cemetery. They purchased Mountain View from Peter and John McKellar on November 12, 1901, for the nominal sum of $48.00.2 The town now owned the cemetery and a committee of Council was appointed to take charge of the cemetery and all affairs connected with it.3

The oldest known grave that was transferred to Mountain View dated back to 1831. Many other transferred graves from the 19th Century may be found at Mountain View, but most inscriptions are worn down and difficult to read.4

Council decided to designate their new purchase as “The Fort William Public Cemetery”. According to “Facts and Fancies” in the Daily Times-Journal of November 6, 1901, the people would approve of the town taking over the cemetery but its name would pose a problem. The author felt that “public” would imply a Potter’s Field (an unmarked area set for indigent burials) and, “There would be no sentiment in a letter written to parents that their son was laid to rest in a ‘public cemetery’. It savours too much of being buried by the authorities and not by friends”.5

The new rules and regulations of By-law 280 were enacted and it was thereafter made unlawful to bury any body within the town limits. The Corporation of the Town of Fort William was now in charge of burials and burial grounds. No other cemeteries were to exist within the boundaries of the town.6

Unfortunately, information on the early cemetery years is scarce as all the records were lost in the town hall fire of 1903. A fireproof vault was built at the cemetery in 1904 and, from then on, records have been safely stored there with duplicates kept at City Hall.

Along the west side of Mountain View Cemetery, as it was popularly known, lay St. Patrick’s Cemetery, which was operated by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort William. They had purchased the land in 1899, also from John McKellar.7

The church experienced financial difficulties in operating their cemetery and, in 1905, requested funds from Council in order to maintain it. Council provided money for caretaking and improving St. Patrick’s Cemetery for 1905 and continued this grant in other years at the request of the Diocese.8

In May, 1917, a street car connection between the City of Fort William and Mountain View Cemetery was constructed. The City already had the supplies on hand and the cost of construction was kept to wages for labour. According to the Daily Times-Journal on May 21, the line would be well patronized as over 100 people had travelled to the cemetery on foot the previous day. James Murphy offered the use of his lot adjoining to the southwest of the cemetery as a park. His lot ran to the Kaministiquia River and included a “beautiful little lake with an island in the centre that would make an ideal spot for picnic parties.9 Murphy’s Park, as it was known, was accessible by river and the new street railway. Clearly, in 1917, citizens were interested in the cemetery area as a place of passive recreation as well as a place for interment of the departed.

Later in May 1917, the Board of Park Management informed Council that they were ready to assume responsibility for the care of Mountain View Cemetery whenever Council was prepared to transfer the same. Council gladly handed the task over to the Board on May 22, 1917.10

The Board of Park Management commenced taking care of the cemetery, although a new by-law giving them legal and official authority was to come later. The Board felt this by-law was essential for the proper administration of the cemetery. In 1917, they began discussing this issue with a special Council committee. After two years with no results, they sent a communication to Council on March 14, 1919, stating that “The Board would be pleased to be advised on what is the Council’s pleasure with reference to the cemetery, as it is not desirable that the indefinite and uncertain position of affairs should be continued”.11

Council finally approved By-law 1885 for the administration of the cemetery by the Parks Board on April 16, 1919.

Starting in May and June that year, cemetery matters of concern were brought before the Board of Park Management. These included such things as permission to erect monuments and cornerstones, tenders and sketches for fixing the vault, prices for care of graves, caretaker’s wages and so on. In 1923, when the Catholic cemetery required assistance from the City. The Parks Board agreed to undertake to improve the cemetery. Mr. Gray’s salary was raised from $100 to $125 per month in view of the extra work involved in looking after St. Pat’s.12

Unfortunately, the Board of Park Management also encountered some financial problems when in 1924 Council declined to give them the usual grant of $1750, giving $1000 instead. The Board members explained that they would be forced to drop the supervision and upkeep of the cemetery unless given an adequate amount of funding. “The members of the Parks Board claim they cannot possibly keep the grounds in shape for less than the amount previously allowed for the purpose and prefer to turn the job back to the City after the end of this month, rather than accept the responsibility of the cemetery reverting to the condition it was in before they took it over years ago.”13

The Board members were also quick to point out that they had not been receiving any interest from the Perpetual Maintenance Fund. According to By-law 1885, a Board of Trustees was to be responsible for the investment of the Perpetual Maintenance Fund and for the collection of the interest. The Board should have been receiving some of this money for yearly maintenance. City Council, interested in the Board of Park Management’s continued upkeep of the cemetery, amended the by-law in June 1924, allowing 50% of the interest from the Perpetual Maintenance Fund to be available to the Parks Board for annual maintenance. The other 50% was to be reinvested.14 The Board was satisfied and continued to maintain the cemetery.

In November, 1927, the Parks Board purchased 41.6 acres from the Canadian National Railways. This land was located to the north of Broadway Avenue, across from the original cemetery site. It was to be developed for cemetery purposes since the lots at Mountain View were almost sold out.15

The Parks Board continued to operate and maintain Fort William’s expanding public cemetery, as well as providing assistance to the Catholic cemetery as required. Many new bylaws were enacted from the 1920’s through to the 1960’s, dealing mostly with new rules and regulations and increased fee schedules.

Mountain View Cemetery, which had once been in the quiet countryside, was slowly being surrounded by industry, housing and highways. The cemetery itself was also growing. In 1962, there was talk of the possibility of building a chapel and public shelter at Mountain View. Originally, this task was planned as a “civic do-it-yourself project”, with a minimal cost of $5,000. By the time construction began in 1966, the contract was worth $20,000.16

As well as being a year of construction, 1966 was a year of destruction. The cemetery superintendent’s house on Broadway Avenue was removed to make way for the new Thunder Bay Expressway. Originally, the superintendent had lived in a house on the cemetery grounds. This house was then moved west on Broadway and its modern replacement was demolished in 1966.17

St. Patrick’s Cemetery was also running out of space for future use. The clergy had purchased some land beside their cemetery but it was zoned residential. Mr. Thompson, City Planner, in his report on this issue, said “Society in this enlightened age does not have the superstitious apprehension of a bygone era toward a graveyard. Its quietness and beauty in landscaping is not without passive refreshment but the fact remains the residents in close vicinity will continuously witness sorrow of interments and subsequent visits of bereaved relatives and friends”.18

He expressed the opinion that a buffer zone was needed between the cemetery and nearby residential area. St. Patrick’s Cemetery could not expand onto this property as it was to remain a buffer. Plots were set aside in the north section of Mountain View for Roman Catholic burials, due to the shortage of lots at St. Patrick’s. The City of Thunder Bay also purchased an additional six acres of land south of the two cemeteries in 1971. This was cleared and developed by the Parks and Recreation Department.19

The inevitable finally occurred in January of 1972, when the Roman Catholic Diocese informed the City that they could no longer support full-time staff for the upkeep of their cemetery without the revenue from the sale of new plots. They requested a meeting to discuss the merger of the operation of their cemetery with Mountain View.20

It was decided that such a merger was feasible for several reasons. The two cemeteries were adjacent to one another and, therefore, staff and equipment would be readily available for maintenance. The Perpetual Maintenance Fund from the Parish would be transferred to the City funds and help to offset additional operating costs. The amalgamated cemeteries would be operated as a common burial ground, reducing the segregation and changing the images of the two cemeteries. Finally, capital improvements required by both parties would service the entire community.21

At a Council meeting on April 25, 1972, the resolution for the takeover of St. Patrick’s was confirmed. The documents were sent to the Ontario Government for their approval in 1973. The transactions were completed early in 1974 and the City now officially operated two public cemeteries.22

The Parks and Recreation Department maintained the grounds of St. Patrick’s Cemetery while the legal transactions were being concluded. In 2003, a joint effort of the CWGC, DVA and the City resulted in the restoration of 266 war graves, complete with new headstones. At the same time, Cemetery staff took the initiative to restore a World War I vintage Germany artillery piece to showcase the military area.

1 Thunder Bay Historical Society, Papers of 1916, p.10.
2 Land titles and Registry Office, Instrument #638, November 12, 1901. Agreement between Peter McKellar (Executor for John McKellar who died on February 3, 1900) and the Corporation of the Town of Fort William.
3 Daily times-Journal, Fort William, November 6, 1901.
4 Chronicle-Journal, Thunder Bay, 81/04/11, article by Bruce Langer.
5 Ibid
6 Daily Times-Journal, Fort William, March 28, 1967.
7 Land Titles and Registry Office, Instrument #600, May 5, 1899. Agreement between John McKellar and Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation of the Diocese of Peterborough for $25.00.
8 Cemetery and Parks Minute Book 1904-05. February 21, 1905, and June 21, 1905.
9 Daily Times-Journal, Fort William, May 19 and 21, 1917.
10 Fort William City Council May 22, 1917, motion by Barabe and seconded by MacDonald and Board of Park Management May 11/17.
11 Parks Board March 14, 1919.
12 Board April 13, 1923, May 11, 1923, June 8, 1923.
13 Daily Times-Journal, Wednesday, May 28, 1924.
14 Board June 13, 1924, November 14, 1924, January 30, 1925. By-law 3010 to amend 1885.
15 Fort William Board of Park Management. November 17, 1927.
16 Daily Times-Journal March 3, 1962, March 9, 1966, By-law 21-66.
17 Times-News, September 24, 1976.
18 Daily Times-Journal, May 30, 1970.
19 Daily Times-Journal, August 20, 1971 – purchased six acres from Ontario Hydro for $450 an acre.
20 Letter from F. St. James, Rector of St. Patrick’s Cemetery to Rob McCormack, Director of Parks and Recreation, January 13, 1972.
21 Letter from W.E. Mokomela, Assistant City Co-ordinator – Operations, to Mr. E.C. Reid, City Co-ordinator, April 11, 1972.
22 By-law 157-1974, amended By-law 136-1977.

The following three regional cemeteries are no longer active:

  • Intola Cemetery (site 04142)
  • Kivikoski Cemetery (site 04143)
  • Sunshine Cemetery (site 04151)




Burial PlotsDimensionsLandCare and MaintenanceTotalHarmonized Sales Tax (13%)TOTAL (incl. HST)

Adult Single Grave







Two-grave plot







Three-grave plot







Child single grave

2’3” or 2’5”






Cremation Grave







Columbarium Niches

Top Row 4







Upper Row 3







Lower Row 2







Bottom Row 1







Adult Grave: Deceased ratepayer of The City of Thunder Bay

 $     1,024.00

 $  133.12

 $  1,157.12

Adult Grave: All other cases

 $  1,229.00

 $  159.77

 $  1,388.77

Child Grave: Parents/Guardians of child who are ratepayers of The City of Thunder Bay

 $     410.00

 $    53.30

 $     463.30

Child Grave: All other cases

 $     609.00

 $    79.17

 $     688.17

Cremation: Deceased ratepayer of The City of Thunder Bay

 $     436.00


 $     492.68

Cremation: All other cases

 $     541.00

 $    70.33

 $     611.33

Administrative Fee Charge: Double or companion urn internment

 $     252.00

 $    32.76

 $     284.76

Columbarium Niches

 $     258.00

 $    33.54

 $     291.54

Provincial Fee: For each burial, interment or scattering.

As of April 2016. Subject to change by the Province.

 $        12.00

 $       1.56

 $        13.56


Burials & Funerals on Saturdays




Transfer of Interment Rights





Disinterment: Adult Coffin

 $ 3,423.00

 $   444.99

 $                          3,867.99

Disinterment: Child Coffin

 $       830.00

 $   107.90

 $                              937.90

Disinterment: Cremated Remains

 $       552.00

 $     71.76

 $                              623.76


Limited areas at Mountain View Cemetery are available at-need for traditional and cremation plots. There is no pre-purchasing of in-ground cemetery plots (traditional or cremation). Mountain View Cemetery has pre-need availabilities for double niches in the columbarium wall section of the cemetery.


Cemeteries are legislated under the Ontario Cemeteries Act. The Act empowers cemetery operators with the authority to set specific By-laws for the operations of their cemeteries. The Mountain View and St. Patrick's Operating By-laws are approved by Thunder Bay City Council and enforced by the City's Parks & Open Spaces Section.

Frequently asked questions

When are the Cemeteries open?

Cemeteries are open to the public daily, a half hour before dawn to a half hour before dusk, year round.

Can we drive into the Cemetery?

Yes. Please be careful where you drive and park, as many graves are situated right beside the road.

Can artificial flowers be placed on grave sites?

Yes, according to the Mountain View and St. Patrick's Operating By-laws, artificial flowers may be placed on grave sites after the Thanksgiving weekend and removed by Victoria Day (third weekend in May). Year-round exceptions are saddle-type wreaths attached to the top of monuments and artificial flowers placed in vases permanently attached to the monument.

Are flower beds allowed on grave sites?

Yes, according to the Mountain View and St. Patrick's Operating By-laws, a flower bed is allowed in front of a monument. These flower beds may extend out to a maximum of 45 cm (18") from the monument and not past the ends of the base. Annual and perennial flowers are allowed in these beds. Absolutely no trees or bushes are allowed on any grave site. Please note that all trees planted in the Cemetery are situated on specific sites by Cemetery staff for the enhancement of the cemetery.

Who is responsible for repairing a sunken graves and markers?

Cemetery groundskeepers are responsible for levelling and reseeding of grave lots and all marker maintenance.

How would I find a specific grave site?

The Cemetery office manages the records for all grave sites dating back to 1904 (Mountain View) and 1923 (St. Patrick's) and is in the process of creating a computerized database.

I am interested in doing research on my family history. Whom should I contact?

Call the Cemetery office at 625-3014, or contact the Ontario Genealogical Society - Northern Ontario Branch.

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