This article originally appeared in The Oshawa Daily Times, August 11, 1928. It has been supplemented with contemporary images, taken by curator Melissa Cole in 2016 (unless otherwise noted).
Like a beautiful chapel dedicated to sainted memories and undying affection, the Oshawa Mausoleum in the Union Cemetery invites the reverent glance of all who pass into or out of Oshawa on the westward approach of the Kingston Highway.
(l): 1928, Oshawa Daily Times; (r) 2013, Oshawa Museum Oshawa Museum photograph
That noble structure is an essay in stone upon the beauty rather than the grimness of death. Sheltering within its stately corridors the remains of Oshawa citizens whose lives helped to shape its destinies, it stands a firm defiance against the ravages of time and mortal mutability.
The building of stately mausoleums in Ontario has been one of the significant phases of life following the late great war. Many hearts torn by the tragedies of battlefields, where, at the best, loved ones have been left to keep eternal vigil on the field of their last supreme sacrifice, and where, at worst, stones which carry the poignant reminder that underneath lies one “Known to God” tell of those who gave even their identity in the battle for freedom, thoughtful men and women have turned with a sense of relief to the steadfast security and permanence of mausoleum interment for their loved ones.
The Canada Mausoleums, Ltd., with head offices in the Metropolitan Building, Adelaide and Victoria Street, Toronto, has rendered a splendid service to Canadians by fostering the erection of such beautiful structures as that which adorns the Union Cemetery. …
Oshawa’s mausoleum is built in an adaption of Egypto-Roman architecture. Its chief beauty is that of line and mass, enhanced by the facade’s central arch which is as impressive as it is beautiful, and typifies the Christian belief that death itself is but a gateway to immortal happiness. The exterior is of cut Indiana limestone. Massive bronze doors open on the vestibule and central chapel at one end of which a window of beautiful stained glass, carrying its pictured message of comfort and hope, throws a jewelled arabesque of light upon the Wallace sandstone, bordered by black and green Missisquoi marble, which forms the floor of chapel and crypt inside.
Two aisles, north and south with the building’s greater dimension, lined with the 310 permanent crypts, all but a small percentage of which are owned by local and district families.
Oshawa Museum photograph
At either end of the crypt corridors are private chapels, separated from the corridors by bronze gates, which are owned by prominent Oshawa families.
An important feature of the Oshawa mausoleum is that the basement contains forty-two crypts forming the Union Cemetery’s receiving vault for winter use. …
Union Cemetery’s many solemn beauties are enhanced by the Mausoleum, near which is the group of graves which closely resemble the war cemeteries of Canadian heroes who died in France. These graves are all headed with the Imperial War Graves’ headstones, and a central monument commemorates the sacrifices of those who, though living to return home, yet succumbed to the actual wounds or disabilities incident to service overseas.
Oshawa Museum photograph
Discover the stories of Oshawa’s Union Cemetery like never before. Actors bring history to life in Scenes from the Cemetery, a dramatic tour through Oshawa’s history.
Last year’s popular event returns with a look at Canada’s 150th! On Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10, take a tour through Oshawa’s Union Cemetery with the dramatic tour Scenes from the Cemetery. On this walking tour, actors will bring stories to life, portraying people from Oshawa’s past, celebrating these exceptional individuals and how their actions led to Canada’s genesis and growth.
The event runs on Saturday September 9 and Sunday September 10, 2017; Show start times: 2pm; 2:20pm; 2:40pm; 3pm
Tickets are $20 each; tickets can be purchased in person at Guy House or online https://scenesfromthecemetery.com/tickets/