Niagara Lake Shore Cemetery
All administrative functions of the cemetery are managed at the cemetery at 1483 Lakeshore Road. This includes transactions such as lot purchases, interments, cremation scatterings, and record and lot availability inquiries. Please make an appointment prior to your visit.
Staff are pleased to assist families in choosing the perfect means of memorialization. The Cemetery provides earth and cremation interment or a niche in our columbarium.
Administrative Hours: Monday to Friday from 7:30am-4pm
Care and maintenance is the responsibility of the Parks & Recreation division with Niagara Lake Shore Cemetery being the only active burial grounds. There are eleven inactive cemeteries within the municipality that are cared for by our staff:
- Ball Cemetery, Hunter Road
- Baptist Cemetery, Virgil
- Chrysler Cemetery, Line 8 at Creek Road
- Clement Cemetery, St. Davids
- Homer Cemetery, Old Hwy. 8 at Canal
- Methodist United Church Cemetery, Virgil
- Negro Burial Place, Niagara-on-the-Lake
- River Road Cemetery, at Browns Point
- Servos Cemetery
- Steele Village Cemetery, St. Davids
- Sterling Cemetery, Line 6
Selections of fine bronze and granite markers are available at the Cemetery along with bronze wreath plates for columbarium niches.
Negro Burial Ground / Niagara Baptist Church Burial Ground Archaeological Assessment and Restoration Project
The Burial Ground, located on Mississagua Street between John and Mary Street, is the final resting place of Niagara Baptist Church parishioners. Many of these people were part of Niagara-on-the-Lake's historic Black community, which included enslaved people, freedom seekers from the United States, Black Loyalists, free people, and their descendants.
The Town is committed to honouring those buried on these sacred grounds. Council has committed to a partnership with the community group known as the Friends of the Forgotten (FOTF) to restore and preserve this cemetery long term. Staff and the FOTF are currently working with a licensed archaeologist to conduct a Stage 1 Archaeological Assessment through funding raised by the FOTF community group. This process is being done in consultation with the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (BAO), and Stage 1 should be completed near the end of April. Once completed, the results will be shared with Town Council, and next steps related to restoration will be determined.
About the Niagara Baptist Church / Negro Burial Ground:
The Niagara Baptist Church congregation was established in 1829. A meeting house was erected at this site in 1831 through the efforts of John Oakley, a white former British soldier turned teacher and minister. Initially, the church congregation mainly consisted of colonists, with a small number of Black members. The Black population of the Town of Niagara grew to about 100 due to the influx of freedom seekers after Britain passed the 1833 Slavery Abolition Act and the United States enacted the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. By the late 1840s, the church’s membership was predominantly Black and from 1849-56 was led by Black Baptist minister Francis Lacy. There are at least 15 burials in the churchyard, including Herbert Holmes and Jacob Green, who were killed in the Solomon Moseby Affair that took place at the Niagara jail in 1837. Holmes and Green were among Niagara community members who prevented Moseby from being returned to slavery in the United States. After the 1860s, the population declined, and the church closed in 1878. The burial ground is a reminder of the church and the significant Black community in Niagara.
Ontario Heritage Trust Plaque Program
The Ontario Heritage Trust has unveiled an updated provincial plaque to commemorate the Niagara Baptist Church Burial Ground (formerly the Negro Burial Ground 1830 plaque). Updating this plaque is part of the ongoing work of the Trust to tell Ontario’s stories in an honest, authentic and inclusive way.
The plaque will be installed in the spring/summer of 2023 and will recognize the significant Black community and congregation formed in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The original plaques were created between 1957 and 1966 and reflected the biases and terminology of the time. The Trust engaged prominent historians Natasha Henry and Adrienne Shadd to develop new research and provide a more comprehensive interpretation of the historical events. The newly rewritten plaques now present an expanded understanding of the local communities' Black history.
Thanks to their new findings, they recentre the experiences and voices of the Black individuals who were once excluded.
The unveiled plaques are part of the Ontario Heritage Trust's broader work to expand the historical narrative and make updates to be more diverse, inclusive, respectful, accurate, and authentic.