One of the perks of being located on the river bank is that we attract wildlife.
The cemetery is a perfect haven for them to raise their babes safely away from traffic. ... and no, they are not 'trapped' by the fence: adults can easily leap over it, leaving the fawns in a safe spot until they return.
Remember: they are wildlife ... they follow the river ... they seek safety in a treed area ... and this land was home for their ancestors long before it became a cemetery ... it is ingrained in their habits to come here.
We love our deer!
We watch for them every spring and take note of the babies.
But ... a big but ... we do not feed them!
And we leave them alone.
Winter of 2021-'22 was very severe: much snow and low temperatures: in the spring our student workers found a deer carcass.
Do you understand why?
Because it knew that this was a spot where those 2 legged creatures would leave food, so it came for that ... only, guess what? there wasn't any.
The people it relied on for food stopped coming in the snow and cold, staying safe in their warm houses.
So remember this incident when you consider feeding them. BTW, they also learn to expect food from people and will chase visitors to get fed ... can be scary, especially for children.
And please don't leave nuts for the squirrels ... the oaks provide them with a bounty of acorns. The squirrels just find their way into the church to store the extra hordes, and we have to call exterminators and make repairs.
The historic cemetery across from Polo Park at Tylehurst and Portage welcomes people to visit this old First Nations meeting ground – our gates are always open. The Hudson Bay Company granted the land to create the Parish of St. James in 1851. The Church, erected in 1853, is the oldest log church still in use for regular worship in Western Canada. People are welcome to attend the Sunday Services, held during July and August (service information is on our Worship page).
The first interment took place in 1856, and this non-denominational* cemetery is still in operation: a columbarium was added several years ago, and ash burials still take place. * St James Cemetery, although it surrounds an Anglican church, is the cemetery for the 'parish', which became the town.
Well, we are in the middle of the continent ... and we get snow and extremely cold temperatures which affect what we can do. As long as the weather is fair and the ground hasn't frozen, business as usual until October, with limited grounds keeping as plant growth declines. Spring opening is usually mid April ... but the work we can do depends on the condition of the grounds (frozen? wet? flooded?): if you have need for a winter burial, please contact the Cemetery Manager.
Come Home to St. James: Information about ash niches and ash ground burial sites is available from Cemetery Manager, Rosalie Gill or by phoning the St. James Church office at (204) 888 3489 (please leave a detailed message with contact information).
Grave Stories from St. James
Stories are being gathered about the people buried in our Cemetery with the idea that they may eventually become part of a book. For now, they have been posted online. If you have a story please, email the text and photo to Rosalie or contact us.
The Friends of the Cemetery
The "Friends of the Cemetery", a group of people from across Canada and the USA, was organized in 2005. There are no fees, but Friends are encouraged to donate their time with events at the Cemetery (such as Doors Open).
Donations towards special projects are most welcome: a small tree with a suitable plaque, a donation toward a new walkway leading to the church, a bench for visitors to rest on ... or just a donation to general maintenance. Perhaps you would like to designate for a specific project?
Grave Markers: Visitors take note
This is an old cemetery ... stones are old and get weathered ... part of their charm, but not helpful for people trying to get information from them.
Rubbings: might help, but you need permission from the the cemetery manager to attempt this: you may cause more damage if you do it improperly.
We do not offer perpetual care services, but rely on family members to tend to their ancestors' markers ... sometimes there is no family left ... we do what we can, based on donations we receive to cover the material needs and worker salaries.
Also, as the ground settles and the coffin collapses over time, the stone may topple. Remember... this is a river bank ... and we are on a bed of Manitoba gumbo!
If you are concerned about the condition of a grave marker or cemetery plot, please contact the cemetery manager.
Cheques may be made out to:
St. James Cemetery Board with a memo to specify where/how you would like it to be used.
St. James Cemetery
c/o 195 Collegiate Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3J 1T9
If you are designating towards a specific project, please note that as well.