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Calgary’s historic Catholic resting place St. Mary's and Pioneer Cemetery

St. Mary’s Cemetery is located on the west side of MacLeod Trail in the city’s southeast and was established in 1897. St. Mary’s Cemetery includes many of Calgary's founders and pioneers and features a new columbarium garden for the interment of cremated remains.

Visitor information

Address: Erlton St. and 31 Ave. S.W.

Hours: Grounds are open daily from sunrise to sunset.

Map: St. Mary's Cemetery Map

For administration office information visit our contact page.

Cemetery features

Space availability: Space in the new columbarium is available along with a limited number of casket burial lots. Please call 403-221-3660 for more information.

Features and special areas:

  • In-ground burial plots
  • In-ground cremation burial plots
  • Seven Graces of Mary Columbarium & Garden for cremated remains
  • Memorial cross
  • Central location
  • FREE historical cemetery walking tours in the summer

Physical area: 7.1 hectares

Number of burials: 15,000 including many Calgary founders and pioneers


Burial plot: A traditional burial plot can accommodate two caskets and up to ten urns with cremated remains.

Cremation plot: Similar to a burial plot, but smaller, allows clients to inter up to four urns with cremated remains.

Photo: From St. Mary's Cemetery


Columbarium: An outdoors structure that hold urns with cremated remains in individual niches. Some niches can hold multiple urns from other family members.

The deceased’s name and dates of birth and death can be inscribed on the niche door.

Photo: From St. Mary's Cemetery

Pre-planning

It’s common for people to make end-of-life arrangements prior to their passing, including pre-purchase plots, crypt spaces or cremation urns.

Advantages of pre-planning

  • Pre-planning is an act of love because it means your friends and family will not need to make last-minute decisions at an already stressful and emotional time.
  • It also relieves your friends and family of the financial burden of paying for your final arrangements.
  • Your family will know exactly what to do, ensuring that the funeral services are provided according to your wishes, preferences and beliefs.
  • Like most other products, cemetery plots, niches and crypts increase in price over time, so pre-purchasing can help you save money in the future.
  • If you change your mind after pre-purchasing, and decide to rest in a different cemetery or go through a different funeral process, you can always sell your plot, niche or crypt.

For more information, call 403-221-3660 Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

History

In 1876, the year after the Redcoats built their stockade, the Roman Catholic Mission established a burial ground at Second Street & 24 Avenue S.W. The first recorded burial took place in February of that year. After 10 years of use, the small graveyard was officially registered as a cemetery in 1886. When the cemetery closed in 1897, the early graves were exhumed and moved to the site of the new St. Mary's Cemetery, which had been established on the west side of Macleod Trail at Erlton Street and 32 Avenue S.W. The City of Calgary assumed management of St. Mary's Cemetery in 1935, and over time the cemetery was expanded to the south and east. The cemetery offers a mixture of upright monument and flat marker sections. The cemetery also features a new columbarium garden for the interment of cremated remains.

The original northern portion of St. Mary's Cemetery is now known as St. Mary's Pioneer Cemetery.

The Calgary Heritage Authority deemed St. Mary’s Cemetery to be a historically significant cultural landscape that played an important part in the settlement and establishment of Calgary as a city. Today it is known as one of the city’s oldest Catholic cemeteries.

Since becoming an acceptable interment practice for the Catholic Church, cremation is becoming a popular form of burial for parishioners in Calgary. To meet this growing need, The City of Calgary built a columbarium garden in St. Mary’s Cemetery. We've worked with the Calgary Heritage Authority, the Southern Alberta Pioneers and their descendants, as well as the community, to design a columbarium garden that meets the personal and spiritual needs of the Catholic community, while maintaining the reverence and heritage of the cemetery.

Contact

For more information email calgarycemeteries@calgary.ca or call 403-221-3660. Queen's Park Cemetery administration building office hours are Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Prairie Sky Cemetery administration building office hours are by appointment only.

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