A little known cemetery that has been referred to as Potters Field, Mimico Hospital Cemetery, Evans Avenue Cemetery, Ontario Hospital Cemetery & now Lakeshore Psychiatric Hospital Cemetery, has been awoken.
I grew up knowing the cemetery as Potters Field. I remember my dad telling me of the cemetery being a paupers cemetery, mostly for patients of the Psychiatric Hospital as well as some from the Mimico Jail. There are a few unknowns as well.
The Cemetery has 1511 people buried there, from newborns of patients, children and adults up to as old as 100. The first burial was in 1890 & the last was in 1974. I do remember seeing a few funerals there, but not many. At times small crosses &/or flowers would appear throughout the cemetery. The history of the cemetery was always something I remembered & I have passed on to my kids. The property was surrounded by a chain-linked fence with no markings. The vast majority of people, even living in the area, didn't know about it. Since the closing of the Hospital the cemetery was virtually forgotten. It no longer looked cared for & I wasn't even sure if the bodies were still there or if they had been moved. It looked like any other random field.
The province sold off the property conditionally around 2000, but luckily the deal fell through. Now it appears as though the government has realized its historic value & they are treating it accordingly. This past spring they replaced the chain link fence & gate with a wrought iron gate with an appropriate sign and plaque sharing it's history. There is a group of volunteers that help with maintaining & cleaning up as well as landscaping provided by the province.
What's most interesting about this cemetery is not its existence, but more the fact that it existed without the knowledge of so many people. It has been hidden in plain sight for over a hundred years and is only now waking up & coming into view.