As soon as I saw some pictures on the web I knew I had to visit this place. There seems to be some mystery and secrecy amongst residents but a simple Google search gave me enough information to find it. I also get to join the ranks of mobileworks and fiso and add my first cemetery. Now, there's no people buried here, instead many companions of the four legged kind.
Let's get into some history: Happy Woodlawn or Woodland (depending on the source) began in 1933 as Canada's first pet cemetery. It was started up by Victor Blochin and Anne Elizabeth. Victor was in the Russian army and became a prisoner in Germany during the First World War. He had made friends with a fellow captive named Angus Campbell. After the war Victor went to visit Angus in Scotland and was given a gift of a West Highland White Terrier dog, who he named Snejka. After immigrating to Canada, Victor bought a property and designed a stone home with Scottish influence and began to raise terriers. He married Anne Elizabeth Wilson in 1929; she was a successful journalist and became the founding editor of Chatelaine Magazine. They ran Bencruachan Kennels on the property which became internationally known and produced many award winning dogs. There was even a trophy named after Blochin. The first burial in the pet cemetery was Snejka in 1933. Victor himself passed away in 1978 and the property was then sold and renamed to Kennel Inn. That became abandoned in 2011. The land had been proposed for new development but the town is trying to get heritage status for the cemetery. It was suppose to be opened to the public last year but nothing has happened yet.
So I met up with OAP and Jimmy and we headed out for a day of exploring. I had the address for the former Kennel Inn but didn't know exactly where the pet cemetery was, I only knew it was out back in the forest somewhere. So we all split up to cover more ground. I came up onto the house and kennels so I knew I was in the right area. After a bit of time, I got a text from OAP, “Found it!!” We regrouped and started the trek into the woods. After passing a rusted out Maverick and a strange campsite, we reached our destination. The exact co-ordinates are: 43.97665, -79.46643. There were many grave markers, most of them belonging to dogs. The problem was that the forest floor was so overgrown in parts that many were hidden. There were still plenty in plain view and this was such a unique explore. There's a lot to see here including the kennels and the adoption trailer. Unfortunately there was no entry to the house. Please be respectful if you choose to visit here, there's an active house at the front of the shared driveway. We took the safe route and hiked it in from the vacant property to the south.