About the Cemetery
The cemetery was first established as a burial ground about 1804 when Capt John Denison buried his young daughter Elizabeth at the recently acquired family farm in Weston.
When Capt John passed in 1824, his will specified that the burial ground be set aside as a family cemetery for his descendants and their spouses. There have been lots of trials and tribulations over the years, but the cemetery remains and is currently run by a non-profit corporation made up of volunteers from the family.
About the Family… by the family…
The Denison Family of Toronto has a long history in Toronto. Capt John Denison was one of the original settlers in York in 1796. The family was prominent in the development of Toronto with extensive land holdings in the west end of the city. Todays street names reflect that influence: Denison, Rusholme, Dovercourt, Bellevue, and Lippincott are all examples. The family’s strongest mark on the city was their participation and leadership in the military through the 1800’s and into WW I and II.
Tim Martin and Robin Davidson-Arnott have written and video blogged about the family’s military history.
If you’re an academic researcher looking for more information, we do have an extensive library of older family written material. Please contact us
About the Family… other Information / links…
Here are public sites that may be of interest to those researching the Denison family. These site are not maintained by St John’s Cemetery on the Humber or the Denison family.
- The Find-a-grave team have photographed the cemetery stones. It’s worth browsing as they’ve done historical research.
- The history of the Church of St. Stephen-in-the-Fields.
- A number of historical plaques have reference to Denisons
- Toronto neighbourhoods (select a neighbourhood and it will give you the history – many involve the Denisons) Then click on “downtown” and then neighborhoods like South Annex or Dufferin Grove.
- Massey-Quick House (the application for “historical site” status)
- Governor Generals Horse Guards main site History
- Governor General’s Horse Guards wikipedia page with references to Denisons.
- There are lots of other references to Denison’s in wikipedia.
David Gagan wrote an article in 1971 before he completed his book “The Denison Family of Toronto, 1790-1925“. It contains a perspective on the family history and the identity it established. Please read sections III and IV for the family history: “The Historical Identity of the Denison Family of Toronto, 1792-1860”
- 1992 property poster (10MB download)
If you’re a member of the family ….
Please go to our Facebook group for more information about the family. The Facebook group is closed to just family members.
It’s easy to find the group. In Facebook, just search for “Denison Family of Toronto” and click to request to join the group. We’ll validate your name in the family tree. If we can’t find you or are uncertain, we’ll connect with you via Facebook messenger. Please watch for that.
If you need the cemetery for a burial…
First of all, you have our condolences.
Please refer to the pdf document “In Case of Need“. It will guide you through the process. There are some forms that you’ll need to fill out. You can print the forms that are in the pdf version of In Case of Need or you can complete the Word files below and email them to the Property Manager (or their designate). Please refer to In Case of Need for contact information.
The forms are:
- Application for Interment – you’ll need to complete this one first.
- Application to Erect a Monument – you’ll need this one when you decide to put in a stone memorial or marker.
- Application for Interment of Cremated Remains – if you wish to bury cremated remains, there is an additional step with the groundskeeper that this form will initiate.