Explorer: Pinecrest Cemetery’s quiet is an oasis for the living

We humans have been burying our dead since, well, before we were human. . . or Homo Sapient, at least. Our ancient ancestors, Homo Naledi, have burial sites dating 335,000 years ago. That’s 260,000 years before any homo sapient, according to the Smithsonian. Naturally, graveyards have acquired a spooky rep over those 260,000 years, with […]
Photo: Thomas Gordon
Located in Nepean, Pinecrest Cemetery opened in 1924.

We humans have been burying our dead since, well, before we were human. . . or Homo Sapient, at least. Our ancient ancestors, Homo Naledi, have burial sites dating 335,000 years ago. That’s 260,000 years before any homo sapient, according to the Smithsonian.

Naturally, graveyards have acquired a spooky rep over those 260,000 years, with countless horror classics such as Night of the Living Dead, the Omen or Pet Cemetery unfolding between their stony rows.

Pinecrest Cemetery, a 15-minute bus ride from from Algonquin College, isn’t just a great spot to consider these scary movies – it can be an oasis from the busy sounds of Ottawa life too.

Why should you go?

Cemeteries can offer a valuable commodity that many lack: silence.

Even in coffee shops and libraries, which are thought to be society’s designated quiet places, you’re still bound to pickup on stray conversations, squelching sneakers and shrieking cafe appliances.

And these sounds build up, even if we don’t notice them.

“Our minds are like water, and we must work to clear that water,” said Christina Latifi, an Algonquin College counsellor. “We hear these sounds throughout the day, and though we may not think of them, they stay in our subconscious.”

What can you do?

Across Pinecrest’s 60 acre property, you’ll find well-defined roads and trails, winding through eclectic stone architecture and spiraling gardens. Don’t worry about stepping on anyone either – the grounds are for you to, respectfully, enjoy.

You can walk the trails, reflect and enjoy a quiet hobby. You can even read that book you’ve been putting off.

I try to visit at least once a week,” said Ben Gosse, a Statistics Canada technician, and neighbour to Pinecrest Cemetery. “It’s not like any park –– I’ve walked the whole lot without being bothered.”

Where is it?

Pinecrest Cemetery is located at 2500 Baseline Rd., just 15 minutes from Baseline Station, making it a convenient, after-school activity for Algonquin College students.

Pinecrest Cemetery offers free onsite parking for visitors.






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