Ross Bay Cemetery

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Ross Bay Cemetery and to commemorate the sesquicentennial year, the Old Cemeteries Society of Victoria is having a new gate put in.

The new memorial gate would adorn the Stannard Street entrance and would also have a brass plaque installed with the cemetery name and a short history of the land it occupies.

Old Cemetery Society of Victoria

The Old Cemeteries Society had been working with the CIty of Victoria for numerous years to have a new gate installed and finally received a Heritage Alteration Permit and authorization from the city. 

Construction will be carried out by the City of Victoria in conjunction with the Old Cemeteries Society and is set to be finished by January 2023. 

The Ross Bay Cemetery is named after Isabella Ross, an Indigenous woman who was the first woman to be a registered landowner in BC. 

Her land was named Foul Bay Farm while she lived. However, her farm was not successful and she sold off individual plots slowly.

When Ross died in 1885 at the age of 77, she was buried in an unmarked grave on the land that is now the Ross Bay Cemetery. 

The City of Victoria bought the land for use as a cemetery in 1872 and in 1994, the Old Cemetery Society of Victoria installed an interpretive plaque at her gravesite.

The cemetery boasts a number of notable people in BC’s history who are buried there, including British Columbia’s first governor, Sir James Douglas, Billy Barker who was the man responsible for the Cariboo Gold rush and renowned artist Emily Carr. 

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