Barrack Hill Cemetery at Beechwood

Barrack Hill Cemetery was located at the heart of the old city, being the final resting place of many early Bytown pioneers and their families.

Lower Bytown from Barrack Hill 1845 Starting in 1826, the construction of the Rideau Canal brought the Corps of Royal Engineers of the British Army and all kinds of workers to the area. The digging of over 200 kilometers of waterway brought jobs and soon settlers to the south side of the Ottawa River to live and work. This boosted the economy and effectively made Bytown a ‘boom town.’

This new town was primarily populated by English, French, Irish, and Scottish immigrants. With the sudden influx of people to the area, the crowding of the poorer areas, and the lack of hygiene, outbreaks of malaria, diphtheria, and other diseases ravaged the population. These diseases caused an incredible spike in deaths that prompted Lieutenant-Colonel John By, Royal Engineer overseeing the construction of the Rideau Canal, to commission Barrack Hill Cemetery.

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