Building Stories Podcast: Union Cemetery, Port Hope

Friday, December 13, 2013

Union CemeteryWATERLOO, December 13, 2013 – On Monday, December 16, 2013 the tenth episode of the Building Stories Podcast series will be released. The episode will feature Union Cemetery in Port Hope, Ontario.

The Union Cemetery has been serving Port Hope since 1874. Noted landscaper H.A. Englehart designed the new burial ground to include open, rolling grounds with mature trees and colourful gardens to create a serene and peaceful setting. The cemetery grounds also include the Caretaker’s Cottage, the Victorian cemetery chapel, brick vault, and the south cemetery gates. The ironwork of the gates has decorative maple leafs.

In the podcast Phil Carter, President of the Port Hope Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), and Ed Pamenter, a member of the Branch, tell the story of the cemetery and how their branch of the ACO has been involved. In 2002, the Port Hope Cemetery board decided that the Caretaker’s Cottage and Cemetery Chapel were no longer needed and would be better used for cemetery purposes. ACO Port Hope proposed that instead of demolishing the buildings, that they could restore them. The branch completed this restoration using its own funds and volunteer labour. The cottage is now used by the branch for office and meeting space.

The podcast will be available to listen to on the Building Stories website at under the ‘Publicity’ tab. It will also be attached to the Building Stories entry for Union Cemetery, a featured location on the website’s home page. The first nine episodes of the podcast series focused on the London Life Insurance Building in London, Victoria Hall in Cobourg, Keefer Mansion in Thorold, the Stratford Historical Plaque Program, Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton, Camp 30 in Bowmanville, the Guelph Civic Museum, the Maclean House in Toronto, and the Mary Webb Centre in Chatham-Kent. They are also available to listen to on Building Stories.

Union Cemetery is just one of the interesting properties included in a book that the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has released to celebrate their 80th year. Titled “80 for 80: Celebrating Eighty Years of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario”, the book tells the stories of 80 buildings that the ACO has saved or helped saved. It is now available for order on the ACO’s website at

Building Stories is a website and mobile application that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets. Building Stories is an incredible new on-line resource making thousands of original documents, photos and historical records available online from a wide variety of communities. The website engages the public in a way that has never been done before to help explain the importance of heritage in communities across Canada.

Dr. Robert Shipley, Director of the Heritage Resources Centre, states: “Through being able to use the inventory tool in a web-based and interactive way, it will allow communities and individual citizens to take a direct and active role in identifying the significant and valued structures that make up such a vital part of the country’s heritage assets. There has never been anything like this and the result will be to magnify and expand both interest in, and understanding of our built environment.”

Currently, the website includes entries from every province and territory in Canada. However, Building Stories will continue to grow into new communities, as new collections and archives are added to the fully searchable database, and as individuals comment on existing listings and contribute their own sites with stories, memories, digital artifacts, and photographs.

Building Stories has been developed by the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) and the Computer Systems Group, both at the University of Waterloo, and the Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP).

The development and creation of The Building Stories Podcast series have been made possible by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and the Government of Ontario. The podcasts have been written, produced and hosted by Amy Barnes, a Heritage Consultant from Cambridge, Ontario.


For more information please contact:

Melissa Davies
Building Stories Project Manager
Heritage Resources Centre, University of Waterloo

519.888.4567 ext. 36921