The Dead House
14253, Yonge Street, Aurora, Ontario, L4G, Canada
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
The Dead House is located within the gates of the Aurora Cemetery on the east side of Yonge Street. It is a small octagonal building with a tall lantern.
The Dead House has been recognized for its heritage value by the Town of Aurora By-law # 2927-87.
The Dead House is a rare surviving example of an octagonal cemetery storage vault. Octagonal buildings appeared during a short period in the mid to late 19th century as a result of an architectural fad in the United States; however, octagonal cemetery vaults appear to be unique to southern Ontario.
The Aurora Cemetery's Dead House is one of only five known octagonal cemetery vaults in Ontario, and was commissioned in 1868 by Charles Doan, president of the Aurora Cemetery Company. Designed and built by local builder, H. Harris, the house was used for temporary storage of caskets and human remains during the winter months, until the ground could be broken in the spring.
The Dead House was constructed of brick and parged over in stucco. Features include a gothic pointed arch entry and a tall lantern or cupola on the roof.
Source: Heritage Designation Report: The Dead House, Town of Aurora By-law #2927-87.
Character defining elements that describe the heritage value of the Dead House include its:
- octagonal shape, including roof and lantern
- brick construction, with stucco covered exterior
- pointed arch entrance
- location within the gates of the Aurora Cemetery
Local Governments (ON)
Ontario Heritage Act
Municipal Heritage Designation (Part IV)
Theme - Category and Type
Function - Category and Type
- Religion, Ritual and Funeral
- Mortuary Site, Cemetery or Enclosure
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Heritage Designation Report, The Dead House, Clerk's Office, Town of Aurora
Cross-Reference to Collection