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Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

In late 1896, the Winnipeg Parks Board undertook to build a mortuary chapel and winter vault in the city’s Brookside Cemetery. An initial cost estimate of $1,500 was made by the Finance Committee and Committee on Works. Architectural drawings were commissioned from local architect Henry Sandham Griffith and submitted to the city engineer for review. Construction tenders were called in March 1897. Revised civic estimates around August 1897 allowed for an increase to $2,500. Construction began late in the season and the stone structure was finished in late November or early December 1897, with the total bill coming in at $2,322.

Use of the winter vault commenced by late January 1898. Its purpose was to store burials during the winter as an alternative to digging in the hard, frozen ground. No fee was assessed to use the winter vault whereas an additional dollar beyond the normal fees was charged if a grave had to be dug in the winter. The winter digging fee was waived in cases where a person had died of contagious disease and use of the winter vault was expressly prohibited.

The chapel and winter vault were known to be used into the 1910s, with further references to them not yet found after 1914. Later removed from the site, no visible vestiges of their former location remain.

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault (no date)
Source: Planning, Property & Development (Municipal Cemeteries Branch), City of Winnipeg.

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault (no date)
Source: Planning, Property & Development (Municipal Cemeteries Branch), City of Winnipeg.

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault

The Brookside Chapel and Winter Vault (no date)
Source: Planning, Property & Development (Municipal Cemeteries Branch), City of Winnipeg.

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.91912, W97.22121
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Henry Sandham Griffith (1865-1943)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brookside Cemetery (Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Field of Honour Memorial (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: University of Manitoba Medical Monument (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Winnipeg Fire Fighters Memorial Monument (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brookside Quarantine Hospital (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Korean War Memorial (Brookside Cemetery, Winnipeg)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Brookside Cemetery / Walkeyburg St. Theresa Roman Catholic Cemetery (RM of St. Clements)

Brookside Cemetery, City of Winnipeg.

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Transcona Cemetery / Chapel and Winter Vault (RM of Springfield)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Melita Cemetery and Winter Vault (Municipality of Two Borders)

Historic Sites of Manitoba: St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Cemetery / Chapel and Winter Vault (Winnipeg)

Sources:

“Chapel and vault,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 4 December 1896, page 6.

“Works Commitee,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 17 December 1896, page 8.

“Finance Committee,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 19 December 1896, page 4.

“A brief council,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 22 December 1896, page 4.

“$1,000 for famine fund,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 2 February 1897, page 3.

“City Parks Board,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 25 February 1897, page 1.

“To builders,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 30 March 1897, page 6.

“Aldermen are busy,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 8 April 1897, page 7.

“Tree planting today,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 7 May 1897, page 8.

“The city finances,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 31 July 1897, page 8.

“The civic estimates,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 17 August 1897, page 1.

“Inclined to resign,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 27 August 1897, page 3.

“Brookside Cemetery,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune, 7 December 1897, page 1.

Obituary [J. B. Smith], Manitoba Morning Free Press, 29 January 1898, page 6.

“Brookside Cemetery charges,” Winnipeg Daily Tribune,, 14 February 1898, page 3.

“Council session,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 15 February 1898, page 1.

“Brookside Cemetery,” Manitoba Morning Free Press, 27 August 1898, page 10.

“Condition of the city parks,” Manitoba Free Press, 6 March 1902, page 3.

“Brookside cemetery,” Winnipeg Tribune, 15 June 1905, page 9.

“Brookside cemetery,” Manitoba Free Press, 9 May 1906, page 16.

“Watch and book,” Manitoba Free Press, 19 June 1914, page 14.

Hathaway's Guide and Birds-Eye Map of Winnipeg, 1911.

We thank Brett Shenback (Municipal Cemeteries Branch) for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer.

Page revised: 19 February 2022

Historic Sites of Manitoba

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