The 1849 the trustees of the Toronto Hebrew Congregation purchased a one acre parcel of land near Pape Avenue to become the first Jewish Cemetery in Canada west of Montreal.   This orthodox congregation consisisted of 17 persons and eventually grew to what is now the Holy Blossom Congregation (reform).  

In the 1880`s the Jones Aveneue Cemetery was founded by the Goel Tzedec Congregation and in 1906 the Tarauley Street and Chestnut Street Synaagogues.

As Jewish Immigration increased the third Jewish Cemetery in Toronto was purchased, and the first burial in 1898.   The name Dawes Road Cemetery originates with the name of the road that was traversed between Danforth Avenue, and the Cemetery.   The Cemetery location, about 1km east of Dawes Road as it crossed a dirt farm road, not yet named Saint Clair Avenue East.

While there is not very much information specific to the the early history of the Dawes Road Cemetery, there are some resources to learn about the organizations that are participants in our Amalgamation.

In about 1950, the cemetery property was not being properly managed or maintained.  The grass in some areas was not cut or poorly cut.  Monuments of all sizes were being delivered, some exceeding the area set aside for monument installation at the head of a grave.  The community realized the need to create an umbrella organization to take care of the cemetery in a professional manner.   By 1952, the "Amalgamated Dawes Road Trustees" was created.  One cemetery management company would administer all the daily needs of the cemetery under the direction of an elected board of directors representing the organizations having cemetery land at 3169 St. Clair Ave. East.  An annual assessment fee would be charged to each member organization to cover the cost of having an office clerk. 

On December 30th 1953, an order (Certificate No. 53-F-28) approving a cemetery on the west side of Highvale Avenue (formerly Thyra Avenue) between St. Clair Avenue East to the north, and Nancy Avenue to the south established the enlargement of The Dawes Road Cemeteries. The land was purchased by Beth Tzedec Congregation with the assistance of Albert Shifrin, but as the Beth Tzedec congregation realized the need for its own independant property on Bathurst Street, it subsequently allowed other organizations to aquire blocks of the new project lots to sell for themselves.

As Amalgamated Dawes Road Trustees continued to operate through the 1960's it was determined that one pooled cemetery trust would be more efficient as the perpetual account for the lands.   Each funeral contributed to the trust account, and over time the trust has grown successfully.

In 1980, Amalgamaed Dawes Road Trustees left the Beverley Street office shared with The Jewish Federation of Toronto, moving to 3768 Bathurst Street on the 2nd level of the strip plaza offices.   The move allowed independent control of the cemetery, as well as a more central location for the board members to meet and for customers to discuss cemetery matters.

By 1986, the board had come to realize they needed to back away from day to day administration of the business and property care.   Benjamin Hamburger was recruited by Charles Goldsbie and Morris Vanek as an experiment to improve the operational efficiencies.   

In 1992, the board decided that the company should incorporate, and did so on January 29th 1993. The company name officially changed to "The Dawes Road Cemeteries", Ontario Corporation Number 1016412, to operate and administer on a non commercial basis a not-for-profit cemetery group without the purpose of gain for its members.

In the mid 1990's it was becoming more evident that the need for a remote office location was not necessary, and with the retirement of the bookkeepers, and the implementation of computer record keeping and accounting, the office moved to 3169 St. Clair Avenue onsite at the front gates of the cemetery.   After several years of working in the old building, the board of directors approved the reconstruction of the office and garage, but the property was still leased from Beth Tzedec Congregation for $1.00 annually.   Beth Tzedec and The Dawes Road Cemeteries came to an agreement, where all of the lands of Beth Tzedec Congregation located at 3169 St. Clair Ave. East would be conveyed to The Dawes Road Cemeteries, in exchange for a release from future assessment fees.   In May of 2007, the new office and garage were completed.

Now operating into the 2020's The Dawes Road Cemeteries finds itself as a respected Cemetery in Ontario, having grown its Cemetery Trust Account value into the top 100 cemeteries, by dollars under Trust Deposit, in the province.



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3169 St Clair Ave E, Scarborough, ON M1L 1V5 | (416) 755-3411