Bethany Cemetery

 

 

Bethany Church and Cemetery were on the 5th Line south of the (lost) village of Elmbank. Graves in both Elmbank and Bethany cemeteries were relocated due to the expansion of Toronto’s International Airport (Malton, now Pearson).

Bethany graves were moved to Riverside Cemetery (NE corner of Royal York Road and Lawrence Avenue, Toronto).
Current Address: 1573 Royal York Road, Etobicoke, Toronto Municipality, Ontario

History: 

In our not too distant past, before the Malton Airport was even conceived, the intersection of Britannia Road and Fifth Line East marked the little community of Elmbank.

A short distance south on Fifth Line was the Bethany Wesleyan Methodist Church and Cemetery. The Bethany Wesleyan Methodist Church was originally built as Shell’s Chapel in 1831, named after Henry and Jacob Shell, who held church services at their home prior to the construction of the chapel. The original frame church was replaced with a red brick structure around 1862. The architect for the new church was E. Sheard, and the property also included a driving shed. Among the pew holders were James, David and Edwin Culham. In 1925 the church became known as the Bethany United Church. While the church was in its prime a Christmas concert was held there each year. The last church services were held in 1956, and the building was torn down due to the diminishing congregation and airport expansion. The Methodist cemetery graves were relocated to the Riverside Cemetery in Etobicoke.

Heritage Mississauga (Matthew Wilkinson and Nicole Mair)

Earlier History

Up until 1915 the cemetery presented a picture of desolation and neglect. At this time a fund was raised for its perpetual care. Luckily when the time came, and the cemetery was cleaned up someone had the forethought to leave the stones in their original places and in this manner preserved much of the atmosphere.

In the middle of the cemetery a number of unknown pioneers lie buried with no stone or monument to mark where they are resting. The cemetery board planted trees as a memorial to those unknown and unnamed dead.

William Perkins Bull files from the 1930s contain further early information on Bethany Cemetery. These are reproduced here