First of a series of Columns contributed by Frederick Peters, PhD, Research Fellow City Institute at York University
There is another city in and of Cabbagetown, the Necropolis, the city of the dead. I have darkened these pages to write not about darkness, but about the lives of the dead and missed – by someone at some point, certainly – among Cabbagetown residents. The sorrows of the bereaved are there, marked in stone, and in the massive ledger books.
Why the Necropolis and why this column is here: when I went to the main office of the Necropolis, charmingly connected to the carpenter’s gothic chapel and former crematorium – there is a column right there – I met the now deceased David Fahey; although frail at the time, was as elegant as they come in Canada and keen on his knowledge of the history of the place. This from pouring over the ledgers kept in his office. He showed me immigration patterns, epidemics, politicians and famous people. He showed me the early years of the AIDS crisis in Toronto as it was directly inked in the middle pages of one ledger. Mr. Fahey, this column is dedicated to you and your colleagues’ care to our community. Living and breathing in the City of the Dead will continue in serial form over the next number of issues.