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Locals escape grave concerns by purchasing their own crypts

Around 30 crypts of the new mausoleum at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery were claimed by 9 a.m. on Wednesday. Some customers showed up as early as three in the morning

It’s the last thing anyone will need, but it’s still a very important purchase for some.

Crypts in the latest phase of the new mausoleum at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery are now available for sale on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Long before the sun rose Wednesday morning, around 30 locals had filled the parking lot at the cemetery office on Fourth Line to secure their final resting spot in the highly sought-after crypts.

Cemetery manager Roger Nenonen says his team began serving families at 6 a.m., but many of them were waiting outside long before then.

“Some had showed up as early as three in the morning,” he says. “They want to be in the queue to get the coveted second or third level.”

Constructing a new one every three years, the cemetery’s latest build marks their 17th mausoleum since they first began popping up locally in the early 1980s.

The latest installment features four levels and includes 64 single crypts and 72 companion crypts – some of which are still available.

Depending on the type and row, each crypt ranges from approximately $13,000 to $27,000, which is more expensive than previous years.

“The prices were significantly higher this time around because when we tendered the new mausoleum, we only had two builders who came forward to quote versus the 20 or so from previous builds,” Nenonen says.

While demand is still high for crypts, Nenonen notes they’re off to a slightly more stagnant start compared to previous years.

“This year has been a bit slower,” he says. “In 2020, the parking lot was filled until 10 a.m. where 90 crypts had sold in several hours, which was around $800,000 worth.”

“But the mausoleum is still a very highly favoured selection in the Sault.”

Bill and Anna Tees, a local couple who have been together for 43 years, were among the visitors looking at purchasing a companion crypt this morning.

But they’re still deciding whether they want to be laid to rest in the ground or the mausoleum.  

“We have a big decision to make,” she says.

“The reality is we are going to die. It’s better to get that spot and have it reserved. Even though it might sound like we’re doing it too soon, it does gives us some reassurance.”

“It’s all part of financial planning,” Bill adds.

Each interested buyer is provided with a mapping sheet of the mausoleum before they select their crypt. The buyer will then call the clerk’s office to book an appointment and make the payment.

From cultural significance to a sense of security, Nenonen explains there are several reasons why the crypts are always in such high demand.

“By design, we have all the mausoleums face south,” he says. “That way, they all face the sun. There is no north face, so when the rain comes, the plates dry fast. People love that.”

“The mausoleum is very much a static structure. They’re built with 100-year guarantee on the structures.”

“We take care of the roofs. Families don’t have to do anything as time goes on – it’s on the cemetery to maintain them through time.”

For more information, the City’s Cemeteries Division can be reached at 705-759-5324.

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Alex Flood

About the Author: Alex Flood

Alex is a recent graduate from the College of Sports Media where he discovered his passion for reporting and broadcasting
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