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Human remains found downtown Guelph

Web posted on October 14, 2005

At 4:11pm on October 13, 2005, a work crew fixing a sink hole near the parking lot entrance at 55 Baker Street in Guelph, discovered a human skeleton. The city work crew contacted the Guelph Police Service.

The police identification unit and a coroner were called to investigate. They subsequently determined that the bones were human and had been buried at that location for an undetermined length of time. The area being excavated was a cemetery 126 years ago.

The bones were taken to the Guelph Police station for evaluation by an expert on October 14, 2005.

The first cemetery in Guelph was established by John Galt in 1827 in the area of what is now the Baker Street parking lot. The official end to the old cemetery came in 1879 when a bill was passed in the Ontario legislature declaring the burying ground legally closed. Most of the bodies were re-interred at Woodlawn Cemetery. However, urban legend had it that some of the graves directly behind the Post Office were not moved as their exact location was not known.

The finding of the skeleton, which is believed to be from one of these graves, in this location falls within the area of the urban legend. Further investigation of the area may help determine if the urban legend is more fact than fiction.

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