Beginning in 2009, a heritage professional contracted by the Town of Oakville conducted a monument condition survey within the town’s pioneer cemeteries. These cemeteries are designated under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and are an important cultural resource with both national and local significance. It is important that planned methods are taken in the care and preservation of the cemetery monuments. The monuments do more than mark lots; they help tell the story of the various townships in the Oakville area and commemorate the lives of people associated with this area for over 200 years.
Monuments are examined to assess condition and determine treatment needs. The main criteria include whether or not a monument could cause physical harm in its present state (i.e., can it be easily pushed over and cause injury), and whether leaving it untreated would cause it to deteriorate.
Since the survey, the town has restored hundreds of markers and headstones. Work has been completed in Munn’s Cemetery and St. Jude’s Cemetery.
Restoration work for the pioneer cemeteries will take about 10 years to complete.
The treatment recommendations are based on the findings at the time of the condition assessment and apply the methods for repairing tombstones as outlined in the Ministry of Culture's Landscapes of Memories -A Guide for Conserving Historic Cemeteries.