Keswick Cemetery Master Plan

stone sign with the words Keswick Cemetery, grave markers in background and flowers in front


The Town of Georgina has developed a new master plan for Keswick Cemetery, located at 565 Varney Road, in Keswick, Ontario. An update to the 2001 master plan was needed to guide Keswick Cemetery through the next 20 years and beyond.

To facilitate future planning and capital investment works, the Town worked with a professional landscape architectural firm, E. Lees and Associates Consulting Ltd., to carry out a master planning exercise in 2023 to create the new Keswick Cemetery Master Plan. The project included public consultation so the community had a formal opportunity to weigh in on any recommendations for future work at this cemetery.

The Town intends to move forward with the gradual and phased implementation of site works identified in the 2023 Master Plan. 

The Town set a schedule to complete this project by February 2024. The approved budget allocation for this project is $80,000.

Why this work is needed

The primary task of the consultant was to provide expert analysis and recommendations which will be used by the Town to improve the layout and operation of the Keswick Cemetery over the next 20 years and beyond. The scope of this project included a review of the property to understand current cemetery operations. The consultant worked with the Town, interested members of the public and other stakeholders to understand challenges facing cemetery operations (i.e. ponding and drainage issues), and to develop solutions to enhance this facility over the coming years.

The consultant reviewed current and proposed site conditions for compliance with all applicable bylaws, regulations, and acts including the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act (2002), to ensure the cemetery meets all legislated requirements in Ontario. Where the Town or cemetery is not in compliance with a legislated requirement, the consultant proposed recommendations to bring the Town and cemetery into compliance. Other important items which were considered as part of the master planning exercise included:

  • Location of parking and roadways
  • A phased tree-planting plan to allow Town to plant trees in advance of site development with the goal of more mature tree canopy cover on the site
  • Flow of traffic at entrance and routing of funeral processions
  • The existing columbarium wall and proposed plan previously prepared by the Town to be incorporated into the new master plan
  • Facility capacity based on plot layout plan
  • Trail system and amenities for visitors
  • Future trends in the industry (i.e. green burials, diversity of cultures using the facility etc.)

The master plan includes Class “D” rough order of magnitude construction cost estimates for all recommended work. A proposed phasing plan for all recommended site works was developed as part of this exercise. The phasing plan includes a colour-coded site plan to visually depict the phasing of all proposed site works. The phasing plan must be easily understood by Town staff, Council and members of the public. This information will be used to guide future capital planning decisions by the Town. The consultant also conducted a review of service offerings and fee schedules relative to cemeteries in the surrounding areas. The consultant provided recommendations to align services offered and fee schedules with current market rates while ensuring the cemetery meets all legislated requirements in Ontario.

Recommendations developed through the master planning exercise are supported by current and emerging industry standards, trends, best practices, as well as all applicable by-laws, regulations, acts and legislation

Town contact

To find out more information about this project, please contact:

Courtney Rennie
Senior Project Manager, Parks and Open Space, Town of Georgina
Cell: 905-955-1887



The Town awarded this contract to E. Lees and Associates Consulting Ltd. on Feb. 16, 2023. The Town has set a schedule to complete this project by November 2023.

On February 7, 2024, Council received and endorsed in principle the Keswick Cemetery Master Plan (Resolution No. C-2024-0042). Staff will return to Council through the annual budget deliberation process to activate capital improvements outlined in the plans.


Final Keswick Cemetery Master Plan Report (2023)

Contact Us

26557 Civic Centre Rd,
Keswick, ON  L4P 3G1

T: 905-476-4301 / 705-437-2210
F: 905-476-8100

Hours of Operation

Monday to Friday
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.