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Archeologists will spend the next several months removing the remains of dozens of people buried under Dorchester Square and Place du Canada.

It turns out that the area was once the site of an old Roman Catholic cemetery where between 40,000 and 50,000 people were buried.

A number of bodies were moved to Notre-dame-des neiges cemetery when the downtown burial site closed in mid 1850s, but some of the bodies are still there.

The bones of 20 to 60 individuals will be removed in the next few months so that workers can perform underground electrical work and plumbing.

Delicate work

City official Andre Lavallee tells CTV News that the remains will be handled with great care as they're excavated.

"We will have to carefully remove maybe some bones and we will take all the measures that are professionally recognized all around the world to do such things," he said.

The bones will be removed by September and re-buried at Notre-Dame des-Neiges cemetery.

The city will erect a monument to the deceased, whose names are not known.

(Courtesy of CTV Montreal)
 

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Dominion Square, dead centre of the city!

Originally the cemetery was to be redeveloped, but when it was realised that many of the burials were those who died of infectious diseases in the 1830s and late 1840s there was a campaign in the mid/late 1850s for public health and recreational reasons to leave the majority of the cemetery as a downtown park. This same campaign group also fought for Mount Royal Park. Ever since, buried bodies are always found when any excavation is undertaken here.
 

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that is just a bit creepy ... imagine the park being haunted at night!
 
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