New designs being considered for addition to cemetery. (Contributed)

New look for old Maple Ridge Cemetery

Work starts this spring on expansion

Maple Ridge Cemetery will have more space and new features by this year as expansion work begins in the spring.

Maple Ridge council approved a $150,000 contract last December that will allow work to begin on a property that the city has bought to add to the existing cemetery grounds.

The new lot is adjacent to the cemetery and is located at 21428 Dewdney Trunk Rd., and will feature a horticultural display, a scattering garden, a green burial section and more traditional burial plots.

An existing avenue of trees will be maintained to provide a local road access into the new lot. Limited parking will be added as well, in addition to a pathway connection to the rest of the cemetery.

The city also bought another lot farther east but has no immediate plans to utilize that.

Another major improvement to the grounds will be the conversion of the Mussallem House into a building that will be used as an administrative and reception centre at the main entrance to the cemetery.

The Mussallem House was moved from Royal Crescent in downtown Maple Ridge last May, where 53 temporary modular homes are now located.

B.C. Housing paid $250,000 to help with moving the house, while an anonymous donor gave $100,000 to help relocate the building.

Dave Boag, director of parks and facilities, said the design for the house’s foundation at the main entrance to the cemetery has recently been completed.

A detailed cost estimate for the completion of the final placement of the building will be completed in February. That then will be given to council for approval.

The city previously bought two properties along Dewdney Trund Road, about .65 acres each, so there are now another 1.3 acres of additional burial space to add to the existing six acres.

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