The prices of BC land are notorious, and unfortunately for Lower Mainland residents, this could follow them after they die.
BC is also experiencing a housing crisis for the dead. Cemetery managers and designers are struggling to create space for burial plots in cemetery land. This has resulted in inflated prices for interment, making it harder for those dealing with grief to lay their loved ones to rest.
A typical burial plot in the City of Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery costs $25,000. It is the sole cemetery within Vancouver city limits and it is just as old as the city itself. The spots in Mountain View have filled up before, previously undergoing a closure in 1964, until it was re-opened again in 1986.
Erik Lees, who is the principal of LEES+ Associates, is a landscape architect that designs open spaces like cemeteries. He calls cemeteries ‘the forgotten landscape’, citing how the crisis is due to a lack of urban planning. He advocates for the importance of cemetery lands for a whole and healthy community.
“We give lots of thought to where our schools, hospitals, roads, and bridges go. Where retail and commercial spaces go, and where we house our citizens. But we have given precious little, and in many cases, no thought to where we bury our dead.” — Erik Lees, Principal of LEES+ Associates