Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Montreal, Quebec

Photo by Michael Kleen

Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, at 4601 Côte-des-Neiges Road in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, is a Catholic cemetery established in 1854 on the slopes of Mount Royal. It is the largest cemetery in Canada, with nearly one million interments, and was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1999. The sloping grounds are home to many stunning examples of funerary art and sculpture.

Emile Orsini (1912-1971)

Lovely monument to Emile (1912-1971) and Louis (1916-1984) Orsini. The flowers are fake, but they perfectly compliment the unspoiled white marble monument of a woman grieving over their headstone. She holds a palm, symbolizing hope of resurrection.

Michel Cotroni (1928-1986)

This loving monument to Palmina Cotroni (1915-1997), her brother Michel Cotroni (1928-1986) and his wife Mariette Rondeau hides a dark secret. The Cotronis were Canada’s most prominent mafia family, led by Boss Vincenzo “the Egg” Cotroni and Frank “The Big Guy” Cotroni. Palmina and Michel were siblings to Vincenzo.

In the 1930s, Vincenzo allegedly was involved in election fraud and intimidating opponents of the Quebec Liberal Party. In the 1980s, the Sicilian-based Rizzuto family took control of the mafia in Montreal. As far as I can ascertain, Michel Cotroni stayed away from the “family business.”

Emiliano Grandilli (1872-1966)

Artistic headstone for Emiliano Grandilli (1872-1966), featuring a likeness of the deceased in a colorful tile mosaic. This is one of the more unique headstone images I’ve ever seen. His wife, Maria, has a similar portrait, the two of which are embedded in larger monument featuring granite statues of two trumpeting angels and the Mother Mary holding baby Jesus.

Michele Zampini (1894-1979)

Monument to the Michele Zampini family. Buried here are Michele Zampini (1894-1979), his wife Fiorina Lanza (1895-1999), and their daughter, Madeleine Molini (1933-2011). I love this bronze statue of an angel guiding a woman to Heaven. She wears a simple gown and raises her hands up, ready to receive God with open arms. The angel points to the sky, signifying their ascent.

Frédéric Alfred Lallemand (1858-1934)

Bronze monument to Fred A. (1858-1934) and Albertina (1861-1945) Lallemand. Frédéric Alfred Lallemand immigrated to Canada from Alsace, at the Franco-German border. He established a company in Montreal manufacturing baker’s yeast, and became a wealthy patron of the arts. His son, Jean C. Lallemand, helped establish the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.

Author: Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and occasional traveler. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He enjoys studying military history, folklore, and philosophy.

2 thoughts on “Cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges in Montreal, Quebec”

  1. Stunning statuary! I particularly love the Cotroni monument. Your photo captures an ethereal beauty that belies the unsavory family history.

    Liked by 1 person

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