Toronto Hebrew Memorial Parks (THMP) is a not-for-profit Ontario corporation founded by Sidney Freedman in 1972. A newly structured cemetery operation, it began as a vehicle for Freedman’s ongoing contribution to Toronto’s Jewish community. Run as a business by a corporation, it also served and was owned by the total community in all of its diversity.
Freedman’s aim was not only to produce ongoing revenue for the community but also a new model in cemetery usage and administration—one that would set new standards in beauty, service, and correction of abuses. In 1970, this vision became a reality. Freedman bought the land that is now Pardes Shalom Cemetery and began the process of rezoning it for cemetery usage. Once approvals were received in November 1972, Freedman gifted both the property and business to the community through the United Jewish Welfare Fund (today’s UJA Federation of Greater Toronto).
Pardes Shalom opened in 1977 and is THMP’s first cemetery, comprising eighty-nine acres with ~30,000 burial lots. It was the first cemetery to offer whole community sections for the burial of Jews who did not have burial rights through a synagogue or other institution.
Pardes Chaim, THMP’s second cemetery, opened in 2010 and has 200 acres with ~70,000 burial lots. Every year, THMP services over half of all Jewish burials in the GTA. Over seventy member organizations have allotments in our cemeteries.
Dedication of Cemetery Gates, Pardes Shalom
“It was almost 25 years ago, that I first thought of acquiring the land for a cemetery ground to serve the needs of Temple Sinai Congregation. Out of the ensuing preminilary discussions, the idea developed that perhaps “.. read more
Community Opening, Pardes Chaim
“Today we give our thanks to be able to celebrate the culmination of a fifteen year effort in establishing and officially opening Pardes Chaim the second major cemetery ground owned by the total community which it serves.”…read more