ROM WALK: MOUNT PLEASANT CEMETERY PART II Sunday (September 10). Meet at Mount Pleasant Cemetery gate (Mt. Pleasant north of St. Clair) at 2 pm. Look for the blue umbrella. Free. 416-586-8097.
WHO: Luisa Giacometti, tour guide, Mount Pleasant Cemetery
HOW DOES ONE BECOME A CEMETERY TOUR GUIDE?
"I've always enjoyed the ROM, and I needed something I could do mainly on weekends. I love the history of the 1800s and early 1900s, and I've always thought that Toronto has a unique character. The architecture is wonderful. I had the opportunity to learn, and I love public speaking and educating people, so it all sort of came together. I really like the old cemeteries."
WHY MOUNT PLEASANT?
"It gives people a chance to see a cemetery based on landscape architecture, with different materials for the tombstones and different ways of burial. It allows people to understand our culture in regards to death. Any tree that can grow in Canada grows there."
WHY ARE PEOPLE DRAWN TO CEMETERIES?
"Maybe it's something primitive. We all live and we all die. There's an interest in death, in how we're buried, how we adorn our cemeteries. There's a sense of identification. We come also to commemorate the dead."
DO PEOPLE GET CREEPED OUT?
"It's park-like; it doesn't feel like a regular cemetery. You feel so comfortable in it. People feel like cemeteries can spook you out, but not this one."
EVER SEEN ANYTHING STRANGE?
"I haven't had anyone follow me home or anything like that."
FAVOURITE ASPECT OF THE WALK?
"All the wildlife. The other day I saw a hawk on top of a monument. The whole idea of being with nature is wonderful. You've got the living creatures that feed off what's there."
WHAT DO YOU HOPE VISITORS WILL GET FROM THE EXPERIENCE?
"More respect for the history of Toronto, and an appreciation for how their city was built and the people who contributed."