Dozens of headstones at a Gatineau, Que., cemetery were toppled over this weekend in an apparent act of vandalism.

The vandalism appears to have occurred sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

Families with relatives buried at the St-François de Sales cemetery off of Rue Fortin arrived on Monday to survey the damage. Some 86 headstones were overturned.

Helene Saint-Denis's parents are buried at the cemetery. Their stone was spared, but was surrounded by nearly two dozen grave stones that had been knocked over.

"This morning when I heard it I was in shock, I don't know what I would have done if something had been damaged," said Saint-Denis.


More than 80 headstones at the St-François de Sales cemetery were damaged sometime over the weekend. (Ryan Gibson/CBC)

"They are in peace here they should be in peace, nobody should do that, honestly. I am in shock," she said.

Cemetery manager Roger Gagnon said it's the worst act of vandalism he's seen at the site, and said severely damaged stones could cost thousands of dollars to replace. Gagnon said the total damage is estimated at $50,000.

Gatineau police are investigating the incident.