Calgary's new Prairie Sky cemetery delayed until 2021 by COVID-19 supply issues

Calgary's new cemetery, slated to open this year in the southeast, has been postponed until 2021 due to COVID-19.

Pandemic has caused delay in essential materials to complete the project this year

Work has been delayed at the city's newest cemetery, Prairie Sky, due to COVID-19 causing an interruption of supplies. The cemetery is now due to open in 2021. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

The city will not be opening its new southeast cemetery this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prairie Sky cemetery will be the city's first new cemetery in 80 years. However, the pandemic and the health restrictions it's caused have delayed the flow of supplies for the cemetery.

"Technically, the cemetery is ready to be open this year, but like so many others we too have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it certainly has delayed some of the critical infrastructure of this project," said Gary Daudlin with the City of Calgary.

The cemetery location is indicated by the diagonal green lines on this map. (City of Calgary)

Daudlin said materials like copper and granite, needed for a new columbarium, were slowed. 

So rather than open without being able to offer full services, the cemetery opening has been pushed to next year.

"We've delayed the opening so we weren't necessarily dealing with the pandemic specifically and its restrictions, and we wanted to ensure that we had opportunity for those citizens that are most interested in the new cemetery to have an opportunity to come to the site."

The sign is up at the new Prairie Sky cemetery, waiting for lettering. The city has announced it will not open in 2020 due to COVID-related delays. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

The delayed opening shouldn't be a problem as the city says it has adequate supply of burial plots at Queen's Park for a few more years.

"We still have a couple of years of inventory in our queen's park location," Daudlin said. "If we're in a position where we truly do need to or were forced to open the new cemetery because of the pandemic, we're in a position where we could do that."

Plots will not be sold until the cemetery is ready, Daudlin said of the cemetery, which is located just east of Ralph Klein park on the city's southeast edge.

Barring any more surprises, Prairie Sky cemetery will open early next year.

The road leading into Prairie Sky cemetery, which will now open early next year according to the City of Calgary. (Scott Dippel/CBC)

With files from Scott Dippel


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