Typhus Epidemic 1847, The

Though typhus had been epidemic periodically in Canada since the 1650s, the worst outbreak occurred in the summer of 1847. In that year some 90,000 emigrants embarked for Canada, most of them refugees from the potato famine then ravaging Ireland. Nearly 16,000 died of typhus, either at sea or after their arrival in Canada. Those stricken while passing through Kingston found shelter in makeshift "immigrant sheds" erected near the waterfront. Despite the efforts of local religious and charitable organizations, notably the Sisters of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph and the ladies of the Female Benevolent Society, some 1,400 immigrants died. Buried near the present general hospital, their remains were re-interred here in 1966.


At St. Mary's Cemetery, Kirkpatrick and Kingscourt Streets, Kingston

Region: Eastern Ontario

County/District: County of Frontenac

Municipality: City of Kingston