© Bibliothèque et archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), Claudine Filion-Dufresne and Heritage Sutton

Do we have enough old and well-preserved buildings in Sutton to talk about a rich “built heritage”? Is this heritage well-protected? What work has been done to document it? What are the first steps? These questions served as the starting point for the firm Patri-Arch, commissioned by Sutton in 2013 to develop a framework for managing the town’s built heritage. We now have a complete picture of the status of our municipality in terms of heritage and the concrete actions required to educate the populace and raise awareness of what makes us stand out.

Built heritage inventory

Acting on the framework of built-heritage management, in 2014 the Town started preparing an inventory of 46 buildings, all located on the current and projected route of the Churches and Cemeteries circuit, as well as the Townships Trail. Twelve other buildings were added in 2015 and 45 in 2016 for a total of 103!

Each building is assigned a heritage rating, to better support the work of the urban and land-use planning department and better identify which buildings to target for promotion by, for instance, including them in circuits.

Funerary Heritage

Did you know there are 17 cemeteries in Sutton? Some contain only a few tombstones and others thousands. Seven are still in use, while others have been closed to new burials for a long time.

The initial inventory phase and historical research of the Heritage Sutton Historical Society, was completed in 2013 and provided information about Sutton’s founders, as well as the town’s first French-Canadian inhabitants and the military. The second phase, completed in 2016, documented the history of some former hamlets in the Township of Sutton.

In 2012, the Town adopted Sutton’s Cemetery Maintenance and Conservation Policy. Several Sutton cemeteries contain the remains of Sutton’s founders, as well as the first French-Canadian inhabitants. Preserving the last evidence of their lives is a way to honor to them and an act of respect for descendants who may wish to visit the graves of their ancestors.