Growing into the future from strong roots in the past

“Garden City” is the newest name in death care

June 5, 2023  –  One of St. Catharines’ oldest established funeral service providers has a new name. The former Patrick J. Darte Funeral Chapel on Court Street, downtown, is now Garden City Funerals & Cremations.

Local owner and managing director, Bryce Giroux announced the change today attributing the decision to a desire to be responsive to the needs of the community the firm serves.

“Our profession has been evolving quite rapidly over the past twenty years or so because our customers’ needs have evolved,” said Mr. Giroux. “Expectations have become much broader. Families are now more likely to choose end-of-life rituals that more closely resemble the life they celebrate. Those we serve, want unique, personalized events and, of course, cremation has become much more common and it facilitates a great deal more freedom in what those celebrations can look like.”

Bryce Giroux
President & Managing Director

He says that as the funeral director’s scope of offerings has expanded there has also been an onus on the providers to communicate to the consumer that the range of options available to them today is significantly greater than a generation ago. “It is no surprise that we are seen as a fairly traditional business and therefore may tend to appear mired in the past, so it is up to us to educate our clients about the new choices they now have.”

The goal of a new name and a fresh look is to illustrate to our community that the company is modernizing and moving forward with them. There has also been a trend toward more community-oriented names rather than the historic family names that have often adorned these businesses for generations. “When Mr. Darte put his name on the business, that was the accepted practice,” noted Giroux, “but I wanted a name that emphasizes our commitment to, and pride in, our beautiful city.”

“Garden City is, of course, a tribute to St. Catharines, where our business was founded and has served throughout its history, and the polished modern logo features a menu of the services that families are now commonly seeking: Funerals - Cremation - Receptions.”

Bryce Giroux is also quick to point out that offering a fresh image and an expanded menu, doesn’t mean leaving the past behind. “Our business has roots in this community going back a century and nearly as far in this very neighbourhood and we cherish that history. We still have customers who look to us for very traditional services and we are still offering those. Furthermore, we are proud of the Patrick J. Darte name and will always honour its legacy.”

“We hope that our friends and neighbours will see this change as a symbol of our commitment to grow and change with them and to ensure that we can provide the services they want and need to help deal with their loss and grief.”

The firm will be announcing plans for an open house in the coming weeks. “We’re looking forward to having an opportunity to host our friends and neighbours; to show them around and talk to them about how funeral service has changed and all the things we now offer that they may not be aware of. Unfortunately we can’t make the experience of loss any easier but we may be able to make it more meaningful for them and their families.”