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Leonard Cohen buried in Montreal before death publicly known

A makeshift memorial is seen in front of the home of legendary singer and poet Leonard Cohen on Nov. 11, 2016 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Leonard Cohen lived his life on the world stage, but he chose to be buried in the city he loved and that loved him back.

The poet and songwriter was given a graveside service in a traditional Jewish ceremony in his hometown of Montreal on Thursday, before his death was publicly known.

"Leonard's wish was to be laid to rest in a traditional Jewish rite beside his parents, grandparents and great-grandparents," according to Congregation Shaar Hashomayim, the synagogue in the district of Westmount where Mr. Cohen had been "a beloved and revered member."

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It was a return to the poet's roots in Montreal, where he was born 82 years ago. Though his family announced his death on Thursday, he reportedly passed away in Los Angeles on Monday.

Mr. Cohen's death has sparked an outpouring from his fans the world over. In Montreal, mourners continued to show up at the doorstep of his home to lay flowers and light candles.

The city has started to debate an appropriate way to honour one of its greatest figures. On Twitter, people have begun making suggestions for landmarks to bear his name, including the city's downtown Place des festivals, where the city stages its annual entertainment festivals; the park across from his home, now called Parc du Portugal; or Saint Laurent Boulevard, the historic artery that runs the length of the island of Montreal and is popularly known as Montreal's "Main."

Mayor Denis Coderre pledged that the city would give an appropriate honour "to one of our greatest Montrealers."

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