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 Cremation FAQ
You have chosen cremation. What’s next?
You need to decide what should be done with the ashes. Ashes can be buried in a grave or lot; placed in a niche above ground; scattered in a cemetery garden, cremation ossuary or some other meaningful place such as at sea or land in accordance with provincial or local laws; turned into a certified diamond; inserted into an hour glass; incorporated with a hand-blown glass memorial; some have even been launched into space. Your options are varied and limited only by your imagination.
If you are not ready to make a decision regarding a final resting place at this time, they can be taken home.
What is a niche?
A niche is a compartment designed for the permanent placement of urns above ground. An arrangement of niches is called a columbarium, which is often located within a mausoleum or chapel, sometimes free- standing, either indoor or outdoor, is constructed of numerous small compartments (niches). There are different types of niches, including single niches for one urn, double niches for two urns side by side, and family niches for up to four urns. Some niches have wood, bronze, granite or marble fronts on which an inscription may be placed. For a more personal memorial, glass-fronted niches allow small tokens or pictures to be placed alongside the urns and remain visible.
If I am cremated, can I be buried with my spouse even if he or she was in a casket?
Yes. Cremated remains may be buried in the same grave as casketed remains.
What about memorialization?
With cremation, your options for memorialization are numerous and varied. Memorialization can be service related, such as honouring one in a Celebration of Life where people may gather to share favourite stories, music and even a video tribute, but it also refers to a more permanent memorial such as a flat marker, upright monument (headstone) or niche inscription. Among other options, memorialization could also include benches, plaques, and boulders, which pay tribute to the deceased and act as a lasting record for generations to come.
Can I scatter the remains on private property?
Yes, with permission of the land owner. Scattering on Crown land including land covered by water is permissible if it is unoccupied. For scattering on municipally-owned land, contact the local or regional municipality to check on any restrictions. Bear in mind that scattering outside of a cemetery may not provide a permanent memorial as the location may be sold, redeveloped, or have access restricted in the future.
What is the benefit of choosing to bury or scatter in a cemetery?
Cemeteries in Ontario are maintained and preserved forever. Whether ashes are placed in a grave or a niche or scattered, a cemetery provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased and ensures that future generations will have a permanent record and place to visit and remember their loved ones.
What documents are required prior to the cremation taking place?
We require a completed and signed MPG Application for Cremation and Contract, Coroner’s Cremation Certificate signed by an Ontario Coroner, and a Burial Permit issued by the Registrar General showing that the death has been registered with the government before a cremation can take place. Our staff will look after obtaining all necessary documents.
Who can authorize a cremation?
Only certain people have the legal authority to decide what will happen to the body of a deceased person. In order of priority, they are:
• Executor(s) or court-appointed administrator • Spouse
• Adult children
• Parents of the deceased
MPG requires that all immediate next of kin be informed of the cremation. Should there be any objections to the cremation, MPG will not proceed with the cremation until an agreement is reached among the next of kin.
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