Are you curious about cremation? Here are some of the questions we get asked most often at our funeral home -
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN THE CREMATION PROCESS?
Cremation reduces the body to bone fragments using extremely high heat fueled by natural gas. The heat consumes all organic matter present in the body, leaving behind fragments, known as cremated remains or ashes. These fragments are processed into fine particles – usually like the texture of rocky beach sand rather than ash – and then are packaged. The remains are usually whitish-grey in colour, and the average human’s cremated remains weigh 6-8 pounds.
HOW LONG DOES CREMATION TAKE?
It depends on the person. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours. Crematoriums also require time to generate the necessary paperwork to accompany the remains.
IS EMBALMING REQUIRED?
No. No Canadian province or territory requires embalming prior to cremation. Some funeral homes may have a policy that encourages embalming when having an open-casket service, but it is not the law.
CAN A BODY BE VIEWED WITHOUT EMBALMING?
Yes, for the most part, funeral homes will arrange a private viewing of the deceased for immediate family prior to cremation. Neither a casket nor embalming are required for this viewing.
DO I HAVE TO VIEW THE BODY TO IDENTIFY IT?
No. You will have to meet with the funeral home to sign paperwork permitting the cremation prior to it taking place, but viewing the body is not required.
MY LOVED ONE HAS A PACEMAKER, CAN THEY BE CREMATED?
Yes, pacemakers are removed by licensed staff prior to the cremation.
DO I NEED A CREMATION CONTAINER?
Yes, a minimal container is required in Ontario for cremation to take place. In many cases, this container is composed of cardboard or plywood – or a combination of the two.
CAN I WITNESS THE CREMATION?
Yes, most cremation providers will allow a certain number of family members to be present when the cremation begins. Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom. There is usually an extra cost from the crematorium for witnessing.
HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT I RECEIVE THE RIGHT REMAINS?
All reputable crematoriums have strict policies and procedures in order to ensure correct identification and minimize human error. Generally, individual numbered disks accompany the body through the cremation process to ensure that the correct remains are assigned to each individual. Most crematoriums can only cremate one body at a time – depending on the number of machines (called retorts) that they operate. It is illegal to perform more than one cremation in a retort at a time.
DO I NEED AN URN?
Urns are not required by law. If you do not wish to purchase an urn, cremated remains are generally returned to the family in a simple plastic container or a cardboard box, depending on the provider. You can also supply your own urn and are not obligated to purchase one from your funeral provider.
WHAT CAN I DO WITH CREMATED REMAINS?
There are many options for what can be done with the remains following cremation. The only limit is your imagination. In Ontario, cremated remains can be interred in a cemetery, scattered on private property with the landowner’s consent, scattered on public property including Crown lands, waterways, provincial parks and conservation reserves, and most municipally-owned lands (check your local bylaws first). You are also allowed to travel with cremated remains, and many families will have cremated remains divided to be scattered in various destinations. You can also have cremated remains put into jewellery, blown into glass, pressurized into diamonds – the list of possibilities is endless!
HOW MUCH DOES CREMATION COST?
Our total cost for simple cremation (with no service or visitation) is $1935 plus HST. This includes the cremation fee, municipal registration fee, coroner’s fee – as well as all of the relevant paperwork. Click here to see the complete list of inclusions. Make sure to compare what is included when considering cremation service providers, as packages can differ widely.