Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame.  Cremation is not the final disposition of the remains, nor is it a type of funeral service.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

Yes, at minimum a container suitable for cremation into which the deceased is placed for the purpose of cremation. The container eases the handling of the deceased for the crematorium operator and preserves the dignity of the deceased. The licensed provider will provide you with various options and ranges in prices to suit your needs.

Is embalming required prior to cremation?

No, embalming is not required by law in any Canadian province. Embalming may be the policy of a particular Funeral Home when you are having a visitation or open casket service, however, it is not required by law.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

Yes, in most cases the funeral home will arrange the immediate family members to briefly view the deceased prior to cremation.

Can the family witness the cremation?

Yes they can; some cremation providers will allow family members to be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber.  Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.

Can an urn be brought into church?

Most Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service.  It is encouraged that cremated remains be a part of a funeral as it provides a focal point for the service.

What can be done with the cremated remains?

While laws vary from province to province, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered (except where prohibited).

How can I be sure I receive the correct remains?

All reputable cremation providers have developed rigorous sets of operating policies and procedures in order to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error by utilizing specified numbered Identification disks to be placed with the remains following cremation. It is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time.  The vast majority of crematoriums can only cremate one body at a time.

How long does the actual cremation take?

It all depends on the weight of the individual.  For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of approximately 700 to 900 degrees Celsius.

What do the cremated remains look like?

Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in colour.  The remains of an average sized adult usually weigh between 7 and 8 pounds.

Are all the cremated remains returned?

With the exception of minute and microscopic particles, which are impossible to remove from the cremation chamber and processing machine, all of the cremated remains are given back to the family along with a certificate of cremation.

Do I need an urn?

An urn is not required by law.  However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery.  If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary plastic container.