FAQ

Is Green Burial legal?

Embalming of a body is not required in any Canadian province or territory. In Ontario, the Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act states that a body must be buried at least 2 feet below the surface of the ground. There are no regulations about grave markers or landscaping of burial sites.

Can we have a Home Funeral?

You can do all of the funeral process yourself, or you can enlist the help of a sympathetic licenced funeral provider for assistance with any part of the process.

A family member may provide funeral services, including transport, documentation including death registration, and body care, without a license and for no charge.

Bereavement Authority of Ontario; thebao.ca

What permits are required?

A burial can only take place in a licenced cemetery, but no other permits or licences are required. However, those who provide funeral services to others are required to be licenced.

Can you be buried together with other family members?

There is no reason why you cannot have a number of adjacent grave plots for family members.

What if you die in the winter?

We have been assured by people who operate heavy equipment that a backhoe can break through frozen ground. It was common practice in the past to make a fire on top of a grave site to melt through the frost.

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  • Green Burial Ottawa Valley
    Green Burial Ottawa Valley
    “Crumbs of rotten stone,
    ​Shards of bone, the leavings
    And the ruins of lives
    The grounds a grave and
    So it thrives…
    A thousand thousand years
    Will bloom here in the spring
    Upon the living sing the blessing of the dead.”
    -Wendell Berry
    Green Burial Ottawa Valley
    Green Burial Ottawa Valley
    In the Middle Ages, monasteries often had cemetery orchards, with mulberry, apple, and chestnut trees sprouting up from between gravesites so that no space went wasted. Throughout the 1800s, many Americans spent their afternoons picnicking in cemeteries, and cemeteries such as Philadelphia’s The Woodlands, and Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta, Georgia, still encourage it. In countries including Greece, Japan, and Mexico, families have for centuries reminisced about or honored their loved ones while relaxing beside their graves and dining on helpings of souvlaki, sushi rolls, or tamales. Heritage Gardens eschews the use of pesticides, and its veggies are not sprouting from gravesites, but instead in their own isolated spot.