Through the years cremation has become the most common form of disposition. According to the Cremation Association of North America, currently Ontario, Canada is around a 75% cremation rate, and they project by year 2035 the cremation rate will be roughly at 86%.
Are you considering cremation?
There are four (4) crematoriums that typically serve funeral homes in the Niagara Region. Geographically they are located in Fonthill, Burlington, Milton and Paris. Each facility will have their own price list and set fees. The cost of cremation is considered to be a “disbursement” on a funeral home contract, (meaning it is a third party service being paid out on behalf of the family by the funeral establishment).
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We understand that, for most, cost is always a factor when comparing funeral homes. We strongly believe that the quality and delivery of our services, along with our included extras and elegant gathering place, will provide your family with the best experience possible at a substantial savings. Visit our location, or call us today and speak with our team to find out for yourself why more and more families are choosing Essentials as their funeral alternative during their time of need.
When someone selects cremation as a form of disposition there are a few options available to consider.
Once the death has occurred, some people want cremation to take place immediately. It is important that the family has a chance to say goodbye before cremation takes place. This is often accomplished when a person has been receiving palliative/end of life care, and through this time he or she is surrounded by family and friends. However this may not be the case if the death was sudden or unexpected.
At Essentials we have a peaceful room for a final goodbye and we certainly encourage the use of it. Even if it is one or two family members or family representatives present for it, this process does help us with confirming the identity of the deceased. There are no additional costs for this private time and it is an honour for us to take care of your loved one. Should the family feel uncomfortable with seeing their loved one, we may ask some general questions regarding some identifiable features of the person who has passed away. This process isn’t meant to add additional stress to the family, it is simply to ensure we have the correct person in our care and will be cremated.
Realize that making arrangements for cremation still involves a little bit of a process of completing the appropriate paper work. Usually an appropriate time frame from when someone passes away to when the cremated remains are ready for the family is between 2-3 days.
While some people prefer to have a simple cremation with no services or ceremony, many decide on having some kind of a memorial or celebration of life. We are here to assist families with arranging for a unique and meaningful service or life celebration.
Some people would prefer to have cremation take place after a service or ceremony. In this scenario, we would bring a casket to church or to an appropriate facility for the funeral. This opportunity would include the deceased resting in a casket for the service. Following the funeral, instead of going to a cemetery, the deceased is brought to a crematorium.
A cremation casket which most people know as a “cremation container” is required.
No. Embalming is not mandatory by law.
Yes, family members may briefly view the deceased prior to cremation (this can also be known as an “identification”).
Yes they can; some crematoriums 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.
Nearly all Churches allow for the urn to be present during the memorial service. Catholic Churches also allow the remains to be present during a Funeral Mass.
While laws vary by provinces, for the most part cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, placed in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.
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.
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 between 1,000 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 7 and 8 pounds.
All of the cremated remains are given back to the family.
Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame. It is a regulated method for disposition of a deceased body.
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 cardboard container.
Although urn vaults are not mandatory, some families choose to use one when interring an urn at a cemetery. Urn vaults are available in materials such as marble or fiberglass, and come in different sizes to fit any urn. They give space to place mementos and keepsakes such as: flowers, photos, letters, trinkets, etc. It also provides a layer of protection to the urn itself. If a family chooses not to have a vault, the urn can be interred naturally into the earth.
It is very important to keep in mind that the size of the urn(s) that will be able to fit within that niche. Please ask the cemetery for exact dimensions of the niche that you are purchasing, so you know exactly how much space you have for the urns (avoiding the chance of any surprises or disappointments the day of the interment). We can also help you with this.
Canada Post is the only mail service that will allow for mailing of cremated remains. Delivery within North America is permissible with supporting documentation. Some European countries prohibit the transportation of cremated remains via mail services. The most secure method of transportation for cremated remains is to have a family member to personally transport the ashes themselves.
The safe answer to this is yes. Depending on where and what method you are travelling, certain documents and urn materials may be mandatory. If you are flying into another country, additional paperwork may be required by the country’s consulate. Our funeral directors can assist you with ensuring you have the correct paperwork for the location you are travelling to.
A basic cremation casket is required as per provincial regulations. We offer a variety of casket options, ranging from cardboard and plywood to a variety of standard wooden caskets.
When someone passes away in a care facility, most of the time they have an identification band on them. Once they are brought into our care at Essentials, we place a “personal tracking form” directly with them. Family members are given the opportunity to see their loved one prior to cremation or burial. Identification must be confirmed prior to any disposition process. The name of both deceased and of the funeral establishment is recorded on the casket. Once in the care of the crematorium, they will assign an identification tag, which follows the casket right up to the cremation chamber. Following the cremation, that tag is placed with the cremated remains and is returned to the funeral establishment. The number on the cremation tag will match the paperwork provided from the crematorium.
Once the paperwork has been completed and the deceased is transferred into the care of the crematorium, it can take between 3-4 days until the cremated remains are returned back to Essentials. Once the ashes are back in our care, we will call the family to let them know that their loved one’s remains made it back safely to Essentials.
Embalming is not a mandatory procedure. Embalming is offered to all families and may be beneficial when families are looking to have a viewing, especially if that viewing is delayed a number of days after the deceased’s passing. A family can still see their loved one without embalming taking place, but they must understand that natural changes to the body will occur after death takes place. Embalming may also be recommended if an autopsy has been performed. As funeral directors we will provide all options and suggestions so the family can make a well informed decision.
Purchasing an urn is not mandatory and that choice is completely up to the family. When a loved one’s cremated remains are returned to us from the crematorium, they are contained in a plastic bag which is placed into a white cardboard box. That receptacle can be buried at a cemetery, placed into a niche or can be scattered(check local bylaws and regulations). If a family chooses something personal to use as an urn (providing it is large enough), they are more than welcome to bring it in. We have had families bring in beautiful jars and even handmade pieces to place ashes into. Should a family wish to purchase an urn, we have a beautiful and affordable variety of urns for our families to choose from. No matter what, we will make sure that their loved one’s cremated remains are returned back to the family safely and respectfully.
Visit here to learn more about cremations.
What to do with the cremated remains?
As a funeral director, I find it my duty to ensure families have a proactive plan on what they want to do with the cremated remains of their loved ones. I ask families: “Where is this urn in 5 years, 15 years or 50 years?”
Some common options families consider are:
- Bring the urn home.
- Bring the urn to a cemetery and place the remains in an pre-existing family plot, or purchase a cremation grave (in the earth) or a cremation niche (columbarium/mausoleum)
- Scattering the cremated remains on land or in water (providing you have permission from the property owner or that it is not forbidden within the by-laws of the property).
For further information on what options are available please contact us, and we will walk you through the different options and the advantages and disadvantages of each choice.
The deceased’s body is placed in a container formally known as a cremation casket or cremation container.
The crematorium will come directly to our location and receive the cremation casket into their care and bring the deceased directly to the crematorium for cremation.
Once the deceased arrives at the crematorium, an identification tag is added to the cremation container. The crematorium will plan a time for the cremation to take place, usually once the crematorium reviews the submitted paperwork from the funeral establishment.
A large furnace called a cremation chamber or retort is where the whole cremation casket is rolled into for the actual cremation process. The process involves intense heat and the deceased’s remains are reduced to smaller bone fragments. After removing the cremated remains from the retort, the bone fragments are further reduced into a finer form, resembling a coarse sand. The cremated remains of an average adult body will weigh about 5-8 pounds. The actually cremation process can take approximately 3-4 hours.
The cremated remains are placed into a clear bag which is tied closed with the identification tag and placed into a cardboard container with the deceased’s information on it. A Certificate of Cremation is also produced by the crematorium for the family. This certificate is required for a cemetery interment or for any travelling with the ashes.
The crematorium will return the cremated remains back to our funeral establishment, and the family will be notified.