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Cremation Cost in Ontario

Daniela Fortino
Daniela Fortino
September 13th 2022 - 14 minute read
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Learn about cremation costs in Ontario, including each cost related to the components in a cremation package typically offered by the province's service providers.

Cremation funeral arrangements in Ontario can cost from $1,000 to over $10,000. Prices depend on the type of cremation and services included, but the location in the province where the service is provided is also a significant factor.

Prices are higher in larger cities and can be more moderate in smaller communities. This article discusses common cremation costs as well as the fees for add-on services for cremation funeral arrangements in Ontario.

The numbers provided in this article are taken from advertised fees and industry norms in Ontario and represent averages and typically listed costs.

Summary of Ontario cremation costs

Here is an itemized summary of the fees you can expect to pay for a cremation arrangements in Ontario.  You will see these as line items in a cremation package at a service provider. An in-depth look with price details is included below this summary. (Click to skip down to see the detailed info).

  • Cremation documentation:
    -Cremation service provider: $100 to $300+
    -Self-service at a government office: $57 or more depending on delivery speed
  • Body transportation:
    -Transfer service:  $100+
    -Transfer in private vehicle: Free (unless you add cost of gas)
  • Body storage and preservation:
    -Refrigeration: $300 on average, or within a range of $35 to $100 per day.
    -Embalming: $200 to $1,000
  • Body preparation: $100 to $500+
  • Body disposition process: $500 to $1,000+ (flame cremation) or $600 to $1,000+ (aquamation).  
  • Professional services and staff fees: From $200 to $1,000+.
  • Cremation urn: $10 to upwards of $2,000.
  • Ceremony or celebration of life: $0 to $3,000+
  • Interment: Single niche $700 to over $2,500+. Urn burial plots are $200 to over $3,000. (In large centres, like Toronto, premium urn plots and mausoleums can cost $10,000+)  
  • Grave markers: Headstones or grave markers for an urn plot can cost $150 to $10,000+. A simple plaque may cost $150. A mid-priced headstone will run $1,000 to $5,000, but can reach $10,000.

Cremation funeral package fees

Cremation packages include two types of fees in Ontario:

1) Required services: These are specific fees that must be paid regardless of the funeral type. They include documentation, transportation, storage/preservation, body preparation, and professional and staff fees.

2) Optional services: These services are tailored to the wishes of the deceased person and their family. They can include: Urn purchase, interment, and funeral celebrations or ceremonies as well as flowers. The cost of these extra services are affected by the location in Ontario where they are provided.  Expect to pay more in large urban centres such as Toronto and Ottawa with some providers.  

Cremation package costs in Ontario will range from $600 to $3,500. You can expect additional fees on advertised package prices. A quote may not include all expenses necessary, as such the final bill can be a lot more expensive.

Detailed cremation costs in Ontario by category

Below we have taken the cost categories itemized above and provided more information to help you better understand the costs associated in Ontario for each type of service that may be part of a cremation package.

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The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Cremation documentation in Ontario

Before any funeral services can commence in Ontario, the death must be registered, and a burial permit must be obtained. This documentation can be completed by a licensed funeral provider or by a deceased family member who is not being paid.

To register a death in Ontario, two documents must be submitted to the local municipal clerk's office:

  • Medical Certificate of Death - form completed by a medical professional or coroner outlining the cause of death.
  • Statement of Death - form completed using information about the deceased (e.g., age, date of birth, date of death, etc.).

    A cremation service provider like Eirene Cremations will handle paperwork as part of a cremation package to obtain a burial permit. If a service provider is not used, the staff at the municipal office where the death is registered will assist a family in acquiring the permit.

Other documents that may be needed for activities like applying for benefits or settling the deceased person's estate include a death certificate and a certified copy of death registration with the cause of death.

Documentation costs

Documentation fees will be itemized in a cremation provider's price list. They range from $100 to $300+.

When the deceased's family handles paperwork, the cost of death registration and burial permit is minimal (varies, in some places about $20, but can cost more) and is based on where the death is registered.

According to Ontario.ca, the cost to register a death (and thereafter receive a death certificate) in Ontario starts at $15 for the regular service or $45 for the premium or emergency service. The price for a certified copy of death registration is $22 for the regular service and $52 for the premium or emergency service.  

Transportation of a body in Ontario

For cremation funerals, the body must be transported from the place of death to where it will be prepared and cremated. In Ontario, this can be conducted by a transfer service, but it is also legal to transport a body in a private vehicle.

Body transportation costs

Transportation fees vary depending on distance and time travelled, but transfer services fees are usually $100 and up. The main cost associated with private transportation is the cost of gas.

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The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Storage and preservation

Storage and preservation are services usually included in a funeral provider's price list. They also may be lumped under professional and staff fees.

The body starts to physiological change within a few minutes after death. Preservation techniques like refrigeration and embalming slow down the rate of decay, so the body is better prepared for funeral services. Families can typically choose if they would like to use these preservation techniques. Still, depending on the circumstances, it may be recommended (e.g., for a viewing) or necessary (e.g., international or trans-provincial transport).

Body storage (sometime called "sheltering") fees typically cost around $300 or within a range of $35 to $100 per day. The cost may also change depending on the length of time the body is at the facility and the type of refrigeration used. Embalming costs $200 to $1,000 on average in Ontario.  

Flame cremation vs. aquamation

Flame cremation involves a body being exposed to extreme heat in a chamber. Organic matter is incinerated, leaving bone fragments that are reduced to a coarse grey or brown powder.

Aquamation uses the chemical process of alkaline hydrolysis to cremate the body. The body is treated with a combination of heat, pressure, water, and alkali (potassium hydroxide) that speeds up decomposition. The process leaves bone fragments and a sterile liquid. The liquid is disposed as wastewater into the municipal sewer system, and the bones are reduced to a fine, white or tan powder.

Preparation fees

Due to the heat used in flame cremation, implants that contain a battery or pose a safety risk to crematorium staff must be removed beforehand. Other implants (e.g., filling) or belongings remain with the body and are destroyed or recycled after the process.  

Unlike flame cremation, medical implants do not get destroyed during aquamation, so they do not need to be removed. However, the Bereavement Authority of Ontario requires that pacemakers and defibrillators be removed before cremation.

The only additional preparation needed for aquamation is the removal of clothing and personal items that are not protein-based (e.g., silk). Also, services like embalming, makeup, dressing, etc., may be desired if there is a viewing or visitation before cremation.

However, body preparation for cremation typically falls on the lower end of the $100 to $500+ range.

Body disposition costs

When looking at service provider's cremation package, you will see a disbursement that pays for the services of either a crematorium or an alkaline hydrolysis facility.

The facility disbursement for the cremation process typically ranges from $450 to $800.

For example, at Eirene, the flame cremation disbursement in the company's all-inclusive package ranges by location starting at $442 but can be $560 in some areas. The fee varies based on the crematorium facility used.

In the case of an alkaline hydrolysis facility which conducts aquamation, the disbursement can be similar but sometime higher than for a crematorium.  
For example, in Eirene's aquamation service, the alkaline hydrolysis facility disbursement is $625.

Have a question? We're here to help

The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Professional and staff fees

Funeral providers employ staff that handle much of the logistics involved in funeral planning. This includes required and desired services, body preparation, guidance, event coordination, and more. Paperwork completion may also be incorporated into these fees. These professional services range from $200 to $1,000+ in Ontario.

Urn purchase

A cremation urn is a decorative container that holds cremated remains (which are called "ashes"). Prices depend on the type, material, size, etc., but will typically range from $10 to upwards of $2,000. Learn more.

Urn interment

Interment involves placing a deceased individual's remains in a grave. Cremation remains (ashes) can be interred in the ground or in a columbarium. Ashes can also be kept in the home or scattered.

A columbarium is an above-ground structure designed to house cremated remains. It has designated areas called niches that hold the urn and feature mementoes to memorialize a loved one.

Cemeteries require the purchase of interment rights. This will often start around $400. However, this is only a portion of cemetery fees. Families must also pay to purchase the plot or niche, interment fees, grave markers, maintenance fees, and more.

The cost for a single niche in Ontario starts around $700, but this number can quickly rise to over $2,500 with other services included. This is the same for a burial plot. Urn burial plots are often smaller and cheaper than casket plots, but they will still cost between $200 to over $3,000. A more cost-effective option is to purchase a family niche or burial plot. It will be a more significant cost upfront, but likely cost less per urn.

The price discrepancies are due to location and popularity. For example, interment plots in large cities cost more due to the increased demand. However, this may not always be the case because smaller towns may have fewer available cemeteries, increasing the demand and niche cost. Location within the cemetery may also affect cost. For example, niches inside are often more expensive.

Scattering is a great way to reduce or eliminate interment fees. Some cemeteries allow for scattering on site but require purchasing scattering rights. However, scattering options are not overly limited in Canada, so this may not be necessary. Ash scattering is allowed on private land with permission from the landowner and on unoccupied Crown land, including land covered by water. Scattering may also eliminate the need for an urn purchase since crematoriums typically return ashes in a temporary container. See more information in the BAO's Guide to Death Care.

Cremation ceremonies and celebrations of life

Funeral ceremonies or celebrations are usually expected with both cremations and burials. The cost for these funeral events varies depending on factors such as number of attendees, where the event is held, etc. For example, if families choose to have a viewing before cremation, they will need to pay for ceremony and staffing fees, extra storage time, embalming (if desired), etc.  This can add hundreds or thousands of dollars to the overall cost. Formal ceremonies like a viewing or visitation typically cost $2,000 and up. However, informal activities like a celebration of life or an ash scattering ceremony can be free to over $1,000, depending on how elaborate it is.

Have a question? We're here to help

The Eirene care team is available 24/7 to provide expert guidance and answer any questions you may have.

Cost of grave markers

A grave marker for an urn burial can be as simple as an engraved plaque ($150 to $300). A headstone for an urn plot can range from $1,000 to $5,000. More ornate grave monuments can reach $10,000. Prices will be highest in urban cemeteries.  

Sales tax in Ontario

Expect to pay Ontario's harmonized sales tax (HST) of 13 per cent on most products and services discussed in this article.

Cost of a direct cremation arrangement vs full service cremation funerals in Ontario

Direct cremation is a simple cremation arrangement where the body is cremated and ashes are returned to the family within a few days to a week. It is a simple arrangement and excludes the cost and complexity of a viewing or visitation. Direct cremation packages in Ontario cost $1,000 to $4,000.

By comparison, a typical traditional cremation funeral in Ontario that includes a viewing or visitation and/or reception or repast in Ontario costs between $7,500 and $10,000.  

More expensive cremation funerals with full service ceremonies that include interment in an urban cemetery can cost $25,000 to $50,000.    

Additional cremation cost resources

Eirene's all inclusive direct cremation packages

At Eirene, we have simplified the cost of cremation arrangements in Ontario by creating an all-inclusive direct cremation package. See our pricing page for details. To make arrangements, click here. For questions, email us at support@eirene,ca or view our contact page.

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