27 Main St. County Road 8
Elgin, ON K0G 1E0
Phone: 613 359-5555
Fax: 613 359-6329

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Frequently Asked Questions

Everyone thinks they know the answer to the question "what is cremation", but when it comes down to it, the facts are often just out of reach. If you're ready to make the cremation decision, but just need a few more answers to nagging questions you have about cremation, then this is the right place for you. We've listed some of the most common questions we hear on the subject of cremation for you here; if you don't see your specific question then we invite you to call us at  613.359.5555

1. How long must we wait after their death before we can cremate a family member?
 
2. How much will I have to pay for the cremation?
 
3. Can I participate in the cremation?
 
4. Can I purchase an urn from another source, or must I buy one from you?
 
5. What should I do with my loved one's ashes?
 
6. If we choose cremation, does my loved one have to be embalmed?
 
7. How long will it take to cremate my family member?
 
8. What kind of fuel is used in the cremation?
 
9. Are people dressed when they are cremated?
 
10. Can we put special items in their cremation casket?
 
11. Does this mean we don't need to plan a commemoration service?
 
12. I'm thinking of placing my loved one's ashes in the care of a local cemetery. What is the difference between a columbarium and a mausoleum?
 
13. Can you tell us which type of service is right for us?
 
14. How much will I have to pay for the cremation?
 
15. What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
 
16. What are "cash disbursements"?
 
17. Why must I pay for these items at the time of arrangement?
 
18. Can we arrange to bury their ashes on cemetery grounds?
 
19. What must I bring to the funeral home?
 
20. I'd like to write my loved one's funeral notice Can I?
 
21. Should I tell people not to send flowers?
 
22. It is my understanding I can't have cremation as an option if my husband has had a thera-seed implant for treatment of prostate cancer?
 

Question #1How long must we wait after their death before we can cremate a family member?
Answer:Unlike burial, cremation is irreversible. This requires us to be "extra diligent" in obtaining cremation authorization from the legally identified next-of-kin or estate trustee, as well as those from any necessary agencies (such as the Coroner). During these 24-48 hours (depending on provincially mandated requirements); the deceased will be held in a secure, refrigerated environment.

Question #2How much will I have to pay for the cremation?
Answer:When you enter into a discussion with us about the cost of your loved one's cremation, whether on the phone or in-person, we are legally obligated to share our General Price List, or GPL, with you. That list details the actual cost of our cremation services, which is a combination of our basic professional services fee,use of facilities and equipment and sundries as supplied,  the fee charged by the crematorium for the use of their facilities inclusive of  the actual cremation process. and any additional charges related to the transportation and safekeeping of the deceased prior to the cremation. It is impossible for us to quote an accurate cost for cremation here; we urge you to speak candidly about cremation costs with us at your convienience.

Question #3Can I participate in the cremation?
Answer:The answer to this question is dependent on the specific crematorium responsible for the care of your loved one, but generally speaking, the answer to this question is "yes". The degree to which you can participate may differ from crematory to crematory (depending on their facilities);. Please note at Gananoque Crematorium your are more than welcome to attend this state of the art facility, a special designated area has been designed for this sole purpose.  Please speak with your funeral director regarding availability and the optional costs, if this is an issue for you, or another family member.

Question #4Can I purchase an urn from another source, or must I buy one from you?
Answer:The BAO's  funeral rule guides funeral directors in the ethical and fair presentation of funeral service options. The purchase of a cremation urn (or a casket, for that matter) from a second or third party sources is one of the rights it guarantees. Your funeral director cannot prevent you from, nor can they charge you an extra fee for, the purchase of a third-party cremation urn. And they cannot demand you are present for its delivery to the funeral home. In short the answer is yes, but one must be aware of the size needed to house the cremated remains, your funeral director can best advise you on this topic.

Question #5What should I do with my loved one's ashes?
Answer:There are many things you can do with their cremated remains–including simply taking them home with you for safekeeping. There may come a time when you know exactly what you'd like to do with them, but it may not be right now. Be patient; the right way to care for them will surface in time. After all, there are a lot of options: the most common is burial in a registered cemetery and a family plot, scattering them on land or lakes is also an option, you can also use the cremated remains in keepsake jewelry or to create meaningful pieces of art. As we said, there is no have-to-do; there's only a want-to-do (and you are in complete control of it). If you're curious about your options, just give us a call. We'll share what we know.

Question #6If we choose cremation, does my loved one have to be embalmed?
Answer:The short answer is "no", but there are exceptions. Let's say you want to have a public viewing or a public visitation period. If that's the case, it is funeral home policy to explain to you the social and health reasons why we need to  embalm your loved one, so much so that the funeral home may require that you purchase the service. However, with that said, under the BAO's funeral rule we cannot: provide embalming services without your permission, and may not lead you to believe embalming is required by law. In addition, we must provide you with written disclosures of costs related to the embalming of your loved one.

Question #7How long will it take to cremate my family member?
Answer:Naturally, this question is best answered when we talk specifics: if it is a state of the art crematorium and retort, How large an individual was your loved one? Usually it takes 3-5 hours for the process. A cool-down period follows, and then the cremated remains are processed for a uniform appearance. Certainly, if the issue is important to you, we urge you to speak to your funeral director.

Question #8What kind of fuel is used in the cremation?
Answer:Most crematoriums use natural or L.P. gas, At Gananoque Cremation Services Inc, they use natural gas. If you're concerned about the impact of cremation on the environment, speak with your funeral director, he/she has the true statistics..

Question #9Are people dressed when they are cremated?
Answer:You'd be surprised how often we hear this question! Some people might choose to be undressed so as to 'go out' the same way they 'came in' to the world; but most of the time, the deceased is dressed in the clothing they've selected prior to their death, or chosen by family members after their passing. It is also very often discussed that we use a quilted like line shroud like a smock for the easy environmental aspect of the cremation process.  

Question #10Can we put special items in their cremation casket?
Answer:It depends upon what you mean as "special", but we do our best to accommodate the wishes of surviving family members. Most commonly, families will ask to place notes, children's drawings, or other personal messages of love; but we've certainly had some unusual requests (such as the inclusion of a cherished pet's collar or treasured keepsake). Only items of a combustible nature can be allowed with the cremation casket/ container . We encourage you to speak with your funeral director to learn the regulations of the specific crematorium responsible for your loved one's cremation.

Question #11Does this mean we don't need to plan a commemoration service?
Answer:Certainly not; cremation merely describes the type of physical end-of-life care you intend to provide your loved one. A commemoration service is for the living; the individuals emotionally impacted by the death deserve the same level of compassionate attention. And one of the benefits of cremation comes from the larger "window-of-opportunity" in which to plan a meaningful service, this provides the surviving family members, their friends and colleagues a time  to pay last respects, honour a life lived and show support. Your funeral professional can guide you in making all the necessary service arrangements.

Question #12I'm thinking of placing my loved one's ashes in the care of a local cemetery. What is the difference between a columbarium and a mausoleum?
Answer:Think of the Taj Mahal in India and you'll know exactly what a mausoleum is: it's free-standing building (in this case not in India but on the grounds of a local cemetery), which is intended as both a monument as well as the burial location for casketed individuals. A columbarium is the same in purpose, but not in design; instead of crypt spaces large enough for a full-size casket; it features smaller niche spaces, large enough for one (or maybe two) cremation urns.

Question #13Can you tell us which type of service is right for us?
Answer:We would never presume to tell you which service is best for your loved one. But your funeral director will be pleased to guide, direct and advise; explain the differences between service formats (traditional funeral, memorial service and memorial receptions), and share stories of meaningful services they've been a part of–all with the intention of empowering you to make the right decision which is best for yourselves.

Question #14How much will I have to pay for the cremation?
Answer:When you enter into a discussion with us about the cost of your loved one's cremation, whether on the phone or in-person, we are legally obligated to share our General Price List, or GPL, with you. That list details the actual cost of our cremation services, which is a combination of our basic professional services fee, the fee charged by the crematory for the use of their facilities and the actual cremation process, and any additional charges related to the transportation and safekeeping of the deceased prior to the cremation.
As is stands now, the actual cost for the cremation process as charges by Gananoque Cremation Services Inc. is $ 565.00 plus HST. Of course the funeral home charges for personal and professional services, use of facilities and equipment, sundries as supplied,  as well as all of the transportation charges are extra and above

Question #15What "extra" fees or charges will I need to pay?
Answer:It's difficult for us to answer this question without knowing the specifics of your proposed cremation arrangements. Yet with that said we can tell you there will most likely be extra charges for anything that involves a second-party purchase ie: such as the publication of your loved one's funeral notices in a local newspaper, coroner's cremation certificate, opening and closing charges at the cemetery for burial of urn (if required), the actual cremation fee for processing, cremation urn, etc, etc.

Question #16What are "cash disbursements"?
Answer:When you arrive to make the necessary cremation service arrangements on behalf of a loved one, we will furnish you with a copy of our General Price List; a section of which discloses the exact price (or a good-faith estimate) of the most commonly-requested "cash disbursements". The Ontario Board of Funeral Services defines a cash disbursements as "payments made by  the licensed funeral establishment or transfer service operator on behalf of of the consumer. A cash disbursement may include items such as newspaper notices, clergy honoraria, or flowers."

Question #17Why must I pay for these items at the time of arrangement?
Answer:The answer to this is simple: we have to pay for these second-party services or merchandise at the time we make the purchase on your behalf. This requires us to ask for payment for all cash advance items at the time the cremation service contract is agreed to, and signed by the responsible family member. For more specific information about our payment policies, please call us to speak with a member of our staff,for a more common sense and easier terms approach regarding our payment policy.

Question #18Can we arrange to bury their ashes on cemetery grounds?
Answer:Yes, you can. The burial can be in-ground in any cemetery of your choice., or your loved one's cremation urn can be placed in a columbarium niche. Speak with your funeral director to learn more about your specific cremation burial options. Your funeral director will be glad to assist you with any of the details regarding inurnment.

Question #19What must I bring to the funeral home?
Answer:You'll need to provide the documents/information required to complete your loved one's death certificate and funeral otice. If you are planning to have a service, you may also wish to bring in a collection of family photographs to be used in making a tribute video or in the decoration of the service location. Other items may be needed at some point, depending on the arrangements made. Your funeral director will provide you with an exact list of the things he or should would like you to bring along to the arrangement conference.

We usually suggest for the initial arrangement conference, a recent or favourite picture for our website (or if you wish the optional cost imposed by the newspapers for the insertion of the picture in the funeral notice), the deceased's social insurance number for the vital statistics and clothing.

Question #20I'd like to write my loved one's funeral notice Can I?
Answer:Of course you can; in fact any member of your family (or even a close friend) can "step up" to take care of this task. There are many valuable resources available in the Guidance section of this website, including tips on writing an obituary. Never forget we are here for you and your family,  you can always turn to us for assistance. Most newspapers will not accept the funeral notice directly from family members unless they confirm the death with the funeral home.

Question #21Should I tell people not to send flowers?
Answer:Flowers have provided welcome solace and added beauty to services for generations. If you don't think flowers are appropriate, you can make a donation to a charitable organization, do an online condolence, light a memorial candle or plant a memorial tree. We believe everyone should follow their heart's lead when it comes to expressing sympathy, and always try not to limit their options in any way. However, if you strongly feel flowers are unwelcome, then be direct: "please do not send flowers".

Question #22It is my understanding I can't have cremation as an option if my husband has had a thera-seed implant for treatment of prostate cancer?
Answer:You are absolutely correct. Under current legislation and the by-laws regarding cremation under the Bereavement Authority of Ontario (July 1, 2012)

"By-Law (7) States: The crematorium will not under any circumstances cremate an individual with a radioactive implant, or an individual who has received microscopic radioactive treatment such as thera-seed."

Please note: We are always authorized by the family to remove a pacemaker (because it is radioactive but in a contained sealed unit). Thera-seeds are impossible to remove, they are exactly as stated, they are seeds and cannot be retrieved.

The only options for disposition for an individual of whom has had a thera-seed implant, is that of earth burial or by entombment within a mausoleum.

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