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What is Green Burial?

Green or natural burial is the process of human disposition with the least environmental consequences, while encouraging greater land stewardship. Bodies are not prepared using chemical embalming fluids, are placed in simple shrouds or biodegradable caskets, and concrete vaults are not used, nor are traditional markers (headstones & footstones). In Canada, green burial cemeteries come in three forms: full or conservation, hybrid and green-friendly (our term).

Full or Conservation Green Cemeteries are cemeteries that only practice green burial, or despite the debate surrounding the environmental impact of cremation, the interment of eco-friendly urns.

Hybrid Cemeteries are 'traditional' cemeteries that offer green burial in designated spaces. These spaces are set apart from the rest of the cemetery, and follow the guidelines for green or natural burial.

Green-Friendly Cemeteries are cemeteries that do not offer a dedicated green burial section, but are making efforts to offer environmentally friendly options. This could include the lack of cement vault or embalming fluids, and the choice of simple pine casket, or burial shroud. We will be updating our list as we find more green-friendly cemeteries in Canada.

Green burial often has an additional ecological aspect where the grounds/graves are planted with only native, beneficial species that are not chemically or mechanically managed, and where optimum land and water use guidelines are in place. There are at least two green burial organizations in Canada: the Green Burial Society of Canada, and the Natural Burial Association. The Green Burial Council, operates in both Canada and the United States, and offers environmental certificates for funeral homes, cemeteries and product manufacturers.

According to the Green Burial Society of Canada, there are five key principles for green burial:

No Embalming: Remains for green burial must be in a ‘natural’ state as “decomposition is nature’s way of recycling a body, without need for intervention by us.”

Direct Earth Burial: Remains for burial must be enclosed in a fully biodegradable shroud, container or casket. (Ideally, ‘Containers’ will be made from locally sourced, sustainable fabrics and materials.)

Ecological Restoration and Conservation: “Site preservation and perpetual protection is a key component of this principle of green burial.” Visitation of individual graves is discouraged, with a focus on planting locally indigenous plants over the graves.

Communal Memorialization: Instead of individual markers, communal memorialization is placed. “Ultimately it is the green burial site as a whole that becomes a living memorial to the persons interred there.”

Optimized Land Use: “A well planned green burial cemetery (or cemetery section) will optimize the land it occupies.” This includes minimal installation of infrastructure, temporary roads, pragmatic grave dimensions, and perhaps re-use of graves.

Source: Green Burial Society of Canada.

Embalming laws in Canada

"Is embalming required by law in Canada?" No. None of the provinces and territories require embalming. Some provinces do have rules pertaining to the length of time a body can be unembalmed for a viewing, before embalming would be necessary, but that is it (we're looking at you Quebec). Nothing would prevent someone from having a funeral at home with an unembalmed body.

Where Can I Have a Green Burial in Canada?

Whereas green burial is being quickly adopted throughout the United States, Canada currently lags behind. Only 2 Canadian provinces have full green burial sites, and most provinces and territories have none whatsoever. We called the following municipalities and cemeteries to confirm their green offerings.

"I want a green burial but there are no sites in my province, what can I do?"

If your province is lacking a green burial site, we've included the contact information for municipal or provincial cemetery management offices. Since green burial is legal in all provinces and territories, it takes consumer demand to see any change. A call to a government cemetery management office, or your local cemetery, can make all the difference. Encourage your friends and family to do the same, or propose a green burial site during local municipality meetings.

Many funeral homes in Canada can help facilitate green burial services, including My Alternatives in the West coast, and Eco Cremation & Burial Services in Ontario. Some funeral homes in Ontario, Quebec and Saskatchewan also offer Bio-Cremation. Lastly, many cemeteries in these provinces will allow you to have a green-friendly burial. Unlike our Southern neighbours, many cemeteries in Canada do not require a vault or grave liner, will accept a green burial casket, and do not require a headstone or footstone. Ask your local cemetery or funeral home to find the greenest solution near you.

Green Burial in Alberta

Alberta is finally catching up with newer hybrid cemetery grounds. There are still no full green burial grounds, however.

Want to see more green burial in Alberta? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery or city council.

Hybrid:

Grasslands at Royal View Memorial Cemetery
Opened in December 2019 as a set-aside section for green burials within Royal View.

5920 13 Street North,
Lethbridge, AB T1H 6P4
(403) 320-3008
Website

Prairie Sky Cemetery
First cemetery opened in Calgary for the past 80 years with space for green burials. GBSC provider.

12800 100 St SE,
Calgary, AB T3S 0A7
(403) 221-3660
Website

Meadows of Rosehill Cemetery
Has room for about 900 green graves in an acre of land located at the back end of the cemetery.

1605-141 Street SW, 
Edmonton, AB, T6W 1A3
(780) 434-5433
Website

Green Burial in British Columbia

When it comes to green burial, B.C. is ahead of the game. British Columbia is home to Canada's first ever green burial space, and home to one of the only full, or conservation green burial cemetery in Canada.

Full:

The Denman Island Natural Burial Cemetery
Non-profit, exclusively green cemetery, only available to past or present residents or immediate family of residents of Denman Island.

Denman Island B.C.
6400 Denman Rd,
Denman Island, BC V0R 1T0
Website

Salt Spring Island Natural Cemetery
Full Natural Conservation Cemetery, protected by Land Title. Open to the public and offers full body and cremain burial.

2100 Fulford-Ganges Road,
Salt Spring Island, B.C.
250-653-9884
Website

Hybrid:

Royal Oak Cemetery
Non-for-profit community-owned hybrid cemetery in B.C. with a Natural Burial section. GBSC certified.

4673 Falaise Dr,
Victoria, BC V8Y 1B4
(250) 658-5621
Website

Yates Memorial Services
Hybrid cemetery in B.C. with green burial section, "Nature Grove Garden". GBSC certified.

1000 Allsbrook Rd,
Parksville, BC V9P 2A9
(250) 248-5859
Website

Memorial Park Cemetery
Municipal cemetery in Prince George offering green burial.

3300 Memorial Park Ln,
Prince George, BC, V2N 0B5
(250) 561-7500
Website

Powell River Regional Cemetery
Green burial section offered within the cemetery. Locally known as “Cranberry Cemetery.”

Corner of Cranberry Street and Crown Avenue,
Powell River, BC V8A 5V1
(604) 483-4812
Website

Heritage Gardens Cemetery
Privately owned cemetery with dedicated green burial space.

19082 16th Avenue,
South Surrey, BC
(604) 538-0074
Website

Mountain View Cemetery
City of Vancouver owned and operated hybrid cemetery. GBSC certified.

5455 Fraser St,
Vancouver, BC V5W 2Z3
(604) 325-2646
Website

Lakeview Cemetery
Penticton municipal cemetery with green burial section.

775 Lower Bench Rd,
Penticton, BC
(250) 490-3474
Website

Chilliwack Cemeteries
Private registered perpetual care cemetery with green burial space. GBSC certified.

10010 Hillcrest Dr,
Chilliwack, BC V2P 7X1
(604) 795-3051
Website

Green Burial in Manitoba

There are no full green burial cemetery grounds in Manitoba. Want to see full green burial in Manitoba? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

City of Winnipeg
Call: (204)-986-4348
Email: cemeteries@winnipeg.ca
Website

City of Brandon:
Call: (204)-729-2150
Website

Hybrid:

Transcona Cemetery
Winnipeg municipal cemetery with hybrid green burial section.

5014 Dugald Rd,
Winnipeg, MB R0E 0K0
(204) 986-4348
Website

Green Friendly:

Brookside Cemetery
Winnipeg municipal cemetery with options for green burials. Potentially expanding into a dedicated green burial section.

3001 Notre Dame Ave,
Winnipeg, MB R3H 1B8
(204) 986-4348
Website

St. Vital Cemetery
Winnipeg municipal cemetery with options for green burials.

236 River Rd,
Winnipeg, MB R2M 5G6
(204)-986-4348
Website

Green Burial in New Brunswick

There are no full or hybrid green burial grounds in New Brunswick. However plans are underway to offer green options. Plans can be viewed here.

Green Burial in Nova Scotia

Want to see full green burial in Nova Scotia? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

Halifax
Call: (902)-490-4883
Email: cemetery@halifax.ca
Website

Hybrid:

Sunrise Park Inter-Faith Cemetery
First GBSC certified cemetery east of Ontario, offering green burials throughout the grounds.

2025 Prospect Rd, Hatchet Lake,
Nova Scotia, B3T 1R9
(902)-852-4944
Website

The Burlington Kings County Cemetery Society
Volunteer-run cemetery with separate green burial ground.

Barley Street, Burlington,
Nova Scotia
(902)-538-3387
Website

Green Friendly:

Pleasant Hill Cemetery 
Individual plots can facilitate green burials, no separate section yet.

Lower Sackville,Halifax County,
Nova Scotia, Canada
(902)-425-6922
Website

Green Burial in North West Territories

Want to see green burial in the Northwest Territories? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

City of Yellowknife
Call: (867)-920-5624
Website

Green Burial in NL & Labrador

Want to see green burial in NL & Labrador? Get in touch with your local municipality, your local cemetery or Service Newfoundland:

Service Newfoundland:
Call: (877)-986-2600
Website

Green Burial in Nunavut

There are no full or hybrid green burial grounds in Nunavut. Permafrost and the threat of flooding are great concerns for Iqaluit Cemetery, Nunavut's only municipal cemetery ground.

Green Burial in Ontario

While Ontario has no full green burial cemeteries, many cemeteries offer hybrid services.

Want to see full green burial in Ontario? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

Bereavement Authority of Ontario
Call: (844)-493-6356.
Website

Hybrid:

St John's Public Cemetery
Separate natural burial ground area: no casket, no embalming, no concrete liner permitted.

2878 St John's Dr,
Jordan Station, ON
(905)-641-5945
Website

Fairview Cemetery
Two acre “Willow’s Rest” green burial section with wildflower and pollinator garden. GBSC certified. Future development planned includes more green burial.

4501 Stanley Ave,
Niagara Falls, ON L2E 2E8
(905) 354-4721
Website
Contact

Duffin Meadows Cemetery
Natural burial section with plots that can accommodate one biodegradable casket plus one cremated remains, or two cremated remains.

2505 Brock Road North,
Pickering, ON L1V 2P8
(905)-427-3385
Website

The Glenwood Cemetery
Licensed to offer green burials in a natural forest within the cemetery. GBSC Certified.

47 Ferguson Street
Picton, ON, K0K 2T0
(613) 476-3511
Website

Mount Hamilton Cemetery
Wait list available for expressing interest in natural burials with green sites expected to be completed at the end of 2022. 

260 Rymal Road East
Hamilton, ON L8R 2A4
(905) 546-4704
Website

Williamsburg Cemetery
Called Sanctuary Woods, this section is a natural wooded area located in Williamsburg Cemetery adjacent to the Promontory Pond.

1541 Fischer Hallman Rd
Kitchener, ON N2R 1P6
(519)-741-2880
Website

Meadowvale Cemetery
Natural burial section located adjacent to a wildlife preservation area.

7732 Mavis Road
Brampton, ON L6Y 5L5
(905)-451-3716
Website

Cobourg Union Cemetery
First cemetery in Ontario to offer full green burial section.“Ecoburial” meadow overlooking Cobourg Creek for a range of green burials. Non-profit.

110 Elgin St W,
Cobourg, ON, K9A 4L3
(905)-372-8687
Website

St. James' Cemetery
Separate natural eco-friendly interment site seeded to native grasses and wildflowers to provide natural habitat.

21 Church Rd.
Roseneath, ON, K0K 2X0
905-352-2382
Website

Parkview Cemetery
Separate green burial section in which no formal maintenance will be performed.

335 University Ave,
Waterloo, ON N2J 4A8
(519) 725-9280
Website

Green Friendly:

St. John’s Norway Cemetery
No green section, but permits unembalmed burials with no vault or grave liner as long as in a sturdy casket (can be made with biodegradable materials).

256 Kingston Rd
Toronto, ON M4L 1S7
(416) 691-2965
Website

Woodlawn Memorial Park
Woodlawn is in the process of designing and gaining approval for a green burial section. They anticipate opening in late 2023. They currently offer green options within their conventional cemetery.

762 Woolwich Street,
Guelph, ON N1H 3Z1
(519)-822-1271
Website

Green Burial in PEI

Want to see green burial in PEI? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

The Peoples Cemetery Charlottetown
Call: (902)-892-8580
Email: thepeoplescemetery@gmail.com
Website

Consumer Services, Dep. of Environment, Labour & Justice:
Call: (800)-658-1799
Website

Green Burial in Quebec

Want to see green burial in Quebec? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

Office de la protection du consommateur:
Call: (888)-672-2556
Website

La Corporation des thanatologues du Québec:
Call: (418)-622-1717
Website

Full:

Sentiers Commémoratifs de la Rivière
Natural cemetery exclusively for cremation urns.

2480 Bd du Curé-Labelle,
Prévost, QC J0R 1T0
(450)-565-6464
Website

Hybrid:

Cimetière Catholique Granby
Offers an urn only green burial section where Bio-Urn can be planted

460 Rue Dufferin,
Granby, QC J2G 9G2
(450) 378-8777
Website

Cimetière Notre-Dame-Des-Neiges
Remembrance Grove is a space within this historic Catholic cemetery for burial of biodegradable urns under young trees with plans to develop a green burial area.

4601, Côte-des-Neiges Road
Montréal, Québec, H3V 1E7
(514) 735-1361
Website

Green Burial in Saskatchewan

Note: There is a private green cemetery in Saskatchewan, however they are currently full and requested we do not add them to the list.
Want to see green burial in Saskatchewan?
Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

City of Saskatoon
Call: (306)-975-3308
Email: cemetery@saskatoon.ca
Website

City of Regina:
Call: (306)-777-7395
Email: cemeteries@regina.ca
Website

Green Burial in Yukon

There are no full or hybrid green burial grounds in the Yukon. However there have been talks of Grey Mountain Cemetery expanding to include green burial section but we could not find further information. Contact us know if you know!

Want to see green burial in The Yukon? Get in touch with your local municipality or your local cemetery:

City of Whitehorse
Call: (867) 668-8325
Email: parks@whitehorse.ca
Website

Dawson City:
Call: (867)-993-5391
Email: info@dawsonmuseum.ca
Website

2 Comments

  1. Hello,

    Yates Memorial Services on Vancouver Island (Parksville)offers green burial, and is certified by the Green Burial Society of Canada.

  2. I was looking into green burials in Nova Scotia. You list The Burlington Kings County Cemetery Society as “No website found”. In fact, I found the following very informative website for them:
    https://burlingtoncemetery.ca/

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