Helpful Information and Frequently Asked Questions

What or who is Cataraqui Cemetery and Funeral Services?

Cataraqui Cemetery and Funeral Services is simply a name that better represents  Cataraqui Cemetery's  broadened services that are now available for you and your family.  From listening to the families that have asked  for  simplified  arrangements and convenient services, we have become a funeral establishment that now serves the community's funeral and cremation needs.   The benefits of our comprehensive programs and services present families with easy, simplified and convenient arrangement options.  There is additional peace of mind for you and your family in that monument design and installation services as well as a variety of funeral and bereavement related products and services are also available. We are an extraordinary cemetery.

Who owns Cataraqui Cemetery?

The not for profit corporation, The Cataraqui Cemetery Company, was founded in 1850 for the purpose of creating, operating and maintaining into perpetuity a public, non-denominational, garden style cemetery that is available for the entire community.  In 1853, as per our Act of Incorporation, the civic minded founders passed ownership from a Board of Directors to the Cemetery's Interment Rights Holders (the plot owners).  To this day, the Interment Rights Holders continue to form the Cemetery's Board of Trustees and oversee every aspect of the Cemetery.  The Cemetery is not funded or operated by the municipality nor do any  revenues find their way to an independent owner or a profit driven company.  We remain a not for profit for your family.

Why is "not for profit" important to me and my family?

It is our mission  to care for this historic site and to safeguard, into perpetuity, the final resting places of so many people and families.  Being a not for profit means your family has the assurance that all of the income or revenue (above expenses) that we receive, derived from our services, is directed back into the the cemetery; resulting in the most beautiful cemetery in all of Canada.   As consumer trends continue to change and shift from traditional practices , the cemetery has introduced new services in order to meet the needs of families and to ensure the perpetual care of the cemetery.  In addition to the purchase of plots and interment rights, families now have direct access to the complementary services such as cremations, funeral services, urns and monuments - all for the benefit of you, your family and the memory of all those that have passed before us.     

What does the Cemetery do with the revenue from my purchase of interment rights, monuments or funeral & cremation services?

The revenue from every product and service that we offer is directed back into the cemetery to cover expenses, maintenance programs, conservation programs and the cemetery's perpetual care obligations and commitments.    The Cemetery's Board of Trustees and management team work on your families behalf to maintain the delicate balance between meeting the needs of the community today and ensuring a responsible plan is in place to care for the cemetery into perpetuity. 

Are cemetery and funeral services available to everybody?

Services are available to families of all faiths.  Cataraqui Cemetery and Funeral Services  is non-denominational and offers interment rights/interment options to everyone.  Additionally,  funeral, cremation and monument services are available to everyone  -  even if other arrangements have been made at other funeral providers or cemeteries. 

May my family and I use your funeral and cremation services even if I/we do not have a plot at Cataraqui Cemetery?

Funeral and cremation services are available to the general public.  Even if planning for interment at another cemetery, our funeral directors will help you organize and secure all the necessary arrangements. This includes scheduling interments as well as the purchase and installation of monuments or markers

How much burial space remains available at Cataraqui Cemetery?

With 91 acres, Cataraqui Cemetery remains the area's largest cemetery with many acres of untouched space yet to be developed.   Wise land management and recent land acquisitions have ensured the community that Cataraqui Cemetery will be available for many more generations of families when they need us.  A large variety of interment rights and burial options remain in older sections as well as recently opened new sections - with more to come. 

What are interment rights?

Interment rights includes the right to inter human remains within a specifically assigned space at a cemetery, and  the right to authorize memorialization within that space; subject to the bylaws of the cemetery and provincial regulations.  Interment rights right are assigned to an Interment Rights Holder (often the purchaser) and may be transferred (by sale, by gift or by bequest) to another person. 

How do I know who the interment rights holder might be for the family plot?

The Interment Rights Holder is the person(s) identified on the Certificate of Interment Rights and the Cemetery’s official Registry of Interment Rights Holders.  If your name is not printed on the official issued certificate or listed on our registry as the owner of record , please contact us about your family situation.  Even after death, interment rights remain with the person(s) named on the certificate; they do not pass automatically to others in the family.  Additionally, having or holding the certificate that was issued to your parents or grandparents does not make you the owner of record.   

What if a family member has passed  or I want to be interred with family.  Can we use our parents' or our grandparents' plot?

The provincial Funeral, Burial and Cremation Services Act, as well as its regulations require that all interments must be authorized by the Interment Rights Holder (IRH) of  record.  The Regulation 30/11, 161 specifically reads as "No cemetery operator shall inter human remains in a lot, other than the remains of the interment rights holder, without the written consent of the interment rights holder."  Unless the Rights Holder presented you or the Cemetery with specific written instructions, then the interment rights may not be available for use - at this time.  The Act does allow for "a person authorized to act on the holder's behalf" to inter human remains in the lot.  This means the Power of Attorney of the IRH, the Active Estate Trustee of the IRH or a person with other written authorization from the IRH.  We recommend that you contact us as soon as possible to determine your situation.  To be clear, a cemetery does not have the authority under provincial law to decide who can and cannot use the plot.  Cemetery's must use due diligence to ensure that they are receiving interment authorization from the appropriate person who has legal right to make such an authorization.  If the interment rights holder has passed and did not leave written authorization, the authorized person is not living, then the family is left with the choice to apply for a transfer of ownership for the interment rights or purchase their own interment rights.  Documentation supporting a claim for the interment rights will be required and can be complicated.  Contact us to learn more about how your family might be affected and to determine what documentation you may be required to provide in order to establish your claim or rights.

What can be done with cremated remains?  Is scattering an option?

As per provincial law, cremated human remains may only be interred in a recognized cemetery.  Burial in the home garden, family farm or at the cottage is not an option.  We realize that there might be the desire to keep cremated remains at home or nearby.  However at some time, we must all recognize that a plan must be in place for your permanent placement of that  of your loved ones.  At Cataraqui Cemetery, families may choose from a number of cemetery options including, traditional plots, cremation gardens, niches, cremation plots, and tree programs all with the peace of mind that the site will be respectfully cared for in perpetuity.  As per provincial laws,  and contrary to popular belief, the scattering of human remains is illegal in most cases outside of a cemetery and is not an option we offer here at Cataraqui Cemetery.  

Can I bury a pet in the cemetery?

As per provincial laws and regulations, you can not bury a pet in a cemetery designated for people.  Those that do may be subject to provincial fines, penalties and loss of interment rights.  Pets may be buried in a specific pet cemetery or on your own property.

What can we place or plant on the plots?

In keeping with our legacy as a historic garden cemetery; wreaths, saddles, and artificial flowers are only permitted during the winter months between November 1st and April 30th.   During the growing season, we encourage flower beds, plantings, gardens and real flowers.  Our Cemetery by-laws outline the requirements regarding the size and placement of personal gardens.  We ask that families and visitors refrain from placing items that, if left unattended, could fall over or break.  These items have the potential to cause injury to visitors and maintenance staff.  Also, we ask that families and visitors first consult with the Cemetery office prior to planting or placing trees, shrubs, edging etc. With all due respect to you and your family, the cemetery must be diligent in monitoring the placement of items and plantings that impede, obstruct or add to the maintenance of the site or intrude upon adjacent plots or monuments or pose a risk of injury to visitors and staff.

Why would I consider funeral and cremations services from Cataraqui Cemetery?

Independent funeral homes generally do not have the range of services that only a cemetery or crematorium operator can provide.   Cataraqui is the cemetery, funeral home, crematorium and monument supplier - all rolled in to one.  If your family has traditionally used a stand alone funeral home, you have experienced the exhausting and unnecessary running around to  many other service providers to see your arrangements through (funeral homes, crematoriums, cemetery, monument dealers, clergy, florists etc...). By avoiding the "middle man" and selecting Cataraqui Cemetery and Funeral Services,  families are offered the countless benefits of our multi-service approach to all of their comprehensive needs.  Families have told us that our programs present a simpler, easier and much more convenient experience.  We offer peace of mind in knowing that arrangements are made with just one person.   We know that funeral expenses can be an unexpected and difficult burden for families.  Our programs and services are cost practical, sensible,  and provide the added value that you and your family are supporting and receiving the benefits from a long standing community mined not for profit organization.  During your difficult time, attend to  your family while you leave the arrangements in our care.

Who do we contact if there has been a death?

Simply call us, day or night at (613)546-6545,  and our funeral directors will immediately begin helping and guiding you through every step of the arrangements.  We offer an upfront explanation of the services and fees so that you can make informed decision before committing to a provider during a stressful and emotional time.   Families have peace of mind knowing that the funeral director is involved every step of the way and that they are available 24/7 to receive your loved one into our care. 

What might your funeral services offer me and my family?

We take care of all your family’s cemetery, cremation, funeral and monument needs:

  • transferring your loved one to our facility and receiving them into our care;
  • consultations and preparations for cremation or casket interment;
  • arrangements for cremation or casket interment
  • cremation
  • organizing memorial services, obituaries, etc.;
  • arranging for the purchase or use of a cemetery plot at Cataraqui Cemetery or other as needed;
  • organizing the cemetery interment (regardless of cemetery);
  • lead the grave side service;
  • design, installation and completion of any monuments, markers and inscriptions;  
  • helpful aftercare services including preparation of many government forms, applications and cancellations;
  • provide death certificates;
  • offer information regarding grief counseling;
  • and much more...

Do you have facilities for memorial services?

Our funeral directors can organize services for grave side or for services at the facilities of any one of our local community partners.  Tents, chairs, church services, clergy, celebrants, luncheons, memorial cards, donations and flowers can all be arranged with our funeral directors.  

Can I pre-plan my arrangements?

Services can certainly be pre-planned without pre-paying.  If you have intentions for insurance or some other funds to cover the expenses, there is nothing limiting you from  at least planning the services ahead of time and putting your wishes on paper; saving the emotional stress of this burden from your family.  We recommend that you meet with our funeral directors and together with other members of the family, we will explain your options, without the pressure and stress of needing to do this right away. 

How and when do we pay for services?

We understand that funeral expenses can be an unexpected burden. So have the many families that choose to pre-arrange and pre-pay their services.  Prearrangements can be paid all at once or using time payments.   In most situations, by paying in advance, you lock in today's prices, save on interest fees, services are guaranteed and the family is relieved from a heavy burden at a time of loss.  For families who did not prepay their services, we typically allow 30 days for payment.  Please note that  the fees for some services cannot be paid in advance and other service fees are due in advance of performing the service.  Our funeral directors are available to discuss your choice, the fees and your options.  We are here to help.  Some families might have need for financial assistance. There are municipal or provincial programs or benefits that might be available at the time of need.  We can explain the process as well as what fees and services they might cover.

How long does it take for cremation and for our loved one to be returned to us?

Cremation is dependent on when or how soon the family can meet with our funeral directors to resolve the necessary arrangements.   Once resolved, most cremations take place within a day or two.  We operate our own crematorium. You have peace of mind that your loved one does not leave our care or our facility.  There is also added convenience in that  we remain in control of the scheduling.

Can we place personal items in a casket without loved one that is to be cremated?

This is a common but very sensitive question.  We suggest that you speak directly with our funeral directors and staff if there are any items that you wish to include. But in general terms, as an operator of the crematorium, we ask that families do not place items made of metal, glass, creamic or plastic.  These items pose problems during cremation and can damage the cremation unit.  

Do we need to purchase an urn and what are our options?

Stylized or decorative urn options are available and families may select from a wide assortment that are on display or to be ordered with custom features (delivered within 24 hrs).  Simply speak with any one of our funeral directors or staff.  Families are cautioned in making or providing their own urn options.  It is recommended that home-made or store bought urn alternatives be discussed with your funeral director or cemetery representative to ensure the appropriateness of the size, material and construction.  Our crematorium does provide with our cremation service, a simple cardboard or plastic urn option, at no extra charge.

How might our traveling affect pre-arranging or pre-planned services?

This is not an issue and it is certainly recommended to pre-arrange your services if you travel quite often.  We offer low cost Travel Assistance Plans that are ideal for anyone traveling anywhere in the world or just a day trip at least 100 km away from home.  We are available to discuss and provide more details about these economical options and how they cover all the costs and logistics involved in bringing you home with no charges to your family, should death occur while traveling.

Can monuments or markers be purchased directly with Cataraqui Cemetery and Funeral Services.

Certainly.  Monument services are available directly at the cemetery.  We are price competitive and constantly seek the best prices for our families.  We have been told by families that they have found it to be much simpler, easier and cost practical to leave all the monument arrangements to us: since we are the ones who know the sizing requirements best, prepare the foundations and care for the site in perpetuity.  By purchasing your monument with us, families are supporting their not for profit cemetery and the programs for the routine maintenance of their family's site.

Do you have a monument display and sample options that we can see?

Our display is just outside our office door and presents you with many styles, colours and options.  The cemetery also has 91 acres of other monuments to inspire your selection.  We are all trained and skilled at assisting you with the task of  designing your monument or marker.   We also offer a computer generated sketch for your final approval.

Are you affiliated with any local monument retailers?  

We are not affiliated with any local company or organization offering monuments.  Local companies do not offer monuments on our behalf; nor do they represent our interests.  By dealing directly with the cemetery for a monument or marker, families are assured:

  • that the monument or marker has proper approvals - before it is purchased;
  • that the monument or marker is appropriate in design, size and construction - before it is purchased. 
  • that a monument purchased from the cemetery, directly supports the only organization that safeguards the final resting places of your loved ones and the shared community.  Revenues from the sale of monuement help maintain the cemetery and your family's plot.  Please support your cemetery.

How long does it take before the monument we order is installed?

For the most part, monuments or markers are delivered and installed within 6-8 weeks.  There may be times where delivery is a little longer.  This of course is dependent on when we can secure your final approval, the availability of the colour and design that was selected or other seasonal concerns.

Who can authorize a marker, a monument or an inscription?

Just like interments, it is the interment rights holder or their legal representative who must authorize all monuments, markers and inscriptions.  If you are not the interment right holder (by purchase or  proper transfer), or the marker is not exclusively for the interment rights holder,  we ask that you first consult with us to determine your best options.  Applications are required if you wish to install or alter and existing marker.

Can the cemetery inscribe a final date or a name on the monument or marker for us?

We offer inscription services and in most cases the inscription can be arranged to be completed within 6 weeks (weather and season permitting).  Like markers and burials, inscriptions must be approved by the interment rights holder.  

I have concerns about the condition or stability of an older monument.  What do I do?

The first step is to simply let us know that there is an issue so  that we may determine  how it may be best resolved.  If the marker or foundation was installed after 1992 and perpetual care for the foundation or setting was paid, there is no extra cost for the remediation work.  However, for instance where the monument or marker pre-dates 1992 and/or the foundation or setting does not have perpetual care,  an estimate will be prepared for the work. Some work may be optional and some work may be required.   It is important to note that the Cemetery is required to ensure that monuments are safe and that they do not pose a risk for damage or personal safety.   Sometimes, monuments need to be set down.  The Cemetery’s by-laws, municipal heritage by-law, and the provincial legislation all dictate what can be done and the processes that might be used.