Cemetery By-Laws

By-laws respecting the City of Hamilton's Cemeteries 12-151 (PDF, 277 KB) &  21-024 (PDF, 100 KB)

Care and Maintenance of Lots & Gardens

Responsibility
Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries is responsible for the care and maintenance of 69 MunicipalCemeteries.

The Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be held liable or responsible for any loss or damage to any articles including but not limited to vases, fresh flowers, plants, trees, shrubs, artificial flowers or memorial wreaths placed on any grave, lot orplot.

Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries are not responsible for the watering ofgrass, bushes, shrubs or flowers planted on graves, lots orplots.

Right to Remove
The Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to remove all flowers, potted plants, wreaths, baskets of flowers or any other item that has become withered or unsightly, or when for any other reason, such removals are in the best interest ofthe Cemetery.

Annual Spring Maintenance
Commencing each spring on the first Tuesday after Easter weekend, all items in contravention to Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries By-laws and Policies and Procedures will be removed. Removed items will be stored on site in a designated area for no less than 60 days. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be responsible for any lost or damaged items. Signs posted at the entrances to the Cemeteries will provide notification of the annual springcleanup.

Items, specific to the celebration of Easter and in contravention to HamiltonMunicipal Cemeteries By-laws, will be removed no sooner than 14 days after Easter Sunday.

Flower Beds
Flower beds are permitted in an upright monument section and are restricted to a maximum width no wider than the length of the monument base and to a maximum depth of 45cm (18 inches). All measurement maximums are including the thickness of the solid border material beinginstalled.

Where permitted in a flat marker section, flower beds are restricted to the bottom of the installed marker and to a maximum width of the marker and to a maximumdepth of 45cm (18 inches). All measurement maximums are including the thickness of the solid border material beinginstalled.

No plantings will be allowed outside or beyond the flowerbeds mentioned above, including beside or behind the monument/marker.

No flower bed shall be installed on any grave, lot or plot where a monument or marker has not been installed unless permission has been granted by the Director or delegate.

Artificial flowers
Artificial flowers are permitted when contained in a hanging basket, saddle wreathor approved vase or container. All artificial flowers that become weathered or unsightly will be removed and disposed of. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be responsible for the replacement or any costs associated with replacing removed items.

Bushes, Shrubs & Ornamental Trees
Rose bushes WITHOUT THORNS are permitted within the designated garden areaif surrounded by a border of solid material edging. Rose bushes with thornsare NOT PERMITTED within Cemeteries.

Bushes, shrubs, ornamental trees, flowering or other plants may be planted on plots that are in designated sections of the Cemeteries and only in such varieties that are in keeping with the general look of the grounds and subject to Cemetery approval. Once planted, no trees, bushes or shrubs growing within any plot may be removed or altered without granted permission from the Cemetery Supervisor or Superintendent. Bushes, shrubs and ornamental trees are NOT allowed to be planted in flat marker sections.

Restrictions on Bushes, Shrubs & Ornamental Bushes
Bushes, shrubs and ornamental trees are only permitted to be planted in sections designated to allow upright monuments and only on 2-grave, 3-grave or 4 grave lots. Only one (1) bush, shrub or ornamental tree shall be permitted to be planted oneither side of the existing uprightmonument.

Restrictions on Height and Width of Bushes, Shrubs & Ornamental Trees
The height of bushes, shrubs or ornamental trees shall at no time exceed2.44metres (8 feet) above ground level. The diameter of bushes, shrubs or ornamental trees at their widest point, including all foliage, shall at no time exceed 45cm (18 inches) or obstruct adjacentlots.

 Encroachment on adjacent Lots
Should such bushes, shrubs and or ornamental trees encroach on adjacent lots, Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to trim back or remove theoffending bush, shrub or ornamental tree to comply with Cemeteries regulations. All trees, shrubs or ornamental trees that are detrimental to a burial shall be trimmed or removed asrequired.

If any bush, shrub or ornamental tree situated on any plot becomes detrimental to the adjacent plots, drains or walks or prejudicial to the general appearance of the Cemetery grounds or presents an inconvenience to the public, Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to trim or remove the bush, shrub or ornamental tree required. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be held responsible for any costs associated with the replacement of the offending bush, shrub or ornamentaltree.

Landscape Borders
Borders of a solid material are allowed as edging around the approved garden on a grave, lot or plot. Examples include but are not limited to concrete scallops, concrete bricks, composite material edging and landscaping black plastic edging. Granite borders are permitted but Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be responsible for any damaged or broken borders regardless of the reason for such damage. Granite borders removed for burial purposes will be left on the lot and will not be reinstalled by Cemetery staff and will be the sole responsibility of the lot owner or family to have reinstalled orremoved.

Other Borders –Removal of
All other fences and borders not of a solid material will not be allowed due to safety and operational hazards and will be removed during the annual spring cleanup and when noticed during the remainingyear.

Hanging Baskets
Hanging flower baskets, real or artificial, are allowed in the designated flowergarden areas. The Cemetery reserves the right to remove and dispose of those that are not properlymaintained.

Shepherd’s Hooks
Only one (1) undecorated shepherd’s hook with a single hook, with a height not exceeding 120 cm (4 feet) is permitted to be installed in the designated flowergarden of a singlegrave or an urn garden grave.

In all 2-grave ,3-grave or 4-grave plots, either two (2) undecorated shepherd’s hooks with a single hook, with a height not exceeding 120 cm (4 feet) OR one (1) undecorated shepherd’s hook with a double hook, with a height not exceeding120cm (4 feet) is permitted to be installed in the designated flowergarden.

All shepherds’ hooks with no hanging basket during the winter and summer months will be removed in the fall of each year and stored on site in a designated area for a period of not less than 60days.

Potted Plants
Potted plants must be in the designated flower garden surrounded by a border of solid material edging. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right toremove and discard any dead or witheredplants.

Receptacles (Vases) for Flowers
Flower vases of a solid material are permitted in the designated flower gardens if surrounded by a border of solid material edging. Vases should be installed with the top flush to grade whenpossible.

Decorative Stones and Wood Mulch
Decorative colored stones, with a diameter not to exceed 5cm (2 inches), are permitted if contained within a designated garden with a border of a solid material edging. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to remove such stones if they become unsightly, hazardous or if they interfere with a burial. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be held responsible for the re-installment, replacement or cost of replacement of any stones removed for reasons listedabove.

Wood mulch is permitted within the designated gardens on all graves, lots andplots.

Unplanted Flower Beds
To preserve the orderly appearance of all Cemeteries, Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to remove and reseed any garden that has notbeen planted by July15.

Wreaths
Artificial wreaths, without glass covers, are allowed to be placed on graves, lots or plots after November 1st. All wreaths must be securely fastened to a stand and securely anchored into theground.

All wreaths must be removed prior to the Annual Spring Cleanup commencing onthe first Tuesday after Easter Weekend. All wreaths remaining will be removed by Cemetery staff during the spring cleanup and stored for a period of not less than 60 days.

Wooden Crosses
Wooden crosses are permitted as a form of Temporary Memorialization. Wooden crosses will be permitted until permanent memorialization is installed or until a period of one (1) year has passed from time of interment. Wooden crosses must not exceed a height of 120 cm (4 feet) fromgrade.

Metal Crosses
Metal crosses are permitted as a form of Temporary Memorialization. Metal crosses must not exceed a height of 75cm (30 inches) from grade and will be permitted until permanent memorialization is installed or until one (1) year has passed from time of interment.

Approved metal veterans crosses are permitted in all sections except wherea veteran’s monument or marker isinstalled.

Glass
No glass containers or other glass items of any kind are allowed in the Cemeteryat any time due to safety requirements, with the exception of thefollowing;

Figurines not exceeding a height of 30cm (12 inches) and contained within a designated flower garden surrounded by a border of solid material edging.

Candle holders and candles if contained within a designated flower garden surrounded by a border of solid material edging.

Maximum two (2) solar lights are permitted if contained within a designated flower garden surrounded by a border of solid material edging.

Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to limit or ban the use of candles when weather or grass conditions may pose a fire hazard.

Miscellaneous Items
Nails, wires, articles made of glass or pottery or any other material that create a hazard to workers and to visitors when neglected or broken are not allowed on Cemetery grounds. Such items will be removed by Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries staff when made aware of suchitems.

Flags and Flag Poles
Small flags [maximum two (2) with a size not exceeding 30cm (12inches) x 45cm(18 inches) ], in good condition, with a height of the pole(s) not exceeding 60cm (2 feet) from grade shall be permitted if installed within a designated garden surrounded by a border of solid material edging. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries reserves the right to remove any flag(s) that are worn, weathered, torn or offensive innature.

Small Canadian flags are permitted in veterans sections without the need for aborder of solid material to beinstalled.

Moving Markers
No unauthorized person shall raise, move or remove or relocate markers orcorner markers at anytime.  

Flat Markers
All flat markers will be set flush to grade. If a marker is raised in any way, the marker will be reset according to Hamilton Municipal Cemetery’s By-laws at the expense of the Interment Rights Holder. Any damages sustained by Hamilton Municipal Cemetery’s equipment due to a raised marker shall be repaired at the expense ofthe Interment Rights Holder. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will not be held responsible for any damage sustained to the raisedmarker.

Change of Grade
No unauthorized person shall change the grading of their grave, lot or plot and in case of any such change; Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will restore the grade of the grave, lot or plot to its original grade at the expense of the Interment Rights Holder.

Cemetery Etiquette

Cemeteries are sacred places where the dead are laid to rest with dignity; therefore, visitors are expected to behave respectfully.

Use the following as a guide when visiting any of our cemeteries

  • Observe and adhere to all posted rules.
  • Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries are open to visitors between 8:00 a.m. and sundown. Visiting a cemetery after dark is prohibited.
  • Keep noise to a minimum. Most people that you will encounter on cemetery grounds are mourning the death of a loved one.
  • If you see a funeral or other service in progress, please quietly leave the area.
  • Children must be supervised at all times to ensure their safety. Monuments should not be touched.
  • Do not bring alcohol, drugs, firearms or entertainment items into a cemetery.
  • Pets are required to be leashed or accompanied by the owner. Clean up after your pet(s). Do not allow your pet to roam over graves; rather, keep on the roadway.
  • Do not litter. This includes cigarette butts. Take away any trash that you bring with you or deposit in the garbage receptacles placed on the grounds.
  • Do not interfere with the plants or wildlife that inhabits the cemetery. This includes picking or damaging flowers on cemetery grounds or adorning a grave.
  • Do not remove any wreaths or bouquets of flowers left on a grave.
  • Refrain from touching monuments without getting permission from the Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries.