Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries has plans to open a Natural Burial Section at Mount Hamilton Cemetery. Natural burial is becoming increasingly popular to lessen one’s environmental footprint. The Natural Burial Section at Mount Hamilton Cemetery will provide for the burial of a body prepared in a simple manner without embalming. Over time the area will be planted with natural vegetation to return to the natural ecological state. Pathways will be established to allow visitors to reflect and remember those buried or scattered in this section.
Each individual will be buried in their own, individually plotted gravesite. Different than traditional burial plots, memorialization will not occur on each plot. A central memorialization will be offered. Graves can be purchased ahead of time.
The Natural Burial Section at Mount Hamilton Cemetery will also provide an opportunity for natural burial of cremated remains and a designated scattering area. The Natural Burial Section is in the design and construction phase. We are maintaining a list of individuals interested in this new section. Once this new interment option is available, we will be contacting those on the list.
We are now accepting names if you would like to be added to the waitlist while we finalize the Natural Burial option.
Frequently Asked Questions
When will the Natural Burial Section be available?
The Natural Burial Section at Mount Hamilton Cemetery is in the early stages of design and implementation. The landscaping and mapping of the areas will be completed in 2021 and information and application will be sent to the Regulator (Bereavement Authority of Ontario) for approval. We hope to have the site available for burials in Spring 2022.
Can I pre-pay for Natural Burial?
Not currently. Until all the work is completed, and we have regulatory approvals we are not able to sell this option. You can be placed on our waiting list, and we will contact you once we are able to sell the property and interment options.
What kind of casket can be used?
The casket must be made of sustainable and fully biodegradable materials. This can be a simple wooden pine or poplar box, woven willow, bamboo or wicker container. Many Funeral Providers offer a variety of casket choices.
Can we use a shroud?
Yes, a shroud can be used made of unbleached cotton fabric, linen, silk, wool or bamboo. The shrouded body needs to have a backing board of some sort to be able to carry and lower the body into the grave. The backing board should also be made of biodegradable material.
Can we bury cremated remains in the Natural Burial section?
Yes, cremation interment will be allowed. The container or urn must be made of biodegradable materials (unpainted unvarnished wood, cardboard, bamboo). Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will offer a selection of urns that can be used for cremation interment.
Can a Headstone or flat marker be placed on the grave?
No, there are no individual memorials allowed on the graves, but a central feature or memorial will provide an opportunity for memorialization.
Can you bury in winter?
Yes, we are able to do year round interments.
Is Natural Burial like Green Burial?
It is similar. Natural burial returns the body to the earth in a protected green space so the body can contribute to the earth’s renewal. The body is buried in a biodegradable casket or shroud in a natural burial ground. We do use equipment to dig the burial space unlike Green Burial.
Green Burial does not allow cremation interment. Natural Burial does allow for cremation interment as long as the urn or container is bio degradable. Hamilton Municipal Cemeteries will compensate for the use of fossil fuels during the cremation process, by lowering our carbon footprint and planting trees.
Do I need to use a Funeral Provider?
It is strongly recommended that you investigate your local death care options in advance and contact funeral homes or transfer services ahead of time to familiarize yourself with their options. To know your rights as a consumer in Ontario, see the Bereavement Authority of Ontario’s Consumer Information Guide.
To learn more about our Natural Burial section, please contact us at:
Email [email protected]
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