Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have to pay for funeral arrangements in advance?

It depends on what arrangements you make and the payment structure that meets your needs. However, paying for your services in advance protects you and your family from inflation and the possibility of over-spending at a very emotional time.

Where do I start?

Many people find it easiest to start at the cemetery—making arrangements for the land, crypt or cremation niche that will be required.

Can all of the arrangements be made by Cole Funeral Services?

We’re here to help, from arranging the memorial service to the burial, whether that is at our Pinecrest location or at Highland Park Cemetery. An entire funeral service and reception can be arranged and conducted at Highland Park or Pinecrest cemeteries—making it easier for friends and family.

Is burial the only option?

No, remains can be buried in the ground or entombed in a crypt in a mausoleum. Crypts are designed either for one or for two caskets. Cremated remains can also be buried or placed in a niche in what is called a columbarium. Mausoleums and columbariums can be outdoors or indoors, depending on the cemetery you choose.

Land burial is the traditional option. Burial plots can be purchased singly or in multiples. Some families purchase several burial plots to accommodate all members of their families. In some cases, cremated remains can be buried in a family plot without the purchase of an additional lot.

What happens with a cremation?

The casket is placed in a cremation chamber where, through a process of heat and evaporation, the body is reduced to fragments of human bone, which is pulverized. Many people prefer this option for environmental reasons.

After cremation, the remains are placed in an urn. The urn is then placed in a niche specifically designed for cremated remains, or buried—either in a special place designed for urns or, in some cases, in a burial plot.

Is a funeral director required?

If a family wants the deceased embalmed, it is necessary to use the services of a licensed funeral establishment. However, families may arrange for transportation of the deceased in a suitable container and obtain all of the necessary legal documentation required for a funeral by themselves.

Is a casket required for cremation?

A container is required for the cremation itself—in order to treat the remains with dignity and ensure protection of the person performing the cremation. Our staff can help you make decisions about a container that is suitable in your circumstances. If the cremation takes place very soon after death, a fibreboard container might be appropriate. Some families choose rental caskets. The rental casket is appropriate for visitation and contains a removable container for the cremation. Some more expensive metallic caskets are not suitable for cremation.

How do most people commemorate life at a funeral?

Traditionally, Canadians chose to have a visitation/wake. A wake normally involved one or two days of visitation, with the casket present. This provides friends and family members with an opportunity to say their good-byes and pay their respects to the family of the deceased. The visitation/wake is then followed by a funeral service—in a church or in a funeral home.

However, these days, some families are choosing alternatives, such as a simple memorial service, without the body present. Often, this service takes place at the cemetery, so the memorial service and internment happen in one place, at the same time. We will help you and your family make decisions about these details that reflect your beliefs and your desires.

What permanent markers are usually used?

Traditionally, the memorial is a granite monument or bronze plaque. In columbariums or mausoleums, the memorial is generally an inscription.

For cremations, families may wish to scatter remains. However, bereavement experts believe it is crucial to have a place where family and friends can go to remember.  For these occasions, we offer memorial benches or trees marked by an inscription honouring the loved one.

Again, the choice is yours. In every decision, we’re here to help.