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(Last updated:  May 2018)

"How much is it going to cost?" This is, undoubtedly, one of the question we are most often asked. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer, as funeral costs vary greatly. We did a Google search on the “average cost of a funeral in Canada”; headlines from the first page of search results included the following:

  • “the average overall cost is $8,500”
  • “The cost of a funeral can start from $5,000 to a very basic one … on average a funeral cost can be $15,000”
  • “A traditional burial (including a casket, funeral, and cemetery costs) averages around $7,000 to $10,000"
  • “The costs of funerals varies enormously. But on average, burials cost between $5,000 – 10,000. Cremations cost considerably less from $2,000 to $5,000.”

So if you are counting on a quick Google search to help you with your budgeting, you’re out of luck. Fortunately, with data on more than 650 funeral homes across Canada, we are able to come up with a little more precise “average” figure to help your planning.

It should come as no surprise that the type of funeral service you decide upon will impact costs significantly; what may surprise you however is that funeral costs can vary based upon the province you live in, i.e. traditional funerals cost on average 40% more in Ontario than in Manitoba ... on the flip side, direct cremations, on average, cost more than 75% in Manitoba than in B.C.

So let’s begin with a few comments explaining the methodology we used in completing this assessment:

  1. To address the disparity between the costs of the different types of funeral services, we broke out the analysis into four different categories - (i) Traditional Funeral, (ii) Graveside Service, (iii) Cremation followed by a Memorial Service, and (iv) Direct Cremation.
  2. We have used actual data provided from funeral homes in our target provinces to come up with provincial averages in the four western provinces and in Ontario. (We will expand this analysis to include Quebec and the Maritime provinces once we have sufficient data … users of InMemory can help here by providing us with pricing information by email as you visit funeral homes in these provinces).
  3. One of the biggest variables in estimating pricing is the cost of the cemetery plot. We haven’t completed an exhaustive study of cemetery pricing across different provinces, but have instead relied on a sampling of just over 100 cemeteries across Canada to derive our averages. Once we have more data on cemetery pricing in Canada, we will amend the below analysis to come up with provincial averages.

One last point … we will be updating this article regularly as we obtain more data and feedback from our users. We have inserted a "last updated" date in the top left hand of this article so that repeat readers will be able to easily see if there has been an update.

Traditional Funeral (Burial / Embalming / Visitation / Funeral Service)

Traditional Funeral Costs - Provincial Comparisons

You will see that we included data on price ranges where appropriate, i.e. in B.C., while the average professional service charges for a funeral home providing a traditional funeral was $4,275, the lowest pricing offered by a funeral home was $2,243, and the highest was $7,290.

Graveside Burial (Burial / Service at Cemetery)

Graveside Burial Costs - Provincial Comparisons

Looking at the estimated costs for a graveside burial, the most interesting finding here is that it only costs on average $2,000 less to have a graveside service than a traditional funeral. This reflects the fact that many of the merchandise and disbursement related costs will remain the same for both types of service.

Cremation followed by a memorial service

Cremation and Memorial Service Costs - Provincial Comparisons

The first key point to make here is that we have provided two different “total cost” figures based on whether or not the cremated remains are buried at a cemetery.

Second, you will see that the average costs of the Cremation/Memorial Service option are substantially below those of a traditional service or graveside service. While the funeral home’s professional service charges are pretty much in line with those for a graveside service, the cost differential comes into play in the following areas:

  • Casket versus cremation container. We use an average of $2,000 for a burial casket versus only $400 for a cremation.
  • Cemetery plots and internment costs: The cost of a cemetery plot for cremated remains and the opening/closing (i.e. internment) costs are generally less than half of that for a casket burial. (Of course, if you decide not to bury the cremated remains, then there will be no plot or internment costs.)
  • Cremation urn vault: Urn vault costs are often just a fraction of the average cost of an outer burial container/grave liner.

Direct Cremation

Direct Cremation Costs - Provincial Comparisons

 

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