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The Cost of Dying
by Don Peat

The emotional impact of losing a loved one can be quite large but so can the financial cost of their funeral.

The average cost of a funeral in Ontario is between $5,000 and $7,000.

What makes up the costs?  A bill from a funeral home can be broken down into three parts:

  • service fees
  • merchandise
  • disbursements

Within each category prices range widely to give consumers financial options as mandated in existing and upcoming legislation.

Upcoming Funeral Legislation


Service Fees
These fees cover costs incurred during the funeral services.  Funeral home staff, vehicles, facility, and embalming services are all covered within this category.  The costs depend a great deal on the services selected, such as, whether there is a visitation, a formal funeral service, and if there is a graveside ceremony.  The total cost of service fees ranges between $1,400 and $3,600.

The cost of merchandise also fluctuates widely.  Merchandise refers to the cost of caskets and vaults or, if cremation was selected, urns.  Funeral homes must provide a selection of merchandise.  Prices of caskets usually range from under $700 to over $3,000.  Urns for cremated remains range between $130 and $800.

More on Cremation

Most funeral homes also handle payments to third parties such as newspapers, clergy, and florists.  These prices vary widely and again depend on the type of arrangements agreed upon.

Other Costs
Graves, markers, and interment fees are usually not provided or assessed by funeral homes.  This could change with the new legislation that will allow funeral homes to own cemeteries and vice versa.  Average grave plot prices in London range from $1,000 to $5,000. 

What if you can't afford a funeral?