Bring Your Own Urn – What’s the Canada Law?

Do funeral homes have to accept third-party urns?

Yup you really can B.Y.O.U. Bring Your Own Urn. Choosing an urn to hold the remains of a loved one is a very personal decision. Did you know there’s a section in your Province’s funeral services law that speaks to your rights when it comes to making this type of purchase?

While 21 Grammori hopes that you’ll buy urns well in advance so it can decorate your home as a death positive reminder to live better! Well, we know many of you will come here needing an urn for an immediate funeral. If that’s the case, we do offer free deliver direct to any funeral home in Canada.

Ok! Let’s take a second to talk about the law. These are laws that are in place to protect vulnerable consumers as it relates to the cemetery and funeral services sector. We’re only focusing on a small part of this law – your rights when selecting an urn.

You can supply your own casket or urn

Your licensed funeral home will have a selection of caskets and urns for you to choose from. By law, you are allowed to supply your own casket or urn (as long as it meets certain safety specifications).

Whether you choose to purchase it from a third-party supplier (like 21 Grammori) is up to you, it has to meet the requirements found in the Public Health Acts.

The Rules - An Urn Must Be: 

  1. Strong enough to contain and move the remains
  2. Capable of being closed so the public cannot see the remains
  3. Constructed so that it does not leak or pose a health hazard
  4. Rigid

You will also want to ask the cemetery if they have size restrictions

If it’s a container for actual cremation – only then does it also need to be combustible. That means not made of also not contain: plastic, fiberglass, foam/styrofoam, rubber, polyvinyl chloride, or zinc. For full details and specifications see resources below.

And best of all they are NOT permitted to charge an extra fee.

Each Province in Canada has its own set of funeral regulations  

provincial laws for urns and caskets

While they might be worded slightly different they all end up saying the same. Same shoe different colour.  

We’ve read conflicting info in particular about Ontario, but the BAO (April 2021) confirms they can not charge a fee and must accept it if it meets standards.

Here’s a sample from Cemetery and Funeral Services Regulations

     1) An operator shall not refuse to install or refuse to permit the installation of any cemetery supplies if the material and erection comply with the regulations of the cemetery.

    (2) In subsection (1), “cemetery supplies” includes interment vaults, markers, flowers, liners, urns, shrubs and artificial wreaths and other articles intended to be placed in a cemetery. O. Reg. 30/11, s. 160 (2).

    If you need more provincial law details we got you covered. Each province in Canada has its own set of funeral regulations and codes of conduct which your chosen funeral home must follow. We rounded up links to regulations which govern the provision of funeral services in each province.

    You also have the right to pricing information

    A funeral provider’s showroom has to display at least six different containers (either as full or partial replicas), and one of them has to be their lowest-priced model. All of the containers must have clear price tags. If the funeral provider doesn’t have a separate room to display their caskets and urns, they have to share pricing information about the containers they sell in a public manner, such as in a book, in a brochure or online.

    Alberta Regulations

    Province of Alberta Funeral Services Act

    Province of Alberta Funeral Services Act – General Regulation

    British Columbia Regulations

    B.C. Practices and Consumer Protection Act – Chapter 2 – Part 4 – Division 3 – Preneed Cemetery or Funeral Services

    Cremation, Interment and Funeral Services Act 

    Manitoba Regulations

    The Funeral Directors and Embalmers Act – Funeral Directors and Embalmers Regulation

    New Brunswick Regulations

    Embalmers, Funeral Directors and Funeral Providers Act

    Newfoundland and Labrador Regulations

    Embalmers and Funeral Act

    Embalmers and Funeral Directors Regulations

    Prepaid Funeral Services Act

    Prepaid Funeral Services Regulations

    Nova Scotia Regulations

    Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act

    Embalmers and Funeral Directors Regulations made under Section 33 of the Embalmers and Funeral Directors Act

    Ontario Regulations

    Funeral, Burial, and Cremation Services Act, 2002 

    Prince Edward Island Regulations

    Funeral Services and Professions Act General Regulations

    Funeral Services and Professions Act

    Quebec Regulations


    Saskatchewan Regulations

    The Funeral and Cremation Services Act – Chapter F 23.3 of the Statutes of Saskatchewan

    Note: Any reference to law is only to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice.