Sun filtering through Ontario forest

Hybrid Green Burials in Ontario

In our quest to protect land and also provide a vast resting place in the countryside, the Natural Burial Association strives for a stand-alone, or ‘full’ burial ground on land newly created for use as a cemetery. Another type of green burial, known as ‘hybrids’ exist. These are sections created within cemeteries that are designated green burial areas.

Some of Ontario’s hybrid green burials have been created and are maintained by people with a passion for the environment and a desire to create a living memorial that salutes both nature and the dead. Here are the hybrid green burials grounds we believe capture this spirit.

Willow`s Rest

Willow`s Rest

Niagara Falls

Willow’s Rest, which opened in 2017, offers 2 acres of natural habitat nestled at the back of Fairview Cemetery. Nearly two hundred new native trees were planted which will ultimately create an enclosure for the beautiful wildflower meadow. A local artist carved a bench and sculpture from a fallen ash tree, and a communal stone to engrave the names of those buried in the green section was culled from a local quarry. There are several monarch butterfly pollinator gardens. An educational program invites school groups to help plant wildflowers and expose them to something natural in life: death.

Parkview Cemetery

Parkview Cemetery

Waterloo

With two osprey nests, and wildflowers in abundance, Waterloo’s Parkview Cemetery has created a green burial area as a natural means of caring for the deceased with minimal environmental consequences. The green burial area offers a colourful and pleasing cemetery landscape that promotes native insects, wildlife and organisms to find habitat. Once a green burial has been completed a new cover of native wildflower seed mix is spread over the site, and a locally sourced communal stone memorial is available for engraving the names of loved ones.

Union Cemetery

Union Cemetery

Cobourg

Union Cemetery’s green burial section, which opened in 2012, is Ontario’s first modern day green burial. Behind the conventional cemetery lies a meadow overlooking Cobourg Creek. The managers of the site do all they can to minimize a carbon footprint, including digging the graves by hand. They are dedicated land stewards also pull out any invasive species by hand. If cremated remains are at home waiting to be interred together with a loved one then they will accept those cremains, understanding that partners and families desire to rest together.