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Enhanced sustainable burial practices approved for Mountain View Cemetery

October 22 2019 –

Today, Vancouver City Council approved by-law amendments to strengthen the sustainable burial practices followed at the city’s only cemetery. Building on decades of leading burial practices, the new changes will allow Mountain View Cemetery to expand current practices of maximizing land use, and encourage more sustainable interment options. 

By-law changes to take effect as of January 1, 2020

While Mountain View Cemetery has always allowed the re-use of grave space, the following by-law amendments approved today will expand this practice and support the cemetery in meeting future burial needs. 

The following by-law changes will take effect as of January 1, 2020: 

  • Spaces have historically been licensed for use by one person or family. With the new changes, an individual or family may acquire partial rights to a space with additional right(s) being licenced by the cemetery to another individual or family.
  • Where the previous by-law limited the number of caskets to two within a 40-year period, the new by-law will allow for the cemetery to determine new conditions and limits by which additional remains can be added to spaces within a shorter time frame. 

Both of these changes set Mountain View Cemetery apart from other cemeteries by considering the most efficient use of limited land resources while continuing to embrace the core components of sustainable burials. 

Continuing sustainable burial practices

In addition to the updated by-laws, Mountain View Cemetery will continue with the sustainable burial practices it has been following for decades including:

  • Not requiring concrete or other burial vaults/liners
  • Accommodating the use of biodegradable materials to cover or hold the body
  • Expanding the environmental aspect of the cemetery through increased use of native plants on the surface
  • The potential for alternate forms of interment and commemoration.

This has inspired individuals and families to give greater consideration to environmental impacts when considering disposition options for the deceased.

Read the full report on by-law updates to Mountain View Cemetery (1.3 MB)

Mountain View Cemetery is Vancouver’s only cemetery, owned and operated by the City of Vancouver since 1886. Making up 106 acres of land west of Fraser St, between 31st Ave and 43rd Ave, Mountain View Cemetery plays a vital role as a sacred space within Vancouver where people lay their loved ones to rest and honour the memory of their ancestors.