Learn about cemetery standards of care, related bylaw information and required forms for burials.
Communities afford respect to cemeteries and to the memorialization that cemeteries provide. Strict provincial rules govern the use of cemetery lands. Graves are normally considered to be sold in perpetuity, which restricts possible redevelopment.
Operators of cemeteries are required under provincial law to create and operate according to a set of bylaws. The Cemetery Bylaw 16174 is written with both the best interest of all families represented in the cemetery park, and the best interest of the cemetery and City of Surrey. Highlights of the cemeteries bylaw have been provided below for your convenience.
The memorial specifications for the cemeteries, owned and operated by Surrey, are part of the Cemetery Management Bylaw. There is a Memorial Permit Fee associated with each new or removed and replaced memorial.
Memorials for placement in the ground are provided by monument companies and are not supplied by Surrey.
Bronze memorials for the columbaria, memorial boards and scattering garden memorial are supplied by Surrey.
A Memorial Permit is issued for each memorial set in the cemetery not purchased from the City. For memorials purchased through the City, the fee is included in the memorial price. Please contact our office for a permit and specifications.
Memorial Placement Standard
The placement and removal of memorials is provided by Surrey staff only to ensure proper placement and location. In ground memorials are set according to a predetermined plan and located at grade level so not to be damaged by maintenance equipment. It is natural that grave sites settle over time and memorials may settle along with the grave.
It is our standard practice to raise memorials that settle more than 3 inches. If a memorial is within the 3-inch allowance and you would like the memorial raised we can accommodate this request for a fee. Please contact our office to make these arrangements.
Rules regarding grave adornments in Surrey are outlined in the cemetery bylaws. The highlights are below:
- Only one flower container, of the types supplied by the City and installed by the Caretaker, shall be allowed in each lot, except those vases that are part of an approved Memorial.
- Cut and artificial flowers, wreaths and floral tokens (tributes) may be placed on lots in a Cemetery, but may be removed by the Caretaker if they deteriorate.
- Plant material and grave adornments associated with seasonal events or celebrations will be removed 30 days after the event. From March 1st to November 1st grave adornments, potted plants, and memorabilia are not permitted on graves.
- Fencing around lots, glass, candles and ceramic objects are not permitted on or around graves.
- No person, other than the Caretaker, shall plant, remove, cut down or destroy any tree, shrub, plant, flower, bulb or decorative feature within a Cemetery.
- No ground lot shall be defined by a fence, railing, coping, hedge or by any other marking, except as permitted in the Memorial provisions of the Cemetery Management Bylaw.
Arranging a Burial
When a death occurs, the person with control of disposition will need to complete the arrangements. They will need the deceased person’s last address, date of birth, place of birth, date of death, place of death (City) and executor information. A Right of Interment (this may already exist), and an Interment Authorization will need to be completed and fees paid.
Right of Interment
When you purchase a Right of Interment you are purchasing the right to either have your own remains or those of someone you designate interred in a specific location, rather than purchasing the grave itself. The land and control over that land remains the property and responsibility of the cemetery.
A Right of Interment does not include anything related to the preparation of the site to receive a deceased, placement of the deceased, closing the interment site or any equipment, labour or products required to perform the services needed when doing an interment.
A Right of Interment is issued for every person buried in the cemetery for both full burial (casket) and cremated remains. Each individual represented on a grave site will require a Right of Interment and should be kin to the original occupant. A Right of Interment may be either issued in advance of need, or will be created when burial arrangements are being made and needs to be signed by both the rights holder or designate and the City.
The status of available interment sites changes daily. Staff at the cemetery office will be able to describe or show you the general areas in the cemetery where interment sites are available. The final site is chosen when Rights of Interment or products and services are being finalized.
An Interment Authorization is completed per person when burial arrangements are being made and fees paid. This document requires the signature of the person with control of disposition. Please contact our office to confirm who has control of disposition.
The administration office for the City of Surrey Cemeteries Department is located at Sunnyside Lawn Cemetery at 14850 - 28 Avenue, and our mailing address is: 2336 - 166 Street, Surrey BC V3Z 0W2.
For more information contact us at 604-598-5770 or firstname.lastname@example.org.