Cemetery gathering limits for Ottawa, Peel and Toronto

The Government of Ontario has announced new gathering limits within the public health unit boundaries of Ottawa, Peel and Toronto. 
To ensure safety and minimize potential spread of COVID-19, this Registrar’s Directive sets new restrictions for gatherings at cemeteries within those three public health unit boundaries, effective Monday, Sept. 21.
25 max at cemeteries
Cemeteries within the boundaries of the Ottawa, Peel and Toronto public health units must limit attendance to a maximum of 25 people (not counting funeral staff) at all attendances, funerals, visitations, funeral receptions, and graveside services on cemetery property.
Funeral establishments must advertise this restriction whenever they publish death notices or obituaries that refer to any part of a service occurring at a cemetery including interment.
All other areas not impacted
Cemeteries in all other areas of the province outside of the Ottawa, Peel and Toronto health unit jurisdictions are not impacted by this Registrar’s Directive.
Funeral homes, regardless of location, will continue to follow the existing capacity directives, which are:

  • Indoor funeral services, visitations and receptions are limited to 30 per cent of the capacity of the room, while maintaining two-metre physical distancing between attendees. This applies to people gathering indoors for religious services, rites or ceremonies. Funeral establishments must ensure there is one staff member for every 10 guests. 
  • Outdoor funeral services, visitations and receptions, including graveside services, are limited to a maximum of 100 attendees. Funeral Directors must have sufficient numbers of staff present to ensure physical distancing is maintained. 
  • Cemeteries are expected to control access to their property. Cemeteries are permitted to restrict attendance numbers to less than the maximum. (Funeral professionals should confirm these restrictions in advance of services and advise families accordingly.) 

Thank you for your cooperation in these efforts to keep families and your staff safe, and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
-Carey Smith, CEO/Registrar, BAO