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Recently, the Province of Alberta announced they are no longer prohibiting the scattering of cremated remains in waterways. As a result, the City is now allowing the scattering of cremated remains in open waterways, including the North Saskatchewan and creeks and ravines.

Why is the City of Edmonton developing a guideline about scattering cremated remains in water?

The City of Edmonton has decided to align with the Province's decision and allow the scattering of cremated remains in open waterways. This includes the North Saskatchewan River as well as any creek and ravine.

Through this change, we hope to give opportunities for Edmontonians of all cultural heritages to honour their loved ones.

Where can I scatter cremated remains in Edmonton?

The North Saskatchewan River, ravines and creeks are the only open waterways within Edmonton boundaries, and the only place the public can scatter cremated remains in the city. Scattering in closed waterways like ponds and lakes in parks and stormwater ponds is not permitted.

Why can’t I scatter cremated remains in closed waterways like ponds in parks?

Closed waterways do not flow into open water and debris can build up over time.

Do I need permission from the City of Edmonton for a scattering/memorial ceremony?

This practice is open to everyone at no cost during park hours. For ceremonies with attendees of 50 or more, a permit must be obtained. Scatterings are only allowed from May to October due to safety around the North Saskatchewan River and ravines.

Am I able to place a plaque/monument in the location I scatter my loved one?

The City of Edmonton has a commemorative program that allows individuals to memorialize loved ones on parkland (benches, trees). However, it is under review. Any unauthorized memorialization like plaques or monuments will be removed.

Can I scatter cremated remains in a City of Edmonton Park?

The City of Edmonton offers this service at six municipal cemeteries. This includes memorialization options.

Why am I able to scatter cremated remains in the North Saskatchewan River but not at a City park (outside of Cemeteries)?

The City of Edmonton does not offer a service that supports this end of life ritual of scattering remains in a flowing body of water. Because of this, we are providing the opportunity to all families to scatter cremated remains in the North Saskatchewan River, creeks and ravines, the only open flowing bodies of water in Edmonton.

Scattering in municipal cemeteries continues to be a service that has been available for many years.

We are having our loved one cremated, but are not sure if we will be scattering the remains. Is there anything we need to consider?

Please remember cremated remains should be completely pulverized to sand-like consistency prior to scattering and fully dispersed so there are no residues. It is important to have this conversation with your funeral director to ensure that the remains meet Alberta guidelines.

For More Information

311 Contact Centre

Online Contact 311 Online
Telephone

In Edmonton: 311
Outside Edmonton: 780-442-5311

TTY 780-944-5555
Email 311@edmonton.ca

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