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Cemetery Questions/Answers

Bowen Road Cemetery
(Bowen Road Cemetery)

Cemetery Links:

Cemetery Bylaw No. 7084


Genealogy Research Request


Funeral Homes - Information/Forms

Bowen Road Cemetery: 555 Bowen Road
Townsite/Chinese Cemetery: 1598 Townsite Road
Wellington Cemetery: 4700 Ledgerwood Road

Contact us:

In person -
Service & Resource Centre
411 Dunsmuir Street

By mail -
455 Wallace Street
Nanaimo BC V9R 5J6

250-755-4501 (phone)
250-755-4440 (fax)
cemetery.info@nanaimo.ca

General Q&A

Bowen Road Cemetery
(Bowen Road Cemetery)
Townsite/Chinese Cemetery
(Townsite/Chinese Cemetery)

How do I find directions to the cemetery?
Driving directions can be found at http://www.mapquest.ca/ or try Google Maps.

When are the gates opened and closed?
Open at 8:00 AM and closed by 4:30 PM every day.

Who do we contact to find my relative's grave? Are maps available? How many relatives will you look up at any one time?
You can fill out the Genealogy Research Request and submit it online or call us 250-755-4501.
Maps are available.

Can I find out if someone is buried in one of Nanaimo's cemeteries?
Yes. You can fill out the Genealogy Research Request and submit it online.

Will there be anyone here on the weekend to direct me to my relative's grave?
No, there are no city staff members at the cemetery. Please contact City Hall 250-755-4501 to obtain a map.

Is there anyone at the cemetery during the day? When there is no one at the cemetery how will I know where my relative's grave is located?
No, there are no city staff members at the cemetery. Please contact City Hall 250-755-4501 with your inquiries and to obtain a map. Arrangements will be made to assist you in identifying the grave sought.

Why are my pets not allowed in the cemetery? (Want our pet to visit our relative).
Bylaw No. 4923 prohibits all pets from being in the cemetery and a fine of $100 can be charged for violating this bylaw. Previous problems with pets in the cemetery created the need for this bylaw restriction.

What ornamentation may I place on my relative's grave?
Fresh and artificial flowers are only permitted. Artificial flowers have a seasonal restriction and may only be placed on a burial plot between Sept. 30 and May 1 of each year. Fresh flowers may be placed any time of year.

When am I permitted to place "plastic or artificial" flowers?
Artificial flowers are only permitted from Sept. 30 to May 1 of each year. These flowers are typically removed in the spring when grass cutting begins.

Why did someone steal my glass vase?
We may have removed them for safety reasons to allow grass cutting. It wasn't necessarily stolen.

Why did someone remove the flowers on my relative's grave?
They may have deteriorated in the opinion of the maintenance personnel, and may have been removed for aesthetic reasons.

May toys or food be left at grave sites?
No. These become a hazard to others during grass cutting operations.

When will you level my relative's grave or headstone?
After a burial this is usually done within a few weeks to permit the initial settlement resulting from disturbing the soil. Otherwise it is only done as part of an annual relevelling program for specific areas of the cemetery or to address a safety concern.

Why are there deep depressions in the cemetery?
Over time the earth settles causing these depressions.

How do I find my relative in the Wellington Cemetery?
Contact City Hall 250-755-4501 with all your inquiries.

I have an Asian relative. Which cemetery are they buried in?
They may be buried in any of the cemeteries.

Why is there plywood laid on my relative's grave?
There is a burial taking place nearby and the plywood has been placed to protect the existing plots and memorial markers while the earth is piled to permit the grave to be dug.

How much do plots cost? Markers cost? Burials or interment of cremated remains cost?
For all charges please see Schedule A of the Cemetery Bylaw.

Interment Q&A

Bowen Road Cemetery
(Bowen Road Cemetery)
Townsite/Chinese Cemetery
(Townsite/Chinese Cemetery)

 

Are plots still available in the Chinese Cemetery? Are they sold in a specific order?
Yes. Plots are not sold on a random basis.

Are only persons of Asian descent buried in the Townsite/Chinese Cemetery?
No, anyone can purchase a burial plot at time of need. The Townsite/Chinese Cemetery was donated to the City of Nanaimo by the Chinese Memorial Society so it is often referred to as the Chinese Cemetery.

Are more burials permitted in the Bowen Road Cemetery? It doesn't look full.
No plots are available for purchase but it is still an active cemetery. If a plot was previously purchased, family members can still be interred in this cemetery with loved ones. Not all families choose to place a memorial marker on a grave. There are many more burials in the cemetery than there are markers.

Are more burials permitted in the Wellington Cemetery?
No plots are available for purchase. If a plot was previously purchased, family members can still be interred in this cemetery with loved ones.

 

What kind of burials does the City of Nanaimo allow?
We accommodate full casket burials and the interment of cremated remains (ashes). We will require a burial permit/cremation certificate for all interments.

A family member just passed away. How do I make arrangements for interment into a City of Nanaimo cemetery?
If you are dealing with a funeral home they will often take care of the arrangements with the City of Nanaimo. If you are not dealing with a funeral home please contact our office 250-755-4501.

When making funeral or burial arrangements, how much notice does the City require?
Three working days notice to the City is required as determined by the City Bylaw. We also must ensure that we don't have another interment schedule at your requested date and time.

How early or late in the day may a burial take place?
Burials typically take place between 10:00AM – 3:00PM. Saturday burials are available but there is an additional cost.

Can I pre purchase a plot for my own burial?
No advance purchase is allowed unless at time of need, an adjacent plot is purchased associated with a current burial taking place. You may want to discuss your wishes with family members or include these wishes in your will.

Can we spread our relative's ashes on our father's grave?
You cannot spread ashes on any grave in a City of Nanaimo cemetery.

May we bury our pet's ashes with our relative?
No. Only humans may be interred in the cemetery.

Memorial Markers Q&A

Bowen Road Cemetery
(Bowen Road Cemetery)
Bowen Road Cemetery

Can I install my own marker? Are stones or brick permitted around our marker?
No, only authorized staff and monument companies having a valid permit for that burial site and memorial marker may install or remove a marker. Stones or bricks around the perimeter of markers are not allowed under the bylaw for safety and aesthetic reasons. Please contact us for a list of approved monument companies 250-755-4501.

Who may install markers in the cemetery?
Only authorized staff and monument companies having a valid permit for that burial site and memorial marker may install or remove a marker. Please contact us for a list of approved monument companies 250-755-4501.

What types of markers are permitted?
The Cemetery Bylaw restricts markers to be made only of granite or bronze and of a certain size.

How many markers may be placed on a grave site? What size can they be?
Two markers are permitted on a single plot. The maximum dimension for a marker shall not exceed 46 cm by 91 cm (18 inches by 36 inches). They must also have a minimum thickness of 4 inches. Please see section 11 of the Cemetery Bylaw for more details.

Why are there upright markers in the Bowen cemetery when the bylaw does not allow them?
These markers were created years ago and at that time they were allowed according to the cemetery bylaw. The upright markers make it very difficult for cemetery maintenance and the flat markers will help us to mow the grass more easily.

Who will clean up my relative's marker - the grass is overgrown.
Markers are weedeated on a regular 4 to 5 week cycle.

Who is responsible for the repair of my relative's marker, which has been damaged?
The family is responsible for any repairs to monuments. The City does not own the memorial markers.

Why does the marker on my family's grave not include everyone's names?
The City does not own the memorial markers. Markers are the family's responsibility and families must look after installation, repairs and the addition of names or any other changes. Work must be completed by an approved monument company. Please contact us for a list of these companies. 250-755-4501.

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