How to - Report a Death and Find Bereavement Resources

Site: Halton Region

Record #: OAK0176
Last Full Update: 11 Jul 2023

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For full directory of "How to" listings on different topics, see here

Description and Service Details

Description (Service)

Death Reporting (not occurring in hospital)

For an unexpected death, call 9-1-1

  • emergency personal will respond (Fire, EMS, Police)
  • when a death happens outside of the hospital, it is deemed a Coroner's Case
  • police will attend, investigate, and "secure" the scene until a Coroner arrives
  • Coroner is responsible for determining the cause of death, which sometimes can be done at the scene, but in most cases will require a postmortem for further testing
  • Police will call for transfer service to remove the deceased once Coroner releases the scene
  • Coroner decides whether the deceased is taken to hospital for postmortem, or to chosen funeral home 

For an expected death, call 9-1-1, or if previous arrangements were made, call the attending physician (usually the Family Doctor)

  • Doctor is responsible for pronouncing death
  • once death has been pronounced, contact chosen funeral home
  • transfer service will attend to remove the deceased and take to their funeral home 

After the death has been reported

  • contact chosen funeral home, complete list of licensed providers can be searched for here
  • funeral home will assist with paperwork and explain what else needs to be done
  • if postmortem is done, once completed the Coroner/Medical Examiner will call the next of kin with preliminary results and to inform that the body is released
  • funeral home will arrange to bring the deceased to their location

Office of the Chief Coroner

  • 416-314-4000; After hours emergency 416-314-4100
  • Investigates all unnatural, sudden and unexpected deaths 
  • orders autopsies and holds inquests when required 
  • signs cremation certificates 
  • responsible for out of province shipment of bodies 
  • reports include public safety recommendations 
  • administers donations of bodies for medical education and research 
  • supervises and educates investigating coroner and pathologists in Ontario  
  • for mor information, see listing MET0866

Bereavement Resources

Bereavement Authority of Ontario

  • 1-844-493-6356 
  • regulates and supports licensed funeral establishments, cemetery operators, crematorium operators, transfer service operators, funeral directors, funeral preplanners, transfer service sales representatives, cemetery sales representatives, and crematorium sales representatives across Ontario
  • A Guide to Death Care in Ontario
  • see listing, MET0702

Lighthouse for Grieving Children and Families

  • 905-337-2333, ages 3 and up
  • registered charity that offers a community of open-ended, continuous peer support groups for children and teens and their parents/caregivers who have experienced a death in their immediate family
  • see listing, OAK3505

Bereaved Families of Ontario, Halton-Peel

  • 905-848-4337, ages 6 and up
  • see listing, PEL0655


  • 905-599-4673 (HOPE), ages 19 and up 
  • provides healing support to adults who have experienced a suicide loss 
  • see listing, MHH0450

Acclaim Health - Hospice and Bereavement Support

  • 1-800-387-7127 
  • one-on-one visits, support groups
  • see listing, MHH0370

For a full listing of bereavement support resources and counselling, serving Halton, see here


Hours vary

Areas Served Halton Region
Eligibility Contact service provider for details

Contact service provider for details

Languages English
Fees Service - Funeral Home services ;
  • the deceased is responsible for funeral service payments
  • if previous arrangements were not made, the family can call the Region of Halton at 3-1-1 to apply for financial assistance
* Fee assistance available ; assistance is provided by Region of Halton.

Site Information

Located In Community Halton Region
Physical Access Not Applicable

Agency Overview

Locations for this Service

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