How to - Report a Death and Find Bereavement Resources

Site: Halton Region

Record #: OAK0176
Last Full Update: 24 Apr 2024

Memos and Bulletins

Public Comments

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 chosen 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 more information, see listing MET0866

Grief/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
  • offers free peer support groups for children and youth ages 3-19, and young adults ages 19-24, who are grieving the death of a parent or sibling
  • see listing, OAK3505

Bereaved Families of Ontario, Halton-Peel

  • 905-848-4337 ext 0, ages 6 and up
  • bereavement supports and services including individual support and peer support groups
  • see listing, PEL0655


  • 905-599-4673 (HOPE), ages 14 and up
  • provides healing support to children, teens, and adults who have experienced a suicide loss
  • 289-474-5508 (HOPELINE), Mon & Thu from 1 pm-4 pm, immediate suicide loss information and guidance
  • see listing, MHH0450

Acclaim Health - Hospice and Bereavement Support

  • 1-800-387-7127 
  • supports individuals who are experiencing grief and loss through the death of a loved one
  • 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

Categories and Classification

HCSD Main Heading Palliative Care / Grief ; Topic Guides
HCSD Sub Heading All "How To" Guides ; Bereavement / Grief Support ; Special Topics
Service Categories Bereavement and Grief Counselling ; Bereavement and Grief Support Groups ; Coroner Services ; Death and Dying Education/Information ; Mortuary Services

Agency Overview

Locations for this Service