With a growing trend toward cremation, a Timmins funeral home is working to establish a crematorium.
The operation would be run by Lessard-Stephens Funeral Home and be located across the street from their current site on Elm Street South near the Senator Hotel, according to information in the May 7 council agenda.
In a letter to clerk Steph Palmateer, Lessard-Stephens owner Michel Lessard outlines the reasons for the expansion.
“In my 30-plus years of experience as a funeral director, I have had the opportunity to observe and follow the evolution of the funeral industry,” reads the letter.
“Families’ needs have evolved significantly over the last two decades. The trend in the industry turned to cremation as a disposition alternative. Our business statistics show that 20 years ago, the cremation rate was 30 per cent; 10 years ago, 50 per cent, and currently 80 per cent. This demonstrates a substantial increase in the demand for cremation, which we predict will continue to rise in the years to come.”
The business is in the planning and application stage of its plan. Lessard is looking for written support from council to install the cremator in order to submit its licensing application to the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change.
To make sure the operation would comply with MOECC noise and air emissions standards, Lessard also included preliminary feasibility study from an engineering firm with his request. That report’s results indicate that “it is likely that the facility will be able to meet the provincial requirements for the installation of a cremator facility at the site”.
“Furthermore, I have communicated with Mrs. Cindy Welsh, Manager of Planning for the City of Timmins, in regard to our plans for a cremator at 34 Elm St. S. She has confirmed that according to the city bylaws, the proposed location meets the proper zoning for such an operation,” reads the letter.
Lessard will be at the May 7 council meeting to answer council’s question. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.
You can read the full letter, and see the rest of the council agenda, here.