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Could this be an idea for Port Moody’s first cemetery?

Port Moody councillor is pitching proposal for columbaria — or walls with niches where urns containing ashes can be stored — for a city park
An illustration of what a columbarium could look like in a park setting.

Port Moody residents could soon have an option to stay in the city — even after they’ve died.

Coun. Steve Milani is proposing the addition of columbaria to Pioneer Memorial Park on Knowle Street, in front of the recreation complex. 

A columbaria is a series of walls, rooms or buildings inlayed with niches where urns that store cremated remains can be placed.

In a report to be presented to council next Tuesday, Milani said such a structure in the 2.7-acre park “can help offer a space that brings comfort to families as they struggle with their grief while remembering loved ones.”

Port Moody doesn’t currently have a cemetery.

Milani said several communities in British Columbia have municipally owned columbaria, including Radium Hot Springs, Lake Cowichan, Oliver and West Vancouver. 

He said typical fees for placing an urn of remains in a niche of a columbarium at a cemetery range from about $1,400 to $3,193.

Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam have columbaria in their municipal cemeteries.

Milani said the memorial park is an ideal location for such structures because it’s centrally located, close to transit and it already features a healing garden that was created in 2007.

“And,” he added, “‘memorial’ is already part of its name, making it the perfect location for Port Moody’s first cemetery.”

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