two doctors entering a morgue
Photo by RDNE Stock project on

Funeral director Amanda Lang has lost track of the number of funerals for unclaimed bodies she’s worked on over her ten-year career.

“When you're in the business for so long, you become a little bit numb to it,” says Lang, who works at Affordable Burials & Cremations in Toronto.  

Preparing for an unclaimed funeral is just like any other, says Lang. Until the funeral day comes and only staff shows up. “There's no family, there's no friends. It's just the deceased, they're going into a plot surrounded by other unclaimed people. It's really sad.” 

Sad cases like this have increased dramatically in Ontario in recent years — and Ontario’s Office of the Chief Coroner is only beginning to collect the data to understand why. 

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