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How to Find Ontario Obituaries

Daniela Fortino
Daniela Fortino
March 11th 2023 - 15 minute read
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Learn how to find Ontario obituaries. Here are tips and tricks on locating a death notice of someone who has died in the province

If you are looking for an Ontario obituary, there is a variety of places to search for them both on an offline, including newspapers, social media, and occasionally broadcast on regional media outlets (usually for notable people who have died). There are numerous sources for obituaries in heavily populated areas, like Toronto and Ottawa, as additional local and regional obituary options exist. As such, finding a specific obituary can be challenging. This article provides tips and tricks for finding obituaries in Ontario, including how to find death notices in several larger Ontario cities.

Common places to find obituaries in Ontario

Obituaries are often associated with newspapers, as many publications have a dedicated section in most issues. Although posting obituaries has shifted mainly online. This makes it easier to share news of a death with friends and family. Even older death notices can be are commonly found online, as many records have been transferred to online databases or archives. Therefore, many people start their obituary search on the computer.

Typing names and dates into search engines like Google or Bing is a standard starting point when looking for an obituary. However, it is likely to produce extensive several results. Therefore, starting from a place tailored to provincial or municipal obituaries can be beneficial (e.g., Eirene's free obituaries site). Additional personal information about the deceased person can also help narrow the search. This includes name, date of birth, date of death, where they grew up, when they came to Ontario or Canada, etc.

Listed below are familiar places to find Ontario obituaries, including tailored locations for cities like Toronto or Ottawa. We also provide general tips for notices that are difficult to find.

Obituary databases or archives

Several online databases or archives contain obituary and genealogical information. Many of these resources also accumulate local and international notices and data spanning hundreds of years. However, some can be limited on how far back they go.

Obituary or genealogical databases may also have usage restrictions. Many are open to the public and free to use. However, some may charge a fee or require specific permission or authorization to access.

Some databases also require accurate information to produce results. Therefore, if you are having trouble finding an obituary, try troubleshooting using the following tips:

  • Check for spelling errors
  • Ensure dates are correct or leave dates blank if uncertain
  • Broaden searches (e.g., looking within Ontario instead of simply "Hamilton, Ontario")
  • Remove unnecessary search filters (e.g., the date of death may have been input incorrectly in the database, so removing it may bring up additional results)

Examples of Canada-specific or Ontario-specific databases are discussed below.

Necro Canada/Canadian Obituaries

Necro Canada is a free obituary archive service for Canadians. It publishes death notices in English and French, primarily from 2018 onward. Obituaries from 2017 or prior are limited on the site.

Visitors can perform a broad search by typing the deceased person's name into the search bar in the top menu. These results can be reduced by selecting the year (in the top menu) before typing the name into the search bar on the right side of the page.

Obituaries can be further condensed by province and city. First, click on the desired location from the drop-down menu labelled "Search death notice by province" (found on the right side of the homepage, underneath the search bar). This leads to province-specific results. Next, choose a specific city by clicking the "click to show town" button at the top of the page. It will bring up a list of provinces' cities (e.g., Hamilton).

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Tribute Archive

Tribute Archive publishes obituaries from Canada and various other countries around the world. Also on the website is a blog, end-of-life resources, a funeral home database, and a memorial tree program.

To find an obituary, type the deceased person's name into the search bar on the front page. Reduce results through the "Advanced Search" option. It allows visitors to input additional information (e.g., name, state/province, city, date, and keyword) to refine results. There are over 50 Ontario cities listed on the site.

Echovita

Echovita collects obituaries from Canada, the United States, New Zealand, and Australia. You can also create an obituary directly through the site. Additional resources include a funeral home database, a blog, and an online shop (e.g., a tree planting service).

Before searching through Echovita, change the location to Canada in the drop-down menu in the top left corner. On the front page, you will find a search bar with space for the deceased person's name and city name. Both slots are not required to be filled. For example, the name slot can be left blank when searching for Mississauga-specific obituaries.

Le Necrologue

Le Necrologue is a web database that posts Canadian obituaries in English and French. Family and friends can also purchase ($125 CAD) and customize a commemorative page for their loved ones.

Find obituaries on the site by using the search bar in the top menu. Visitors can search by first or last name, funeral home, or city. Further refine search results by province, region and city/sub-region. The regions listed for Ontario include:

  • Eastern Ontario
  • Central Ontario
  • Greater Toronto
  • Golden Horseshoe
  • Northeastern Ontario
  • Northwestern Ontario
  • Southwestern Ontario

Archives of Ontario

The Archives of Ontario is a provincial archive containing historical information on several facets of Ontario's history. Obituary or genealogical data comes primarily from Vital Statistics.

The Archives of Ontario receives records containing information about births, marriages, and death from the Office of the Registrar General of Ontario on an annual basis. However, these indexes only cover deaths in Ontario from 1869 to 1951 and Deaths of Ontarians overseas from 1939 to 1947.

Registrations and indexes can be accessed online through Ancestry and FamilySearch or on microfilm. Microfilm copies can be viewed in the Archives of Ontario reading room or borrowed through the Microfilm Interloan Service. Copies can also be borrowed from FamilySearch through their Family History Centres (Learn more here and here).

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Ontario Ancestors

Ontario Ancestors is a registered non-profit corporation and Canadian charity that aims to support the pursuit of family history and preserve Ontario's genealogical heritage. The society has 30 branches throughout Ontario and five special interest groups (British Home Children, Eastern European, Scottish, Irish and Irish-Palatine). It was created by the Ontario Genealogical Society.

The website contains valuable genealogical information and guidance, including library catalogs, branch indexes, links to helpful resources, educational webinars and videos, etc.

On the site, you will also have access to "The Ontario Name Index" (TONI). It shows where information about a particular name can be found. Visitors can also submit a Research Search Form to The Ontario Ancestor's Research Team. They will assist families in researching their family history. Learn more.

Other useful obituary databases include:

Funeral home websites

Obituaries are commonly found on funeral home websites. Many funeral service providers allow families to post a custom obituary or memorial on their sites for minimal to no cost (often included in the company's funeral service packages). However, posting may not be available to families that have chosen a different provider for their loved one's end-of-life arrangements.

At Eirene, we offer free, custom online memorials on our website. We also provide a simple and free online Obituary Writing Assistant to assist families and friends in writing an obituary for their loved one. Fill in the fields and click create to automatically write an obituary that can be used online or in print (learn more). Additional advice on writing an obituary can be found in this article: How to write an Obituary.

Social Media

Obituaries and memorials can also be found on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. There are many ways to use social media to honour a deceased loved one. This includes posting on personal accounts, creating dedicated groups and pages, using hashtags to bring several memories together in one location, sharing funeral arrangement details, and more.

Obituaries in Ontario news outlets

Most news outlets have an obituary section that is usually accessible to the public. These notices are typically published for a fee directly or by a funeral provider on behalf of their client. The costs vary between publications but are usually affordable. It may also be included in the funeral service package.

Most Ontario news outlets are region or city-based but cover local and Canada-wide news. However, obituaries are typically tailored to a specific area in the province. Examples of publications with more broad coverage include the National Post and The Globe and Mail. Obituaries for these news outlets can be found on Legacy.com and Remembering.ca.  

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Obituaries by City in Ontario

Below we have listed obituary resources found in ten of the most populated cities in Ontario.

Toronto obituaries

Here are some places to find Toronto obituaries.

Tip: Be sure to also search for online obituaries at funeral home websites in Toronto,Ontario.

Ottawa obituaries

Here are some places to find Ottawa, Ontario obituaries.

Tip: Be sure to also search for funeral home online obituaries in Ottawa, Ontario.

Mississauga obituaries

Here are some places to find Mississauga obituaries.

Tip: Be sure to check funeral home website obituaries in Mississauga, Ontario.

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Brampton obituaries

Here are some places to find Brampton, Ontario obituaries.

Hamilton obituaries

Here are some places to find Hamilton, Ontario obituaries.

London obituaries

Here are some places to find London, Ontario obituaries.

Markham obituaries

Here are some places to find Markham, Ontario obituaries.

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Vaughan obituaries

Here are some places to find Vaughan, Ontario obituaries.

Kitchener obituaries

Here are some places to find Kitchener, Ontario obituaries.

Windsor obituaries

Here are some places to find Windsor, Ontario obituaries.

Need help?

If you have questions about finding an obituary in Ontario, please direct them to the various obituary sites listed above.

For questions about final arrangements and cremation in Ontario, email our team at support@eirene.ca.

To make arrangements with Eirene, you can click here. For information about our service areas please visit our locations page.

To see Eirene's obituaries or to post one for free, please click here. Or use our free online obituary writing assistant.

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