Canadian Funeral Director ™

Coast to Coast

Serving the Funeral Profession
in Canada since 1894

Coast to Coast

Reporting the facts relating to
Canadian Funeral Directors

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Keeping funeral professionals up to date
with current funeral trends

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  • the beginning.

    It took a couple of very determined gentlemen to bring to life a magazine devoted to the funeral profession in Canada. In 1894 when the “Furniture Journal” was started, it incorporated a section called...



    Advertising is about reach! It is all about getting into the minds of potential buyers. When it comes to advertising, our magazine can help. More editorial, more colour, more ­advertisers, more readers...



    Canadian Funeral Director™ magazine is owned and published by Scott Hillier. Scott has been with the magazine since 1988 extensively traveling Canada in search of funeral related news...

  • CFD Current News.

    ONTARIO Funeral Service Association

    OFSA To Try And Appeal To The Next Generation of Funeral Director

    The Ontario Funeral Service Association held their annual convention this past fall at Blue Mountain, Ontario. Location for this years event was picture perfect. Attendance at this years event was also picture perfect. The numbers are up! A great indication the OFSA executive, especially past president Scott Miller have done a tremendous job promoting the benefits of membership. As the wheels of change continue to rotate, the importance of membership in any professional association will be imperative for your funeral home to adapt to government change and challenge. OFSA is on the path to success, contact the board office to receive information on how OFSA can help your funeral home emerge as a community leader.

    Toronto, Ontario funeral director Lee Bingley will be serving as OFSA president for the coming year. The following excerpt is President Bingley’s year end report.

    Since the OFSA convention, have already been very rewarding personally to me, as I have received very positive messages of encouragement and support from members across the province.

    Read More CFD Magazine
  • Current Funeral News.

    Canadian-Independent Group of Funeral Homes ELECT Tom Creen As president

    The Canadian-Independent Group of Funeral Homes is pleased to announce the election of their new President, Mr. Thomas P.J. Crean.

    Thomas Crean (Tom) joined the Board of Canadian-Independent Group of Funeral Homes (C-IGFH) in 2009, last serving as Vice-President. In a recent interview Tom was asked what he felt the first priority needed to be: “Our Board is now in universal agreement that our organization needs a major update and refocus. We are family businesses but until we put the word ‘Family’ in our name the public can’t distinguish us as being unique from the corporate side of funeral service. Our Board has now approved this and we are working towards formalizing the name change. The most meaningful contribution family firms can make in their communities and within the end-of-life care sector pertains to ethics. I am proud to say that the C-IGFH has agreed to endorse the Code of Ethical Funeral and Cemetery Practice, as proposed by the Partners in Care Alliance (PICA) out of Vancouver. The next step will be to ensure that all of the members of our organization are willing to adhere to this code, and recognize the importance of ethics within our profession. We will be addressing this in the New Year through a Canada-wide survey of independent, family owned funeral homes.”

    Crean hopes that C-IGFH’s endorsement of PICA’s Code signifies the start of a long-lasting cooperation between the Vancouver-based organization and C-IGFH. PICA, a not-for-profit society comprised of end-of-life-care activists, both volunteer and professional, has long since been concerned with the potentially monopolistic practices of big-funeral-business in Vancouver. This society brought 75 church and ethnic groups to City Hall in May 1996 to successfully oppose an attempt to privatize operations of Vancouver’s only cemetery, Mountain View.

    “PICA, which has now helped us Vancouver family funeral homes win four out of our five funeral conglomerate challenges, is now interviewing candidates for Advisory Boards to help form PICA Chapters in both Toronto and Seattle. PICA is asking C-IGFH and existing provincial independent groups to step forward and support their call for ethics in our part of end-of-life-care. PICA’s Ethical Code is now also being submitted to the rest of the Canadian end-of-life-care community through seniors groups, healthcare and residential facilities (both workers and volunteers), churches, ethnic groups and provincial Ombudsmen (asking for reviews of current legislation)” said Crean.

    Tom is thrilled to have also received Board approval for the Canadian-Independent Group of Funeral Homes to have their newly designed booth reflecting C-IGFH’s new focus at the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association Convention starting October 31st, in Ottawa. Alan Kay told us “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”. Tom is inviting provinces with independent groups to appoint their representative to the national Board, and hopes to develop an ‘Under Forty’ committee from which C-IGFH can hopefully recruit a new Board and Executive members for the future of a profession rightly led again by family funeral firms. !

    Infection Control
    MacKinnon & Bowes Hosts Educational Awareness Opportunity

    MacKinnon & Bowes has strived to remain on the cutting edge of industry advancement, education and worker knowledge, and the understanding of the importance of safely dealing with infectious disease. This firm has the proud distinction of being the first firm in Canada providing full services and embalming to those that died with HIV - 1983. Since then we have been challenged with various strains of hepatitis & meningitis, Tuberculosis, Legionnaires Disease, SARS, West Nile, VRE - MRSA, C-Difficille Flesh eating disease, Mers, and the list goes on. We need to reach out to learn the true impact of these diseases on what we do. To that end, MacKinnon & Bowe was proud to host an educational opportunity on “Infection Control” for Canadian funeral service possessionals this past October.

    Presenting at the educational opportunity was Dr. Allison McGeer, Ms. Christine Moore, & Mr. Wayne Lee who addressed 22 funeral homes represented by embalmers and Funeral Director Assistants that assembled at MacKinnon & Bowes for a seminar on Infectious Disease & the funeral worker. All 3 speakers are experts in Infection Control at Mount Sinai Hospital, 600 University Ave., Toronto Ontario. Allison, Christine, and Wayne lead an excellent information seminar. All of the funeral professionals in attendance gained meaningful insight into the importance of awareness regarding infectious disease and post mortem considerations.

    It was frankly amazing that this discussion resulted in identifying the lack of protocol for needle stick injuries on our profession. It was extremely gratifying to be a part of such a remarkable event. Allan Cole said "My firm has been fortunate to have the opportunity to work with infection control practitioners in the past to gain necessary insight to work safely in this every changing workplace".

    A donation was made to the Donald Lowe Foundation in consideration of your enormous contribution to this very successful event. Several former employees of MacKinnon & Bowes, Funeral home representatives from throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area we in attendance. In addition Representatives from the Department of Anatomy - University of Toronto & representatives of the Toronto Public Health office.

    C.V. Information: Dr. McGeer completed an undergraduate and master's degree in biochemistry, then her medical degree at the University of Toronto. She specialized in internal medicine and infectious diseases followed by a fellowship in hospital epidemiology at Yale New Haven Hospital. She returned to Mount Sinai Hospital in 1989 as microbiologist and director of infection control. Her major research interests are in the prevention of infection in hospitals and nursing homes, and the use of surveillance to advance the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. She is the principal investigator of the Toronto Invasive Bacterial Diseases Network and the Ontario Group A Streptococcal Study, two collaborative surveillance networks studying the epidemiology of severe community-acquired infections. I would offer that she is probably Canada's preeminent authority on infectious and emerging diseases.

    Christine Moore, Christine Moore trained as a Medical laboratory technologist at Red River Community College and Health Sciences Center Hospital in Winnipeg. She then completed a Bachelor of Science Degree at the University of Winnipeg. Christine joined Mount Sinai in 1986 as a microbiology laboratory technologist. Along with laboratory work she was involved in developing and implementing the laboratory teaching program for technicians, technologists and residents of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. Christine is presently the Infection Control educator for Mount Sinai hospital.

    Wayne Lee is a certified Public Health Inspector and the former Manager for the city of North York Communicable Disease Control Unit. Wayne is currently an Infection Control Practitioner with Mount Sinai Hospital's Department of Microbiology acting as a consultant for hospital redevelopment, equipment procurement, satellite facility services, and community stakeholders delivering patient care. It was a tremendous presentation that touched on cross contamination, the importance of Universal precautions, and appropriate protocols when dealing with known infections.

    Discussion started with a review of inoculations and vaccines for such things as tetanus, hepatitis, and meningitis. How long does a Hep B vaccine last, do you need a booster and how do you determine if you have the antibodies? Flew shots were discussed and recommended as a healthy regimen to get into. Of course any discussion on infection control would entail a strong message about hand washing and the use of alcohol based hand cleaners in situations where hand washing was not convenient such as transfers from a residence.

    Next specific illnesses and infections were individually addressed starting with Tuberculosis followed by necrotizing fasciitis and then the Antibiotic resistant conditions like MRSA, VRE, and others. C Diff or Clostridium difficile is a species of bacteria that causes severe diarrhea in the hosts that it infects. Embalmers or transfer personnel are at limited risk but should employ standard precautions and wash equipment thoroughly after contact. Necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh-eating disease, is caused by a bacterial infection and presents limited if any risk to the embalmer or transfer staff. The disease occurs infrequently, but it can occur in almost any area of the body.

    Although many cases have been caused by group A beta-hemolytic streptococci (Streptococcus pyogenes). MRSA infections are transmitted from person to person by direct contact with the skin, clothing, or area (for example, sink, bench, bed, and utensil) that had recent physical contact with a MRSA-infected person. Prevention of MRSA is possible by excellent hygiene practices, avoiding skin contact with infected people or items they have touched, and by wearing disposable gloves, gowns, and masks when treating or visiting hospitalized MRSA patients. Covering skin abrasions and minor lacerations immediately may also help prevent MRSA infections.

    Meningitis is an inflammation of the membranes (called meninges) that surround the brain and spinal cord. Some strains of Meningitis pose significant risk to the embalmer if exposed to cerebral spinal fluids such as after autopsy. Some time was spent on the difference between and virulence of the various strains of Meningitis. There are vaccines available to prevent N. meningitides infections. Some forms of bacterial meningitis are contagious. Sometimes the bacteria that cause meningitis can spread to other people who have had close or prolonged contact with a patient with meningitis. Meningitis caused by Neisseria meningitidis (also called meningococcal meningitis) is the most important example. An embalmer that prepares or embalms a remains that has died as a result of meningococcal meningitis would be considered at increased risk of acquiring the infection. The embalmer should receive antibiotics to prevent them from getting the disease.

    All in attendance were very grateful for the time that was devoted to this discussion.

    Dr. Donald Low, who became a trusted face and voice of the SARS response effort, died Wednesday September 18. Low, 68, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in early 2013. Many would know of him because of his recent appeal for assisted suicide prior to his death however he leaves a remarkable legacy for advancing the practice of microbiology and infectious diseases across Canada. Our three speakers were very close to Dr. Lowe and respected him tremendously. They have asked that any remuneration that they may have received be donated to the "The Donald E. Low Bursary" in his honour. In recognition of Dr. Low's outstanding contributions to medical microbiology and infectious diseases and to continue with his legacy, we have established a scholarship - "The Donald E. Low Bursary" This scholarship will provide funding to help support fellows, residents, trainees and technologists to spend time in a microbiology laboratory as part of an observership or to carry out collaborative research. .

  • Classifieds.



    Just In! Employment Opportunity

    Early License Opportunity

    Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices is offering a modern and fresh perspective in the funeral industry. We are currently seeking a licensed funeral director to join our growing team

    CFD MobileMore Employment Opportunities

  • find us.

    178 McQuay Blvd.
    Whitby, Ontario L1P 1L5

    ph.: 905.666.8011

    get in touch.

    For all inquiries contact

    Scott Hillier - Publisher

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  • Privacy Policy.


    All of the material provided in this web site is copyrighted by Canadian Funeral Director™ (an Ontario Registered Business Name, registered by HPLPublishers LTD.) and cannot be duplicated in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. Duplication in whole or in part constitutes a breach of Canadian and International Copyright Law and is actionable.

  • History of Canadian Funeral Director™ magazine.

    It took a couple of very determined gentlemen to bring to life a magazine devoted to the funeral profession in Canada. In 1894 when the “Furniture Journal” was started, it incorporated a section called “Undertakers’ Gazette”. The “Undertakers’ Gazette” published news of the Undertakers Association of Ontario which had been formed in 1884. The editor of the journal was A.E. Uren. The publisher, Acton Publishing, Toronto, Ontario also published a separate journal in 1911 and 1912, called “Funeral Director and Embalmer” which also had A.E. Uren as editor. This was discontinued when the expense of publishing it became greater than the revenue earned.

    Atlantic Canada. Where it all began.

    Fenwick Wallace

    Another furniture magazine “The Canadian Furniture World” published funeral news, in their Funeral Directing Department, as space would allow. The editor of The Canadian Furniture World was James O’Hagan (Sr).

    The “Funeral Director and Bulletin” published by the Maritime Funeral Directors’ Association was first published in 1903. Fenwick W. Wallace, a funeral director from Sussex, New Brunswick was the editor and driving force determined to make a success of the magazine. After a few years publication of the Bulletin was suspended. Fenwick again revived the magazine in 1911 and 1912 renaming it “Canadian Funeral Director”. This publication was ceased when it failed to get Canada-wide support. In 1920, Fenwick Wallace was again encouraged by the Maritimes Association to resume publication and did so as the “Canadian Funeral Director” publishing issues in 1920 and 1921. With his health failing, this great Canadian funeral service publishing pioneer’s efforts also ended. Fenwick Wallace died in 1927.

    James O'Hagen Sr
    In 1923, shortly after Fenwick Wallace’s journal ceased publication, James O’Hagan persuaded The Commercial Press, publishers of several trade journals in Canada, to support a trade journal dedicated to the funeral profession in Canada. It was in March 1923 that the first issue of “Canadian Funeral Service” was published. With great enthusiasm and confidence James O’Hagan started virtually with nothing more than determination to succeed. The office was located at 51 Wellington Street West, Toronto, Ontario.

    Support from the funeral profession was not forthcoming. By the end of 1924, Commercial Press gave up on the “Canadian Funeral Service”. Not to be denied, James O’Hagan convinced Wrigley Publishing to support the Canadian Funeral Service journal. The office was relocated to 110 Church Street, Toronto, Ontario. Unfortunately by October 1926, the revenue did not justify continuing publication and Wrigley Publishing severed ties with the magazine. James O’Hagan took over the struggling publication on his own. In May 1928 the office was moved to 121 Church Street and then to 45 Jarvis Street in March 1929.

    James O'Hagen Jr

    O’Hagan worked extremely hard to keep his trade publication for funeral service alive. He became publisher and editor of the Canadian Funeral Service and was also named Secretary of the Canadian National Funeral Service Association. The Canadian Funeral Service journal was now to be the Official Organ of the Canadian National Funeral Service Association. O’Hagan became even more involved in funeral service when he was appointed Organizing Secretary of the Ontario Funeral Service Association. He travelled the country encouraging the formation of the various associations. Throughout Ontario he and Ontario Funeral Service Association officials met with funeral directors helping them establish their district associations. Through the 30’s and 40’s O’Hagan kept the magazine afloat. He moved the offices from Jarvis Street to 60 Front Street in November 1934. Without the tremendous effort of James O’Hagan there would not be any recorded history of Canadian funeral service during these trying times.

    Peter Perry
    James O’Hagan died August 9, 1947 and was succeeded by his son James (Jim) O’Hagan Jr. Jim was a popular editor and was as involved with the associations as his father had been. He continued to publish the magazine until 1972 when he sold his interest to Newfield Publications, Willowdale, Ontario. Peter Perry was named Managing Editor. Peter Perry assumed ownership in May 1973 and changed the name of the magazine to the “Canadian Funeral Director”. The office was relocated to 1658 Victoria Park Avenue, Scarborough, Ontario.

    Since its inception the magazine had been printed by letterpress. Copy was set on linotype machines which were invented in the late 1800’s and still in general use until the 1970’s. Peter’s first objective was to convert the printing to the more modern and efficient offset lithography method. He also began to set the copy with one of the earliest methods of phototypesetting equipment. He worked with a printing representative, Ray Halket on the conversion from letterpress printing to offset printing.

    Ray Halket
    Eleven years later, July 1, 1983, Peter sold the magazine to Ray Halket. In May 1984 the office was moved to 174 Harwood Avenue South, Ajax, Ontario, Ray's home town.

    Ownership Change.

    Scott Hillier became very interested in the funeral profession after attending his first National Convention and Tradeshow, held in Toronto, 1988. Hillier joined the firm in 1988 and learned the publishing business from the ground up. He immediately began the conversion of all facets of operating the business to computer. Scott’s uncanny aptitude to the computer has kept us on the leading edge in the publication business. The November 1994 issue was the first issue of the magazine to be perfect bound and the April 1997 issue we added a high gloss finish to the cover. All of these changes keep our magazine a leader in this field.

    Scott Hillier

    The March 1998 issue was the 75th anniversary of continuous publication for Canada’s Number One funeral service magazine, and we have not stopped moving forward. The Canadian Funeral Director Magazine boasts the largest circulation, the most complete coverage of funeral service events all across the country, more editorial pages and more colour. The Canadian Funeral Director Magazine is a National funeral service magazine, providing coverage of many meetings and events from all across Canada.

    We appreciate the support we have received from our subscribers and advertisers for the last 90 years and look forward to your continued support in the future.

  • Advertising.


    The Canadian Funeral Director™ Magazine is a business magazine for Canada’s Funeral Service Professional. It has been published since 1894.

    Before you make your advertising decision you should know the following. Our circulation consists of funeral homes across Canada. This represents about 3,500 death care professionals.

    We cover death care professional issues across the country that impact a career of the Canadian Funeral Professional, featuring articles on funeral homes and suppliers to the industry. Articles such as financial tips, embalming techniques and precautions, new products, corporate development, Internet and funeral service, general funeral knowledge.

    Advertising is about reach... it is all about getting into the minds of potential buyers. When it comes to advertising, our magazine can help. More editorial, more colour, more advertisers, more readers. We are the best solution for reaching your valued customer. Thank you!

    What You Need to Know.

    • 1. Advertising is all about reach - getting into the minds of potential buyers.
    • 2. Advertising takes time to work, Be consistent. The first time a person sees your ad, they may even think, “gee I should look into that!” ...and then they turn the page. Only after they’ve seen it several times will it reach the conscious level of action.

    • 3. Your competitors know the value of consistency - they’re “in your face” month after month after month. If you are ­consistent and target your market with ads that relate to your particular firm’s strengths you can win.

    • 4. Historically funeral professionals deal with funeral suppliers that have been servicing them for years. New, quality products and services, can create new ­business opportunities for both the funeral professional and for your organization. Don’t be afraid to break into new markets.

    • 5. Know your product. There is nothing worse than being confronted about a certain product or service and respond with “ah, let me look into that for you.”

    • 6. Be creative. Your ad does not need to be colour in order to draw attention. An ad should be imaginative, relate to the product or services and be “in your face.”

    • 7. Most of all, no other publication relating to the funeral/memorialization industry in Canada can offer you the “biggest bang for the buck” as we can. More readers, more quality editorial, more monthly columnists, more colour. When you advertise, advertise in The Canadian Funeral Director Magazine.

  • Scott Hillier

    About the Publisher.

    Scott Hillier became interested in the funeral profession after attending his first National Convention and Tradeshow, (a partnership between Funeral Service Association of Canada and Canadian Funeral Tradeshow Association) held at Toronto in 1988.

    Scott Hillier joined the firm in September 1988 and learned the publishing business from the ground up. He immediately began the conversion and modernization of all facets of the publishing business.

    Mr. Hillier purchased the business outright in April of 1999 and became sole owner and operator of Canadian Funeral Director™ magazine.

    Together with his wife Krista, Scott continues to travel across Canada supporting all Canadian funeral associations.

    Contact Scott