Sarnia now has designated a place where people can spread the cremated remains of loved ones.
Council approved a plan last week for a platform to be built on the west side of The Point Lands, allowing ashes to be spread over the St. Clair River.
When it comes time to saying last goodbyes you don’t want to have to worry about offending others, said Sarnia’s Jaggi Singh, who proposed the idea.
“That’s the main thing — being able to do it peacefully, respectfully,’ he said.
A fundraising campaign will begin to raise $15,000 for the construction of a platform with side railings and cut stone steps leading down to the water’s surface.
Singh hopes enough money can be raised to build a gazebo as well.
“If we have a gazebo here, they can sit down and discuss the life of that person,” he said. “That would help a lot of people.”
The retired industrial designer said he became involved after a friend encountered challenges when trying to spread the ashes of his wife under the Blue Water Bridge. The sensitivity of the act didn’t fit with the atmosphere of the location, he said.
Singh brought his concerns to D.J. Robb Funeral home, and they began chatting with Mayor Mike Bradley.
“He was very supportive and he recommended this place,” Singh said of the location, which isn’t far from the 50th anniversary sculpture unveiled earlier this year by Lambton College.
“Over the years a number of people contacted me to do that, to scatter ashes,” Bradley said. “It was really unclear about the law and people who wanted to do it were concerned about getting in trouble.”
It is legal in Ontario to spread human ashes on Crown land, in the Great Lakes and unoccupied provincial parks, provided there are no signs stating otherwise.
But many people have retained urns of ashes because they aren’t sure of the rules.
Bradley said the Point Lands location is an appropriate one for scattering ashes.
“Anytime you’re on the waterfront or there’s an anniversary, you can go there and find solitude and think about the loved one,” he said.