Donating a body to science for medical research in Canada

Why choose whole body donation?

Many Canadians today are becoming much more open to the option of donating their body to science. This openness about what death means brings with it new values, preferences, and opinions that are changing traditions and creating funeral alternatives. People want alternatives to funeral arrangements and choices concerning the final disposition of their bodies. 

Whole body donation to science is currently the fastest growing trend among funeral alternatives. People are seeking alternatives to the traditional burial or cremation options. The option of body donation gives individuals a real way to support medical advances that impact the lives of future generations, and thus a death can be seen as giving value to the advancement of science and providing a ‘gift’ of life.

How to enroll in a whole body donation program?

In Canada, you can donate your body to science by bequeathing your body to one of the medical Universities across the Provinces.  There are around 20 Medical Schools in Canada that accept anatomical donations.  This is a direct means by which to support the advancement and development of medical science and training, which ultimately saves lives.  The medical University in your Province ordinarily covers all costs for collecting a donated body, the cremation of remains, and the return of cremated remains to the family, although arrangements may vary, so it is advisable to check directly with the Medical School in question.

The University of British Columbia call it a “Unique Contribution”, and it is increasingly growing in popularity, especially with the baby boom generation.  What is it?  Whole Body Donation, otherwise known as leaving one’s body to science, it has also been referred to as “The Gift of Life”. 

Body donation can be made at the time of death, or a bequeathal can be made as part of a last will and testament.  Enrolling in a Body Donation programme can be a way of ‘gifting life’, and also removes the burden of making this decision from loved ones’ at a time of loss.

Refer to the table below for contact information on your nearest Body Donation Program.

University of Alberta – Division of Anatomy
5.01 Medical Sciences
Edmonton, AB T6G 2H7
University of Calgary – Health Sciences Centre
B723, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, 
Calgary, AB T2N 4N1 
University of British Columbia – Department 
of Cellular & Physiological Sciences
Faculty of Medicine
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3
University of Manitoba – Human Anatomy 
& Cell Science 
130 Basic Medical Science Building, 
745 Bannatyne Avenue 
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0J9
Dalhousie University – Department 
of Medical Neuroscience
Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building, Rm. 13-B1
5850 College Street, PO Box 15000 
Halifax, NS B3H 4R2
University of Newfoundland – Faculty of Medicine
Rm. 2830A, HSC 
St. John’s, NL, A1B 3V6
CMCC Department of Anatomy
Body Donation Program
6100 Leslie Street
Toronto, ON M2H 3J1

McMaster University – Education Program 
in Anatomy
1280 Main St. West, HSC 1R1, 
Hamilton, ON L8S 4K1
Queen’s University – Human Body 
Donor Program

Department of Biomedical and 
Molecular Sciences, Botterell Hall
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
University of Ottawa – Division of 
Clinical and Functional Anatomy
Faculty of Medicine
451 Smyth Rd., RGN 2204
Ottawa, ON  K1H 8M5
Human Anatomy Program – Department 
of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences
Building 70, University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Division of Anatomy – University of Toronto
Room 1183, 1 King’s College Circle
Toronto, ON M5S 1A8
University of Western Ontario – Anatomy 
and Cell Biology
Medical Sciences Building, Rm 443
London, ON N6A 3K7
519-661-2111 ext. 86476
University of Waterloo – AHS 3684
200 University Ave West
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
519-888-4567, ext. 43717
Northern Ontario School of Medicine
Thunder Bay, ON
Telephone: 807-766-7387
Humber College Institute of Technology 
and Advanced Learning
205 Humber College Blvd
Etobicoke, ON M9W 5L
McGill University – Department of
Anatomy & Cell Biology 

3640 University Street
Strathcona Anatomy Building
Montreal, QC, H3A 0C7
Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières –
Département Anatomie

3351, boul. des Forges C.P. 500
Trois-Rivières, QC G9A 5H7
819-376-5011 poste 3990
Collège de Rosemont
Marie-Ève Turcotte
Technicienne en thanatologie
Montréal, QC H1X 2S9
514-376-1620, poste 7328
University of Saskatchewan – Department
of Anatomy
Physiology and Pharmacology
GA20-107 Wiggins Rd
Saskatoon, SK S7N 5E5

Written by

Andrew joined the team at Canadian Funerals in 2017. He heads up the content management for the website.