cgy-cemetery

City officials say Calgary's municipal cemeteries will run out of space in five to seven years. ((CBC))

Calgary's real estate boom may haunt people to the grave as the city runs out of burial space in municipal cemeteries.

Four of Calgary's five cemeteries are full, and officials estimate the Queen's Park burial lands will run out of space in five to seven years, much sooner than original estimates.

The increasing switch to cremations is helping the space issue, and the city allows multiple burials in one plot, which costs about $2,000.

"You can put one casket at extra depth, one at regular depth, and then 10 urns on top of that," said Archie Lang, the city's manager of cemeteries. "So you can actually do 12 interments in one grave lot."

The space issue came up before a city committee this week that is deciding on the priority of projects in Calgary.

Because it takes up to 18 months to get a cemetery ready for burials, officials said the city needs to find 30 to 40 hectares soon. That land should last for about 100 years.

Another option is to partner with private cemeteries in Calgary which have plenty of space.