Call Now to Discuss Your Needs

Above Ground Interment


With cremation rates at an all-time high, in both Canada and the United States (68.8% and 48.6% respectively in 2015), the need for columbariums in every cemetery is undeniable.

When Nelson Granite started designing and building columbariums, we vowed to make the best units available on the market today. Our company knows granite, quarrying it directly from the Canadian Shield and manufacturing columbariums right here, in Northwestern Ontario. With the idea of a true forever product in mind, Nelson Granite columbariums are made of 100% granite, designed to stand the test of time in your cemetery.


The mausoleum is an impressive, 100% granite structure designed for above ground, full casket interment. It honours and commemorates the lives of our loved ones in a significant way. The elegant and timeless design, coupled with our superior craftsmanship, results in a true forever product.

Made in Nelson Granite's exclusive granite colours and quarried and manufactured in Northwestern Ontario, our premium mausoleums can be found all over North America.

For more information, contact Karl or Sarah or give us a call at 807-227-2650.

The Difference Between a Mausoleum & Columbarium

Many people use the words mausoleum and columbarium interchangeably. However, although they are both a permanent public memorial to hold human remains, they are quite different. A mausoleum is designed to hold entire bodies and columbaria hold ashes (remains) in cremation urns.

Columbarium History

In history mausoleums have always been associated with the human memorial. However, the columbarium (from the Latin word columba, meaning dove), were originally designed and built in Ancient Rome with hundreds of thousands of small shelves to house doves and pigeons. It was Buddhists in ancient Asia who took the concept and built columbaria to house cremation urns.

The columbaria in ancient Rome was often built partly or completely underground. This culture, known for their artistic intricacies in all things architectures, took this to their columbaria which were often rich in one of a kind mosaics and rich in frescoes.

Today you will find columbaria as free-standing units, which are often built entirely off-site, which is what and how Nelson Granite manufactures their columbariums. You can also find columbaria built into church structures, crematoria or as part of a mausoleum depending on the part of the world you’re in and the faith of the church.

The columbarium itself is a structure made of stone (granite) with niches to hold multiple cremation urns. The niche is typically adorned with a bronze plate that holds the details of the deceased.

Mausoleum History

King Mausolus, an ancient king who ruled the kingdom in Asia Minor near the Mediterranean Sea died around 350 BC. His queen had a large structure built on a stone platform surrounded by columns that towered the lands that surrounded. It is from King Mausolus at the term mausoleum originated.

The Taj Mahal in India is perhaps the most famous mausoleum in the world and was built between 1632 and 1658. Emperor Shah Jahan built this amazing structure to be the burial site for his favorite wife.

In its simplest definition, a mausoleum is an above ground free-standing building that has space, crypts or chambers to house the remains of deceased one or more people. There are many reasons people choose to above ground interment like mausoleums and columbaria.

Why People May Choose a Mausoleum or Cremation Niche

There are many reasons people choose above ground interment like a cremation niche or mausoleum. Here are a few:

  1. Continuing a Family Tradition: Often the decision is simply a matter of tradition. Mom and Dad are in a mausoleum or columbarium so of course that’s what I will do.
  2. Psychological: There are many who believe remains, whether ashes or the entire body, should be kept with family who have previously departed in a place where you can visit, like visiting a grave.
  3. Cost: There are also monetary considerations that may come into play. In large cities cemetery space is limited and/or expensive.
  4. Geography / Weather: In locations where the water table is high or there is a high incidence of extreme weather conditions, above ground burial in a mausoleum or columbarium is the rational choice.
  5. Personal Preference: There is also personal choice that dictate the choice, where it’s simply a matter of personal choice.

For more information, contact Karl or Sarah or give us a call at 807-227-2650.


Above Ground Interment category Monuments category Landscaping category