How To Find Out If Someone Died in Canada

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Article Contents
Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated on August 9, 2023

Visit author page
Picture of By <span>Matthew Roberts</span>
By Matthew Roberts

Updated August 9, 2023

Visit author page

3 minute read

Article Contents

There are many ways to find out if someone died in Canada. There are just as many reasons as well. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with the deceased’s family, claim their life insurance, or settle business affairs, you first need to find out whether they died. And, sometimes, it isn’t easy.

Fortunately, we’ve got you covered. Read on to learn how to find out if somebody died in Canada.

Why Do You Need to Find Out if Somebody Died?

You may need to find out if somebody died for various reasons. Some common reasons include:

  • Reconnecting with the deceased’s loved ones
  • Claiming their life insurance policy
  • Settling business matters
  • Saying your final goodbyes
  • Tracking down a person you’ve lost contact with long ago
  • Obtaining their death certificate

Whatever the reason, you likely need to find out if they died if someone hasn’t notified you. This usually happens if the person lives alone or you’re not in contact with their loved ones. That means you need to do the legwork and find the news of their death yourself.

How to Find Out If Someone Died in Canada

You have many options to find out if someone died in Canada. Lots of options help because not all methods can work, depending on your closeness to the deceased as well as their online presence.

Here are several useful resources for finding out if someone died in Canada:

The Deceased’s Loved Ones and Friends

One of the most accurate ways to determine if somebody died is by asking their loved ones or friends. They’re likely there when the deceased passed away or at least received news from reliable sources. Try reconnecting with them through social media or arranging a meetup to ask about the person’s death.

Loved ones may have more information than online sources about the circumstances of the deceased’s passing. For instance, family members may know how the deceased passed away or what they said before they died.

Of course, they may not divulge this information easily if you’ve only just met. You may need to get closer to them before getting that kind of information.


Obituaries are usually reliable sources to find out if somebody died. Most Canadian funeral providers publish online obituaries as part of their services at no extra expense. How much does a funeral cost in Canada? Learn more about it in our guide to funeral costs.

You can also check local newspapers’ obituary sections – although this might be harder if you don’t know when the deceased passed away.

Finding an obituary for a specific person in Canada is relatively easy. You can search the Internet for the person’s name and the keyword “obituary” for instant results.

Social Media

Social media is incredibly effective in finding news of somebody’s death. Some sites like Facebook let family members turn a deceased person’s page into a “legacy account” or digital memorial.

Even if the deceased’s account isn’t converted into a legacy account, a look at their social media wall or mentions might confirm their death. If the account owner is dead, you’ll likely see their loved ones posting messages and tributes to them.

Local News

If the deceased was a prominent community member, you might find news of their death on local news. Especially prominent community members may even get a full article detailing their passing instead of a small blurb in the obituary section.

Churches and Places of Worship

The deceased’s local church or place of worship could be a source of news, especially if they were religious in life. In fact, the place of worship might have hosted the person’s funeral.

Internet Search Engines

Sometimes, the simple things work best. You can just use search engines to search the person’s name and the keyword “death” afterwards. If the person really died, the search engine may return news about their passing.

But what happens if the deceased has a common name? You can narrow things down further with their occupation, partner’s name, or where they lived. That’s generally enough information to find the right person.

Graveyards or Cemetery Records

Finding someone’s gravestone is one of the most reliable ways to confirm somebody’s death. But investigating graveyards shouldn’t be your first option – especially if you don’t know where they’re buried.

Moreover, some families wait weeks or even months between death and burial. That’s why checking graveyards should be reserved for if the person died long enough ago.

Government Records

Many Canadian cities have archive facilities, managed by Library and Archives Canada, that store various public records. It’s usually very comprehensive and will let you reliably find the news of somebody’s death. Meanwhile, archive facilities are best used to find news of people who died some time ago instead of those who died recently.

The Bottom Line

There are many reasons for you to want to find out whether somebody died. It could be for insurance purposes, reconnecting with the deceased’s loved ones, business needs, and various other reasons. Unfortunately, it isn’t easy to do so sometimes. You might need to do the legwork to determine whether the person died.

The good news is that you have many ways to find out whether a person died if you can’t contact their loved ones. You can check obituaries, social media, search engines, churches, and local news.

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