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Shoreline ownership

Image5If you’re looking at waterfront property and wondering if the shoreline is deeded to the land, you will need to do some research before you jump into the purchase.

The shoreline and bed of the lakes are both protected by a number of federal and provincial legislated rule and regulations. It’s always important to check with your solicitor before purchasing a waterfront property to legally define your rights of ownership or use.

Researching shoreline ownership will prove invaluable when purchasing shoreline property or when improving already purchased lands, building structures such as boat houses, docks and bunkies because there isn’t one general rule of thumb about shoreline ownership that prevails.

Needless to say, the market value of a waterfront property can be greatly affected based on the land’s ownership structure and use of provisions. Some items to consider include:

  • Crown Land Tenure: Tenure refers to the legal agreement between the Ministry of Natural Resources and the cottage owner, business owner or land owner that acknowledged what rights the occupant has on the Crown land. There are numerous forms of tenure, the most common being a Sale and Issuance of Land Patent, Lease of Land use permit.
  • Sale and Issuance of Letters Patent: Land owners are provided “good title” to the Land Registry Office and obtain suitable rights. This ownership allows for exclusive use of the shoreline and can exclude others from trespassing. These are not the same rights as ownership of the land, but the rights are transferable through land sale.
  • Lease: A lease term is negotiable up to 50 years and the rights granted by the Lease are transferable with Ministry of Natural Resources consent. The shoreline lease will define the area of land that can be used, the purpose for which land can be used, the term of time the rights are in effect and sets and conditions of use the occupant must meet.
  • Land Use Permit: The weakest type of tenure, the term is typically less than 10 years and the Ministry of Natural Resources retains future options for the land and controls the use.

If you’re looking for more information about shoreline ownership or are looking to purchase a home or cottage on the water, please contact me at 416-925-9191 or email Roxanne@ChestnutPark.com.


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