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  • Tori Phillips

What Is A Land Survey?



A survey is a detailed drawing of a property, including the dimensions of the land and the location of any buildings, fences, driveways, and adjacent roads. A survey will show any easements or rights-of-way which utility companies or others may have over the property. Only a licensed Ontario Land Surveyor (OLS) can create a survey plan for a property located within the Province of Ontario.


A survey can be very important to a purchaser because it will help to confirm that the size of the property stated on the listing & in the purchase agreement is accurate, that the buildings do not encroach onto an adjoining property, that neighbour’s buildings do not encroach onto your property and that the property conforms to municipal requirements.

Land surveys can also be useful because they can prevent costly mistakes such as building on another person’s property or breaking local building codes & regulations. They can also expose potential building setbacks and help you plan around them, saving you time and money further down the line.


A fairly recent survey is sometimes required by your financial institution if you are financing the purchase of your home through a mortgage lender. In many cases, a survey that is 15-20 years old will be sufficient, as long as there do not appear to have been any significant changes to the property. In addition to this, surveys may also be required when:

  • Redeveloping a property such as for a subdivision, condominium, etc.

  • Constructing new buildings, fences, hedges, etc.

  • Resolving boundary disputes.

If you are buying a home, you should always ask whether the sellers have a survey. Although using an old survey entails some risk since it is not current, many historical surveys are available online for a low fee. If the seller does not have a survey, you may want to include a clause that the seller must provide you with an up-to-date survey at the seller’s cost. The cost of a survey varies greatly with individual circumstances. The type of survey, size and complexity of the property, location and terrain are all factors. An Ontario Land Surveyor can best help to determine the appropriate survey for the individuals needs and provide an estimate of its cost.


Have any further questions about surveys? Let me know! I'm always happy to help.


Yours Truly,


The Condo Confidential