By Brian Madigan LL.B.
Ontario Land Surveyors are called upon to prepare three kinds of surveys for the division of property by subdivision:
2) Registered Plan,
3) Condominium Plan
Upon registration in the Land Registry Office, these surveys divide property into lots or units and set out boundaries for the first
time, after appropriate approvals have been obtained.
Another type of survey, namely the Reference Plan or R-Plan is used to assist in the severance of property, but it is the registration of the transfer, deed or conveyance that actually results in the division of property, not the survey.
In the case of plans of subdivision (M-Plans and Registered Plans), and condominium plans, it is the registration of the plan that subdivides the parcel of property and creates the new lots or the new units.
In Ontario, there are two systems of land registration both in use concurrently throughout the Province, the Land Titles system and the Registry system. An M-Plan is a plan of subdivision in the Land Titles system and a Registered Plan is a plan of subdivision in the Registry system.
It is now a requirement that in most areas, a property must be transferred from the registry system to land titles before a plan of subdivision can be registered.
A condominium plan is composed of a Declaration and Description. The Declaration is the most important component of the Constitution of the Condominium which is the Declaration itself together with the By-Laws. The Description is essentially the plan of survey, together with some additional architectural drawings and structural plans.
Remember the example under discussion:
• A farm comprised of 100 acres
• a large 150 year old farmhouse and small barns and outbuildings
• next stage will be to carve up the property into two pieces
• one acre is to remain with the farmhouse and to continue as a residential property
• remaining 99 acres are to be developed
The surveyor then creates legal descriptions that could be used for future conveyances of the two parcels as follows:
1) Part 1, Reference Plan 241 (being one acre with a farmhouse),
2) Part 2, Reference Plan 241 (being ninety-nine acres).
When it comes to dividing up the 99 acres, a plan of subdivision or M-Plan will be used. It will be based upon Part 2, RP-241.
Let’s assume that the 99 acres is to be divided into:
• Roads and streets
• Municipal property, for drainage and sewers
• School property
• Retail areas
• 200 lots for residential development
All of these items will be included in the new plan of subdivision, which would be registered as ie. M-796.
In fact, part of the 99 acres could be a condominium development. Perhaps some 5 acres might be sectioned off for such a development. Typically, such a parcel would be shown as Block “A”. That designation is for property which is later to be the subject of development. Two apartment towers of 30 storeys each might contain 5 apartments per floor or 150 units in the building. These two towers might accommodate the same number of people as the remaining 200 lots for residential housing.
The condominium registration of the constitution and the survey divides the property into legal units. The condominium is usually described by the municipality and the registration number in series, ie. Peel Condominium Corporation No. 812. The legal description now that registration has taken place can be sufficiently located by reference to PCC 812. However, the former legal description used immediately prior to registration would have been Block “A”, Plan M-796.
You will appreciate that the condominium cannot be registered until an Ontario Land Surveyor certifies that those two 30 storey towers are really there. There’s no such thing as “real estate” in the air. The buildings must be present, and confirmed by an OLS before the registration and creation of the units.
These activities help to underscore the importance of the survey profession.
Brian Madigan LL.B., Realtor is an author and commentator on real estate matters, Royal LePage Innovators Realty