Contributing Editor: Michael G. Derbowka
Updated: March 20, 2017


Question 1: Under which legislation is the registration system governed?


Land Titles Act, 2000

Lands in Indian reserves are held by the Federal Crown and are unpatented in most instances. These lands are administered under the Indian Act. There are a few instances where the Federal Crown has registered reserve land in its name in the Land Titles Registry.

Possessory Title

Question 2: Can title to property be obtained by adverse possession over a period of time?


Once a title has issued, it cannot be obtained by adverse possession. Where the party in adverse possession is in possession of the lands prior to the issue of the Crown grant creating the first title to the lands, that party may have a right to the title. 

See section 21 of the Lands Titles Act, 2000.

Title Search Period

Question 3: What is the title search period?


Documents outstanding on the title or referred to in an abstract. However, there are certain statutory exceptions to indefeasibility of the title.

Agreement of Purchase and Sale (APS)

Question 4: Is there a standard APS used for most transactions or is it tailored for each property?  Who generally prepares the agreement?


Realtors use a standard Offer to Purchase form prescribed under their legislation (MLS Forms), otherwise, no standardized forms are used for transactions not involving realtors.

Access to Registry

Question 5: How is a search of title conducted?  How is registration completed?


Searches conducted online (ISC website).

Registration completed via submitting “packet” to ISC electronically.


Question 6: How are surveys part of the transaction?


Diminishing importance, but some lenders still accept them instead of title insurance.


Question 7: How can property be held?


As tenants in common or joint tenants


Question 8: What is the registration process?


On average takes two to three business days – transfer submitted electronically. Documents still reviewed by individuals prior to transfer occurring.

Land Transfer Tax

Question 9: Is there a land transfer tax applicable to the usual transfer?  How is it known? How much? Are rebates available?


Transfer tax is 0.37% of the value (typically purchase price).

No rebate available.

Value confirmed by way of sworn affidavit of transferee.