Part of being BoundaryWise™ is understanding when and how to access the specialized knowledge and experience that only a professional can provide. Using the resources at ProtectYourBoundaries.ca is the best way to familiarize yourself with the basic facts about property boundaries and become capable of discussing your particular situation in a knowledgeable way. Fortified with this information, you can now effectively communicate with the experts about what you want from them. It’s a simple case of asking the right questions to get the best answers.
When you need to establish or locate the boundaries or the corners of your property, only licensed members of the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors are legally permitted to provide a professional opinion on the location of your boundaries. This is accomplished by undertaking detailed historical research, application of the law and Generally Accepted Surveying Principles, coupled with state-of-the-art measuring technology and rigorous quality control.
When dealing with submissions to various approval agencies, some requirements can only be addressed by a professional surveyor—this includes all types of Plans of Surveys.
Surveyors have training in various disciplines, including engineering, mathematics, communications, land law, cartography, and are experienced in communicating with experts from the other property, construction and real estate-related disciplines. You can always make an appointment to consult an Ontario Land Surveyor (OLS) on any survey-related issue.
Surveyors and other professionals cannot give legal advice about complex issues relating to boundary disputes and land law. In these circumstances, you must consult with a lawyer. You may need an up-to-date Surveyor’s Real Property Report on which the lawyer’s opinion on the title is partly based. Find a lawyer with land expertise—and remember that it really helps if you are familiar and conversant with your survey plan and the terminology. If matters do go to court your lawyer may need a surveyor to be a fact witness and /or have an OLS testify as an expert witness.
Registered Professional Planners (RPP) can interpret the official plan for your municipality, and can advise you on how your specific property conforms to the zoning and planning requirements of your particular neighbourhood. They will help with submission requirements and can help you navigate the approval process. This includes consent applications, appearances before the Committee of Adjustment, zoning by-law amendments and appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB).
Contact a civil engineer when you believe your problem involves drainage issues, large retaining walls, sewers and other matters under the purview of a professional engineer. Structural engineers get involved with design of substantial foundations, retaining walls and decks. Engineers commonly utilize Topographic Plans, but also need to know the location of property boundaries. Both surveyors and engineers can provide grading plans, but only a professional surveyor can certify boundaries.
Architects generally expect you to provide them with all the necessary information about your property. Key among their requirements is a Topographic Plan. The survey plan delivers vital information that enables an architect to determine the size of the building that the property can sustain, as determined by municipal zoning limitations. Easements, conservation authority buffer zones, roof heights, utilities, tree locations and drip lines are other particulars shown on surveys that may be of interest to an architect. Landscape architects deal with features external to finished buildings (e.g., gardens), but will also need the spatial information provided by a survey plan.
Other experts you may need to consult include arborists, landscape architects, builders, realtors, soil experts, geophysicists, environmental analysts and more. The bottom line: call in a professional when you need one. With their guidance and assistance, your project—and your future—will be safe and worry free.
Our advice: Be BoundaryWise™. Get your property survey plan and find answers to all of your boundary questions with our suite of online tools and services. Protect Your Boundaries.