Live Chat Online

Questions & Answers

This is a collection of answers to questions about property boundaries, land surveys, and property owner rights submitted by people like you.

Ask a question


What are some different types of survey plans and why they are different?

1


Video transcription

“Land Survey” is the term that encapsulates pretty much all the different types of plans the surveyor would produce. Within that there are two general types of land survey. Public plans and Private Plans.

Public Plans
Public plans include Registered Plans, Reference Plans, Plans of Subdivision and Condo Plans. These are the plans that normally you'll find at the Registry Office. These types of plans typically only have a certain amount of information on them. What do they show? Well, these types of plans show property boundaries and underlying land fabric. They typically don't show buildings and structures. So, that's public plans.

Private Plans
Private plans, by contrast, are plans that show the boundaries of properties, but they also show buildings, structures, features, fences. Things like fences, pools, decks, driveways, and so on.

Most commonly these surveys are called Surveyors Real Property Reports (SRPR) or Building Location Surveys (BLS) or just Plan of Survey. Typically, that's what they're called. Think of these types of plans as being like a Polaroid picture, a photograph that was taken on a specific date of that property, and that it was a depiction, on that particular day, of not just the boundaries, but all the other physical features and structures on it. Those types of plans are information rich. And when it comes to boundary due diligence for you in real estate, these are the types of plans that are most valuable.

Use of public plans.
Public plans, like subdivision plans, reference plans that you get at the registry office...the utility of those is that they are the instrument by which people make requests and have those requests approved or denied to subdivide or combine parcels of land. Their utility is to change the fabric of land, to change boundaries. That's the utility of these, whether you're adding an easement or whether you're taking a 400 acre piece of land north of Toronto to develop a huge new subdivision, or whether you've just bought an old a wide lot and you want to split it in half to create two different or to build two different homes.

The process that you will go through (or the professionals that you work with will go through) with the city is to request for example, we've got lot 3 concession 1 that we purchased which is 400 acres north of Toronto. It's currently called Lot 3 Concession 1. And we want to take this piece of land and we want to turn it into the next subdivision community. And we want to put 700 lots in here, roads, parks, schools and all the rest of it. You have to produce a document that says, here is (diagrammatically) exactly what lot 3 concession 1 looks like today. And we're going to superimpose on top of that what we want to do with it, how we want to cut it up into all the individual lots.

So, it becomes a proposal to the municipality saying this is what we'd like to do with our land. And there's a negotiation back and forth between developer and municipality and eventually the municipality said yes. That entire four hundred acres is now known by a different name, something like 65M12345. So the old name is gone and the new name is now 65M12345. And that is the plan of subdivision number.

Every lot now within that that has been created as a lot number that's a subset of the subdivision plan. So, Lot 1 of 65M12345, Lot 2 65M12345 and so on.

So, remember, the utility of public plans is to establish permission from the municipality to subdivide or combine the parcels of land.

On the other hand, if you may need a document for a completely different reason. Maybe it's to sell the house. Maybe it's because you want to do an addition or put a fencing or understand with certain features are, or maybe you've got an encroachment from the neighbor that you want to take out. That is where Private Plans (surveyors real property reports) are commissioned. And that's an information rich document that gives you a sense of exactly what does the land look like today and the features and structures relative to the boundaries.