Ontario has two property registration systems, Land Titles and Land Registry. Parts of the province, particularly the north, have always been under the Land Titles system, while much of the province was under the older Land Registry system.
An unfortunate feature of lands under the Land Registry system is that the titles of abutting properties held in exactly the same name or names are merged. Despite this merger, the owner continued to receive separate tax notices, under separate roll numbers. Only when it came time to sell one or both parcels would it come to light that the titles were merged. Not every farmer, who bought the farm next door, ended up with the titles merged, competent legal advice would alert the buyer to the means to avoid merged titles.
For farmers with merged titles, the process to “unmerge” them can be time-consuming, and costly. In some instances, their efforts are unsuccessful, particularly if the municipality has established a minimum farm lot size in its Official Plan or Zoning By-laws.
OFA has called on the Ontario Government to change the Land Registry System under the Planning Act so that the practice of automatic merging is discontinued.
OFA encourages all Ontario farmers to write the Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing Minister, the Honourable Steve Clark about this important issue.
The Honourable Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
777 Bay Street
OFA would appreciate being copied on any letters sent to Minister Clark so that we can reference them in future advocacy efforts on this issue.