Municipal Easements

 Municipally owned infrastructure located on private property is usually protected by an easement in favour of the City. If you have a question pertaining to such infrastructure or easement on your property please contact the Geomatics team.

Although the City maintains records of its own infrastructure, it does not have records for "private" utilities such as Bell Canada, Union Gas or London Hydro. If you have questions about a private utility you will need to contact the utility owner for information.

Street Encroachment Agreements

An encroachment agreement is a legal agreement between a property owner and the City that allows the property owner to maintain an encroachment on, over or under a City owned road allowance or other City owned property. Encroachment agreements are typically issued for approved encroachments onto road allowances that are of a relatively permanent nature as opposed to temporary occupations that are processed as licence agreements by Realty Services (e.g. sidewalk cafes). Some examples of encroachments that would be considered for an encroachment agreement include wheelchair ramps, porches, steps, eaves etc.

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Encroachment Agreements contain various conditions and restrictions, such as:

  • The owner of the encroachment must indemnify the City from all liabilities and claims that may arise as a result of the encroachment;
  • The owner of the encroachment must maintain general liability insurance in perpetuity and name the City as an insured;
  • The encroachment agreements are subject to an annual rental fee of $10.00 per square metre based on the area of the encroachment which continues until the encroachment is removed and the agreement has been deleted from title;
  • Depending on the circumstances, encroachment agreements may include a clause that requires the owner to remove the encroachment at their expense upon demand by the City; and
  • The encroachment agreements are registered on the title of the encroacher's property and are therefore binding on future owners.

It's important to note that all street encroachments are governed by the City's Street Encroachment Policy which is used to determine whether  an encroachment is acceptable to the City, and whether an agreement can be entered into that will allow the encroachment to remain.

Prior to making a formal application for encroachment agreement please contact the City Surveyor in the Geomatics division, whom can determine if the City will support an encroachment agreement and the terms and conditions.

Formal applications for encroachment agreements are to be made in writing (there is no prescribed form) and delivered to:

City Clerk's Office:

City Hall, 3rd Floor 300 Dufferin Ave. Po Box 5035 London, ON N6A 4L9

The application must be complete and include the following information:

  • An accurate plan detailing the extent and nature of the encroachment onto City property, fully dimensioned in both plan and profile including underground footings, if applicable. The location of underground utilities may also be required.
  • Full address of the owner.
  • Name and address of the owner's Solicitor.
  • An application fee of $339.00 (i.e. $300.00 + HST)

Cheques should be made payable to 'Treasurer - City of London'

The Process

Once the pre-approved application is received by the City Clerk's Office, an agreement will be drafted and sent to the applicant's lawyer for execution. When returned to the City it will be executed by the City Engineer and registered on the property owner's title by the City. Registration fees are the responsibility of the City and are included in the application fee. Pending building permits or other development agreements will not be issued until the executed agreement is returned from the applicant's lawyer.

Encroachment agreements are subject to an annual rental charge of $15 per square metre based on the area of the encroachment which continues as long as the encroachment remains.  This charge is added to the encroaching property's taxes.

The landowner will be required to maintain general liability insurance in the amount of $2,000,000 to $5,000,000 depending upon the property and nature of encroachment and the City must be named as an insured.  The onus is on the landowner to carry the insurance in perpetuity and to provide the City with proof of insurance at each renewal of coverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out if there's an encroachment agreement for my property?

  • All encroachment agreements are registered on title, so performing a title search and the Land Registry Office will reveal any encroachment agreements for your property.

How do I confirm the legal status of an encroachment agreement?

  • The City does not offer a service to confirm the status of existing encroachment agreements. It is the property owner's responsibility to advise the City in the event the encroachment has been removed and the agreement should be terminated. Any fees associated with the agreement will continue to be charged against the property until the agreement is formally terminated.

How do I terminate an existing encroachment agreement?

  • For information on how to release an encroachment agreement, please contact the Geomatics Division.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are Easements?

Easements are a legal interest in land that provide limited rights to the beneficiary over another property owners lands for specific purposes. The City relies on easements to both protect municipal infrastructure located on private property and to ensure it has the necessary rights to access and make repairs to its infrastructure as necessary.

Most easements are formalized by an Easement Agreement which is a legal agreement entered into by both the landowner and the City that sets out the terms, rights and obligations for both parties and is registered on the title of the property it affects.

In cases where there is no registered Easement Agreement, the City relies on provisions in the Municipal Act that permit the City to access and maintain municipal infrastructure that is located on private property.

Property owners are responsible for ensuring they do nothing on their property that would be contrary to the terms of an Easement Agreement or that would interfere with municipal infrastructure that is protected under the Municipal Act.

How do I find out there's an easement on my property?

Easement agreements are registered on your property's title which can be searched from the Province's OnLand website.

There is a municipal easement on my property; what are the restrictions?

The Easement Agreement will detail property use restrictions. Most contain a "no-build" clause which prohibits the property owner from erecting permanent structures on the easement which would otherwise interfere with the City's right of access. Generally, the City will tolerate the erection of fences or the placing of portable sheds with no foundations on the easement provided the sheds are easily and readily removable by the property owner should the CIty require access. Limited landscaping is also permitted with the understanding that the City is not responsible for replacing any vegetation that may be lost should the City require access.

Will the City release part of an easement on my property?

No, the City will not release its rights to any portion of an easement unless it is being abandoned entirely.

The following are standard easement documents currently being used by the City. 

Combined Services Easement

Temporary Roadway Easement

How do I obtain utility locates?

To have buried utilities and City services located call Ontario One Call at 1-800-400-2255 at least one week prior to excavating. There is no cost for this service.


Last modified:Tuesday, June 18, 2024