Request Use of Municipal Property

Irrigation Systems

Property owners wishing to install an irrigation system partly on the street boulevard (City property) need to be aware of certain restrictions and conditions. The City's S-1 (Streets) By-Law prohibits the placement of any object or structure upon, over and under a street without lawful authority, therefore the City does not condone and cannot grant permission for property owners to install or have installed an irrigation system on City property including boulevards.

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If a property owner wishes to install a sprinkler system partly on the City boulevard, generally no action will be taken by the City provided that:

  • The public is not inconvenienced in any way due to the installation or operation of the sprinkler system; and 
  • The property owner understands that the City, it's agents and authorized utility companies accept no liability for damage to the sprinkler system under any circumstances.

An irrigation system is installed solely at the property owner's risk and expense and under no circumstances will the City or utility companies be responsible for damages to irrigation systems located on City-owned road allowances no matter how caused.

Please Note:  A backflow preventer is required at the connection to the potable water system to prevent possible contamination of the water system. A building permit for plumbing is required for the connection of the irrigation system to the City's water system.  In accordance with City of London Water By-Law W-8, annual testing of the backflow preventer by a Registered Tester is the responsibility of the property owner.  

Learn more about the Backflow Prevention and Monitoring Program.

Releasing One Foot Reserves 

One foot (0.3 metre) reserves may need to be released in order to provide legal access to a public street in connection with an approved Consent or Development Agreement. In most cases the City "lifts" reserves by dedicating them as public highway where after they become part of the road allowance they abut. Where circumstances require it, reserves may be transferred from the City to the abutting owner. In all cases the City will determine the appropriate method to release the reserve.

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Applying to Release a Reserve

Written requests to release a reserve should be submitted to the Clerk's Office and include:

  • Documentation providing proof that the City has authorized the lifting of the reserve. (e.g. Development Agreement, Consent etc.)
  • Confirmation that the Consent has been executed or Development Agreement registered.
  • PIN printout for the reserve being lifted (confirming City ownership and legal description).
  • A cheque in the amount of $83.11 (including taxes) payable to the "Treasurer - City of London" to cover By-law registration fees.

In the case where only a part of a reserve is to be released or the description is not acceptable to the Land Registrar, the applicant is responsible for providing a reference plan acceptable to the City Surveyor. Once Geomatics has reviewed and accepted the application, the required dedication By-Law will be requisitioned, registered on title and a copy will be provided to the applicant for their files.  This process normally takes two months to complete from start to finish. 

Please Note: The reserves will not be lifted until after the Consent is executed or Site Plan Agreement registered and proof thereof is provided. Please refer any questions regarding reserves to the Geomatics division.

Frequently asked questions

What is the purpose of a reserve?

  • Reserves are narrow strips of land 0.3 metres (one foot) wide that separate properties from a street or road allowance. They are owned and controlled by municipality and are used as an access control tool. Where an approved Consent or Development Agreement necessitates the release or "lifting" of a reserve, this page explains the process to have the reserve released, thus permitting legal access to the street.

What about reserves in new subdivision developments?

  • The City controls the lifting of road reserves in new developments and will arrange to release them when appropriate. There is no need to make an application. If you encounter a reserve in a new development that does not appear to have been lifted and you think it should be, please contact Geomatics.

How do I release a reserve that affects my property?

  • If you encounter a reserve that you believe should have been lifted, please contact Geomatics.


Street, Lane & Walkway Closings

The City may consider applications to permanently close and purchase streets, lanes and walkways as public highway provided such closing comply with City policy.

The two step process involves:

  1. Closing the street, lane or walkway as public highway - administered by the Geomatics division - and;
  2. Purchasing the closed parcel at fair market value - administered by Realty Services.
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In addition to closing policies listed below,  please note the following guidelines:

  • The street, lane or walkway must be capable of being declared surplus by the City.
  • Applications are normally accepted only from abutting property owners.
  • The applicant must agree to purchase all of the street, lane or walkway being closed to ensure there are no remnant portions left landlocked.
  • Applications to close larger parcels that have the potential to be used as a building lot will generally not be accepted as these parcels are typically sold by way of public auction.
  • The applicant may be required to provide consents from property owners that are affected by the closing.

Prior to making an application  please contact, Gary Irwin, Chief Surveyor, Geomatics Division to ensure the application complies with City policies and applicable laws.

Complete the Street, Lane & Walkway Closing Application form, submit it to the Clerk's Office with supporting information and application fee.

Frequently asked questions
What are the City's closing policies?

For walkways:

  • In general, the City will not approve the closing of active public walkways under any circumstances as walkways are designed to meet transportation planning standards for pedestrians. The City may consider closing applications where the walkway has been abandoned due to land use changes in the area.

For Lanes:

  • The City will generally not approve a lane closing unless all of the lane in the block bounded by the four intersecting streets is included in the application.
  • The City will not approve the closing of lanes that provide access to properties fronting on arterial roads.
  • The City will not approve the closing of lanes that provide access to properties having inadequate side yards which do not permit vehicles to be driven from the abutting street on to private property.
  • Generally, the City will not approve the closing of a lane without consents from all directly affected property owners.

For Streets:

  • The applicant must be prepared to provide consents from all property owners directly affected by the closing.
  • Where only part of the boulevard of the street is to be closed, the City will retain a restrictive easement to prevent buildings or structures from being erected thus ensuring the neighbourhood streetscape is protected.
What is the method of closing?

In general, closings of unassumed streets or lanes that were created by Registered Plan of Subdivision are done by way of Court Order under the Registry Act. It is the applicant's responsibility to have their lawyer obtain the Court Order once authorized by Council Resolution.

All other closings must be done by Municipal By-law, which the City is responsible for providing.

Geomatics Division will confirm the appropriate method with the applicant.

How much will it cost me?

The applicant is responsible for all costs to close and purchase the street or lane, which includes, at the very least:

  • For each application a non-refundable application fee of $165.00 plus HST.
  • For each application a refundable appraisal fee of $260.00 plus HST.
  • For by-law closings, the further sum of $1182.00+HST to cover newspaper advertising costs if the City determines public notice is required.
  • For Court Order closings, the cost for the applicant to have their solicitor obtain and register the Court Order.
  • For all closings the cost to have an Ontario Land Surveyor prepare and deposit on title a Reference Plan that is acceptable to the City.
  • The cost to purchase the parcel of land at fair market value set by Municipal Council on the advice of the Managing Director of Corporate Services and City Treasurer.
  • Legal fees to complete the purchase of the close parcel.

It is not uncommon for total costs to reach $5,000 even for trivial closing with nominal purchasing value.

How long does the closing process take?

The length of time from when the application is received to the final sale of land can vary greatly, but six months is an average timeframe. Although the City processes closing applications with due diligence, applicants are cautioned that the legal and technical requirements to close and sell public highway are complex and applications cannot easily be "fast tracked".

What about existing utilities?

Where utilities or City services lie within the street, lane or walkway being closed, easements will be reserved in favour of the utility owner prior the parcel being conveyed unless the applicant makes arrangements with the utility owner to have the plant relocated in which case the City will require a waiver from the utility owner.





Last modified:Monday, June 10, 2024