Latest Comments

Robin Anderson

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Robin Anderson [Visitor]

Hi! I own 4.2 acres on a small lake. I would like to subdivide. Are there any restrictions in the current version of the P.P.S that would restrict this?…or is this t the local Planning Boards Discretion?

Hi Robin, you would be wise to begin with the local municipality to see what their regulations are. Jody

 Permalink 04/07/18 @ 10:39

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Sean [Visitor]

Does anyone know how many people need to live on a rural road before the government considers maintaining it. Northern Ontario 5 families live here. Thanks Where can I find this information?

Sean: It’s often more about the quality and construction of the road. You would have to check with the local authorities.

 Permalink 03/28/18 @ 06:16
Denise Steele

In response to: Madawaska Valley’s Radcliffe Ski Area

Denise Steele [Visitor]

Hi there, is your resort still open for skiing this season

Sorry Denise… it is not our resort… and it is no longer operating.

 Permalink 03/21/18 @ 22:31
Mickey & Jim Bond

In response to: Maynooth History 101

Mickey & Jim Bond [Visitor]

Our mother Bessie (FitzGerald) Bond & her family lived in Maynooth 0n. Her parents were Michael & Ellen( McEvoy)FitzGerald. They had 6 children Jack-Father of Marie (FitzGerald)Yantha, mentioned in above blog. Also Mary(FitzGerald)McAvoy, Patrick, Bessie-above, Mack & Maurice-his wife the late Katie Flynn. Our grandparents home was on FitzGerald St. In Maynooth.

TheMcAlpine family have lived in Picton & Pr. Ed. County for many years.The late James was married to Theresa(Gannon). They purchased our late grandfather James Bond’s farm in Milford & later owned by James McAlpine’s youngest son Joe & his wife Jane. They now reside in Picton outskirts.

 Permalink 03/20/18 @ 11:35
Fast Willy

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Fast Willy [Visitor]

Hi Jody,
Thanks for answering all of these questions, I have learned quite a bit. Hopefully you are still around.

I purchased 50 acres in haliburton, it is landlocked with an existing trapper trail as access across crown land. This trail was documented in an email from the seller at time of purchase (over 5 yrs ago). Can I widen the trail to accomodate ATV’s.


Hey Willy… Don’t do a thing without the Crown’s permission… in writing. Contact the Ministry of Natural Resources.


 Permalink 03/15/18 @ 06:00

In response to: Kamaniskeg Lake

Jane [Visitor]

Thank you so much for this really informal blog! This is the only website where I could find some in-depth information about the Kamaniskeg Lake.

 Permalink 02/10/18 @ 19:47

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Dana [Visitor]


We use to visit on weekends at Dalton Welsh’s house. His wife’s names was Luella Emma WELSH (Musclow). What can tell me about the house they lived in together and the settlement. It was in Hastings county/Maynooth area. It was good times. I still remember the outhouse and pumping water from the well. Curious whether that old house is still there. Thank you

Hi Dana,

The house is still there and it has been nicely maintained. I will email you a photo.


 Permalink 01/10/18 @ 17:07

In response to: P.S. To Ghost Towns around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Pauline [Visitor]

Awesome history. I can picture it… thanks for sharing.

 Permalink 12/05/17 @ 11:14

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Cindy [Visitor]


We own a house adjacent to a municipal right of way. (60 ft) A tree has fallen down that was located on the right of way and has damaged trees on our property and caused what I believe extensive cleanup. In addition, there are trees on the right away that need to be taken down. Who is responsible for this?

Hi Cindy,

I should think the municipality. Have you called them?


 Permalink 11/20/17 @ 12:48

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Andrew [Visitor]

We are looking to buy property in Eldorado. We are told we have surface rights only. It is 23 acres and told it has 2 mines on the property. Does this affect me putting a basement on my house when i build? What about drilling to put in a well? From reading some previous comments it looks like i have to check out timber rights as well. It’s the first property i am buying as a new family and after hearing some of these issues my wife isn’t too sure of buying anymore. Is there anything else to find out before going any further? Thank you in advance…

Hey Andrew… Eldorado has quite a mining history, so I’m not surprised there could be 2 old mine sites on 23 acres… there are some concerns about water quality, especially in the Deloro area… . Before you make an offer, you should check with the local municipality about the possibility of putting in a basement… you may also want to chat with the Ministry of the Environment and also the mining authorities. If you make an offer, you should put a clause into it that gives you some time to get your lawyer’s advice, too. Mineral rights, surface rights and mining rights are all different and you will want to know all about what has happened historically with the property you are interested in buying. You might find it interesting to talk to Kim, the owner of the “Eldorado Experience” I hope this is of some help. Jody

 Permalink 11/19/17 @ 12:44

In response to: Power of Sale: Buying &/or Selling

Mark [Visitor]

Can /would a bank that owns a power of sale in Kingston
offer a buyer a vtb mortgage in the amont of $20,000-30,000 if they cant sell the property in a normal amount of time. Rhat is if it been on the market for more then 365 days.

Would they be more inclined to accept this type of offer from a buyer to get it off there hands??

Hi Mark,

I wouldn’t hurt to try!


 Permalink 11/11/17 @ 16:32
Ralph Gould

In response to: Baptiste of the Ottawa Valley

Ralph Gould [Visitor]

I am the Great great grandson of John Baptiste.I lived at Baptiste Lake and Paudash Lake. Perhaps we could help each other with information.

Hi Ralph,

I will be in touch!

Thank you,


 Permalink 11/10/17 @ 12:35

In response to: Power of Sale: Buying &/or Selling

Paul [Visitor]

Hi, I am a Real Estate Agent but have to power of sale my past residence, because of a default on a vendor take back mortgage. Can Once i obtain possession of the property by writ of possession can I and the Real Estate company I work for, sell this property on the Mls, following all the rules, or am I restricted in taking part in the sale of this property ?

Hi Paul,

Check with your broker of record, but as far I as understand you can list the property once you have possession, provided you disclose that you are a registrant.


 Permalink 09/22/17 @ 11:24

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Kevin [Visitor]

Has anyone had an experience of paying exorbitant amount to buy into a cottage road association? Are there any guidelines to how much should be charged after more than 15 years since the road has been put in. Happy to pay fair amount in cost to maintain etc but the amount they want to buy in is ridiculous and they don’t use the funds for the road they split it among the cottagers.

 Permalink 09/21/17 @ 10:49

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Lisa [Visitor]

I own Cottage property in Muskoka with 500 ft Shoreline. I do not own the shore allowance. There are two small Cottages from the fifties and an approved permit from the municipality in 2006 (before I owned it) for a new septic system Showing Service to both buildings. I hired a contractor to spruce up the second Cottage and unfortunately because I was absent he enlarged it without my permission and without a permit. Sad story is after I paid him he threatened to tell the municipality about this supposedly illegal building if I didn’t pay him more money. I didn’t and indeed the town issued a stop-work order. I have been working with them and they have been fair so far. They advised I must cut the building back but I have no idea the exact dimensions previously or that I must purchase the shore line since this building is partially or entirely on the shore allowance. Are these not two separate issues? There is plenty of land without the shore allowance to adhere to muskokas rules about building coverage to land ratio and I’m sure it’s not a legal term but were these two buildings not grandfathered in? The shoreline will probably be in excess of $40,000, I was prepared to do it but have since Been Told that the legalization of this slightly expanded building has nothing to do with being coerced into buying the shoreline?
Not sure if it adds to the equation or not but I happen to own the cottage next door as well and do own the osra there. Someone has commented that they can’t reopen the shore allowance because they’d have to hop scotch over my adjacent property

Hi Lisa,

First off, let me emphasize that I’m not a lawyer or an expert, and I strongly suggest you find a good one, for advice.

It is difficult for me to address the issue of the expansion because I don’t have information on the contractual arrangements with the person who did the work… but you do call this person/company a “contractor", so I assume they have credentials. It may be difficult to prove that the cottage was expanded without your knowledge and, even then, it likely doesn’t make it acceptable according to the municipality. Grandfathering usually only applies to the footprint of an existing building. The contract might be interesting in as far as determining the contractor’s responsibilities.

Certainly, the way you describe it, it sounds like this contractor is guilty of extortion, which is an offence under federal law- making it a police matter.

Getting back to the issue of having a cottage that now encroaches onto the shore road allowance, you could ask the municipality about obtaining a minor variance… they don’t have to allow it, because it is a process that should have been undertaken prior to construction. It seems to be more often permitted if the completed construction is in line with other cottages, as far as set backs. If they do allow it, you would have to pay for the appropriate permits that should have been in place prior to construction and there would be fees for the variance. It is a process and you need to make sure that you are dealing with someone knowledgeable about building/planning at the township- someone who can explain the various options for remedy.

Which brings me back around to advising you to get the advice of a good real estate lawyer, as well.



 Permalink 09/12/17 @ 00:39

In response to: About Lake Clear- in the Ottawa Valley

Dave [Visitor]

Was there ever a chemical spill into lake clear

Hi Dave,

There was no spill that we’ve heard of, but a google search brought up this report:

which is worth reading,


 Permalink 09/09/17 @ 17:25

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

George [Visitor]

Need to put a dock in on deeded ROW , who exactly owns the shore line of the road leading the the water, i don’t think the land owners can own the shore line of deeded access in the municipality of whitestone ont , how and where do i go to if the land owners deny a small 4x12 docking for safe entrance and exiting the lake, should i contact a lawyer ?


I would suggest that you start by asking the local municipal authorities.


 Permalink 08/31/17 @ 17:31

In response to: Straight Talk About Living in Rural Ontario

Jim [Visitor]

We’ve come up with a list of What do you think of it? Where’s your town on the list?

 Permalink 08/29/17 @ 17:05

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Leon [Visitor]

Own 3 acres in the Haliburton area and my wife and I have been working on it in preparation for our future retirement home. We bring a travel trailer up to it when we are there and recently we told that I cant have it on my property?? It is not there on a steady basis, plus, the property is very rural. What are my rights?

 Permalink 08/19/17 @ 17:39

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Leon [Visitor]

Own 3 acres in the Haliburton area and my wife and I have been working on it in preparation for our future retirement home. We bring a travel trailer up to it when we are there and recently we told that I cant have it on my property?? It is not there on a steady basis, plus, the property is very rural. What are my rights?

Hi Leon,

Every township has different by-laws & regulations and many don’t permit trailers. You need to ask the township what their rules will allow and how you can work with them in order to meet their regulations. Some townships will allow a trailer that is on a permanent foundation… some require you obtain a minor variance to obtain a permit for the trailer… some won’t entertain a trailer at all. My advice is to go talk to the planning person at the local township… try to remain calm and ask them if there is any way for you to gain permission to use the property in the way you wish to use it.


 Permalink 08/19/17 @ 17:39

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Gary [Visitor]

HI ..I have two questions 1) WE own property on lake erie which has a 66 foot road allowance in front of it. Back 50 years ago, when the road was still there, there were cottages on the other side of that road that were water front (my place was 1 row back) ..over time those cottages have disappeared, due to erosion, and most of the Road has eroded as well. Basically I now have waterfront. I am in discussions with the municipality to purchase the road section in front of me which allows me to own to the waters edge….there seems to be some confusion however regarding the land that was owned many years ago and is now under water…are those lots still owned by the previous owners from years ago or do they not come into play as they have eroded and are now underwater??…. 2) I Want to purchase this road allowance to install a break wall to stop further erosion..however the town says I cannot do anything as I do not own the land and they won’t take care of this something I can get permission from the MNR to do?

Hi Gary,

Not sure how this is going to play out… they don’t just erase ownership and if the water levels

subside, that owner will still own the property… so you would, in effect be trying to make improvements

to his property, not to mention that the MNR has the last word and Oceans & Fisheries own the water itself.

It’s worth a try contacting the MNR.

Best of luck!


 Permalink 08/16/17 @ 22:06

In response to: Assessed Value VS Selling Price

jack [Visitor]

we are looking into a home valued at 1mil. my friends tell me the property tax wont be for 1mil but rather for the mpac assessed value which will be significantly less in todays market. is this true? will my property tax be the same as the sellers, or will it be significantly raised to reflect the actual purchased price?


Hi Jack,

Assuming that the home is located in Ontario, property taxes are based on current market value assessments and properties may be re-assessed on an annual basis. You are wise to contact the local authorities to find out their mill rate and calculate the new property tax amount based upon the price you pay for the property.


 Permalink 08/08/17 @ 21:58
Joe Briar

In response to: Straight Talk About Living in Rural Ontario

Joe Briar [Visitor]

Want to live in rural Ontario.
Play by the rules. Follow the law ( always ).
Dont annoy anyone.
Mind your own business.
Do not impose your views on others.
Be spiritual but not overly religious.
Say very little about yourself as possible.
Do not ask to many questions to others.
Live a well ordain and private life.
No TV, No Internet, just a basic cellphone.
Be social but not obnoxious.
Always be polite and courteous to all.
Never venture financial or private information.
Be discreet about yourself.
Do not trust everybody you meet.
Be respectful of peoples boundaries and have them respect yours.
Do not ever lend money to people around you.
Dont borrow tools or lend out your own.
I say all of this because I have lived these experiences. Take time to know people.
Dont fall in love with the first person you meet.
Remember your living alone and could be vulnerable to strangers.
If you desire your privacy than live it.
A few well chosen friends is better than a bunch who will want to sponge on you.
I know I add some of them.
Keep your cellphone number for yourself and special persons.
I live off the grid and have 2 great friends who come for short visits separately, never together. No room for both at a time. They do their thing and I do mine. Just because you have visitors doesn’t mean you dont do your work around the house or yard.
I miss a lot of things for when I was in the city. That’s just pass memories that come and go. Dont pay to much attention to them or they will get the best of you. When they come. Just go and do something to counter them. Bake, cut firewood, anything to keep them from getting a hold on you.
Joe Briar
Friend to all.

 Permalink 07/27/17 @ 12:13
Joe Briar

In response to: 2011 Cottage Trends

Joe Briar [Visitor]

Dont bring the city to the country or the lake.
If you want this stay in the city. Go with less and with the bare basics. Simple meals made of simple foods are the best. Also it is cheaper to find good food sources from neighbours or local farmers. Pay what they want and say thank you.
I have a simple country way about me. Remember simple is not simpleton. Just get along with a whole lot less and you will be rewarded with less clutter in the house and especially less clutter between the hears. For me having less is already having to much. I was able to just let go the old life and settle into the new one. No TV, no INTERNET, basic cellphone with a signal booster. A good first aid kit, a couple of ABC fire extinguishers. Several large boxes of baking soda ( puts out fires very fast ).
Always have little projects to do. Keeps you active and thinking. Visit friends, neighbours and invite someone to stay now an again. You may live as a recluse but stay socially connected. It is good for the spirit. Attend church if one is relatively close enough. The Word of God is always nurturing for the soul and a healthy practice.
That’s it in a nut shell. By the way eat nuts there good for you. Dont touch mushrooms they can kill you.
Joe Briar friend to all

 Permalink 07/25/17 @ 15:22
Joe Briar

In response to: Straight Talk About Living in Rural Ontario

Joe Briar [Visitor]

I live on a 50 acres of well forested land. I had to make a fence out of stumps and other material to keep would be wood harvesters from cutting wood from my land . Posted signs like
Only invited guests may proceed all others refrain from trespassing Thank You .
This works well and havent been bothered by anyone so far . Get along great with all my neighbours . We look after each other and help out in time of need . I provide work for free and get my snow plowed from from entrance to house . Offer breakfast and coffee to same .
Be prepared to ask certain persons who ignore your signs too leave. I have large Kangal dogs and that helps them move back out . I have laminated windows and steel framed security doors to keep any intruder from breaking in when I am out doing errands . Also a couple night day cameras hidden from view . I am completely off the grid. No need for solar. A small generator keeps by lead acid batteries fully charged. ( they do not freeze ) .
Just a run down about living rural and in the bush. Live in self built 12x12 cedar cabin.
Bring yourself but dont bother your neighbours with your two cents worth of nothing. Keep it simple, to yourself and be a good egg.
Love this peaceful life.
Joe Briar friend to all .

 Permalink 07/24/17 @ 14:12

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

kathy [Visitor]

We bought property about 2 years ago on an all private Lake. There are a lot of trees on the shore line and we would like to remove some of them to gain a better view of the lake from our house. Who do I contact in order to get permission to do this. Do you have to pay to get permits so we can do this. Also the shore line is in very rough shape how can I get permission to fix it.

Hi Kathy,

The Federation of Ontario Cottagers’ Associations put out a great booklet in 2016 with loads of information that will better answer your questions… you can find it online at:

the bottom line is you should contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and consult the Fisheries & Oceans folks… you can check their website at for more information.

I hope this is of help.


 Permalink 07/18/17 @ 08:17

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Richard [Visitor]

A friend of mine (now deceased) was from Queenboro and often spoke about the Orange Lodge and what good times they would have travelling around to other lodges in the area. I just drove through Queenboro this past week and the Orange Hall still stands (now a House). Is there any info on the number of members they would have had and the different ghost towns. Perhaps there was a masonic hall as well?

Hi Richard,

Originally Queensboro was a First Nations village known as Cooksokie… the name was changed when they requested a post office and the government wanted an English name… but I digress… Apparently, Queensborough’s Loyal Orange Lodge (number 437) was built in 1862 and was used regularly until the 1980s. There is a bit of information on the that has some of the reports (for various years) of annual meetings. Some of the members from Queensboro are listed in these reports. For instance in 1883, Donald McKinnon, Arch Thompson, John Nichol, F.J. Thompson, John Wiggens, J.G. McCaw, James Moore, Charles Thompson, Isaac Trotter and John Moore are named. I’ve not been able to find any information about a Masonic Temple in Queensboro.

Best regards, Jody

 Permalink 07/14/17 @ 22:31

In response to: Encroachments

Dov [Visitor]

My neighbour has clearly encroached on my land. He admits this and the official surveys confirm that he has. We are in the process of selling him the 3 acres of encroachment. Can I charge him rent for the time he was using my 3 acres and put up a 3 car garage? How would rent be calculated?

Hi There… In regards to your question about charging rent… I would think it best to take that into consideration when you agree on a price to sell them this piece of property. I don’t think you can charge rent if you didn’t get an agreement in writing ahead… but that is a question for a lawyer.

Best of luck, Jody.

From: Dov
To: Jody
Sent: Friday, July 14, 2017 10:23 PM
Subject: Re: encroaching neighbour

But how could I have gotten an agreement in advance if i didn’t know until April of this year that he was encroaching for 15 years.

To: Dov


I understand you didn’t know he was on your property, he obviously didn’t realize it either… as I said in my last email, you should check with your lawyer but I don’t think he has to pay you rent if there was no agreement in place. In a way you are recovering costs for those 15 years… if you look at it this way:

if he would have bought the property from you 15 years ago, before he built the garage, the price of the property would be much less than it is today… so in some ways that makes up for your “rent".

Remember, you didn’t notice that he was on your property and using it for 15 years… some might argue that he has ownership already, by way of squatter’s rights… and in that case, he wouldn’t have to pay you one cent. I know this is upsetting for you, it does happen more often than you might imagine and you are fortunate that he is willing to purchase the property from you.


 Permalink 07/14/17 @ 18:46
Janice freund

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Janice freund [Visitor]

My new neighbour has built a kayak stand on the road allowance in front of my property. Since I do not own the road allowance, can I ask them to remove it. I fear they (or worse still their renters) will next be using my beach as they do not have one.

Hi Janice,

This is something you should take up with the Township. Perhaps you can purchase the shoreline, for a nominal fee.


 Permalink 07/09/17 @ 19:38

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

George [Visitor]

I applied to the local Conservation Authority and received a permit to repair the eroding shoreline The original shoreline slope was approximately at slope of 2:1. The slope length from the bottom toe to the shoreline top is approximately 12.5 feet at the shoreline height of 6 feet. I assume that the shoreline slope is owned by the Crown?
Local Conservation Authority imposed by the issued permit a shallower slope of 4:1 and that means a shoreline slope length of approximately 24 feet. In order to achieve this longer shoreline slope the shoreline top needs to be extended approximately 12 feet into the land. This means I have to give up approximately 12 feet of land along the shoreline.
1. Do Conservation Authority have legal authority to impose such conditions?
Also, I do not have enough existing stone slabs, rocks or boulders to protect the shoreline from wash outs and erosion. The Conservation Authority imposed that a new material is not permitted. My shoreline situation will actually considerably worsen instead of being resolved. There are no advantages to a shallower slope as the shoreline height remains the same and the high-water level reaches the top of the shoreline in any shoreline slope.
2. Is this a confiscation of land? Do I have a right to be compensated?
3. If new material is not allowed to protect the extended shoreline slope and further shoreline erosion occurs, resulting in a loss of property, can I sue the CA for damages?

Hi George,

Conservation Authorities have a lot of clout. You would be best to go and check with the local municipality to ask for their advice.


 Permalink 07/08/17 @ 18:05
jenny-lynn robichaud

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

jenny-lynn robichaud [Visitor]

I am a lifetime resident of Haliburton county.. The church in Gelert was torn down this year (2017) it’s now just an empty lot.. there is also a small area in Maple Lake with a lot of history that people have long forgot. It’s on Hwy 118 between Stanhope and Carnarvon.. there is the old schoolhouse barn and the old post office.. Also the township of Algonquin Highlands (Stanhope) offers a lot of history an the museum is a stones throw away..

 Permalink 07/06/17 @ 12:26
kathy simpson

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

kathy simpson [Visitor]

at our cottage we have a deeded right a way to the water across the road. several other cottage owners have the same deeded right a way. the deeded property is about 8 ft wide and goes from road down to lake front. there has been several docks built at the end of this 8′ stretch. the property owner to the right of the 8′ stretch is complaining about the number of docks some of which run in front of his property but are accessed from the ROW edge. no dock is attached to his waterfront property. Does this property owner have the right to make us move our docks and is there a law about how far out into the water a dock can run? When land owner many years ago divided his property into lots all property owners on back side of road were given the same ROW on their deeds. Possibly 12 owners could need dock space in the future. Are there laws on quantity of docks at end of ROW’s. Appreciate any input you may have.


You should check with your local municipality to see if they have regulations about the length of docks and check with the Ministry of Natural Resources, too. It sounds a little crazy and pretty much impossible to have 12 people all wanting their own dock space on an 8′ strip of property. This is not a good situation. I strongly suggest that you twelve need to get organized and get a legal opinion about how best to satisfy all of your individual needs, fairly.


 Permalink 07/03/17 @ 18:04
Carol Mielke

In response to: Margaret Parliament

Carol Mielke [Visitor]

I am proud to read the History of Margaret Parliament who was married to James Amit Morden 1762-1840

 Permalink 06/27/17 @ 21:46

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Christine [Visitor]


Thank-you for your research, very cool. Looking forward to your next articles. (ie L’amable) :).
Now I know what we can do when we go visit my Family next time…Road trip.
Keep up the great informative work! (Note: Anyone have any real ghost stories of these areas?)

 Permalink 06/25/17 @ 12:39

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Bob [Visitor]

I’m looking at purchasing a piece of land where mining and surface rights are included but timber rights are not. Do I need permission to clear a road and area for a cabin and if so from whom and what is the cost?

Hi Bob,

I am assuming that the Crown holds the timber rights… and usually that is only on pine. Check with the Ministry for specific information but, generally, you are permitted to clear an area for a laneway, cabin, septic, etc.


 Permalink 06/13/17 @ 05:59
Michael Baril

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Michael Baril [Visitor]

My Wife and i purchased a lot with a 40ft. wide deeded right of way to the St. Lawrence river. In 2003 we got permission from the owner to construct a dock where we could tie up our boat and swim from and i agreed to maintain the property. Last year the owner of the right of way changed hands. The new owner was told by the previous owner that they had given us permission to build the dock. The new owner says that he owns the dock and wants us to sign a agreement with restrictions to us the dock. Do we have any rights as we have used and maintained the land for 20 years and had the dock for 15

Hi Michael,

In our minds the key here is deeded right of way. It doesn’t sound like the new owner can ask you to sign any new agreements or restrict use of your dock… but I would check this out with your lawyer.


 Permalink 06/04/17 @ 13:10

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Terry [Visitor]

I own a waterfront property on Georgian Bay. The deed (and that of my neighbours) extends to the “High Water Mark 1938″ and show approx. 50′ shoreline/waterfront for my property. Since that time, the water level has dropped considerably exposing approx. 50 Meters of new beach. Since the sides of my property are not parallel and converge toward the bay such that if extended towards the bay and into the new beach, my side property boundaries would meet each other (producing a pie shaped lot) even before the new waterfront or shoreline. Does this mean I no longer have waterfront footage? Does it all belong to my neighbours to the left and right of me and not to me? Do I have any rights to the shoreline?

Hi Terry,

We can’t see that you can be prevented from using the shoreline/waterfront…

but this is an interesting question. Has anyone tried to prevent you from using

the shoreline? How long have you owned it? What does the municipality say?

This is likely something best answered by a legal expert. We’d love to hear

what you discover!


 Permalink 05/16/17 @ 01:54
Andrea in Markham

In response to: Assessed Value VS Selling Price

Andrea in Markham [Visitor]


I truly enjoy your insightful blog, we are always wondering if we buy a house at purchase price of e.g. 1,000000, and the house is currently accessed to be $500000 by the Mpac. When I become the new owner, will the municipality adjust my property tax to $1M or not?

Appreciate your comments?


Hi Andrea:

Yes, the taxes will be adjusted, you can call the township and ask for their

mill rate. You multiply the purchase price by the mill rate to determine what the taxes

will be.

Since 2003, properties must now be reassessed annually using Current Value. The

Assessment Act definition of Current Value is “in relation to land, the amount of money

the fee simple, if unencumbered, would realize if sold at arm’s length by a willing seller

to a willing buyer”.


 Permalink 05/10/17 @ 19:50

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Kevin [Visitor]

I own a property on a dead end road. My house is the second last house on the road, and technically the “road” where my driveway exits is on my neighbours property. He technically owns the small area right in front and it looks more like a road than his driveway, as his driveway exits onto it as well. The road is dirt, and barely wide enough for 2 cars to get by, but because we are the only traffic it was never an issue. Lately though he has taken to parking at the end of my driveway, leaving us only room to squeeze our vehicles out, and it is a squeeze. My wife has on several occasions had to ask him to move so that she could get in or out, which is frustrating when she has a 3 year old in the back, and she has to leave her in the car to find our neighbour to have his car moved. We strongly feel that he is doing this because we no longer get along. While it is technically his property, it is a right of way as well because there is no other way for us to get to our house. The house is in Simcoe County in Ontario. Thank you

Hi Kevin… You haven’t said how long you’ve owned the property and been using the road… which may make a difference. It sounds like your driveway is encroaching on the neighbour’s property… did you purchase title insurance when you bought? Is there anything on the deed that speaks to a right-of-way? It also sounds like you may be on a private road… do you know who owns the road?
All of this said, Fabian and I feel that you are best to have a chat with a lawyer and get some expert advice.


 Permalink 05/08/17 @ 18:45

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Arlene [Visitor]

We purchased a house in the Kawarthas which is not on the water. Homeowners pay a fee to have the private/unassumed circular road plowed/maintained. There is a common area in the centre and a common launch access point to Buckhorn Lake. The houses that aren’t on the water each have a deeded 15′ strip of waterfront (some have docks). The question is, can we put a structure on our 15′ waterfront? (I’m talking a gazebo, maybe a deck at the edge of the water). I’ve been told “probably not” but I don’t know why. Also, owners park in the centre when they feel like it. The cottages on each side of the launch access have taken over a lot of the supposed common area. There doesn’t seem to be a corporation or committee that creates or polices, i.e. who created the rules?

Hi Arlene,

There are situations where a developer has surveyed several lots that share waterfront lot. In some cases this waterfront lot is communally owned and in other cases, is surveyed into pieces that are registered along with the deeds to the main properties. Without seeing your deed, it would be hard to know which is the case. Either way, it is most unlikely that a permanent structure would be permitted close to a lake or river. You should check with the municipality to see if they have regulations, the Ministry of Natural Resources may have some, as well. If the 15′ strips are part of your deed, there may not need be a committee that regulates anything, it would fall under government regulation (municipality, oceans & fisheries, Ministry of Natural Resources, etc.).

You haven’t mentioned if your portion of the road is on your deed or a separate piece over which you have a right-of-way. If that is the case, it might be a separate piece that never got registered or it could be registered to a private owner. We have seen older developments where the road has not been built up to municipal standards and will never be assumed. In these cases, private road maintenance is often casually handled by one of the residents- and can become an issue if major improvements are ever required. I would be surprised if your Realtor, and/or lawyer, didn’t mention this when you purchased. If the road isn’t part of your deed, check with the municipality to find out who owns it.

Once you know who owns both of these commonly used pieces you can begin to research any organized community group that might have formalized regulations with regard to their usage. I hope this is of help.

Good luck!


 Permalink 05/03/17 @ 15:20

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Joan [Visitor]

We have a few family members who collectively own an island in northern Ontario. It is accessed by boat, however can be accessed down the Escarpment and over a foot bridge. Some of the family members want to purchase the shore allowance, some don’t. What would be the main reason for wanting to have it? Would our taxes go up? Would the value of the cottage/land go up for the cost of the shoreline? It is not winter access, no running water, septic etc. Is this really worth it?

Hi Joan,

The main reason people want to have the shore allowance is because some people just feel better owning it. You would have to check with your local municipal authorities to determine if the taxes would go up after it was purchased.

Shore allowance is something that only an experienced waterfront owner or buyer generally thinks about. It is something we frequently have to explain to prospective buyers and it is something that should be noted in MLS listing data entry. In my experience, shore allowances are very common and have little, if any influence on market value.

The shoreline road allowance was created on most waterfront properties in Ontario after 1850 to allow public access to the shore from navigable waterways- for emergency purposes. It was created at a time when there weren’t proper roads in most of cottage country and the waterways were a major form of travel.

Savvy waterfront buyers might ask- “is the shore allowance owned?” and it’s always nicer to be able to answer yes… so some might argue it helps the property to be more saleable.

What is interesting, is the shore allowances are attached to the high water mark and often we run into situations where the lakes have increased in volume and the shore allowance is currently out in the lake… in other cases, cottages or other structures were built right on the shore allowance, before there were regulations about set backs.

The bottom line is that the shoreline is yours to use, as you will, as owner of the adjacent property. You would likely have to prove you own the shoreline before applying for a minor variance to be able to apply for a permit for the construction of a structure that would be located on the 66′ shore road allowance- AND you would have to abide by the strict guidelines set out by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Your municipality may have particular regulations, as well. Generally, docks are permitted, provided they do not interfere with the fish habitat.

When you ask if it’s really worth it- it comes down to your personal opinion.

I hope this is of some help,


 Permalink 04/19/17 @ 16:04
Carla Catherwood

In response to: Assessed Value VS Selling Price

Carla Catherwood [Visitor]

Own a mobile in mobile home park. Park property standards and bylaws not being enforced park quality gone down greatly . How will this effect assessment and market value to put home up for sale.
Thanks for any advice.

Hi Carla,

In answer to your question about the mobile home that you own in the mobile park, it’s difficult to determine how this situation will affect the property assessment without knowing if you own or lease the lot. I’m sure you can appreciate that most park buyers want to protect their investment and hope for some increase in value, over time. They look for assurance that the common areas are well maintained, shared water and or sewage systems are monitored and that a reasonable set of rules is enforced.

Conditions like the ones that you have described will have a negative effect on market value (meaning what an informed buyer will pay for the place, in a fair and open market) and it is likely to take longer to find a buyer.

I hope this is of some help,


 Permalink 04/05/17 @ 18:09

In response to: P.S. To Ghost Towns around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Alice [Visitor]

I love all the history in this report. wow.

 Permalink 03/21/17 @ 03:59

In response to: PROPERTY RIGHTS- what every Buyer should know

Jody [Member]

I received this message by email March 12, 2017:

Hi Jody,

Has there been any other precedents in Ontario where the government, automatically merged two 100′ waterfront lots (same owner) to one 200′ lot? I would like to begin the process to restore them back to the original 100′ lots and solve a zoning issue that now has two residences on a single lot. I am assuming there will be many roadblocks and am sure many others have had this happen to their properties. Hoping to find some success stories. Rob

My response:

Hi Rob,

It is very common for adjacent vacant properties to merge… but I can’t remember ever hearing about this happening with two pieces that have both been built upon. With limited information I would only be speculating as to what happened here, but I sense there has been some sort of mix up.

I’d love to have the county in which the properties are located and the PIN numbers from the tax bills or addresses, so that I could look them up in the system to see how they’re zoned.

You mention that you would like to “begin” the process to restore their separateness… I would start with approaching the municipality for an explanation.

I’d be pleased if you would keep me in the loop with your progress and I’ll help in any way that I can.


 Permalink 03/12/17 @ 15:23
betty brennan

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

betty brennan [Visitor]

this is very interesting and would like to know more

 Permalink 03/07/17 @ 20:02
Lori Beavis

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Lori Beavis [Visitor]

An interesting blog on all the towns and villages through parts of Ontario that I have travelled through or heard of throughout my life. I have to say that I find it disturbing that the only “mention” of the Anishinaabeg who were the First Peoples through the territory is in identifying Colonization Road. It would be of value for you to write an acknowledgement statement of the original inhabitants of the land at the beginning of your posting. This can be a simple statement as Acknowledging territory shows recognition of and respect for Aboriginal Peoples. It is recognition of their presence both in the past and the present. Recognition and respect are essential elements of establishing healthy, reciprocal relations and part of the reconciliation process as suggested by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. There are a number of sites on the internet that would be of interest to you and help with crafting a statement - for example: - this is a particularly interesting site as it discusses the move towards acknowledging the original inhabitants of the land in terms of rural and non-rural situations. An important discussion to be having. Please feel free to contact me if you want any help in crafting your statement. thanks

Hi Lori,

Thank you for your comment on my blog entry. I understand your concerns but hope you understand that it was in no way meant to be a definitive list of towns and villages and I would not wish to have anyone believe that I would overlook our first nations people. If you look at some of my other entries, you will see that I have a fondness for our aboriginal culture, as well as personal, genealogical connections.

I would be pleased to feature a guest blog if you would be kind enough to write one for me.

Many thanks,


 Permalink 03/07/17 @ 09:08
Chris Tedford

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Chris Tedford [Visitor]

Hi there,

The town of Nephton was not “demolished” as you described. In fact, most of the homes were moved out of town by Tedford House Movers, Pollard the Mover and possibly a couple of other structural movers. I remember as an early teenager working with my father getting some of those homes ready to move. Either way, most of those homes were successfully moved to various locations in the surrounding area and still stand today!

 Permalink 03/06/17 @ 20:29

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Amanda [Visitor]

Someone may have already mentioned this, but the location information, or how to get there if you will for both Bannockburn and Eldorado is incorrect. Eldorado is actually the closest of the two to Madoc. Still along highway 62 heading north of Madoc, it actually sits about 13 mins, or 11km north of the village. Bannockburn sits about 18 mins, approx 18kms north of the village of Madoc, and has two roads that lead off towards Cooper and Wolf Lake. The first being Bannockburn Road leading towards Cooper Road, and the other being Wolf Lake Road. Centre Millbridge road, mentioned in relation to Bannockburn actually sits another 5 km or so north of the hamlet in Millbridge, opposite Stoney Settlement Road. Now you can get to Bannockburn Via Wolf Lake Road by heading south of the Cleveland Road and Stoney Settlement intersection. And you can also reach Millbridge by heading up Old Hastings Road North. I’ve lived in this area my whole life and actually grew up on Old Hastings road, where I learned to ride my bike, drive, hunt and fish. Such great history compiled here, keep it up!

Thank you for the correction, Amanda- I have edited the information on the blog entry! Jody

 Permalink 03/05/17 @ 22:14

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Michelle [Visitor]

I’m not sure where or when you got your info on Murphy’s Corners. I did notice a date of 2009 at the top of the article. Any how, the original Murphy Homestead burned to the ground in 1981.

Thank you for the information, Michelle! Jody

 Permalink 03/05/17 @ 21:35

In response to: Ghost Towns Around Bancroft & Barry's Bay

Jane [Visitor]

Great read but you left out Madawaska JRBooths headqwarters is still there said to be haunted by his payroll cleark who hanged himself of off one of the timbers in the basement as a young girl I seen an aparition there.The round house where the trains turned around is now long gone to the ages my Mother Katie said she watched the decline of the white Pine as it passed her house forty flatcars as it made its way to Montreal to make the masts for the ships during the Napolean war.There is a map of the town made by Katie Chartrand who remembers the village as three communities we lived in Bonyiville then there was Madawaska and then Dawson .hydro can me in flooded the land we have lots more to ssy about this time Katie isnow ninty five years old she still is a wealth of knowledge and Madawaska has returned to a sleepy town of memories,I raised my chilren Sandy and Angie there in thier early years and they always return many times to take a walk back in time.

Thanks for the great information, Jane!

 Permalink 03/05/17 @ 09:39