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Street, Lane & Walkway Closings

The City may consider applications to permanently close and purchase streets, lanes and walkways as public highway provided such closings 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).

In addition to closing policies listed in the FAQ 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 (519-661-2500 ext 5728) to ensure the application complies with City policies and applicable laws. 

Street and lane closing applications are made by filling out the Street, Lane & Walkway Closing Application form and submitting it to the Clerk's Office, complete with supporting information and application fee.

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  • 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 $5000 even for trivial closings with nominal purchase 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.

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