The City of London will consider applications to close streets
or lanes provided provided such closings comply with City policy. An
applicant must also agree to purchase the closed street or lanes. The closing process involves two steps, with the first being the legal closing of the street
or lane as public highway either by Municipal By-Law or Judge's Order, and the second being the sale of the land which is administered by the City's Realty Services department.
Applications for closings and purchases are subject to considerable scrutiny and there is no guarantee that an application will be approved. It is not uncommon for applications to be rejected for reasons ranging from operational and planning concerns to the concerns of the rights of individual property owners or the general public that could be affected by the closing.
The applicant must be prepared to provide consents from the landowners that
would be affected by the closing.
The following outlines some of the the City's street/lane/walkway closing policies:
- The City will not approve the closing of lanes that provide
access to properties fronting on arterial or collector streets.
- 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.
- The City will not approve the closing of a lane 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 a travelled public lane without
consents from all of the property owners in the block who are affected
by the closing.
- The City will not approve of the closing of any street, lane or
walkway before the requirements of the utility authorities for easements
for existing or future utilities have been determined.
- Where part of the boulevard of a 40 metre (132 foot) wide street is being
closed, the City will reserve an easement preventing the building of any
structures over the closed parcel to
ensure continuity of the streetscape.
- The City will not approve the closing of active public walkways.
- Unassumed streets, lanes or walkways created by Registered Plan
of Subdivision must be closed by Judge's Order. All others are closed by municipal by-law.
- All streets/lanes/walkways so closed, must also be purchased in
their entirety by one or more abutting owners.
- The applicant is fully responsible for all costs and must purchase the street, lane
or walkway from the City at fair market value.
Notwithstanding these general policies, the City will consider closings
that may are required to support
What kind of closings are there?
All street and lane closings fall into one of two categories. Closings by
municipal by-law apply to all original Crown road allowances and all streets
or lanes assumed for maintenance by the City. By-law closings are governed by provisions under the Municipal Act and involve public notice and culminate with Council passing a closing
by-law which is registered on title.
Judge's Order closings apply to all streets
and lanes that have been laid out by Registered Plan of Subdivision but have never been assumed
by the City. These public highways are closed by Judge's Order under provisions of the Registry Act as adopted by the Land Titles Act. After receiving authorization by Council Resolution, the applicant's solicitor is responsible for obtaining the necessary
Judge's Order to close the street
or lane. City policy requires that all closings are to be done by Judge's Order,
if possible, or otherwise by by-law.
How much will it cost me?
The applicant is responsible for all costs to close and purchase the street
or lane which include at the very least:
- For each application a non-refundable application fee of $165 + HST
- For each application a refundable appraisal fee of $260 + HST
- For by-law closings, the further sum of $1182 + HST to cover the newspaper advertising cost
if public notice is deemed necessary.
- For Judge's Order closings, any lawyers fees to obtain the Judge's
- For all closings the cost of having an Ontario Land Surveyor prepare a Reference Plan acceptable to the City.
- Legal fees to complete the purchase of the closed parcel from the City.
- The cost to purchase the land at a market value price set by the Municipal Council on the advice of the General Manager of Finance & Corporate Services.
How long does the process take?
The length of time from the date the application is received to the final sale of land can vary greatly, but
six months seems to be an average timeframe. Although the City processes closing applications with due diligence, applicants are cautioned that the legal requirements to close and sell public highway are sufficiently onerous that applications cannot be "fast tracked."
What should I know before making an application?
Applicants should confirm the closing complies with the general policies
The City does not normally accept closing applications from property owners unless their property abuts the street
or lane being closed. Furthermore, although the City typically supports the sale of non-buildable parcels of land directly to abutting property owners, larger parcels that comply with zoning and form building lots
must be sold through public auction.
In general, the closing of a street or lane requires the consent of all
property owners who would be affected by the closing even though the lane
may not be physically travelled.
For lane closings, City policy requires that the entire lane bounded by
all four streets be closed and sold so as to prevent future land locking.
This requirement can usually be waived for closings needed to support
commercial developments. Also, the City generally will not support a lane
closure that provides access to properties fronting on arterial or collector
The City will not support walkway closings which, regardless of the
circumstances, are not seen as being in the best interests of the broader
neighbourhood or future owners.
Where utilities or City services lie within the street or lane to be closed, easements will be reserved.
If this is not acceptable to the applicant, it is their responsibility to
deal with the utility owner to resolve the issue.
Prior to making a formal application please contact 519-661-4908 to ensure the application complies with
City policies and applicable laws. Geomatics staff can also answer any
questions you may have.
How do I make an application for a street or lane closing?
Applications are made by downloading and filling out a
Closing Application and submitting the application, in writing only, to the Clerk's Office.
City Clerk's Office
300 Dufferin Avenue
PO Box 5035
London, ON N6A 4L9 |
If you have any questions regarding street or lane closings, please contact the 519-661-4908.