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Debra, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 101054
Experience:  Lawyer
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I live in Ontario and want to purchase land that has a right

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I live in Ontario and want to purchase land that has a right of way. It was at one time for a railroad that has since been removed. There has been no activity on this right of way for many many years. I believe the right away was transferred to the St. Lawrence Seaway Corportation twenty years ago when they were building the Welland Canal--but has never been used. Is there a statute of limitation on rights of ways? Can this right of way be removed?
Thank you for your question.

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Is this right of way registered on title?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

yes the right of way is on the title.

I was told by Canadian Pacific Rail that the portion of land in question was the former Toronto Hamilton Buffalo Rail line and was transferred to the St. Lawrence Seaway Authority as part of the new Welland Canal project back in the 1970s.

There is no limitation period in the sense that this is a registered easement that does not expire.

But it is certainly possible to have this removed if the entity that owns it agrees.

And if they do not in some cases, depending on the facts, you can get an order for it's removal.

So if this ROW has not been used for decades and clearly won't be needed then it may be possible to get a Court order for it's removal.

Your next step should be to consult with a real estate lawyer who is local to this property.

You can contact the Law Society and use their Lawyer Referral Service. You will be given the name of a lawyer and can consult with the lawyer and the first half hour will be free.

The number is:

1-800-268-8326 or(NNN) NNN-NNNN(within the GTA)

It may be that you can negotiate with the owner of the ROW and offer something nominal to get them to agree to relinquish the ROW if they don't need it.

So for sure this should be looked into as it is quite possible you will succeed.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

if my attempts to get a response from the Seaway Authority that has the ROW, go unresponsed to... would I pursue the order from the Court? Do I need a lawyer to do this? What would this court order be called?

You are permitted to self-represent but this is complicated so it's inadvisable.

But if you cannot afford the lawyer then see a lawyer and get some advice about the procedure and the forms and the law in terms of what you will need to show.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

but as for me previous question. Can I simply apply to remove the easement through the courts based on no use in a very long time and inability to contact owner of ROW?

I think I found a document called "Deletion of Easement" to Land Registrar and if the Seaway does not object/or consents to its removal that would work right??


That's the last question :)

You can ask as many questions as you like.

You can apply for the removal of the easement but you have to serve the owner.

So you will need to serve their head office.

Then if they ignore that you will get the order by way of default.

The Land Registrar will not be able to remove the easement without an order.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

thank you.


So I would first formally write a registered letter indicating request of removal of ROW/easement and then my contact info and If I do not hear back I would apply to the court-----WHICH court??

and then once I get an order file w the Land Registry.

This is all right but when you apply for the order you also have to serve them with the application.

You would apply the Superior Court of Justice in the jurisdiction where the property is.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

ok then technically I can simply apply to the Superior Court of Justice in the jurisdiction.......serve the Seaway w a copy of the application.

I suppose then the step of contacting them in advance is just to cover that they aren't responding to me. I can submit the evidence of attempts to contact in my application.

Sound right?

Yes that sounds exactly right!
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