What is a survey?

A survey is the determination of form, extent, position, etc., of land, buildings, roads, and other features on and often immediately bordering a property.  This determination is made through careful measurements, and the applications of the principles of geometry and trigonometry.  Past surveys and surveys of surrounding properties are researched and reconciled.

Why would I need a survey?

You need a survey anytime you need to accurately measure the location of your property, including buildings, fences, lanes and rights of way, especially if those measurements need to be legally binding.  Only a licensed surveyor can give you a legal survey.  In many municipalities, including Toronto and the rest of the GTA, bylaws dictate that you must have a survey before building permits, including those for renovations and fences.

Often, surveys are included as conditions of sale of property.  If you are buying a home, you may want an up-to-date survey to secure your purchase.  In fact, you may be required by your lender to obtain such a document.  You may wish to know that recently, in Canada, lenders have been requesting Title Insurance in lieu of a Surveyors Real Property Report.  The difference is explained on the Toronto Real Estate Knowledge Centre website.

Even if you do not need your survey to be legally binding, you may need someone else to perform complicated or accurate measurements.  For example, we have performed topographical (3D) surveys of movie locations so that graphic artists would have an accurate framework of the scene

Some specific examples of when you may need a survey to include:

What is a Surveyors Real Property Report?

From the Association of Ontario Land Surveyors website:

"A Surveyors Real Property Report is a legal document that clearly illustrates the location of all visible public and private improvements relative to property boundaries.  It generally takes the form of a plan or illustration of the various physical features of the property along with a written report highlighting the surveyor's opinion of any concerns.  The plan and report may be combined on one document.

In case of dispute, your surveyor is an expert witness in court, and assumes full professional responsibility for the accuracy of your survey.  The cost of the survey is small as a percentage of your investment, and a reasonable price to pay for peace of mind."

For full details, including a labelled sample survey, please visit the AOLS website.

How much does a survey cost, and how long does it take?

Each job is unique.  Even for standard surveying requests, such as a Surveyors Real Property Report, we need to know the specific details of your property before we can give you and estimate.  Please contact us so we can discuss your specific needs.