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Liening Municipal Lands in Ontario

Darina Mishiyev, Law Clerk

Up until October 1, 2019, the only lands to which a lien could not attach were federally and provincially owned lands. Municipal lands, other than public streets or highways owned by a municipality, were subject to lien registrations just like any other privately-owned land.

Effective October 1, 2019 liens no longer attach to any municipal lands, which means that registering a lien against a municipally owned land is not an option. Instead, a lien must be preserved by giving a claim for lien (Form 12) to the municipality without registering a lien on title of the property. In order to perfect the claim for lien, the lien claimant will have to issue a Statement of Claim within the prescribed deadlines without registering a certificate of action.

Pursuant to Ontario Regulation 304/18, a municipality may provide a method or methods for the giving of a copy of a claim for lien by publishing a statement on its website. These methods include:

  1. Sending a copy of the claim for lien by email to a specified email address.
  2. Completing and submitting the claim for lien through a specified web portal.

As of February 24, 2020, the following municipal entities created portals or provided instructions for electronic filing of claims for lien (Form 12):

  1. City of Toronto -
  2. Sudbury -
  3. Durham -
  4. Pickering -
  5. Oxford County -
  6. City of Hamilton -
  7. Region of Waterloo -

By clicking on the above-mentioned links, you will be able to find detailed instructions as to how claims for lien (Form 12) are to be submitted or e-mailed to these municipalities.

In the event that a municipality has not published a method for the giving of a claim for lien on its website, then claim for lien must be given to the clerk of the municipality.

While this practice is very new and various municipalities are still updating their websites, it is recommended that lien claimants submit their liens both electronically (if permitted) and by giving a hard copy to the clerk as well in order comply with the Act.

Since the new amendment came into effect very recently, parties are strongly encouraged to check the municipal websites for such instructions prior to giving a lien to a municipality in any other method.