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Does City own my front yard? (with picture)

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  • Jun 3rd, 2020 12:44 pm
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 18, 2008
35 posts
4 upvotes

Does City own my front yard? (with picture)

City has planted a boulevard tree on my front yard (between sidewalk and house) . because there isn't enough room in boulevard (between the sidewalk and the street).
i asked to transplant but request got denied(the landscape drawing approved by City is not gonna change BLAH BLAH..).

Does City own my front yard? I live in Markham.

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33 replies
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
2711 upvotes
ON
Check the bylaws/zoning.
But generally the municipality can do whatever they want within x metres from the centreline of the road.
Deal Addict
Oct 20, 2004
3471 posts
542 upvotes
Toronto
In my subdivision, they own ~1 meter from the sidewalk towards my house. They were doing gas work at one time...
Newbie
Nov 13, 2013
30 posts
7 upvotes
Ottawa
Typically they own up to where the water shut off for your house is. This distance will vary from house to house. For example, mine is about 3 or 4 feet from were the sidewalk ends and my grass begins.
Jr. Member
User avatar
Apr 24, 2016
131 posts
43 upvotes
bookiej is correct. Mine is about 12 feet up from the sidewalk.
Deal Fanatic
Oct 1, 2004
6331 posts
710 upvotes
Toronto
Anyone know the rule in Ottawa? My is in the same place and I want it gone.
Member
User avatar
Dec 4, 2004
389 posts
70 upvotes
Coquitlam
typical rule of thumb, is to measure the road width from curb to curb, and then measure back that same width from the centre of the road and that will get you to roughly your front property line.

so for example, if the curb to curb distance is 33 feet, this represents only half of the road allowance, and road width is actually 66 feet. The city owns another 16.5 feet beyond the curbs on each side.

You can also check your city's GIS maps to see if they have property boundaries overlayed onto an aerial maps.

There will be exceptions, but this should get you close enough, unless you get a survey done.
Member
Mar 1, 2016
219 posts
162 upvotes
greg123 wrote: Anyone know the rule in Ottawa? My is in the same place and I want it gone.
If you use geoottawa (http://maps.ottawa.ca/geoottawa/) and add 'property parcels' from the 'more layers' menu, you can then measure the distance from the property line to the curb. I'm not sure if it is 100% accurate, but it was for my house when I checked it against the survey.
Deal Addict
Aug 19, 2011
4218 posts
3147 upvotes
Markham
Read your subdivision draft approved plan (I assume you're in one from the house style and the young tree) and somewhere in there it will state the city has the right to plant boulevard trees on your front lawn if necessary.

That doesn't mean the city 'owns' your land. Just like utiiity companies have the right to work on 'your' land but ofcourse they don't own it.

You must have recieved a land survey on closing that shows your property boundries.
Member
Dec 7, 2015
479 posts
104 upvotes
Ottawa, ON
If you've had a proper survey when you bought the house (either paid for one or received one from the vendor), the property line is marked on it. If you don't have a survey, how do you know what you bought?
Deal Addict
Jul 23, 2013
3007 posts
1031 upvotes
Tuktoyaktuk
Standard road allowance in all of Ontario is 20.12m, or 66 feet. So you measure 33 feet back from the center of the road, and that puts you at the street line.

The above applies to a standard street. Not all streets are standard, but most residential streets are.

You cannot measure street line from the curb, the sidewalk, the water valve, or whatever. The position of all of these things can change over time. The only way is to measure from the center line of the road, as stated above by Flowerchild.

In OP's case, you can be damn sure if the city planted a tree there, it's on city property.
[OP]
Newbie
Jul 18, 2008
35 posts
4 upvotes
bookiej wrote: Typically they own up to where the water shut off for your house is. This distance will vary from house to house. For example, mine is about 3 or 4 feet from were the sidewalk ends and my grass begins.
the tree beyond the water shut-off . picture is attached in OP.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9046 posts
762 upvotes
bookiej wrote: Typically they own up to where the water shut off for your house is. This distance will vary from house to house. For example, mine is about 3 or 4 feet from were the sidewalk ends and my grass begins.
My lot does not have sidewalk, but the blue water valve is like over 10 feet from the curb.

To OP, for new development site, the city usually does not assume the land until several years after the area is completely developed (Note: That's what City of Vaughan told me and they asked me to contact the developer for any change request). The developer is responsible for the trees planting and makes sure they all compile to the city by law. I planted two trees and moved one developer's planted tree for my landscaping. At the end, the developer's landscaper contacted me to relocate one of the trees I planted and the one they planted (and I moved). Luckily, they were flexible and we discussed to move the trees to the proper locations we both agree. Of course, I am sure this is YMMV ;)

By the way, I usually see the trees are planted on the lawn between sidewalk and the curb (for those lots with sidewalk). And I know they usually like to plant the tree aligning to the front door, which Chinese hates :lol: OP, you are lucky that your tree is not "perfectly" aligned to your front door ;)
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2014
3097 posts
468 upvotes
Oshawa, ON
free tree. complain.

OP your yard looks pretty bleak. You need more trees.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9046 posts
762 upvotes
eldeejay wrote: free tree. complain.

OP your yard looks pretty bleak. You need more trees.
I am assuming OP is a Chinese, and Chinese in general do not like the tree planted directly in front of the main entrance due to bad Feng Shui (Blocking the "Chi" into the house) ;)

Feng Shui about tree in front of a house
http://fengshui.about.com/od/goodorbadf ... i-Tips.htm

Feng Shui about what the house front door should be. In general, wide open frontage is great. However, all new lots are getting narrower and narrower :(
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/10_T ... ccess.html
Deal Addict
Apr 22, 2014
3097 posts
468 upvotes
Oshawa, ON
rdx wrote: I am assuming OP is a Chinese, and Chinese in general do not like the tree planted directly in front of the main entrance due to bad Feng Shui (Blocking the "Chi" into the house) ;)

Feng Shui about tree in front of a house
http://fengshui.about.com/od/goodorbadf ... i-Tips.htm

Feng Shui about what the house front door should be. In general, wide open frontage is great. However, all new lots are getting narrower and narrower :(
http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/10_T ... ccess.html
OP gonna have to go the OHRC then.
Deal Fanatic
Jun 7, 2005
9046 posts
762 upvotes
eldeejay wrote: OP gonna have to go the OHRC then.
Joking aside. There are actually lots of requests to City of Markham for changing the house number. Actually, house number has nothing to do with Feng Shui though. Chinese just don't like how number "4" sounds in Chinese --> Dead, and prefer number "8" overall :lol:

And if they can request the city to move the tree in front of the main entrance. Most of them will do ;)
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 27, 2009
7481 posts
4769 upvotes
Victoria, BC
BigDurian wrote: If you use geoottawa (http://maps.ottawa.ca/geoottawa/) and add 'property parcels' from the 'more layers' menu, you can then measure the distance from the property line to the curb. I'm not sure if it is 100% accurate, but it was for my house when I checked it against the survey.
Thanks for that link. Very interesting.
Deal Addict
Jan 28, 2014
3543 posts
718 upvotes
Toronto
Yes they can (well at least in Toronto). Guess how we know? I did ask how much of our property was owned by the City and was told that it varied - that the City would have to check.

The placement of the tree is somewhat ludicrous. We had a tree - not planted by us - so we had no choice but to have another. It is a good thing that we are the only people on the street not planning on installing an illegal parking pad because the position of the new tree would prevent that. I did call and ask - no choice - and when I questioned the placement of the tree was told that the new tree is never planted in the same location as the previous tree.

We are also responsible for watering the tree. Basically it is "our" tree when it comes to any damage or expense. It is the City's tree when expense is not an issue.

The OP might want to check out the Private Tree laws in his/her area as well.

It is frustrating I know. Personally if the City is concerned about the tree canopy after the loss of so many trees during the ice storms then it should just put a tree on every single lawn that does not have a tree.

I happen to like trees. However, there are situations that make the location of the tree - whether in the front or the back hazardous. It is one thing to require an arborist's report and a permit to remove an offending tree, it is another to have to plant X number of trees to replace the one that you need cut down.
Deal Addict
Dec 29, 2005
1175 posts
63 upvotes
Mississauga
Get a bylaw officer/supervisor to come by and measure to ensure the tree is planted within the location. My tree was in bad shaped, I called the city to replace it, they would.. So, I told them I would do it myself or I will just pull it out... Supervisor came by along with a measuring tape... I was told the tree should have been planted over a little bit, now the tree is on your property, you can do whatever you like... Gone is that tree.. LOL..

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