Real Estate Services - Lands: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I purchase a government property?  
  2. How does the Government lease space?  
  3. How can I determine who owns a particular piece of land?  
  4. What responsibility does IO have for Hydro Corridors?


Q 1. How do I purchase a government property?

When Infrastructure Ontario (IO) declares publicly-owned assets surplus, it's done in an open and competitive manner to ensure fairness and the best price for taxpayers.

Although many properties may appear vacant and/or saleable, this is not necessarily the case. The property in question may be in-use for the delivery of government programs and services and as a result will not be listed for sale. Infrastructure Ontario is continually reviewing its portfolio to consider rationalization or sale of unused or underutilized assets to generate revenue and obtain savings.

Any property within the Infrastructure Ontario portfolio that is no longer required for the delivery of government programs or services are circulated to provincial, federal and municipal levels of government, government agencies, and not-for-profit entities, to determine interest in acquiring the property for continued public use. If any of these bodies express an interest in the property, the property may be sold directly to them at market value without exposing it to the open market.

If a property is no longer required by the province and no other government bodies express an interest in acquiring it, the property may go to the open market. IO follows a disposition process that includes circulation and due diligence (such as a Class Environmental Assessment, surveys and appraisals). This process could take at least a year to complete. Once this due diligence has been completed, and if the circulation has received no expressed government, agency or not-for-profit interest in the property, it would normally be IO’s process to engage a broker and put the site up for sale to the public at fair market value.

Search properties available for sale to the public.

Q 2. How does the Government lease space?

When space is required for government programs, IO undertakes a competitive process to achieve value for money for taxpayers. A cost/benefit analysis of possible sites is done, usually through a real estate broker, and accommodation is normally obtained through a negotiated lease.

Q 3. How can I determine who owns a particular piece of land?

Please contact your local Land Registry Office.

Q 4. What responsibility does IO have with Hydro Corridors?

The first priority for these lands is the safe, reliable transmission of electricity but the government believes the lands can benefit the people of Ontario in other ways. Hydro transmission lands make great spaces for parks and trails, farming and road crossings as well as water and sewer pipelines – and these secondary uses don’t interfere with the transmission of electricity. The Ontario government has a plan to make sure these lands continue to be put to the best use possible.

It’s on this basis that the government evaluates secondary-use applications for these lands. The rent for public and private uses will generally be calculated at market value.

Learn more about the management of Hydro Corridor Lands and the Provincial Secondary Land Use Program.