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Frequently Asked Questions

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE COMMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS SECTION ARE FOR INFORMATION PURPOSES ONLY AND DO NOT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE.


OWNING PROPERTY IN CANADA

1.

I am not a Canadian citizen, ie: am an American citizen, can I buy land in Ontario?

2.

Are there any unusual taxes or levies for a non-resident buyer?

3.

Who handles my closing?

4.

How much will my lawyer cost? What are the closing costs?

5.

Do non-residents pay a different rate of land transfer tax when purchasing real property in Ontario?

6.

Buying property in Canada. How do I go about doing it?

7.

What about selling my property that I own in Canada?

8.

What about residency issues?



PROPERTY RIGHTS, HISTORICAL CONTEXT

9.

What do you mean when you talk about a shoreline reservation?

10.

What is the difference between mineral rights and surface rights?

11.

What are mining rights?

12.

What are surface rights?

13.

What does it mean when you say “all timber rights are reserved to the Crown”?

14.

What does it mean when you say “ timber rights are included”?

15.

What does it mean when you say “all pines are reserved to the Crown”?

16.

What does it mean when you say “all pine rights are included ”?

17.

What does it mean when you say “all mineral rights are reserved ”?

18.

What does it mean when you say “all mining rights are included”?



ENTERING CANADA

19.

I have heard of something called a “CANPASS”, what is it?

20.

What about bringing children into Canada?

21.

Can I bring firearms into Canada?

22.

What about entering into Canada. What do I have to know?






OWNING PROEPRTY IN CANADA

Q.

I am not a Canadian citizen, ie: am an American citizen, can I buy land in Ontario?

A.

Yes you can. You are treated just like a resident buyer. The bottom line is that buying real estate in Canada is very easy.

Q.

Are there any unusual taxes or levies for a non-resident buyer?

A.

No. Sometimes if the property is being sold by a company or by a person who is in the business of buying and selling land, a Goods and Services Tax (GST) of seven (7) percent of the purchase price is applicable. This tax is collected by the lawyer and remitted to the Canadian Government. If applicable, this tax is paid by the buyer, whether they are Canadian citizens or not.

Q.

Who handles my closing?

A.

In Canada, closings are done by Canadian lawyers, the buyer has a lawyer and the seller has a lawyer. You should get a lawyer from the jurisdiction you are buying in.

Q.

How much will my lawyer cost? What are the closing costs?

A.

Closing costs are made up of three costs
1: Land Transfer Tax (LTT): This is collected by the lawyer and remitted to the Provincial Government. For calculating this tax, the purchase price is converted to Canadian Dollars. The formula for this tax is $5 per thousand for the first $55,000
$10 per thousand for the next $145,000
$15 per thousand on any amount over $250,000

example:

for a purchase price of $50,000, the LTT would be $200 Cdn..
For a purchase price of $80,000, the LTT would be $525 Cdn.

2: Disbursements: This would include, long distance call, courier costs, title searches photo copies, stamps, seals etc. Typically these costs average in the $250 to $300 Cdn range.

3: Legal Fees: This fee would be what the lawyer actually charges you for his time to handle your transaction. This fee would be what you negotiate with the lawyer. It is a good idea to check with 2 or 3 lawyers as some are more negotiable than others. They all have to do the same work and guarantee title for you. His job is to ensure that you are actually buying the property you think you are.

He reviews the Title Search on the property with you, explains the terminology and ensures that you have clear title to the property. Typical costs would range from $700 to $1,500 depending on the amount of work required.

Q.

Do non-residents pay a different rate of land transfer tax when purchasing real property in Ontario?

A.

No. The residency of the transferee is not relevant to the amount of land transfer tax paid on the purchase of an interest in land in Ontario. A non-resident pays land transfer tax at the same rates as a resident. Prior to May 1997, the Land Transfer Tax Act required that non-residents pay a higher rate of land transfer tax on certain transactions, however, this part of the Act has since been removed.

Q.

Buying property in Canada. How do I go about doing it?

A.

Once you have found your property, an offer is made and once accepted, a deposit is payable. When buying a property in Canada, an offer must be made in writing so that all aspects of the transaction are clearly outlined within the offer. Once you (the buyer) have signed the document, it becomes legally binding. If you withdraw from the offer at this stage, you may lose your deposit and may also be sued. Make sure that every item staying in the property, eg. carpets, fixtures and appliances, is written on the offer as 'chattels included'. Your realtor should also insert two clauses stating that the offer will only proceed subject to building inspection and that you as the buyer are able to meet your financial obligations. Once your offer is complete it will be presented to the seller and negotiations are made. This may include changes in price, completion date and chattels. The changes are initialled by the seller and returned to you (the buyer) for your initials. The resulting Agreement of Purchase and Sale will state the purchase price and the deposit. The deposit is placed in a trust account and is credited towards the purchase price once the offer has been accepted by both the seller and the buyer and the transaction is complete.

Q.

What about selling my property that I own in Canada?

A.

When a non-resident sells Canadian real estate, he/she is required to pay the appropriate amount of taxes on any capital gain. The normal Canadian tax rates will be applied to 50% of the gain. However, a non-resident is required to pay an estimate of the tax before the sale, an amount equal to 25% of the gain. This amount is to be retained by the seller's lawyer until such time as a clearance certificate is received from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) in connection with the sale of the property. Upon payment, the CRA will issue a clearance certificate to the seller, but not until there has been a contract of purchase and sale with all subjects (conditions) removed. The wait for the certificate is usually 6-8 weeks. The non-resident seller should file a Canadian income tax return for the year in which the sale occurs and should expect to receive a refund of a portion of the taxes paid.

Many countries, such as the U.S., have tax treaties with Canada that prevent you from being taxed in both Canada and your home country. It is advisable to contact a tax accountant in your country for more information.

Q.

What about residency issues?

A.

If you stay in Canada for six months or less each year, the government considers you a tourist or non-resident. (Americans don’t need a visa to enter the country. ) That means that you can do just about anything - open a bank account, buy land, a car. Purchase stocks or bonds - except vote.

Americans who live in Canada for more than half the year but who don’t want to apply for working authorization simply leave Canada every six months. Each time they return, the six month “tourist” period begins again. There’s no limit on the number of times you can go back and forth across the border. For more detailed information contact Canada Customs and Immigration.



PROPERTY RIGHTS, HISTORICAL CONTEXT
The ownership of surface rights and mining rights varies from one parcel of land to the next across Ontario. The Crown (Canada) has created land title since the early days when Ontario was an English colony. There have been a number of different practices spanning over 300 years of land settlement. The practice of the Crown in England, for example, was to reserve to the King or Queen the precious metals of gold and silver in the grants of land termed “Patents.”

In 1913, the province amended its Public Lands Act so that any title granted by the Crown before the amendment included mineral rights ownership. Any parcels of land granted by the Crown after May 6, 1913, may or may not include the mining rights depending on how the title is worded. Ontario’s current Public Lands Act authorizes the Minister of Natural Resources to sell or lease land. Today the province’s policy is to reserve mining rights to the Crown in the majority of land grants.

Q.

What do you mean when you talk about a shoreline reservation?

A.

All waterfront property in Northern Ontario has a standard 66 foot shoreline reservation, unless otherwise transferred to the Deed. This reservation can be as deep as 200 feet on some properties. This part of the property is owned and controlled by the Ministry of Natural Resources. No permanent development or shoreline development is allowed on this reservation. In most cases the shoreline reservation may be purchased from the Ministry of Natural Resources.

Q.

What is the difference between mineral rights and surface rights?

A.

There are parcels of land in Ontario where landowners may own the surface rights but do not own the mineral rights in, on or below their land. The Ontario Mining Act provides a statutory right to stake mining claims on Crown mineral rights and to conduct assessment work on the mining claims even if the surface rights are privately owned.

Section 78 of the Mining Act requires that the holder of a mining claim notify the surface rights owner of their intention to perform assessment work on that claim. This notice is only given once, prior to the commencement of assessment work.

The Mining Act also provides for a process of compensation if there is damage to the property of the surface rights holder. Should there be any damage to surface rights, the Mining and Lands Commissioner may award compensation. There have been approximately fourteen applications filed with the Commissioner on compensation issues over the last ten years.

Section 32 of the Mining Act prohibits prospecting and staking on that part of a lot where there is a dwelling, cemetery, public building, garden, orchard or crops that may be damaged. Prospecting and staking can only occur in these areas with the consent of the surface rights holder or by order of the Provincial Mining Recorder or Commissioner. If consent is not given it may mean that the mining claim is invalid or that parts of the mining claim may be excluded.

Q.

What are mining rights?

A.

Put simply, mining rights are the rights to the minerals located in, on or under the land.

Q.

What are surface rights?

A.

Surface rights refer to any right of land that is not mining rights..You are the Deeded property owner and have the legal right to walk & enjoy the surface of the property. You can build or construct a dwelling on the surface of the property.

Q.

What does it mean when you say “all timber rights are reserved to the Crown”?

A.

Timber rights reserved means that all the timber (trees) standing on the property do not belong with the property. These trees are reserved to the Provincial Government. or to an individual. This includes all tree species except Pine trees. Although the Government owns the trees they do require the permission of the property owner to harvest those trees. If the property owner wishes to harvest the trees on the parcel, the owner must call the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources District Office for further details.. A stumpage fee is owed to the Ministry of Natural Resources when harvested.

Q.

What does it mean when you say “ timber rights are included”?

A.

You, the property owner, own the trees except the Pine.

Q.

What does it mean when you say “all pines are reserved to the Crown”?

A.

All Pine trees standing on the property are owned by the Provincial Government. The property owner does not own these trees. To harvest Pine trees you must contact the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. The Pine rights can be purchased from the Government.

Q.

What does it mean when you say “all pine rights are included ”?

A.

You, the property owner, own the Pine trees.

Q.

What does it mean when you say “all mineral rights are reserved ”?

A.

The minerals above or below the surface are reserved to the Government, Mining Company, Prospector or a private individual.

This includes all precious metals, ores, sand & gravel. When a Mining Company, Prospector or other individual own the mineral rights, they do not need the owners permission to go on the property and do exploration work. The Mining Company, Prospector or other individual only need to inform you in writing, the day before, of their intent to perform work.

Owning the timber rights on the property, when the mineral rights are reserved, is a very large plus for the property owner.

The majority of prospectors and mining companies are very good to work with, and between the owner and themselves, will normally work out a fair compensation package for any exploration work that will be performed.

All private properties that were patent under the Private Lands Act prior to 1913, have the mineral rights included in the property.

For more information (and there is much more), please call the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines. 1-705-670-5742 or 1-888-41-9845

Q.

What does it mean when you say “all mining rights are included”?

A.

You , the property owner, own the minerals above & below the surface.

ENTERING CANADA

Q.

I have heard of something called a “CANPASS”, what is it?

A.

If you frequently enter Canada from the U.S., you may qualify for one or more of our CANPASS programs designed to facilitate reporting to customs for pre-approved travellers. CANPASS benefits include:
automated kiosks for CANPASS-Air members at airports using the iris of your eye to identify you for expedited passage through Customs and Immigration;
telephone reporting privileges for CANPASS members travelling on private and corporate aircraft, boat, or snowmobile; and
extended hours of service for travellers arriving at designated remote customs offices (available at two sites only: Forest City and Fosterville, New Brunswick).

If you are interested in a CANPASS membership, you must complete an application form, undergo a background security check, and meet certain eligibility requirements. Application forms and information are available at customs offices, or by calling the Automated Customs Information Services line at:
1-800-461-9999 (toll free in Canada) or
(204) 983-3500 or (506) 636-5064 (long distance charges will apply).

Q.

What about bringing children into Canada?

A.

If you are travelling with children, you should carry identification for each child. Divorced parents who share custody of their children should carry copies of the legal custody documents. Adults who are not parents or guardians should have written permission from the parents or guardians to supervise the children. When travelling with a group of vehicles, parents or guardians should travel in the same vehicle as the children when arriving at the border.

Customs officers are looking for missing children and may ask questions about the children who are travelling with you

Q.

Can I bring firearms into Canada?

A.

Bringing a Firearm into Canada
You may bring a hunting rifle or shotgun and up to 200 rounds of ammunition into Ontario as a visitor, but you must be 18 years of age or older to do so and the firearms must be for hunting or competitions use. You must be at least 18 years of age to bring firearms into Canada.

You must either have a Canadian Possession and Acquisition License (PAL) or you have to register your firearms at the Canadian border. You are able to complete pre-registration forms before you cross the border which will make it easier and less time consuming. The permit fee is $50.00 (Cdn) per person for a temporary registration permit and the permit is valid for 12 months. Call toll-free 1-800-731-4000 to get a Firearms Declaration Form. Easiest way to obtain a Canadian PAL (possession and Acquisition License) prior to importing guns into Canada. If you have a PAL, you do not have to fill out registration forms and there is only a one time fee.

You cannot import prohibited firearms. Fully automatic weapons, all hand guns and guns of less than 66 cm (26 inches) in length are prohibited by law.

Restricted firearms such as pistols or revolvers may be temporarily imported if you have an Authorization to Transport (ATT) in advance from a Canadian Chief Firearms Officer.

Seasonal residents may import restricted firearms, but must have a Possession and Acquisition License or a valid Firearms Acquisition Certificate in addition to an ATT.

For more info on importing firearms into Canada:
Canadian Firearms Centre, 284 Wellington Centre. Ottawa, ON K1A 0H8.
Ph: 1-800-731-4000. canada.firearms@justice.gc.ca

Q.

What about entering into Canada. What do I have to know?

A.

The Canada / US border is reputed to be the friendliest border in the world. Here are some tips to help make your crossing quick and easy:

Identification
US Citizens and legal residents of the United States do not need passports or visas to enter Canada as visitors. You should however carry some identification such as birth, voter's or naturalization certificate which shows your citizenship.

Children:
Canada Customs and Immigration officers are members of Child Find International. Anyone travelling with children not their own may be required to show written permission from the child's parent(s) and proper identification (birth certificate).

Other Countries:
Visitors from countries other than the US require a valid passport and in some cases a visitor's visa. Visas are issued by Canadian Immigration offices, embassies and consulates.

Making a Declaration
Canadian Customs officials will ask your place of residence (country and city) the purpose of your visit to Canada, how long you intend to stay, and if you have anything to declare. You may be asked specifically if you are bringing alcohol, tobacco, fruit, vegetables, animals or items made from animal by-products, firearms or personal protection devices into Canada.

Gifts up to $60 (Canadian funds) each in value are duty free provided they do not contain alcohol, tobacco or advertising material.

As long as you meet the age requirement set by the province where you enter Canada (19 in Ontario), you may import 1.5 litres of wine or 1.14 litres (40 ounces) of liquor OR 24 x 355 ml cans or bottles of beer or ale. Those over 18 years of age may bring 200 cigarettes, 50 cigars, 200 grams of manufactured tobacco and 200 tobacco sticks.

Pets
Dogs and cats accompanying their owners from the U.S. must have current (within 36 months) rabies vaccination certificates. Owners from other countries who wish to bring their pets should contact the nearest Canadian consulate or embassy.

Boaters
Pleasure craft may enter Canada by trailer or under their own power and stay for a period of up to 12 months. The required Entry Permit is obtainable from Customs at port-of-entry. All boats powered by motors 10 HP or over must be licensed and the license number clearly indicated on the bow of the vessel. Boat licenses from outside Ontario are acceptable.

Criminal records
Individuals with criminal records wishing to enter Canada can apply for a waiver. This should be done 3 - 4 weeks in advance of the intended visit. It should be noted that Driving Under the Influence convictions are considered a criminal offense in Canada. Individuals with criminal records without waivers can be refused entry. Contact the nearest port of entry Canada Immigration office for more information.

YOUR DOLLAR GOES FURTHER
US dollars and several foreign currencies enjoy a premium rate of exchange in Canada.

Goods and Services Tax (GST)
As a visitor to Canada you can claim a refund of 7% on every dollar spent while in the country on accommodation and most goods you take home.


APEX Realty Services Ltd., Brokerage
391 OLIVER ROAD,
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Canada


Phone (807) 683-9871 and ask for:


Elio Scocchia, Broker
Ph: 807.624.7977
elio@recreationland.net


Steve James, Sales Representative
Ph: 807.626.6775
steve_james@shaw.ca


© 2002 - 2017 APEX Realty Services Ltd., Brokerage All rights reserved.
"Information on properties has been gained from our various resources including MPAC, Geowarehouse, Province of Ontario Mapping on-line, various specialized real estate mapping sources, Google Earth and other mapping software. We also have in-house software mapping information. This includes fish species, lake sizes, hunting information, access and local amenities. While we strive to relate factual information and illustrate property boundaries to our prospective buyers, this information is provided to the best of our knowledge and ability and may be subject to verification or legal survey. Our Web Site descriptions are solely provided or information purposes only"

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