I saw this on the Ontario Landowners Association today – Land Registry Offices Closing to the Public by Shirley Dolan: https://ontariolandowners.ca/news/land-registry-offices-closing-to-the-public-by-shirley-dolan/. Not too long an article, but here’s the basics. Shirley Dolan gives more details in her article.
Despite the title, this may be a good news story. The fact is that all 54 Land Registry Offices (LRO)in Ontario are closing their in-person counter services to the public effective Tuesday, October 13th, right after the Thanksgiving long weekend. The last day you can visit a Land Registry Office in person is October 9th. How will we be able to do a title search now, you ask? Here’s the good news: according to the Ontario government, all documents, including those historical records that were stored on microfilm, are available online.
The Ontario Landowners Association recommends doing a title search for your property back to the Crown Patent, as well as obtaining a registered copy of your Patent. When the closure of the LROs was announced, there was concern that the old records might not be available.
In fact, for those who use a computer, and that’s most of us today, it has never been easier to look up the provenance of your property from the Crown Grant to the present. According to the Ontario government, 99 percent of all land registration records have been digitized and are available through Ontario’s OnLand system.
We have genealogy associations such as APOLROD (Association for the Preservation of Ontario Land Registry Office Documents) to thank for their advocacy “to preserve land records over the past twenty years. APOLROD was the organization created to preserve the original Land Abstract books from destruction at the beginning of this century”.