Understanding Real Estate In Ontario

Law Blog

Ontario, Canada is one of the most desirable places to live in the country, mainly due to its current economic boom and the fact that it is Canada's capital city. If you're interested in buying or selling real estate in Ontario, it's important to understand the laws there. Ontario has one of the most complex land registration systems in the world, so it's essential to know all the facts before making a real estate decision.

The Benefits of Ontario

If you are considering Ontario, there are many things that can make it desirable for a potential home buyer. Here are some of the reasons people flock to this city:

  • Most title transfers in Ontario are now done electronically, making the process much more simple and quick.
  • There is now title insurance available, and there are several different insurance providers to choose from. This insurance is designed to help protect the title holder from fraud.
  • Because it is such a large city, there are a good number of competent and professional real estate agents, home inspection companies, and real estate lawyers to choose from to help ensure you're getting the best deal for your money.
  • Mortgage rates in Ontario are seeing competitive lows, and the current housing prices are reasonable and affordable for most home buyers.
  • A program called Tarion is available to those buying a home in Ontario. This program is designed to protect buyers from dangerous business practices and gives homeowners home warranties that can help keep them protected.
  • Mortgage insurance is also available to those who need assistance purchasing a home. Since not everyone can afford a substantial down payment, these programs can help people qualify for a mortgage they may not otherwise be able to obtain.

Laws to be Aware of

Since Ontario real estate laws may differ from other provinces, one should be aware of the current laws there. Here are some of the laws buyers and sellers should know about:

  • Caveat Emptor, or "let the buyer beware," is still an active law in Ontario. This means it is up to the buyer of a home to ensure it has been properly inspected and up to standard before making a home purchase. There is usually not much legal recourse if a buyer is unhappy with a home after purchase.
  • An LTT, or Land Transfer Tax is owed by the buyer in order to register the sale and transfer of land. This tax is a percentage of the total home price, and can vary depending on a number of factors. 
  • All agreements pertaining to land or real estate in Ontario must be done in writing as well as signed and witnessed in order for it to be considered legally binding.


2 January 2015