Disposing of Files in Ontario

Industrial Trash Garbage Can with Lid For Sale at 1stDibs


When can I finally throw things out?

I have been in the real estate business for twenty years. What do you have to physically keep when it comes to “real estate stuff?”


Physically retain 100% of every file you think could result in a legal action. For everything else convey it into a PDF and file it in cyberspace etc.

The Statute of Limitations known as the Limitations Act in Ontario has a final or ultimate limit of 15 years. But, even that is not etched in stone. The period starts not when it happened but when it was discovered. If the victim is compromised in some way, and can’t discover the problem then the right to sue us extended for them. This is fair. This is great for hoarders but not for those who want to get rid of things.

A compromised adult plaintiff can still sue if they were injured in infancy.

In real estate, some limitations run as long as 60 years.

The current trend is two (2) years and then, dispose of things. But, unlike the previous six (6) year limitation the trigger is now “discovery” rather than the date of the “event”.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker


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