Merger of Titles in Ontario


I understand that if someone purchases adjoining’ land/properties … that the 2 merge “as one” and would eventually need to be severed before any parcel can be sold.

My questions are regarding specifics around this.

For instance:

1)  I heard from another registrant that EVEN if the property is located diagonally across from each other (only touching via common corner post) that this holds true as well.  Is this really the case?  I can see side by side or front and back joining … but touching at a point??

2)  Also, if the 2 adjoining lots have different ownerships (but ONE common owner) does this still hold true?  I am told that it does … but that doesn’t make sense to me.  For instance, SMITH and JONES own 22 ANYSTREET … subsequently SMITH (without JONES) purchases 24 ANYSTREET (adjoining property) OR SMITH and JONES AND DOBSON PURCHASE it … does the addition or removal of an owner change the merging of the 2 lands?  I would be surprised if JONES would be subjected to severance process/costs if 22 ANYSTREET is to be sold.

3)  What if adjoining property is purchased in a Corporation (numbered business) opened by same owner?  Does that matter? Or is the Corporation viewed as a distinct identity and separate owner?


  1. Checkerboarding is not legal, it runs contrary to the provisions of the Planning Act,
  2. Different names will be sufficient to avoid merger. The only problem is identical names.
  3. No, this arrangement would avoid merger.

Also, merger doesn’t always occur, noted exceptions include:

  1. The whole of a lot on a registered plan of subdivision, so two side by side lots are fine,
  2. A parcel which has consent for severance,
  3. The remainder after the first parcel was severed.

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

Comments 18

  1. We own two side by side lots in Muskoka and we are in the midst of negotiations for a new mortgage with the TD Bank. They are claiming that the lots are merged yet they have separate titles and we pay taxes on both. MPAC tells us they are separate properties.
    These lots are part of a registered subdivision ( registered in 1972) and we believe that this is an exemption from the planning act.
    How do we prove this to the bank?

    1. Post

      What is the legal description for each of the two lots?

      If you are concerned about this website being “public”, then please email me at

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  2. If 2 rural adjoining lots are owned by one person can they be amalgamated into one parcel so you only have one tax bill

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      1. We have 2 adjoining lots which are held separately in title.Would an amalgamation of the 2 lots trigger an updated tax assessment and increase the property taxes we now pay? One lot has a house and one lot is vacant.

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  3. Good day sir. I have continually landed on your insightful threads. As such, thought to reach out to your knowledge base as as both a Realtor and LLB.

    I have executed a real estate deal , representing myself as a buyer while being the real-estate sales representative. The Seller, chose to list two separate properties in one real estate listing. Each property has its own PIN, MPAC, Survey, Structure of record, 911 Identifier, Driveway, Utilities Etc. All indicators of separate properties. The combined market value of this offering was very high. As such, I partnered with a Buyer Partner. I , via a separate agreement will take Property A and Buyer partner will convey Property B. Both properties appear to have merged on title requiring a technical severance. Recent changes in the planning act allow a purchaser to request a technical severance before closing with the Sellers consent. They properties do not seem to be on a “R” plan, as an exemption would apply to severance in my favour. Properties were surveyed lastly in 1969. Q: Are they in any way exempt from requiring technical severance ?

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      You should secure legal advice.
      If you do not have anyone, send me a note and I can provide some recommendations.

  4. Hello,
    I live in rural Yukon. What are the pros and cons of merging/ amalgamating two lots?
    They are side by side and we own both.
    One lot has our residence and the other a cabin.
    The lot with the cabin has few trees and receives lots of sun. We would like to install solar panels to power our residence on the adjacent lot.
    What are the pros and cons of merging the two lots?

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      The merger of lots in Ontario takes place rarely and often by accident. Then, it will require rectification.

      You will have to contact a lawyer practicing in the Yukon to receive a correct response.

  5. Will there be merger if title to one property is owned by one spouse and title to the adjoining property is owned as tenants is common e.g. 99% and 1% as opposed to joint tenancy?

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  6. Hello
    Is there a way to merge two lots (owned by the same owner) in a Registered Plan of Subdivision that is less than 8 years old? Are there any ways around it?

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  7. Mr. Madigan, a most excellent discussion piece and hats off to you.

    My parents own three residential lots side by side. One person each owns one of the outside lots, and joint tenants of the centre lot.

    I understand from other reading that recent Ontario Planning Act revisions (s.50(3)(a.1) and s.50(5)(a.2)) mean that abutting properties no longer merge on the death of a joint tenant. Is that your understanding, too?

    If I was to buy these three lots and own them solely, would they merge into one lot automatically? Is there anything I can do to prevent that?
    Thank you

    1. Post


      There are complications and numerous exemptions. It would be best to consult a lawyer and obtain advice in advance of the acquisitions.


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