Property Falling into the Water


I remember looking at a cottage vacation property that was experiencing a number of issues. The shoreline was eroding fairly quickly and we didn’t want to buy a cottage that was going to fall into a lake one day.

That property sold again recently (since TRESA came into effect on 1 December 2023) and there wasn’t a single disclosure in the listing just a note in the realtor remarks saying that any questions regarding the coastline should be sent to the overseeing conservation authority.

I’m just surprised and confused as to why someone would purchase something for hundreds of thousands of dollars if it’s going to fall off a cliff – there’s no bank out there that would loan on it right?


It’s not clear that any disclosures whatsoever were required. You say that you saw this years ago. That certainly sounds like it was quite visible (being a patent defect at best). The new TRESA regulations would have no application.

Also, where’s the property line? What are the setbacks? Are there riparian rights? Where is the 66 ft road allowance? Did you see a survey?

It sounds like all of this “falling off a cliff” might actually be taking place out in the lake, not on the property itself.

Also, remember we start where the lake ends (that’s the first sign of permanent vegetation), then we go back 66 ft (that’s the unopened road allowance) to the point of commencement of the property. So, it’s very interesting that for most “cottage” purchases, the most valuable piece of property is actually the place where you just described. Often, it’s technically “out in the lake”, or often several hundred feet from the actual property being sold, yet it’s still very relevant. All the risks here transfer to the ‘buy side”.

The land may be fine, perhaps there are still acres and acres. The value of the remaining property would determine whether a Schedule “A” bank would lend on it.

Possibly, this is the answer:

Brian Madigan LL.B., Broker

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