How does my organization become eligible to hold a conservation covenant on a particular parcel of land?

Individuals and non-government organizations are able to register a covenant on private lands. Anyone interested in registering and holding...

Note: Page updated to include instructions for Web Filing

Content for this page has been updated to include instructions for Web Filing of applications to the Surveyor General. Background information on Web Filing is available here. Technical instructions for Web Filing have been added to myLTSA’s Surveyor General Practice Guide.

The PDF versions of Surveyor General forms are now retired. Land surveyors must use the Web Filing versions of these forms moving forward. Web Filing forms can be accessed through the Web Filing menu option in myLTSA.

Section 219, Land Title Act

  • In accordance with section 219 of the Land Title Actcertain bodies including provincial and local governments have the ability to hold covenants. Section 219 (3) (c) allows organizations not listed in statute and, in certain circumstances, individuals, to become designated to hold covenants. The Minister responsible for the Land Title Act has delegated to the Surveyor General the authority to designate bodies to hold covenants.
  • In order to receive a designation to hold a covenant, a proponent needs to make an application to the Surveyor General through myLTSA.
  • Most applicants will only qualify for an individual designation relating to a specific parcel or parcels of land. However, the Surveyor General may permit an applicant to hold a general designation for a particular area if the Surveyor General is satisfied that:
    • The applicant has an ongoing operational need to enter into future covenants in the particular area; and
    • The applicant has sufficient operational presence in the particular area.
  • In the application, the proponent must provide certain information including an explanation of why they require the ability to hold a covenant and describe the lands affected by their proposed covenant. The application form describes the information that needs to be provided.
  • Please submit applications through myLTSA using the Web Filing Surveyor General Application and Plan Submission form and setting the Application or Plan Type dropdown list to “Covenant Designation Application”. The Surveyor General Practice Guide contains instructions for Web Filing.
  •  In Web Filing, Checklists for application packages are integrated into the Web Filing process and are entered online. Please refer to the PDF icon example checklist for an Authority to Hold Covenants application. 

Covenants for Conservation Purposes, Section 219, Land Title Act

  • A conservation covenant is a voluntary agreement to conserve land or protect features relating to it. It is an agreement between a private land owner and a designated individual or organization registered on the land title and is legally binding on the future owners of the property. A covenant may include provisions that restrict the use of, or require that improvements be maintained on the property for the protection of natural, historical, cultural, architectural, environmental, heritage, scientific, wildlife or plant-life values.
  • Section 219 covenants are an inexpensive alternative to Crown acquisitions and provide the public with the means to preserve land or its special attributes.

Highlights of Conservation Covenants

  • Individuals and non-government organizations are able to register a covenant on private lands.
  • Covenants can be created for specific purposes, such as protection, preservation or enhancement, and may be of a positive or negative nature.
  • Responsibility for enforcing non-government covenants cannot be turned over to the Crown without consent, thus ensuring the government won't acquire unwanted costs and obligations.
  • Administration and paperwork has been kept simple. All that is needed for registration at the Land Title Office is a statement of designation by the Surveyor General.
  • All existing covenants entered into under the Heritage Conservation Act are ensured of continuation under the amended Land Title Act.
  • The legislation clarifies the basis for evaluation of properties under the Assessment Act that are subject to a covenant under the amended Land Title Act.

Designations within Agricultural Land Reserve

  • The designate must obtain the written consent of the Agricultural Land Commission prior to registering a covenant affecting title to lands that lie within an Agricultural Land Reserve as designated under the Agricultural Land Commission Act.
  • The onus of proof, that lands to be encumbered by a covenant lie within an Agricultural Land Reserve, must be verified and attested to by the designate.