The utility right-of-way (URW) is where the City locates some of its services such as water, wastewater and stormwater lines. The City may also allow private utility companies to locate their services in these URWs (examples include power, gas, telephone and cable).
Encroachments are most commonly found on utility right-of-ways. This may be due to the fact that URWs are located on private property and many property owners are unaware they have a URW, with its associated restrictions registered on title against their property. Encroachments on URWs can cause utility conflicts, safety concerns and limit accessibility to services.
Section 69 of the Land Titles Act provides for an interest in land known as a utility right-of-way. URWs are most commonly granted where there is a need for a continuous right-of-way under many parcels of land. Section 69 also contains a statutory provision that allows the granting of specified rights to specified entities (this includes municipalities).
Utility right-of-way plans need documents (agreements) to be registered on the affected land parcels to have an effect. This document must detail what the URW will be used for. This document must also reference the URW plan so it can be determined what portions of the parcel are affected by the URW. Property owners can get copies of these documents from any Land Titles Office.
The City acts as the main interest holder in almost all URWs. In certain cases, under the terms of the URW agreement, the City is allowed to assign their rights to private utility companies.
Structures Placed Over Underground Services
Structures Placed Under Overhead Services
Structures Placed Over Drainage URWs
Last edited: November 13, 2019