The Certificate of Location: Here’s What You Need To Know

by Team Broady on Tuesday, June 22, 2021
One of the most essential documents you'll need is an up-to-date Certificate of Location

Are you thinking about selling your home? One of the most essential documents you'll need is an up-to-date Certificate of Location (also known as a COL). 

The Land Surveyors Act, which is under provincial jurisdiction, defines a certificate of location as: 

"A document consisting of a report and a plan, stating the land surveyor's opinion on the current situation and state of immovable property in relation to ownership titles, the cadastre and the laws, regulations and by-laws which may affect it."

A COL can only be issued by a qualified land surveyor who is recognized by the “Ordre Des Arpenteurs-Géomètres du Québec”. 

A land surveyor will take all the measurements and make all the calculations necessary to verify the occupation and the boundaries of the immovable property, and situate them in relation to one another. The document can include the following details, among other important factors: 

(1) the graphic representation and the designation of the property 

(2) the metes and bounds 

(3) the dimensions and area of the property

 (4) the dimensions of the structures, buildings and dependencies and the marks of occupation relative to the boundaries of the property 

(5) the distance between the boundaries of the property, on the one hand, and the buildings, dependencies and structures, on the other hand, including sheds and swimming pools, with an indication that the measurements were taken from the foundations or the exterior facing

(6) proximity to bodies of water, including flood lines and flood zones 

(7) the existence of fences, hedges, retaining walls, etc. 

(8) the existence of servitudes, encroachments, and non-conformities

 (9) an approximate indication of true north by means of an arrow 

Even if you're only thinking about selling your home next year, we highly recommend you find your current Certificate of Location and review it with your real estate broker or notary. When selling a residential property in Quebec, the seller must usually provide the Buyer with an up-to-date COL that shows the property in its current state. Therefore, any physical characteristics of the property must be accurately represented. This includes driveways and walkways, fences, sheds, and swimming pools. It can also include the various regulatory changes made by the municipality to zoning bylaws. It also specifies any cadastral reform, even if the only difference is the lot number. What’s more, most notaries will advise buyers not to sign a deed of sale until they have reviewed and declared themselves satisfied with an up-to-date certificate. 

In the past, a new COL used to take about 4 to 6 six weeks to prepare. However, due to the pandemic and the current volume of sales, there's a shortage of available land surveyors in Quebec, causing delays of 4 to 6 months! This can cause problems if you need to move quickly. 

So if you're thinking about selling your home, it's vital to take these delays into account. The cost of a new COL is approximately $1,300 for a single-family, non-waterfront home in the West Island. The process of ordering the document, ensuring that it’s ready on time, and paying the land surveyor, are usually the responsibility of the seller. 

If you have any questions about your home's certificate of location, need help ordering a new one, or would like Team Broady to review your existing COL, don't hesitate to schedule your appointment at or call us at 514-613-2988. We're always happy to help.