Occasionally, we get a request to search for ownership of real property throughout Canada.
The provinces have been granted power over “property and civil rights in the province” in Section 92(13) of The Constitution Act, 1867. As the provinces control the land registry systems, the type of searches available, and their costs, varies by province.
The four maritime provinces (PEI, NB, NS, NL) can be searched by name.
Searching by name in Quebec is not permitted.
In Ontario, searching by name must be done by searching each land registry office. The Province of Ontario has 54 Land Registry offices. First, we search by name to locate possible properties, then we do the sub-search of each property to get the abstract of the title.
In Manitoba, about 85% of the titles are in the system. They can be searched by name, then we have to order documents.
In Saskatchewan, we can search by name. Document costs apply if we find a property.
Searching by name is not possible in Alberta.
We can search in British Columbia by name. There may be additional document costs if we find a property.