By Chad Ingram
As of Oct. 13, the public service counter at the Minden land registry office, along with those at the other 52 land registry offices throughout Ontario will close, as the provincial government takes land registry activity digital.
The few documents that are not yet available digitally, will be available for viewing by appointment.
According to the provincial government, 87 per cent of land registry searches are conducted online, and 98 per cent of surveyors submit plans for pre-approval via email.
“Starting Oct. 13, 2020, in-person land registration services will be discontinued at all 53 land registry offices, and customers will be able to access land registry services online at www.OnLand.ca. OnLand allows users to search current and historical property records province-wide and to download and print from the comfort of their home or office,” reads an email from communications staff with the Ministry of Government and Consumer Services. “Already, 99 per cent of documents requested are available online through OnLand and Teraview. As of Oct, 13, documents not yet online will be uploaded upon request within 24 to 48 hours. If you need to view a record more urgently, please call your local LRO and work with the staff to make an appointment – they will continue to be there to assist you.”
Most of the physical documents will remain inside local land registry offices, and the province says the transition does not equate to job losses.
“All historic land registry records will remain in the local community at land registry offices except for some residual record types (e.g., mounted board plans) which are currently being digitized,” the email reads. “The ministry is working with the Archives of Ontario to review all record inventories and perform an appraisal of record types to ensure long-term preservation according to archival policies and procedures. By moving land registry office transactions online, we are not downsizing or cutting jobs at local offices. Land registry office employees will continue to provide critical verification and fulfilment work in back-office operations. Ontarians will still be able to connect with qualified and dedicated staff at land registry offices over the phone for questions about land registry services and urgent requests, and to access records not available online.”