The sale of land for tax arrears by public tender is governed by the Municipal Act, 2001,
S.O. 2001, c.25, including Ontario Regulation 181/03. A municipality may recover
unpaid property taxes through the sale of a property. By the time a property is eligible
for tax sale, the property taxes are at least in their fourth year of arrears.
Tax sales are not typical real estate transactions. The City is only interested in
recovering unpaid taxes and is not obligated to obtain fair market value. Prior to
considering participating in a tax sale, it is recommended that you seek independent
legal advice from a lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario and in good standing with
the Law Society of Upper Canada.
The City is not aware of the condition of a property being advertised for sale nor does the
City make any representation as to its condition. The City does not provide a survey or
reference plan for any parcel of land subject to a tax sale.
The City is not required to provide vacant possession of any properties which may be
occupied and accordingly, the purchaser should contact their lawyer.
The onus is on the tenderer to conduct his/her own inquiries into the characteristics and
conditions of the property including zoning, access, work orders, water/hydro and other
arrears, building restriction, title problems, liens, etc., each of which may survive the
tax sale. The City makes no representations whatsoever as to the quality and/or size of the
land being purchased.
Properties sold through the tax sale process are sold without warranty and are sold as
The City does not provide access to properties that are subject to a tax sale. The
City does not have a key to the property and is not in a position to provide one to the
The City does not provide legal advice in respect of tax sales or any other matters.
Tax sales are conducted through a public tender process. Tenders must be submitted in
a sealed envelope prior to the specified time using prescribed Form 7, Tender to Purchase as
per the Municipal Act, 2001. The tender must include a deposit of at least 20% of
the tendered amount in the form of a money order, bank draft, or cheque certified by a bank or
Tenders are opened in a public forum on the date and time advertised. Following the
opening, the City reviews all tenders for legislative compliance and determines the two highest
qualified tenderers. Rejected tenders are returned by registered mail to the tenderer
along with their deposit and reason for rejection.
The City will notify the highest tenderer of the balance to be paid in order for the
tenderer to be declared the successful purchaser. The balance due must be paid in full
within 14 calendar days of the mailing date of the notice. Upon receiving notification,
the highest tenderer should immediately retain a lawyer licensed to practice in Ontario and in
good standing with the Law Society of Upper Canada. If the balance is not paid within the
14 days, the tenderers deposit is forfeited and the property is offered for sale in the
same manner to the second highest qualified tenderer.
If there is no successful tenderer, the lands may vest to the City.
The City reserves the right to withdraw any property from the tax sale process at any time
prior to registration of a tax deed without notice.