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Parcel Register

Digging Deeper: Ontario Parcel Register* the Key to Knowing More

By October 4, 2021November 20th, 2023No Comments

All kinds of things can come up when working on a deal. Perhaps it is something anticipated so you know going in that the deal will require more in-depth investigation or perhaps a non-disclosure or omission caused an unanticipated problem to arise. Whatever the case may be, when this happens it can delay closings and cause challenges for the buyer and/or seller. That is why it is critical that you are armed with the necessary tools to be able to dig deeper when a property warrants further investigation.

The Ontario Parcel Register* (available in the GeoWarehouse Store) is the first step, as we discussed in an earlier blog, because it will validate information like: homeowner ownership information, type of ownership and provide a history of registered changes, charges, discharges, registrations, transfers and more.

Two additional, and very powerful documents that complement the Ontario Parcel Register (and are available in the GeoWarehouse Store) are Instrument Images and Registered Plan Images. This blog will take a deeper dive into each and illustrate how they are helpful to you and how you can obtain them.

Instrument Images

Instrument Images are imagery of documents registered against a property’s title. Instrument Images include charges, transfer documents, discharges, liens and more.

When reviewing an Ontario Parcel Register* you can see the basic registration information as it relates to a registration. Information like registration type, date, registration number, registrant and an amount if it relates to a transfer, mortgage, lien, etc.,

Instrument Images are of huge value because they enable you to see more than the basic information contained in the Ontario Parcel Register*. When reviewing an Ontario Parcel Register*, if there is a registered item that you want to investigate further you can simply record the registration number and proceed to purchase the Instrument Image.

Putting this into practice:

  • If you are working on a deal and an undisclosed private mortgage is revealed on the Parcel Register*, you may need to contact the private mortgage lender in which case the Instrument Image will provide all the information for the lawyer who registered the mortgage and often the mortgagee as well.

Obtaining an Instrument Image is easy. Click here for step by step instructions including screenshots that walk you through how to purchase an Instrument Image in the GeoWarehouse Store or click here to watch the video.

Registered Plans

Registered plans enable real estate sales professionals to be able to validate lot dimensions for properties in the Ontario land registry system when preparing a listing or when investigating a property. The two most common types of registered plans are Plan of Sub-division and Reference Plan.

  • Plan of Sub-division: This registered plan provides you with the exact surveyed boundaries and dimensions of lots where houses and buildings will be built including the location, width and names of streets, as well as the sites of any schools and parks.
  • Reference Plan: This deposited plan provides a visual representation of a property and depicts property boundaries, location, dimensions and other pertinent title-related information. It is a survey plan that has been deposited with the land registry system for the purpose of subdividing land or otherwise making a material change to what is registered on title for a property.

The main differences between Plan of Sub-division and a Reference Plan are:

  • A registered plan of a subdivision creates new and separate parcels of land that can be legally used for the sale of lots
  • Reference Plans are typically used when subdividing into four lots or fewer whereas a Plan of Subdivision is used for larger subdivisions of land.

For step-by-step instructions including screenshots about how to obtain a Registered Plan Image in the GeoWarehouse Store, click here or click here to watch the video.

Leveraging the information that can be learned through Parcel Registers*, Instrument Images and Registered Plan Images make you more effective, efficient and leads to higher quality services for your clients. Let’s get started.

For more information about GeoWarehouse, the GeoWarehouse Store, parcel registers, instrument images and/or registered plan images, please visit

*An official product of the Ontario government pursuant to provincial land registration statutes.