Fence-Viewers

Application of the Line Fences Act:

The Line Fences Act is one of Ontario’s most historic pieces of legislation that provides a local method of arbitrating disputes between neighbouring property owners who are unable to reach an agreement on the type of fence to be erected, the sharing of the costs of the fence, or both of these issues.

The Act applies in two situations:

  • Where no fence currently exists on the boundary line between properties, and an owner wants a new fence to be constructed to mark the boundary; or
  • Where a line fence already exists, and an owner believes that it needs to be repaired or reconstructed.

The Act does not apply in situations where:

  • An owner has already constructed the fence, or has reconstructed or repaired the fence, and then wishes to use this process to obtain part of the costs for the completed work; or
  • There is a dispute about the location of the fence, where one or more owners do not believe it is on the lot line. Boundary disputes must be resolved by the property owners, as municipalities and their fence-viewers have no jurisdiction in this matter.

Citizens are encouraged to attempt to resolve the dispute with their neighbours prior to contacting the City. If the dispute cannot be resolved between neighbours, a property owner may apply to the Office of the City Clerk for the services of fence-viewers who will visit the property and issue a decision called an “award”.

The fence-viewers may determine how the cost of construction or repair/reconstruction of a fence will be shared between neighbouring property owners. The award may also include a description of the fence to be built and the materials to be used.

The services of the fence-viewers require the following fees, payable to the City of Greater Sudbury:

  • Application fee: $80.00
  • Viewing fee: $225.00
  • Appeals or each subsequent stage - $81.00

The Line Fences Act provides an appeal procedure if property owners do not agree with the fence-viewers’ award. The appeal must be filed within 15 days of receiving a copy of the award.

  • Appeal fee: $322.00, payable to the Minister of Finance

Please note this fee is effective January 1, 2016 and is updated annually based on the Consumer Price Index for Ontario.

For more information, please contact:

Christine Hodgins

Legislative Compliance Coordinator,

Office of the City Clerk,

Tom Davies Square,

200 Brady Street,

Sudbury, ON  P3A 5P3.

Telephone: 705-674-4455, ext. 2016

Email: christine.hodgins@greatersudbury.ca

An easy-to-read Guide to the Line Fences Act (July 2014) is available online.