Sale of properties with unpaid taxes

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The Municipal Act, 2001, S.O. 2001

Sale of Land for Tax Arrears
By Public Tender
Municipal Act, 2001

Information Bulletin - Please read carefully

The Municipal Act provides important definitions including the following summaries:

“Cancellation Price” means an amount equal to all the tax arrears owing at any time in respect of land together with all current real property taxes owing, interest, penalties thereon, and all reasonable costs incurred by the City after the treasurer becomes entitled to register a tax arrears certificate under section 371.

“Tax Deed” is a tax deed as prescribed by Section 379 of the Act and includes the title conferred by the registration of the deed, that which is provided to the successful purchaser of the property after payment of the balance of the Purchase Price.

“Notice of Vesting” means a notice of vesting as prescribed by section 379 of the Act conferring title to the City where there has been no successful tender of a parcel of land and the sale has not been cancelled by the City Treasurer.

“Tax Arrears” means any real property taxes placed on or added to a tax roll that remain unpaid on January 1 in the year following that in which they were placed or added to the tax roll.

A Tax Sale of any property is subject to cancellation up to the time of the tender opening without any further notice.

The minimum bid is the Cancellation Price.

A separate tender must be provided for each property bid on and must be in the form provided (Form 7 Tender of Purchase). No substitutes can be accepted. There is a fee for each tender package requested.

The tender must be accompanied by a deposit of at least 20% of the tender/bid amount (NOT the Cancellation Price amount) by way of money order, bank draft, or certified cheque payable to the CITY OF OTTAWA.

The City is not obliged to provide a survey or reference plan for any parcel of land being sold under tax sale. The Assessment Maps, provided as a courtesy, hereto are not surveys and may be used for approximate location purposes only.

The City Treasurer is not obliged to inquire into the value of land prior to conducting a sale. Further, there is no obligation to obtain fair market value for the land or to ensure that land being sold under tax sale may obtain fair market value at the time of the sale or in the future.

Prior to submitting a tender, the onus is on the potential bidder to conduct his/her own inquiries into such matters as zoning, access, work orders, water/hydro and other arrears, building restriction, title problems and/or liens, which may survive the tax sale. The City makes no representations whatever as to the quality and/or quantity of the land being purchased.

The following departments/agencies may be in a position to provide assistance in respect to the tax sale property:

  • Zoning & Development Information:  3-1-1
  • Infrastructure Services Branch:  3-1-1
  • Compliance and Enforcement Section, Building Code Services:  3-1-1
  • geoOttawa: http://geoservices/GeoOttawa/
  • The Ottawa Carleton Land Registry Office (Ministry of Consumer & Commercial Relations) for the City of Ottawa is located at 161 Elgin Street, 4th Floor, Ottawa ON K2P 2K1 (tel – 613-239-1230).
  • The Ministry of the Environment & Energy is located at 2430 Don Reid Dr, Ottawa ON K1H 1E1 (tel – 613-521-3450 or 1-800-860-2195).
  • Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) – Regional Assessment Office is located at 1420 Blair Place, Suite 300 , Ottawa ON K1J 9L8 - E-Mail: (tel 1-866-296-6722).
  • Fire Department – Fire Prevention Division is located at 1445 Carling Avenue, Ottawa ON (tel – 613-798-8822).

Potential bidders are further advised that a lawyer should be retained in order to ensure that his/her interests are protected prior to the submission of a bid/tender.

The City does not conduct tours or provide access to properties being sold under tax sale.

The City does not provide legal opinions to potential bidders in respect of issues, which may arise in the context of a public sale.

If two bids of equal amount are tendered, then the person who submitted the earlier bid will be deemed to be the higher bidder.

The successful tender is the highest bidder who has submitted a properly completed tender and who makes payment within fourteen calendar days of being notified by mail of the balance of the amount tendered, the appropriate land transfer tax, and accumulated taxes to the City.

Land Transfer Tax is an amount payable to the Minister of Finance by certified cheque, cash or money order, which is calculated as follows:

  • Amounts up to and including $55,000.00 (0.5%)
  • Amounts exceeding $55,000.00 up to and including $250,000.00 (1.0%)
  • Amounts exceeding $250,000.00 (1.5%)
  • Amounts exceeding $400,000.00 where property contains one or
    two single-family residences (as defined by the Land Transfer Act) (2.0%)

Any questions in respect of Land Transfer Tax may be directed to the Registry Office

If the highest bidder does not submit the remaining funds as described, then the highest bidder’s deposit is forfeited and the land is offered in the same manner to the second highest bidder who then has fourteen calendar days from date of notification to remit the monies owing to the City. Failure by the second highest bidder to submit the remaining funds will also result in their deposit being forfeited to the City.

If there is no successful bidder, then the lands may vest in the City and the City may register a Notice of Vesting in favour of the City within one year from the date of the failed Tax Sale.

A Tax Deed, which is provided to the successful purchaser at the time when the balance of the Cancellation Price is paid, provides to the purchaser title to the land in “fee simple” subject only to:

  • Easements and restrictive covenants; and
  • Estates and interest of the Crown in Right of Canada or the Province of Ontario
    (e.g. Execution in favour of the Ministry of Finance); and
  • Adverse possession interests by abutting owners, if any.

The City is not required to provide vacant possession of any properties, which may be occupied, and accordingly, should the purchaser require vacant possession, a court application, at his or her cost may be required in order to obtain a Writ of Possession. Further the City does not have a key to the property and is not in a position to provide one to the purchaser. This is the responsibility of the purchaser.

Note: The City reserves the right to cancel any property from the tax sale up to the time of closing of the Tender, without any further notice or costs to the City.

Please ensure that the Tender Envelope and Tender Document (Form 7) are accurately and entirely completed including identifying the property that you are bidding on, your name and a phone number to reach you during business hours.

Note: If you have submitted a bid and the property has been cancelled from the sale, or you are not the successful bidder, you can only receive your bid documents and deposit with appropriate identification after the tenders are opened and the bids for the tax sale properties finalized. After this time you will be contacted about how your deposit and documents will be returned.

Last updated: March 29, 2016

Property tax sales

If property taxes remain unpaid for a specific period of time, the Municipal Act provides for the sale of the property. The City registers a Tax Arrears Certificate if taxes remain unpaid on vacant or improved land for three years prior to January 1 of any year. These time lines apply to both residential and non-residential classes of property.

A Tax Arrears Certificate indicates that the property will be sold if taxes, penalties, interest and reasonable costs incurred by the City are not paid within one year of registration of the certificate. Once a certificate has been registered, partial payments cannot be accepted, but a Council approved repayment schedule may be arranged with the owner prior to the expiry of the one-year period.

The City may advertise the property for sale for non-payment of taxes if the cancellation price is not paid within one year of registration of the certificate. Advertisements are generally published in the Ottawa Sun, Le Droit, for four consecutive weeks and the Ontario Gazette for one week. Using forms provided by Revenue Services, the bid plus a certified cheque for 20 per cent of the tendered amount must be submitted in a sealed envelope prior to the specified time. To be eligible, bids must be at least equal to the advertised minimum tender amount. The successful purchasers will be required to pay the amount tendered plus accumulated taxes, penalties and interest, HST if applicable and the relevant land transfer tax. 

From the day of notification to the highest bidder, this eligible bidder has 14 calendar days to complete the transaction. All tax properties are sold without warranty and are sold as is. Further information will be made available at the time of advertising of the Tax Sale properties.

Need more information?
Send us your request with your name, address, telephone number:

  • in writing at the City of Ottawa, Revenue Services, 100 Constellation Drive, 4th Floor East, Ottawa, ON, K2G 6J8
  • by fax at 613-580-2457 or
  • by e-mail at and we would be pleased to respond to your query as quickly as possible.

Sale of land by public tender

Sale of Land for Tax Arrears by Public Tender
Municipal Act, 2001 


The Corporation of the City of Ottawa

Tenders will be accepted if sealed in an envelope and clearly marked with the PIN (Property Identification Number) and the Roll Number of the property for which the tender is submitted, for example: “Tax Sale for: PIN 04559-0195(LT) Roll No. 0614.422.820.17600.0000.” A separate tender must be submitted for each property.

Tenders will be received ONLY at the above-mentioned address until 3:00 pm local time on the above date. The tenders will then be opened in public on the same day at 101 Centrepointe Drive, Ground Floor, The Chamber, immediately following the 3:00 pm deadline.

Please be advised there is a non-refundable fee of $49 for each tender package requested. Payment must be made at the time of request for each tender package. Payment by debit card, credit card, money order or certified cheque (only), payable to the City of Ottawa will be accepted. To purchase or drop off a tender package please make an appointment by calling 613-580-2740.

The sale of these properties is subject to cancellation up to the time of the tender opening without any further notice. The Minimum Tender amount represents the cancellation price as of the first day of advertising.

Tenders must be submitted in the prescribed form, Tender to Purchase, and must be accompanied by a deposit in the form of a money order or a bank draft or certified cheque by a bank or trust corporation or Province of Ontario Savings Office payable to the City of Ottawa and representing at least 20 per cent of the tender amount.

Except as follows, the municipality makes no representation regarding the title to or any other matters including environmental concerns, relating to the land(s) to be sold.  Responsibility for ascertaining these matters rests with the potential purchasers. 

This sale is governed by the Municipal Act, 2001 and the Municipal Tax Sales Rules made under that Act. The successful purchaser will be required to pay the amount tendered plus accumulated taxes, penalties, and interest, HST if applicable and the relevant land transfer tax within fourteen (14) calendar days of being notified that he/she is the successful purchaser.  

The municipality does not provide an opportunity for potential purchasers to view properties.  The municipality has no obligation to provide vacant possession or a key to the successful purchaser.

For further information regarding this sale and a copy of the prescribed form of tender contact:

Collections Specialist 613-580-2740
The Corporation of The City of Ottawa
100 Constellation Drive, 4th Floor West, Ottawa, ON K2G 6J8