Jason Bryk 

Phone: 204.956.3510

Fax: 204.957.0227

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Real Estate Law


As Chair of the Real Property Subsection Committee for the Manitoba Bar Association and as the Designated Representative for Manitoba Real Property for the Canadian Bar Association I am often contacted by solicitors who have general questions about real property law in Manitoba; pursuant to a recent inquiry, real estate solicitors may find the following to be not only informative but also practical.

Being a Manitoba solicitor and a Public Member of the Association of Manitoba Land Surveyors, the practical information that will be shared in this article must be qualified with a disclaimer that pursuant to The Land Surveyors Act C.C.S.M. c. L60 (Manitoba) no person other than a Manitoba land surveyor shall engage in the practice of land surveying and thereby no person other than a Manitoba land surveyor shall determine, establish, locate, demarcate or define a boundary used to reference, describe or delineate, inter alia, land.

On occasion a solicitor may encounter a title with a legal description whereby a Legal Subdivision is referenced in lieu of a plan number, for example:


The reference to "legal subdivision" may cause confusion and with no ability to order a "plan" the solicitor must consider standard Section measurements in determining "what land" the title is for.


(a)  1 square mile is equal to 5,280 feet x 5,280 feet;

(b)  1 Section is equal to 640 acres or one square mile;

(c)  4 Quarter Sections equal 1 Section;

(d)  1 Quarter is equal to 160 acres;

(e)  1 Legal Subdivision is equal to 1320 feet x 1320 feet akin to one quarter of a Quarter Section

As a Legal Subdivision is equal to 1320 feet x 1320 feet is akin to one quarter of a Quarter Section,  the next question is where within a Quarter Section and where within a Section is a Legal Subdivision located?  To answer, a diagram of a Section is of remarkable assistance:



















In considering this information we should keep in mind why it is important for a solicitor to know where the land they intend to convey is located; one must only consider the problems that have occurred within various condominium corporations throughout the Province of Manitoba where a condominium unit is incorrectly conveyed, for example, unit owner A is the registered owner of unit 1 but actually resides in unit 2, the registered owner of unit 2 being unit owner B; the incorrectly conveyed unit would most certainly have conveyed correctly had the solicitor, or for that matter the real estate salesperson, reviewed the condominium plan with the prospective unit owner prior to the conveyance and thereby identified the location of the unit not having relied solely upon the numerical designation for the physical condominium suite.   Notwithstanding that condominium units and Legal Subdivisions are different, the same principles apply whereby the solicitor, or for that matter the real estate salesperson, should ensure that the Legal Subdivision being conveyed is indeed the same physical land that the transferor believes it is transferring.

To conclude, you may still be wondering why the title of this article is "Are you looking for 20 chains?", importantly the "chain" was the manner in which our early River Lots, Outer Two Miles and Sections were measured and a Legal Subdivision being equal to one quarter of a quarter section is equal to 20 chains x 20 chains or 1320 feet x 1320 feet.  So, if you are conveying a Legal Subdivision it is prudent to "look for 20 chains" to ensure that the land being legally conveying is indeed the physical land that ought to be conveyed.


Are you ready?


Is your condominium corporation's disclosure package up to date?


Are you a developer ? Is the disclosure package your agents are using adequate to commence the cooling off period?


Are you a real estate agent? Is your sale secure?


The documents you need to commence the cooling off period differ depending on the condominium unit you are selling.


By way of example the documents differ depending on whether or not the sale is of a proposed unit, the sale is of a unit after registration of the condominium declaration, condominium initial by-law or by-law number 1, and the condominium plan.  There are also a number of additional requirements buried with the Regulations to The Condominium Act.


Unsure? The Manitoba Real Estate Lawyer can help get you and your condominium corporation up to date and ensure the sale of your unit is secure.  


The appeal court ordered discharge of a caveat in Laba et al. v. 4027183 Manitoba Ltd. et al., 2014 MBCA 107, finding that it was not open to the motion judge to uphold the caveat on a basis not set out in the caveat itself. Manitoba law is clear, said the court, that if "a claimant has no interest in the land, the caveat cannot be sustained." Given the motion judge's finding that no agreement existed between the parties, the requisite interest in land had not been demonstrated.



The Property Registry has launched a new Land Transfer Tax Calculator.   Buying a property in Manitoba ? Short of a few very narrow exceptions you will have to pay land transfer tax to complete the purchase. The new Land Transfer Tax Calculator will help you to understand how much money you will need to finalize your real estate purchase.  A link to the new calculator is here:  http://www.tprmb.ca/tpr/land_titles/lto_offices/fees.html 


The new The Condominium Act is now in force.  The new Act creates a vast new landscape for buyers, sellers, owners, developers, and condominium corporations in Manitoba.


Some highlights include:


For sellers, the cooling off period has been extended and you are now required to provide the purchaser an extensive package to commence the cooling period.


For buyers, you now have 7 days to review the documentation provided to you by the seller before you decided whether or not to purchase a condominium unit.  The package is extensive!


For owners, a change agreement may be able to assist you and the condominium corporation you belong to if a change to the common elements is required.


For developers, the requirements for registering a condominium declaration at land titles have been overhauled.  Is your lawyer ready?


For condominium corporations, keep in mind that your right to file a lien in the relevant land titles office may expire sooner than you think.


The new Condominium Act will be in force on February 1, 2015 and the Registrar General has now approved the new land titles forms to compliment The Condominium Act. 

Details on the new land titles forms may be found here:


The new forms included a revised Notice of Lien, Notice of Exercising Power of Sale, and the new Statutory Declarations for buyers and sellers of condominium units in Manitoba.


Winnipeg - Condominium units are taxes at a higher rate than single family detached homes - Why?  Is this fair?

The province appears to have take the position that the tax increase is justifiable as "market value" has removed the "inequity" and that increases in market value for condominiums means the status quo is fine.  Condominium unit owners may beg to differ.

See the latest updates on the campaign here:



In St. Charles Enterprises Ltd. et al v. The City of Winnipeg

2014 MBQB 100, the court declined to order that the St. Charles Hotel be delisted because the City failed to file a notice of historical building designation at the land titles office within the required statutory timeframe. The hotel was a validly designated building, at the request of its owner, for almost 25 years before the notice requirements came into force.

Section 157 says the City "must register" a historical building designation notice in the land titles office...within one year after the amendments came into force, for any building listed before then. The court found that the use of the word "must" in the section was meant to be directory not mandatory, and that the consequences of failure to comply should be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, looking at such factors as the nature of the non-compliance and the resulting prejudice. In this case, the court found the non-compliance was minor and did not prejudice the owner. 


BILL 70 - The new rules will ultimately require listing online of all agents and any disciplinary findings against them, an upfront agreement about the agent's sales commission and fees; establishing a new code of conduct; establishing a stronger complaints and disciplinary process; and increasing the range of maximum fines to $100,000 for agents and $500,000 for brokerages.


Luxury 2000 square foot Condominiums are now for sale in downtown Winnipeg! The project is being marketed by Gary Bachman and Tom Hayward of Century 21. Another fabulous condominium project in downtown Winnipeg.


Manitoba Finance announces plan to transfer the Property Registry Land Titles Office to Teranet Manitoba is now available online.

The transfer of the Property Registry to Teranet Manitoba was announced in December 2012.  Teranet has made a one-time payment and will pay annual royalties to the province in exchange for the exclusive licence to provide property registry services to Manitobans.


Is this a good deal for Manitoba?  Will land titles fees increase?  Will the integrity of the torrens system which our economy relies upon be maintained?

Highlights of the agreement include:

* Teranet will invest in new technology to ensure services such as titles, property searches and registrations will be available through a convenient, faster and secure online system;

* Manitoba will receive annual royalty payments estimated to be $11 million, increasing to $24 million at the end of the 30-year licensing agreement;

* increases in fees have been agreed upon so consumers will see stable and predictable changes and all existing Property Registry offices will remain open; and

* data used by Teranet, such as land survey and property titles, will continue to be owned by the province and protected by privacy legislation.

To view the government's document, visit www.gov.mb.ca/finance/pdf/teranet.pdf.


The Glasshouse April Newsletter reported today that Bockstael Construction of Manitoba has been awarded the contract to build Glasshouse Skylofts, Urban Capital’s new model of residential living for Winnipeg. Look forward to some changes in Winnipeg's skyline with the new skylofts! The $35 million Glasshouse building adds to the transformation that is taking place in the Downtown, and will leverage the synergies arising from the establishment of SHED (the Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District) which includes the expanded RBC Convention Centre, the ALT Hotel, Centrepoint, the Met, and the updated cityplace


Kirchner et al. v. Dielmann Holdings Ltd., 2014 MBCA 21. the Manitoba Court of Appeal dismissed the defendant's appeal of its unsuccessful motion to declare a land purchase agreement null and void and discharge a pending litigation order against its property. The defendant argued that the agreement was void for uncertainty since no dates were specified for obtaining approval of the subdivision and closing. The appeal court disagreed, noting that a court can imply a term that a subdivision was required, and that both parties must act in good faith and take all reasonable steps to complete the subdivision and the sale in order to give the purchase agreement business efficacy.

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