eal estate is a major investment and it pays to research before making a purchase. The following list highlights several useful tools for understanding Prince Edward County real estate.
Toronto developments have a big impact on the market for County homes priced over $300,000. Movesmartly.com is highly recommended as a candid and insightful source of information on what’s happening in Toronto.
Geographic Information System
The County’s Municipal Geographic Information System (GIS) is probably the most useful self-service tool you will find online for researching local real estate. It shows street numbers, parcel boundaries, zoning (including Environmentally Protected areas). In addition, it also has topographical maps showing how much the land slopes. Check out the video to learn how to use the GIS.
Prince Edward County’s Zoning By-Law sets the rules for what can be done with land of different types. Things like minimum lot sizes, distances from property lines, and permitted businesses are covered in the by-law. When reviewing the zoning for a property, also check the zoning for the neighboring properties to avoid surprise. To improve service and speed up inquires, the planning department has set up an inquiry form on the County’s web site.
Ontario Well Records Map
If you’re looking at a rural property in the County, it would be wise to find out the well water flow rate for the property and neighboring properties. The Ontario Well Records Map is the tool you need to get the detailed records for any well in the County. The video (above) will show you how to use it.
Designated Heritage Properties
Municipal councils in Ontario have the authority to designate historical properties, preserving them as living evidence of our history. In such cases, the Heritage Advisory Committee and municipal planning must agree before a property can be modified. Prince Edward County Council has the legal authority to designate buildings without the agreement of the property owner. However, Council has historically only designated with the agreement of the owner. The published listing of heritage-designated properties in the County is somewhat out of date and only shows properties designated through 2012. Contact the Planning Department at 613-476-2148 Extension 2025 to find out whether a property is designated.
Picton Heritage Conservation District Plan
If you are considering buying a commercial or residential property on Main Street in Picton, you should look at the Picton Heritage Conservation District Plan. Regardless of the property’s age, the plan covers all buildings in the designated part of Main Street, .
Google Maps / Streetview
Google Maps/Streetview will show addresses on a roadmap or aerial photo while Streetview shows a photographic view of the property from the roadside. Importantly, Google Maps can be very inaccurate in rural areas. Therefore, you should look for street numbers with Streetview to confirm that you have the right address.
For the especially diligent, the County’s Official Plan and Land Use Schedule guide what the County will look like in the future. Although the Official Plan is very important, it’s also very long and boring. Alternatively, you can rely on your buyer representative to research the implications of the Plan for properties you’re considering. There is a also new Draft Official Plan which will come into force once it’s been approved by Council and the province.
As part of the process to update the current Official Plan, the County has approved three secondary plans for Picton-Hallowell, Wellington and Rossmore. If you’re considering a property in these areas, the secondary plans give a more specific picture of future development.
If you find other useful tools for understanding Prince Edward County real estate, please let us know.