Utility Right of Way

Boulevards and utility right of ways allow The City and utility companies to access utility infrastructure that is commonly buried on residential properties, such as water and wastewater lines, electrical lines, natural gas lines, and telecommunications lines.

Do not put permanent infrastructure, plant trees, or change the grade within the utility right of way or within 0.5 meters from the utility right-of-way as shown in this diagram (pdf) .

What is a boulevard? Utility right of way? Easement?

In this context, a boulevard is the portion of City property that sits between the curb (or sidewalk) and the adjacent property line. If you look at your Real Property Report you will see the first one to three metres of property that is next to the curb- or sidewalk if there is one- is outside your property line. This is the boulevard.

An easement is the legal right to use another person's land for a stated purpose. Easements are automatically transferred from one owner to another if the land is sold.

A utility right of way is a registered easement on private land that allows The City and certain utility companies the right to access the utilities or services that are buried within the right of way. Permanent structures are not permitted to be built within a utility right of way.

Where are boulevards and utility right of ways?

Utility right of ways could be on the front, back or sides of your property. Residential properties have a one to three metre boulevard from the back of sidewalk and/or a one to three metre utility right of way. Boulevards and utility right of ways within your property are shown on your Real Property Report.

What happens if I have trees or other infrastructure in these areas?

In order to provide utility services, The City may need to access underground utility lines. Therefore property owners should not add permanent infrastructure, plant trees, or change the grade within the utility right of way or within 0.5 meters of the utility right of way.

  • Trees planted within six metres of City water and wastewater services may be removed if maintenance is required on these utility lines (Utility Bylaw Section 78).
  • The City may remove obstructions that interfere with providing, maintaining or terminating a utility service, and may charge the Customer or Property Owner the costs associated with such removal (Utility Bylaw Section 29).