Survey Registry

The Surveyor General and by extension the Surveyor General Branch (SGB) are authorized by both federal and territorial acts and regulations to manage all surveys on Canada Lands and to maintain all the original plans, journals, field notes and other documents connected with those surveys. Through the survey registry program the Branch manages surveys on Canada Lands by: 1) establishing survey standards, 2) administering a regulatory process, 3) maintaining the Canada Lands Survey Records and 4) creating and disseminating digital cadastral data.

Survey Standards

The National Standards for the Survey of Canada Lands provide general instructions for Canada Lands Surveyors and ensure a high level of quality for legal surveys and survey products on Canada Lands. Historical general instructions are also available for reference.

Regulatory Process

Surveys of Canada Lands are regulated in two different ways. First, all surveys are required to be carried out by licensed Canada Lands Surveyors. The Association of Canada Lands Surveyors (ACLS) is responsible for licensing and ensuring professional competency of its members. Second, the Surveyor General ensures the quality of the completed surveys before approving and entering them in the Canada Lands Survey Records. This two-pronged regulatory approach has been streamlined in the SGB-ACLS collaborative web site, MyCLSS.

Canada Lands Survey Records

The Canada Lands Survey Records is a registry of legal survey documents and contains survey plans, field notes, diaries, reports and other documents to support property rights on Canada Lands.

Surveys establish official boundaries defining the extent of ownership, or other rights in land. A legal survey generally consists of two parts:

  • a demarcation on the ground of the boundaries (field survey);
  • and a legally authorized document (the plan) depicting the location of the boundaries.

This sample plan illustrates what a survey plan is and how it is created. Download Specimen Plan.pdf (3.8 Megabytes in PDF format). Requires Acrobat reader.

Search for and download survey plans

Search for survey projects in progress

Search for, view and download plans with CLSS Map Browser

Search for and view plans with Google Earth™

Digital Cadastral Data

The Branch creates and maintains three types of cadastral data designed and suited for Geographic Information Systems (GIS) applications.  They are available to any parties with an interest in Canada Lands.  They include the Canada Lands Digital Cadastral Data, Administrative Boundaries for Canada Lands and a KMZ Dataset for use with Google Earth.

Learn more about cadastral datasets for Canada Lands