Encroachment Agreements

An encroachment agreement is a legal and binding agreement between the City and a property owner whose property abuts the municipal property which permits the property owner to have an encroachment on City property. An encroachment is an improvement made to City property that is located entirely or partly in, on, under or above the City’s property.

What is considered an encroachment?

Examples of encroachments:

  • Awnings
  • Landscaping
  • Porches
  • Portion of existing building
  • Signs, where not otherwise prohibited
  • Steps
  • Wheelchair ramps and other accessibility features

Examples of encroachments that will not be considered:

  • Fences
  • Refreshment vehicles
  • Temporary signs
  • Fruit and vegetable stands
  • Soft drink machines
  • Ice machines

Encroachment agreements are no longer required for:

  • Temporary seating
  • Small scale lighting features
  • Signage, retractable awnings or awnings that require a building permit

However, you will need to submit an Encroachment Acknowledgement Application.

How to submit an Encroachment Acknowledgement Application (EAL)

  • Complete an Encroachment Acknowledgement Application (PDF, 112 KB) and submit in person to the One Stop for Business, City Hall, 1st Floor
  • City staff will review the application and provide you with a Letter of Acknowledgement, which will inform you of whether your application has been approved. View a sample letter (PDF, 30 KB)
  • If the application is approved, you will need to sign the Letter and return it to the City of Hamilton within 5 days. 

Questions? Contact joe.gravina@hamilton.ca for more information.

When is a property identified to require an encroachment agreement?

The requirement for an encroachment agreement can be identified:

  • through the process of selling or buying a property
  • through a development or building permit process
  • by City staff

To apply for an encroachment agreement, you must follow these steps:

  1. Either the owner of the property or the tenant or occupant can apply for an encroachment agreement; however, the agreement must be signed by the property owner. You must retain a solicitor to complete the encroachment agreement. 

  2. Submit a completed Application for Encroachment Agreement (PDF, 135 KB) with the following:
  • a description of the encroachment including dimensions
  • supporting documents such as photos and drawings
  • details of any other existing encroachments affecting the property
  • Application fee: $311.70 + HST

Submit the agreement and documentation:

  • In person:
    Public Works
    Geomatics and Corridor Management
    Attention: Road Programming Technician
    77 James Street North, Suite 320, Hamilton
     
  • By mail:

Public Works
Geomatics and Corridor Management
Attention: Road Programming Technician
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

Once your application is received, it is reviewed by City staff and circulated for comment.

If your application is approved:

  • If your application is approved you will receive the encroachment agreement in the mail.
  • Your solicitor must complete the agreement and return three original signed copies to:

Public Works
Geomatics and Corridor Management
Attention: Road Programming Technician
71 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

  • The agreement will be executed by the City's signing officers.
  • Two copies will be returned to you.
  • Your solicitor must register the encroachment on title to the property at the Land Registry Office.
  • An annual fee is added to property’s tax roll and remains in place until encroachment is removed and the agreement is formally discharged.

Remove an encroachment agreement   

Owners who have removed an encroachment should contact our department at encroachment@hamilton.ca for more information