Cadastral renewal and water property in the domain of the State

In order to update the Québec cadastre, the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et des Forêt (MRNF) undertook an extensive cadastral renewal operation to produce a current portrait that is also as accurate as possible and usable by all private Québec landowners.

Itself a major landowner, the Ministère de l’Environnement, de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, de la Faune et des Parcs (MELCCFP) has been a participant in the renewal process since 1992. The MELCC shares information in its possession with land surveyors hired for renewal projects, as well as claims relating to watercourses under its management.

The goal of the cadastral renewal is to represent the current fragmentation, as it exists. It shows that a significant number of both public and privately owned watercourses do not figure in the Québec cadastre and, in fact, that some public watercourses cross private property while remaining officially unseen.

There are also cases where parcels of the water property in the domain of the State are incorporated into the cadastral representation. This can be the case for construction on water property, such as backfill and shoreline protection structures.

Owners hold no rights over the water property in the domain of the State. Such property is an inalienable asset of the State that no individual or corporate body can appropriate through occupation, prescription or accession. Surveyors that observe irregularities in the process of carrying out their mandate may in fact recommend a cadastral amendment to adequately represent the scope of a right.

For specific information about their property, landowners should consult a property law professional, such as a land surveyor or notary.

Last update: November 2, 2022

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