Surveyors set monuments to define boundaries and to help define coordinate systems. Original monuments in their original location are the best avaiable evidence of the location of a boundary. Geographic coordinates or coordinates from a map projection may appear on plans but do not replace the need for monuments and are not better evidence of a boundary location than original monuments in their original location. Protect the monuments that define your boundaries.

What does a Survey Monument look like?

Survey monuments can be iron bars, plastic bars, rock plugs, rock posts, concrete pins, cut crosses in stone or concrete, This Monument Brochure shows some of the monuments you might find. 

Criminal Code Provisions


The Criminal Code of Canada R.S. 1985, c. C-46 under Part XI, Sec. 442 and 443 states,

"Every one who wilfully pulls down, defaces, alters or removes anything planted or set up as the boundary line or part of the boundary line of land is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction."


Survey monuments are being removed primarily by construction and, with the increased reliance on Title Insurance, are no longer being replaced or maintained.

The estimated cost to replace Ontario's damaged survey infrastracture is $600 Million.

Property Monuments are meant to provide lasting physical evidence of boundaries shared by adjacent land owners. Ontario regulations require that they be set by Ontario Land Surveyors (OLS) at all property corners and at regular intervals on boundaries. They may consist of, for example, 25mm or 16mm square steel bars, or 25mm plastic bars, of up to 1.2 m length, set vertically in the ground with tops flush to or near grade; or they may be pins set in rock, or crosses cut in concrete.

The Association of Ontario Land Surveyors has published a Special Provision that can be included in the Municipal General Conditions of Contract.

SPECIAL PROVISION (SP) Protection of Survey Monumentation

Click the link above to open a pdf copy of the SP approved by Council.

We're not alone! - See what other jurisdictions in Canada are doing about protecting their survey monument infrastracture.

Preservation of Survey Monuments

Protection of Ontario's Land Survey Monuments

BEST PRACTICES: When designing the location for placement of new utility plant, planners and designers should plan it accordingly in order to protect the survey infrastrucuture so that the public interest may be served and protected. Download the (Canadian Common Ground Alliance) CCGA Best Practice Guide which promotes underground infrastructure damage prevention.


The survey infrastructure serves as the foundation for all land development and property ownership in the City of Winnipeg. Used for determining legal property boundaries, elevations and mapping coordinates, the infrastructure is defined by thousands of individual survey monuments placed in the ground and in building foundations. See the City’s program at: