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Foreign buyers

May I buy any piece of land at my convenience?


The immense wooded areas of Quebec are the dream of many potential buyers. However, a plan to protect Quebec farmland prohibits their acquisition by non-residents. In this context, it is important to recognize properties whose purchase is not subject to any restrictions based on the potential buyer’s place of residence.


For nearly 40 years, the Act on the Protection of the Agricultural and its Activities has established a system aimed at protecting and preserving Quebec farmland. Thus, 4.3% of Québec’s land area is part of the agricultural zone and these lands are subject to numerous restrictions, unlike other parcels located in what is commonly called the “white zone”. These agricultural lands are subject to a highly protectionist regime, preventing their fragmentation as well as their use for purposes other than agriculture. In contrast, buildings in the white zone provide opportunities for constructability and are subject to less rigid rules regarding their use.

All in all, parcels of four hectares or more in the agricultural zone can not be acquired by non-residents under the Agricultural Land Acquisition Act by non-residents unless authorized by the Commission on the Protection of the Agricultural Territory. This procedure is long and uncertain.

Although for a fiew exceptions, Lalièvre lands’ portfolio is located entirely outside of the agriculturale zone and is thus accessible to international buyers.

May I carry out my residential or commercial project on any land that I purchase?


Before buying a piece of land, it is important that you determine in advance what you intend to do with it. Once you have targeted your parcel in the white zone (provincial zoning), you can push your due diligence to the local municipality in which it is located to obtain municipal zoning information that will dictate whether your project is feasable or not.


The zoning by-law divides the territory into zones, to control the use of land and buildings, as well as the layout, shape and appearance of buildings. Zoning allows the municipal council to regulate in each zone, the occupation of the soil, in particular by prohibiting or by authorizing the constructions and the uses.

The zoning by-law is a normative by-law, in that its implementation does not allow for discretionary judgment by the person who is responsible for enforcing it, usually a municipal official. It must therefore be rigorous and precise, not only so that citizens understand the standards they must respect, but also so that the municipality can apply it objectively, particularly in the issuance of its permits and certificates.


The zoning by-law is accompanied by a plan that represents the control of uses and the division of the territory favored by the municipality. The zoning plan is an integral part of the by-law. The municipality may divide the territory into as many zones as it deems necessary. The boundaries of the zones must be precise. All cards and documents referred to in the regulations must be attached. Therefore, we can’t refer to other cartographic documents (eg, flood zones of the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change), because all these plans must be part of the regulation.

Specification grids usually accompany the bylaws to facilitate their understanding. These are tables in which are schematically grouped the requirements applicable by zone as to the standards of use and implementation. However, these requirements can not in any circumstances replace the provisions of the Regulation. In case of contradiction with the actual text of the regulation, the text prevails. Finally, the requirements contained in such a schedule must be authorized by a provision of the by-law, as must the content of the by-law, which must comply with the legislative provision authorizing its adoption.

TERRAINS LALIÈVRE OFFERS you, through its planner, to accompany you with the due diligence with the concerned municipality and to obtain a municipal letter approving a preliminary project. Moreover, the promise of purchase and sale that we will sign together may contain guarantees that your project is feasible to protect your investment.

What is the preliminary procedure for the acquisition of a piece of land in Quebec?

Once your choice is made on the parcel to purchase, the very first step will be to sign an Agreement to purchase and sell (APS) with us. This pre-contract will contain the essential terms of the agreement (price, deposit, guarantees, deadlines, special conditions, etc.) and obliges each party to conclude the proposed transaction.

In addition to the agreed selling price, some fees are to be expected. First of all, it will be important for you to negotiate a favorable exchange rate with your banking institution since the transaction will be in Canadian dollars. The funds must be transferred to the trust account of the Quebec notary by an electronic transfer made by an interbank communication network or by a certified check. In addition, if you plan to acquire your parcel remotely, you will need to mandate by notary a trusted person who will sign the deed on your behalf in Quebec.

You will also need to pay a few hundred dollars for the Sollicitor’s fees.

Please note that a transaction with our organization is taxable to individuals. These taxes can be postponed if you buy the parcel of land with a registered corporation (legal person) that you will have previously registered at the Business Registry of Quebec.

What happens when I become the owner? (taxes)

A few weeks after the purchase, the municipality in which your property is located will send you a statement showing the amount of the payable transfer tax. For calculation purposes, the amount used is, enter the higher of:

1.Value to the role of evaluation

2. From the price paid

3. The amount of the consideration stipulated for the transfer


The amount of the tax is calculated on the highest amount of the three amounts of the tax base and follows the following scale:

0.5% on the first $ 50,000

1.0% on the $ 50,001 to $ 250,000 portion

Province of Quebec, outside Montreal:

1.5% on the portion exceeding $ 250,001

According to this formula:

For a purchase at $ 1,000,000.00, the tax is $ 13,500;

For a purchase of $ 3,000,000, it is $ 43,500.

Transfer duty is payable only once at the time of acquisition. However, each year, property taxes (school and municipal) are billed to the owner. Their amount is directly proportional to the value of the property on the property assessment roll.

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