An easement benefits the dominant tenement (piece of land). It enhances the ordinary rights of the owner of the dominant tenement, and diminishes the ordinary rights of the servient tenement. An easement continues to exist regardless of any change of ownership of either piece of land. Most requests for easements are received from public agencies for sewers, water lines, hydro lines and so on.

An easement

  • allows use of the surface, sub-surface or air space of a parcel of NCC land for a period longer than five years;
  • is a property right in the land itself;
  • includes registration of that right in the local land registry office;
  • is generally granted for 49 years.

Easement conditions

  • Whenever easements are granted and the lands are required by the NCC in whole or in part, the easement may have to be relocated or removed.
  • Easements are located to minimize adverse effects on NCC real property.
  • NCC easement agreements provide for site restoration, indemnity, land survey and other special clauses that are included in the standard NCC easement agreement.
  • All easements require a federal land use transaction approval and normally an environmental assessment.


The cost of an NCC easement is 50 percent of the land’s market value, based on highest and best use, plus an administration fee of $1,750.

The easement cost may be increased to as much as 100 percent of the land’s market value when the future use of NCC land is severely impacted. The administration fee is waived when the total fee is more than $30,000.

Licences of occupation

A licence of occupation does not create an interest in the land itself; it is a personal privilege granted to an applicant.

Licences of occupation for NCC land are issued

  • for as short a term as possible (usually no more than five years);
  • for a particular reason consistent with the period requested;
  • usually on the standard NCC licence agreement;
  • only after the federal land use transaction approval is granted and, where applicable, an environmental assessment is completed.

When is a licence of occupation required?

A licence of occupation is needed when you want to use NCC land in a certain manner for a specific period of time, which is longer than that covered by a land access permit.

These uses include the following:

  • temporary construction work
  • storage
  • temporary parking lot


The fee is usually 10 percent per annum of the market value of the lands, plus an administration fee of $1,750. When combined with an easement request, the administration fee is waived.

Apply for an easement or licence of occupation

To apply for an easement or licence of occupation, follow the steps outlined in the federal land use, design and transaction approval process.

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