Escheats Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20Skip to content
R.S.O. 1990, Chapter E.20
Historical version for the period November 26, 2002 to May 16, 2007.
Amended by: 1997, c. 23, s. 7; 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7.
Proceedings for recovery of property
1. (1) Where any property has become the property of the Crown by reason of the person last seised thereof or entitled thereto having died intestate and without lawful heirs, or has become forfeited for any cause to the Crown, the Public Guardian and Trustee may cause possession thereof to be taken in the name of the Crown, or, if possession is withheld, may cause an action to be brought for the recovery thereof, without an inquisition being first made. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 1 (1); 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (1).
(2) The proceedings in the action shall be in all respects similar to those in other actions for the recovery of property. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 1 (2).
Possession of real property
(3) If real property described in subsection (1) has escheated or become forfeit because of the dissolution of a corporation, the Public Guardian and Trustee shall be deemed not to have taken possession of the property until the Public Guardian and Trustee registers notice of taking possession in the proper land registry office. 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (2).
Saving as to mining lands
2. Despite section 1, where mining lands as defined in the Mining Act have become forfeited to the Crown, such mining lands shall be dealt with and disposed of as Crown lands in the manner provided in the Mining Act. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 2.
Grant of forfeited property
3. The Lieutenant Governor in Council may grant any property that has become the property of or has become forfeited to the Crown as mentioned in section 1, or any part thereof, or any interest therein, to any person for the purpose of transferring or restoring it to a person having a legal or moral claim upon the person to whom it had belonged, or of carrying into effect any disposition of it that such person may have contemplated, or of rewarding a person making discovery of the escheat or forfeiture, as to the Lieutenant Governor in Council seems proper. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 3.
Rights of grantee
4. Any such grant may be made without actual entry or taking possession of such property or inquisition being first made, and, if possession of the property is withheld, the person to whom the grant is made may institute proceedings for the recovery thereof in a court of competent jurisdiction. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 4.
Release or waiver of forfeiture
5. Where any such forfeiture takes place, the Lieutenant Governor in Council may waive or release any right to which the Crown may thereby have become entitled so as to vest the property, either absolutely or otherwise, in the person who would have been entitled thereto but for the forfeiture, and the waiver or release may be either for valuable consideration or otherwise and may be upon such terms and conditions as to the Lieutenant Governor in Council seem proper. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 5.
Transfer, assignment or discharge of interest in real property
6. (1) The Public Guardian and Trustee may transfer, assign or discharge, at such price and on such terms as seem proper, all or part of any interest in real property of which he or she has taken possession under this Act. 1997, c. 23, s. 7.
Sale of personal estate
(2) Where possession of any personal estate has been taken by the Public Guardian and Trustee under this Act, he or she may sell it at such price and upon such terms as seem proper. R.S.O. 1990, c. E.20, s. 6 (2); 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (3).
Public Guardian and Trustee, no obligation or liability
7. (1) When property has escheated or become forfeit to the Crown because of the dissolution of a corporation,
(a) the Public Guardian and Trustee is not required to secure, maintain or manage the property or to take any other action in relation to the property; and
(b) no proceeding shall be commenced and no order shall be made against the Public Guardian and Trustee in respect of the property. 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (4).
(2) Subsection (1) applies despite any other Act or regulation. 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (4).
Crown remains liable
(3) Despite subsections 5 (2) and (4) of the Proceedings Against the Crown Act, subsection (1) does not relieve the Crown of any liability to which it would otherwise be subject. 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (4).
(4) For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not,
(a) prevent a public authority from issuing an order against the Crown that is authorized under any other Act in respect of the property; or
(b) confer any new right or impose any new obligation on the Crown in respect of the property. 2002, c. 18, Sched. A, s. 7 (4).