Table of Contents United States Border

United States Border

When a subdivision adjoins the United States border, the Approving Officer may request the developer to return to the Crown an 18-metre strip of land along the border.  Alternatively, the Approving Officer may consider a covenant restricting building on the 18-metre strip.  There is no legal requirement to obtain this strip of land; however it is useful if a right of way is granted along the Canadian side of the border.  The covenant restricting building would facilitate the right of way.

Section 5 of the International Boundary Commission Act (Revised Statutes of Canada 1985, Chapter 1-16) provides that, except with the permission of the International Boundary Commission, no person shall construct, enlarge or place any work within three metres (ten feet) of the United States border.

The following constitutes an infraction under the Act: 

  • erection of billboards or other structures within ten feet of the international boundary
  • reconstruction of a line building or other structure which has suffered destruction
  • additions to structures erected on the international boundary
  • interference with boundary monuments

This guide is a living document; it is subject to change without notice. Please check the Rural Subdivisions Website ( to make sure your version is sufficiently current.