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The Line Fences Act is one of Ontario’s most historic pieces of legislation that provides a local method of arbitrating fencing disputes between neighbouring property owners.

The Act applies where one owner wants to construct, repair or maintain a fence on a property boundary line, but is unable to reach agreement with the other owner on the type of fence to be erected, the sharing of the costs of the fence, or both of these issues.

The Act does not deal with disputes about fences that are not on a boundary line and does not apply if a municipality has passed its own by-law addressing these circumstances under the Municipal Act, 2001, or the City of Toronto Act, 2006.

If the Act applies, an owner may initiate the process by applying formally to the clerk of the municipality.

The Act provides an appeal procedure if either owner doesn't agree with the fence-viewers’ award. The appeal must be filled within 15 days of receiving a copy of the award. The appeal fee is $308 effective January 1st, 2015. The appeal fee will change annually on January 1st based on inflation as defined by the Consumer Price Index for Ontario from the previous calendar year.