As of December 10, 2016, a corporation incorporated or continued under the Ontario Business Corporations Act (OBCA) must maintain at its registered office a register of its “ownership interests in land” in Ontario, together with supporting documentation, such as copies of any deeds, transfers or similar documents. As the OBCA is silent on the meaning of “ownership interests”, there is confusion at present whether the requirement applies to legal and registered interests only, or also to beneficial interests such as leaseholds, options, mortgages, easements and other interests.
Corporations incorporated or continued under the OBCA prior to this date have a two-year transition period and must comply with the provisions as of December 10, 2018. For Ontario corporations with interests in many properties, we recommend starting the process of collecting the required information and records now to ensure they are in compliance by the December 10, 2018 deadline. Non-compliance with these provisions may result in the corporation and its directors or officers being subject to fines or other penalties under the OBCA.