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Overview Of The Vancouver Charter

In This Volume

The Vancouver Charter provides for a system of local government in the City of Vancouver which is continued under the Charter as a corporation and a municipality. The Charter deals with local elections, the powers and duties of city council, the duties of the mayor and other city officers, bylaw-making powers, challenges to bylaws, the regulation of businesses within the city, public works and local improvements, the inspection of buildings and utilities, fire safety, street traffic, health regulation, real property taxation, the police, the administration of parks, expropriation, and land use planning.

Selected provisions of the Charter that are relevant to land title practice are included in this chapter.


Part I of the Charter establishes the council and its general powers. Sections 190, 193, 193A, 193B, and 193C make specific provision for the council to acquire dispose of land.

Part VIII of the Charter deals with public works. Section 289 provides for the vesting in the city of the real property in every street, park, or public square. Under s. 291A, the city may pass a resolution for stopping up, altering, or diverting a street. Section 291B sets out the provision for appealing decisions of the registrar made in registering conveyances made under s. 291A. Sections 292, 300, and 302 set out the powers of council with respect to subdivisions, water, and sewers and drains.

Section 336D permits the city to file a notice in the land title officer where the building inspector observes what appears to be a contravention in the city’s bylaws.

Part XX of the Charter deals with real property taxation, assessments, certain exemptions from the taxing provisions, and procedures for recovering delinquent taxes.

Part XXIII deals with parks and park land. Part XXVII deals with planning and development and, under s. 565.2, provides for housing agreements for affordable and special needs housing. Part XXVIII deals with heritage conservation and the notices of designation that may be filed in the land title office. Finally, Part XXX authorizes the city enact a vacancy tax bylaw with respect to vacant residential properties.

Liens and Charges in Favour of the City

A number of sections of the Charter impose liens and charges in favour of the city. See ss. 395A, 414, 436, and 444. See also s. 23(2)(c) of the Land Title Act, which provides that every indefeasible title is subject to:

  • (c) a municipal charge, rate or assessment at the date of the application for registration imposed or which may after that date be imposed on the land, or which had before that date been imposed for local improvements or otherwise and which was not then due and payable, including a charge, rate or assessment imposed by a public body having taxing powers over an area in which the land is situated.