HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED WHAT TRESPASSING LAWS ARE IN THE GREATER TORONTO AREA?
Some aspects of the Ontario Trespass to Property Act (TPA) may surprise you!
Let’s take a closer look at the TPA and what role commercial fence installation in Toronto can play in helping you control access to your property:
- What is trespassing? In a nutshell, you are trespassing if you enter a property where entry is prohibited without the expressed permission of the occupier, you engage in a prohibited activity on the premises, or you refuse to leave immediately when asked to do so by an authorised person. Normally, trespassing is a provincial offence much like speeding. However, trespassing at night or resisting arrest (see below) can upgrade the transgression to a criminal offense.
- How many signs do you need? What should they say? The TPA states that a sign that can be easily seen in daylight “from the approach to the ordinary point of access to the premises” is sufficient. You can write out the specific restrictions or have a graphic representation of the prohibited activity on the sign(s), but a large red dot at least 10cm in diameter is sufficient to warn that entry is prohibited.
- Other ways of knowing that a property is off-limits. If it grows, keep off! Lawns, orchards, vineyards, cultivated fields—these are all considered restricted access areas and no signage is necessary. Also, any property that is enclosed—surrounded by a fence, hedge or wall, for example—is considered, de facto, a restricted property. In other words, commercial fencing or other type of fence installation around your property in Toronto is sufficient to delimit it as being off-limits—signage optional. For more information on trespassing laws and commercial fencing, call a reputed fencing company in Toronto.
- Arrest. It is true that an authorised person (e.g., you as occupier of premises or a security guard in your employ) has the right to make a citizen’s arrest of a trespasser. But remember, if you decide to arrest a trespasser, you are obliged to hand them over to the police—you cannot “change your mind”! If they leave after you arrest them, they are officially resisting arrest and suddenly a provincial offence escalates to a criminal offence implying court dates, possible jail time and a criminal record. Use your judgement—unless you suspect criminal activity, sometimes just getting the trespasser(s) to leave is your best bet.