Land Titles: History

The history of Saskatchewan Land Titles begins in 1869 with the Dominion Land Survey. Long before Saskatchewan’s birth as a province in 1905, the survey was used to subdivide the Western plains (then known as the Northwest Territories) in order to prepare the land for settlers and immigrants. Soon after the surveying started, the Dominion Land Act of 1872 and the accompanying manual detailed how prairie land should be subdivided and allotted.

An orderly system by which people could acquire land was necessary. You can imagine the problems that would arise if people were allowed to stake claim on any piece of land they chose! Hundreds of surveyors were hired by the government to work in the prairie wilderness. They would ‘survey’ or assess the land by measuring it and dividing it.

When settlers arrived they were given a unique description of their land and sometimes surveyors helped them find their section. There were no power lines, roads, fences or buildings by which to locate their allotment, so finding it proved to be difficult.

The following pages provide more information on the origin and history of Saskatchewan's Land Titles:
The Torrens System
Land Grants
The Great Seals of Canada