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Can You Build on Farm Land in Canada?

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Typically, agricultural land provides for the growth and harvest of crops as well as the keeping of livestock. Frequently, the agricultural property is suitable for typical residential applications like the construction of single-family homes. Typically, agricultural land can be used in various ways, and most new rural properties fall into this category. The usual characteristics of agricultural lands include:


Farmland is defined for zoning reasons as land that is used to raise animals and grow crops for a profit. There are countless varieties of farms, including farms for crops, fish, dairy, poultry, and meat. Regardless of the farm, the farmers produce, raise, or grow these goods to market for profit. To survive, many landowners are dependent on their farms.


The grazing and raising of cattle for the production of meat and other animal products takes place on ranches. Animals are often raised by ranchers in open spaces, much like a cattle ranch. To enable them to graze more effectively, they also herd livestock. Like farmers, ranchers raise these animals as their main source of income and depend entirely on their ranches for survival.


Ranches and farms frequently incorporate many of the same functions as homesteads, which are normally owned by families and refer to the owner’s residence and the area around it. Homesteading is perhaps your best option if you’re thinking about buying farmland to live off the land. In contrast to farmers, homesteaders typically want to develop a self-sufficient way of life by relying solely on what the land can provide.

Hobby Farm

Hobby farms are also established on agricultural land. In contrast to ordinary farms, these farms are for leisure or enjoyment. They still use the property for agricultural purposes even if they (most of the time) don’t make a living from their farm.

The Facts You Need to Know About Agricultural Farm

Before you purchase land with an agricultural zone to build a house on, make sure to understand the following important details:

Covenants, Water Rights, and Zoning Laws

Building a house on the agricultural property is different from doing it in other residential regions. You should be knowledgeable about farming, soil composition, water rights, and your real estate agent. If you intend to farm the land, issues about access to and ownership of water can be fatal.

Agricultural zoning aims to safeguard farming operations and farmland from non-farm uses while conserving and preserving open land uses to promote rural growth and avoid conflicts with urban agricultural land.

However, this does not imply that all agricultural land may only be used for farming. Agricultural land is frequently used to house buildings like churches, utilities, schools, hospitals, offices, feed stores, kennels, etc. To build a house on land with an agricultural zone, however, you must feel at ease living close to farms that may rear cattle.

Understanding the land’s tax status is also critical since exclusive farm usage could put you in a reduced tax bracket if the previous owner didn’t lose the farm tax status.

Flood Plains

Being in a flood zone isn’t all that awful for a farm because the rich deposits that flooded rivers leave behind improve the soil. However, things change if there are any buildings or other structures on the property. If you acquire agricultural land to build a house on it, but it’s in a flood zone, you’ll probably need flood insurance to secure a loan, which, depending on the area, might be pretty expensive.

Zoning Is Not Permanent

Anyone who owns farmland knows that zoning is cyclical, but change is constant. For instance, you might begin by keeping chickens but finish up raising different types of cattle. That’s acceptable if you first purchased the right land, but you should be aware that changing your intended use of the property may result in additional zoning restrictions.

Construction of a House on a Farm

There is a distinction between building homes or barns to support your farm and building residences to sell or rent for residential use when building on agricultural land. Suppose you demonstrate that the building is for agricultural purposes (such as living on-site to tend crops or livestock). In that case, you’ll probably get permission to build your house on agricultural land. The number and function of the house you want to build will determine whether or not your building is approved.

At first, constructing a home on the agricultural property doesn’t seem all that different from doing so elsewhere, but there are a few unique factors to consider. Following are the five processes to follow while constructing a home on land designated for agriculture:

  • Get in touch with your local planning authority to find out if you need a zoning change to construct a residential dwelling on your property. There can be significant costs if you need to have the property rezoned.
  • Learn how to deliver water to your new house because the agricultural property is sometimes remote from water sources in cities or rural areas. If so, drilling a well might be the best course of action; however, if the groundwater is erratic or scarce, you might need to consider other solutions.
  • Find the distance between the place you want to build on and the closest road. You can obtain more precise estimates for items like phone lines, driveways, and power lines.
  • To obtain a building permit, get in touch with your local planning office or building inspector. For a septic system to be permitted when a house is being built on agricultural land, further information may be needed, such as runoff management, erosion control measures, and soil tests.
  • Install the utilities, the driveway, and any other items your builder will require to get to the construction site and continue with the project.

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