Someone is trespassing on my property. What can I do?

3. Understand what the city or police might do

If someone is trespassing on your property and you would like them to stop, you can call the city. They will send a municipal enforcement bylaw officer. If you’re worried for your safety, you can call the police.

To contact the police in an emergency, call 9-1-1. If it’s not an emergency, call 1-888-310-1122 or 1-888-310-1133 (TTY), anywhere in Ontario, 24-hours a day, toll free.

Enforcement officers and police officers have many ways of dealing with trespass complaints. They can:

  • speak with the trespasser and ask them to leave
  • mediate an agreement between you and the trespasser
  • give the trespasser a warning
  • write the trespasser a provincial offences ticket

If the trespasser gets a ticket, they will have the option of paying a fine. There is no jail time. If they don’t agree that they were trespassing, they can ask for a trial. A trial in Provincial Offences Court is less formal than a trial in criminal court. You may have to be a witness if this happens.

Criminal charges

The police can also arrest the trespasser if there is a danger, or charge them with a crime if the trespass is serious. For example, it is a criminal offence to loiter or prowl at night on the property near someone’s home. Charges for criminal trespass are dealt with in criminal court.

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