Donating Land to the Province of Nova Scotia

Thank you for considering donating your land to the Province of Nova Scotia.

We welcome land donations that

  • complement the diversity of the province’s natural environment
  • provide stewardship sustainable resource potential
  • enhance the quality of life for Nova Scotians
  • help the province meet its land conservation goals consolidate with existing Crown parcels.

Before you start

Do you have marketable title in fee simple? Is the property free and clear of all legal encumbrances? The province does not accept responsibility for resolving outstanding title issues. Also, we prefer land donations that are not subject to restrictive or limiting conditions.

Have you consulted a lawyer or financial advisor about the costs and benefits of donating land? Besides the benefits of your donation to Nova Scotia, you can request a tax receipt for the appraised fair market value of the land. Generally, the department pays most of the costs associated with donating land to the province. However, you may have some legal costs to factor in, and you should consider the implications of the transaction on income tax and capital gains. Note that the province cannot give advice about your personal financial situation. Also, if the land’s past uses include exposure to toxic or hazardous substances, you may need to pay for an environmental audit.

How to donate land

You can apply online or download an application form from our website.

Our process

We review each potential gift of land for the overall benefit it can bring to the province. We consider how the land supports our departmental values, such as geology and minerals, forestry, parks and recreation, wildlife, biology, and boundary line reduction.

If we decide that the land would be a valuable addition to the province’s land base, we

  • pay to have the property appraised to establish the property’s fair market value, by an appraiser with an Accredited Appraiser Canadian Institute designation
  • conduct a standard title search of the lands and prepare necessary documentation—the property must be free and clear of all legal encumbrances at the time of a formal offer of donation
  • may require an independent environmental audit, at your expense, to ensure that the subject property is free from toxic or hazardous substances
  • seek the approval of the Minister or Cabinet before accepting the donation

Time to complete

Most donations can be completed within a year, which is usually longer than donating to a private-sector conservation organization.

pdf icon Download the brochure about donating land to the Crown