Surveying Services

With six licensed Ontario Land Surveyors, a number of experienced survey field crews, survey technicians and CAD support staff, Van Harten is able to offer a complete range of professional survey services to assist with your land development and construction needs. In addition to traditional survey services, we continue to invest and explore in a wide variety of unique survey services to stay current with societal changes.


Read more about the Surveying Services we offer below.

Survey Plans

Whether you are developing a subdivision or condominium, require a topographic survey of a property to assist with engineering design or require a building location survey for mortgage purposes, Van Harten has the staff and expertise to deliver the final product. Below are some of the more common types of survey services offered by Van Harten.


Van Harten has vast experience regarding subdivision development having worked with numerous land developers in Southern Ontario. Our services begin with the initial conversion to Land Titles Absolute to final registration and barring of the subdivision. We will work with your legal, engineering and planning teams closely through the approval process.


A topographic survey is an accurate representation of geodetic ground elevations and existing site features such as buildings, curbs, driveways, utilities etc. as they relate to property boundaries. The recorded elevations allow for computer generated contour lines that depict the slope of the land. In some applications the topographic data is placed over aerial photographs to provide a more illustrative depiction of the landscape.


A reference plan is a survey that is used to describe a specific property or parts of a property. These plans are sometimes prepared for severances, creation of new easements or highway plans and are all deposited at the Land Registry Office. Van Harten has completed thousands of these plans for a wide variety of public and private clients.


A Surveyor’s Real Property Report (SRPR) is a survey plan and report indicating the locations of property features (house, shed, fences) relative to the property lines. This plan shows what the purchaser is buying and reveals any easements, encroachments or other encumbrances. If desired, we can also ensure all the property corners are marked with legal survey bars. The SRPR is commonly used for real estate transactions and mortgages as it provides a clear picture of the subject property that would reveal any encroachment issues.


Van Harten is very familiar with the Condominium Act and is recognized as a local leader in this industry. Whether you are developing a vacant piece of land with a new condominium building or are converting an existing building into condominium units, Van Harten can assist in the process. We consult with the client, engineers, planners and municipalities through the site plan approval process. Once the plan is approved and construction commences, survey crews from Van Harten provide construction layout services to ensure that the buildings and site features are set in the correct position. The completed survey plans that are used for final registration clearly define the units with all exclusive and common element areas.


For fencing or any other construction work within your property limits, Van Harten can assist you by uncovering and/or re-setting survey iron bars at all corners of the property. The bars are set flush with the existing ground or grass and are marked with wood stakes to assist you in locating your boundary lines. Need your property surveyed for a fence? Fill out our online Fence Survey Order form.

House Construction

Van Harten is actively involved with the home building industry throughout Southern Ontario. Our firm provides personal attention to each client through the permit stage and construction to help ensure an efficient and successful building experience. Below are some common services that we provide.


For permit application, Van Harten will prepare a site plan for your new home to be built within a fully serviced registered plan of subdivision that is under a controlled grading plan. This plan clearly illustrates a house position that complies with local zoning by-laws and provides foundation elevations and surface grading of the lot. This plan is part of a Builder’s Package that includes an excavation stake-out and final building location survey or SRPR of the constructed dwelling. Once the house has been built and the lot has been graded, Van Harten is able to provide lot grading certification that ensures your lot was graded in conformance with the approved plan.


Van Harten has extensive planning, surveying and engineering experience dealing with conservation authorities and municipalities that will ensure that all of the necessary steps are taken as you proceed towards obtaining a permit to begin construction. Van Harten offers objective and professional advice to accommodate the regulators who are reviewing the application.

Our scope of work varies from client to client and from municipality to municipality; however, these projects often entail a site plan that that illustrates the proposed dwelling location and orientation that meets local municipal and zoning by-laws; a topographic survey of the building envelope; grading design to suit the architectural design of the dwelling that establishes the foundation elevation and surface drainage patterns; and an engineered sewage system design. Our final product is a detailed Lot Development Plan that is suitable for both site plan and building permit applications. Once permits are issued, we offer a complete range of construction layout services to ensure accurate location and elevation of the dwelling as well as sewage system inspections to provide final engineering certification.


Once the planning, designing and engineering components have been completed and permits have been issued, Van Harten provides survey layout services for a wide range of construction projects to help ensure horizontal and vertical accuracy. This work includes excavation and footing stake-outs, curb layout, municipal servicing layout, grade stakes to assist with lot grading and numerous other projects. Our crews are equipped with fully equipped trucks, smart phones, laptops and all of the latest survey equipment to ensure prompt, professional service.

Unique Survey Services

With advancements in technology, Van Harten is always adapting our role in the surveying and engineering industry to ensure that we remain current with the time. Below are some of the more unique survey services offered at Van Harten.


Van Harten has been involved with some pilot GIS parcel mapping projects including a map of all benchmarks within Orangeville, burial plots at a municipal cemetery in Grand Valley and parcel mapping of Elgin County. Nobody understands datums, projections and coordinates better than surveyors, and our crews can provide the data with the highest accuracy possible.


With increased interest in clean, renewable sources of energy, Van Harten has been providing extensive survey work to assist with the development of local wind farm projects. This work includes topographic surveys, reference plans and construction layout services.


Van Harten has the ability of creating 3D modeling using various field techniques (including 3D scanning) and CAD programs. This service was been provided for an existing multi-storey building that did not have architectural plans to assist with the creation of condominium plans clearly depicting three dimensional boundaries between individual units. This service was also provided for a commercial building that had been badly damaged by fire to assist the architect in the design of the necessary repairs. This service provides builders and homeowners assistance in the orientation and design of custom rural estate homes. Read more about 3D Laser Imaging here.


While traditional construction layout is still provided in the industry, some grading operations are now being carried out by machines equipped with GPS units. These GPS units are connected to a computer control systems that provide the operator with the necessary cut and fill operations. Van Harten can provide data conversion services that will take the UTM topographic survey data and engineering design into a format that the machines can read.


Van Harten is equipped to complete ALTA® Surveys in accordance with the policies and procedures of The American Land Title Association of the United States. In simple terms, an ALTA® Survey can be compared to a combined full boundary and topographic survey along with all planning data. ALTA® Surveys can be further researched here and the standards can be downloaded here.


Rural developments within the Niagara Escarpment or other environmentally sensitive areas sometimes require a visual assessment to ensure that the integrity of the natural environment will not be impaired following construction. A Visual Assessment includes a series of pictures of the property from various vantage points along the road that show the new building as if it’s already there. Using topographic data along with site photos, architectural drawings and the site plan design, the buildings are digitally modelled into the terrain to provide a visual image of the final product from various vantage points.


Occasionally we are retained for unique projects to provide extremely accurate measurements. We have measured concrete pads with millimetre contour maps, assisted with precise placement of large glass panels on a tower and measured settlement of a house foundation to the tenth of a millimeter. Our firm has the survey equipment and experience to provide these services.


Contact us today to get a quote!

Whether you know exactly what you are looking for or need some help with the next steps, we invite you to please reach out to us at Van Harten.