A listing says “Fronting on the South”, what would it mean?



From Zoocasa
Ask the Pros

Q. In Real Estate Terms, what does “Fronting” mean? Say a house says “Fronting on the South”, what would it mean?

A. The term goes back to “Metes & Bounds” description system of land under the Torrens system (used by surveyors and the Registry system est. in Ontario/Upper Canada after 1791).

A parcel of land (almost always)must touch a roadway, so the legal description started with a point on a road. It carried on by saying ~ 220 feet on a bearing of x degrees SSE, then westerly 150 feet on a bearing of ? degrees, then …..on and on … returning to the point of commencent.

If a road runs north-south, then the properties “front” on the east or west side of that n/s road.

Similarly, properties “front” on the north and south side of an east-west road.

Recently confusion has arisen because in condos the direction stated on listings is the direction faced by the “Exterior Exposure” ie what the “view” is from the windows.

Listing accuracy is important regarding “Fronting” because some buyers prefer certain “exposures” ie front door facing N or S or E or W for sunlight (inside or in garden) or for artistic or geomancy reasons.

Just be mindful of whether you’re looking at a condo or freehold listing and then use the “Front on X side of a Street” or “views towards” rule.


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