Township Records

Township Records Revision Project (TRRP)

The Surveys Section, under the authority of Section 30(4) of the Surveys Act, intends to update and revise all townships. The final product, derived from original field notes or other official records, could then be relied upon to contain correct and updated survey information about Alberta’s township system. Overall, this would reduce errors, lessen confusion in future, reduce costs and strengthen the integrity of Alberta’s the land survey system.

Under the Township Records Revision Project (TRRP), a deficiency or defect is defined as a clerical discrepancy between township field notes and a township plan. TRRP is not intended to correct survey errors that may have occurred during the original township survey. Many of these survey errors are discovered and documented by secondary survey plans.

About the TRRP

The Township Records Revision Project (TRRP) is an initiative to review, revise and update survey information for all official township plans for the Province of Alberta.

Original field notes or other official records will be used to create township plans containing correct and updated survey information about Alberta’s township system. The revised survey plans will:

  • Reduce confusion about the land survey system
  • Reduce costs associated with correcting township survey plan errors
  • Reduce errors in and strengthen the integrity of Alberta’s land survey system

Administration of the TRRP

The Surveys Section administers the TRRP under the authority of Section 30(4) of Alberta’s Surveys Act. See the Queen’s Printer website at:

Administrative responsibilities for the original plans for official surveys in Alberta and the plans themselves were transferred to the Alberta government from Ottawa in 1931.

Revision of Alberta’s Township Plans

Research by the Surveys Section indicates that very little has been done with respect to revising and updating official township plans since the transfer of administrative responsibilities from Ottawa to Alberta in 1931.

In the years after 1931, the Director of Surveys used the Plan Examination Program to communicate to Alberta Land Surveyors the problems with township plans. For this reason, revision of township plans was not a high priority.

At the time, only particular plans were revised and updated – either when new sections of land were surveyed or when the plans were affected by re-surveys or restoration surveys. Since this program was discontinued in 1987, Surveys Section has made the revision of township plans its priority.

Township Plan Errors

Under the TRRP, a deficiency or defect is defined as a clerical discrepancy between township field notes and a township plan.

TRRP is not intended to correct survey errors that may have occurred during the original township survey. Many of these survey errors are discovered and documented by secondary survey plans.

Plans within the Township Records Revision Project

Historical and Current Township Plans

The following PDF files contain a listing of new editions of township plans approved and confirmed by the Director of Surveys under the Township Records Revision Project (TRRP) since 1998 and a resurvey.

Once approved and confirmed by the Director of Surveys, the township plans are available through:

For details of new townships, contact:

Official Plan Categories within the TRRP

As the process of updating and revising township plans continues, information about the affected townships should be shared with our clients.

To this end, the main categories of official plans to be investigated are provided below. In addition, a list of the township plans affected based on the Alberta Township System (Meridian, Range, Township), including a comment field with a brief description of the alleged defect(s), is provided.

As these deficiencies are investigated and resolved, the list will be updated. Users are advised to check back to this site for the latest information.

The Surveys Section has not yet thoroughly investigated each defect; therefore, it is identified as an alleged defect. As each official plan is reviewed, additional research is required to confirm whether there is in fact a deficiency. If there is, a new edition of the plan will need to be created.

Baselines and Meridians

Due to errors in surveys, parts of some baseline and meridian plans do not correctly reflect how the monuments are posted. Some of these lines are officially recorded on township plans (5th Meridian), while others have not been officially recognized and remain in the field notes stage. Approximately 60 township plans within this category are included in the list provided.

The Director of Surveys Office has prepared the 5th Meridian Townships 89 to 108 Policy Document dealing specifically with the 5th Meridian:

Clerical Errors, Omissions or Defects

In the past, while conducting regular plan examination duties, a number of township plans were found to contain clerical errors or data omission when compared with the original township field notes. Alberta Land Surveyors have reported other defects such as monumentation inconsistencies and conflicting data. Approximately 183 official plans within this category are included in the list.

Forest Reserves

As Forest Reserves were established, some of the information for townships within the areas affected was removed from official plans produced. Since the Surveys Section recognizes the importance of identifying all of the available survey data on the township plan, the TRRP will restore all of the previously deleted information. Approximately 42 plans fall within this category and are included within the list provided.

Indian Reserves

Some township plans do not reflect the current position of common boundaries of Indian Reserves. The updating of official township plans to show the current boundary position of Indian Reserves will require the collaborative efforts of Geomatics Canada, Land Administration and others to ensure the boundaries are correct and current. A listing of township plans within this category is not available at this time.

When doing research involving Indian Reserves, users must not rely solely on the information shown on township plans.

Non-Standard/Old-Style Plans

Township plans prepared prior to 1903 contained detailed topographic information but were deficient in survey information compared to today's standards. Information regarding the type of survey monumentation placed at the corners or whether witness monuments were placed was not included on the plan. There are no immediate plans to revise townships in this category as these plans are easily identified and field notes are readily available. Approximately 280 townships are listed in this category.

Many land surveyors assume that in the absence of bearings and distances, the plans are standard townships with all distances being 40 chains and all bearings being straight lines with no deflections. This is not always the case, and field notes must be researched for any of these types of plans.

Restoration/Re-establishment on Township, Baseline and Meridian Plans

There are approximately 68 official surveys that have re-established lost monuments, retraced existing boundaries and restored obliterated monuments. This information has not yet been incorporated into the official township plans. Official plans affected are included in the alleged deficiency list.

Single-Line Road Allowances

All existing township plans indicating a single-line for the theoretical government road allowance within unsurveyed territory are considered deficient. New editions showing road allowances 99 feet wide along unsurveyed section lines shall replace these plans. There are 21 township plans showing single-line unsurveyed road allowances included in the list provided.

Superseded Townships

In early years, as new townships were surveyed and official plans produced, an attempt was made to review and update all other bordering townships if changes were discovered on the common boundaries. This practice was discontinued when the responsibility for township plans was transferred to Alberta in 1931.

There are also a number of redundant baseline and meridian plans that have been incorporated into township plans. There are no immediate plans to revise township plans in this category. A list of deficient township plans in this category is not available at this time.

When doing research along a township boundary, surveyors must review other bordering townships for the possibility of more up-to-date information.

List of Alberta Townships with Alleged Deficiencies

For details of alleged deficiencies or to comment on specific items within the list of alleged deficiencies, contact:

Contact Us

Any questions or comments should be directed to the Surveys Section for details.

 

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Updated: Feb 22, 2018