Vacant Commercial & Industrial Buildings

In accordance with Section 364 of the Municipal Act and Ontario Regulation 325/01, the City of Sarnia provides for a property tax rebate for vacant space in commercial and industrial buildings.

This application must be made to the City of Sarnia no later than February 28 of the year following the taxation year to which the application relates.

Applications received after the last day of February will not be considered for rebate.


A building, or a portion of a building, must satisfy certain conditions including:

  • The space must be vacant for 90 consecutive days.
  • The vacant space must be rentable, separately defined from other areas of the building and cannot be used for storage.
  • Seasonal property, space used to store the owners personal items, leased property and vacant land sub class property are not eligible.
  • The property owner or agent is responsible for providing the location and description of the vacant area, including square footage and the effective date of the vacancy.

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) will determine the current value assessment for the vacant area and the City of Sarnia will calculate the rebate.

Application Requirements

Completed application forms must contain the following:

  • Taxation year applied for
  • Check whether the property is in the commercial or industrial tax class
  • Name, address and roll number
  • Owner’s written authorization, if application made by an agent
  • Vacancy details including unit/suite, floor number, building number, square footage and vacancy period from and to dates (must be at least 90 consecutive days).
  • Signature
  • Sketch/Floor Plan
  • Lease agreement(s)/rent roll (only the portion that supports the occupancy date and/or the termination date) or letter if space was never tenanted or was previously owner occupied.  

The following additional information will facilitate the processing of your application:

  • Name of previous tenant
  • Photograph of the vacant areas, where possible

Eligible Charities and Similar Organizations

In accordance with

Eligible Charity – a registered charity as defined in subsection 248.1 of The Income Tax Act (Canada) as amended, that has a registration number issued by the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency.

Eligible Similar Organization – an organization as described in County of Lambton By-law Number 41 of 2001.

Eligible Property – property occupied by an eligible charity or similar organization that is in one of the commercial property classes or in one of the industrial property classes within the meaning of Section 361 of The Municipal Act, 2001. 
Application, in the prescribed form, must be submitted to the City Treasurer by the last day of February of the year following the taxation year to which the application relates.

Applications received after the last day of February will not be considered for rebate.


Submitting an Application

Mail to: 
City of Sarnia, Customer Service Centre
255 Christina St N
Sarnia, ON  N7T 7N2
Attention: Ronda McIntyre


In Person:
Customer Service Centre, 1st Floor City Hall, 255 Christina St N, Sarnia, ON

Please DO NOT send via Fax.

Heritage Properties

The Heritage Property Tax Rebate Program is a financial assistance program adopted by the City of Sarnia to help owners of designated heritage properties maintain and restore their properties for the benefit of the entire community by providing tax relief to owners of eligible heritage properties. The Ontario Heritage Act allows municipalities to offer property tax relief for designated heritage properties provided a Heritage Conservation Easement Agreement is in place.

For additional information on Heritage Properties please refer to the Cultural Heritage section of our website.