Large and Special Purpose Properties Fact Sheet

November 09, 2020

 What you need to know:

  • Large and special purpose properties present a number of complexities due to their size and specialized nature. 
  • Very few of them transact in the open market on a regular basis.
  • They are typically over 125,000 square feet with unique designs, layout, size, construction materials and/or building services intended for specific uses. 
  • They often contain machines and associated fittings and are designed to facilitate one purpose therefore presenting significant challenges for adaption to other uses. 
  • They typically serve large market areas (e.g., regional, national or international).
  • Large and special purpose properties are placed in the industrial property tax class so the appropriate tax rate can be applied by the municipality. However, portions of the property used for other purposes may be classified according to its use(s) so the appropriate tax rate can be applied. 

Property types include:

  • Aerospace
  • Automotive Assembly Plants
  • Automotive Manufacturing Plants
  • Chemical Manufacturing Plants
  • Food Processing Plants
  • Mining
  • Oil Refineries
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Plants
  • Pulp and Paper Mills
  • Steel Manufacturing Plants
  • Value-Added Wood Products

How we assess Large and Special Purpose Properties

  • We use the cost approach to value large and special purpose properties. This approach determines the assessed value by estimating the replacement cost of the buildings and structures, adjusting that cost for any depreciation and then adding the value of the land.
  • We are required to conduct research of regional, national or international data to support a market value analysis. To do this we regularly scan and keep abreast of market trends associated with large and special purpose properties.
  • We reference the property information received through a formal online information request sent to large and special purpose property owners.
  • Understanding the “market” for large and special purpose properties also requires understanding of the industry in which it operates, (i.e., what is the nature, condition and financial health of the potential buyers and sellers)?
  • Our assessments take into account the economic, industry and company specific conditions that surround large and special purpose properties.

Large & Special Purpose Property Engagement

Sharing Information

We are committed to providing municipalities, taxpayers and all stakeholders with the best possible service through transparency, accountability and trust.

Large and Special Purpose Property Methodology Guides and Market Valuation Reports were created for the 2016 Assessment Update to reflect industry standards, best practices and feedback from property owner consultation efforts, and are available on We have three levels of valuation information for large and special purpose properties:

  • Level 1 – Methodology Guides explain how MPAC approached the valuation of particular types of property.
  • Level 2 – Market Valuation Reports explain how the methodology outlined in Level 1 has been applied at a sector level for the purposes of each assessment.
  • Level 3 – Property Specific Valuation Information, is available to property owners, their representatives and municipalities.

As part of our commitment, we hold engagement sessions with large and special purpose property owners, their representatives and municipalities to improve data collection; consult and collaborate on valuation methodologies and key valuation parameters; identify areas of risk within each respective industry; and share preliminary values with property owners and municipalities to identify any concerns. We also sent formal requests for information directing property owners to answer property questions through an online portal.

About MPAC

The Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC) is an independent, not-for-profit corporation funded by all Ontario municipalities, and is accountable to the Province, municipalities and property owners. Our role is to value and classify all properties in Ontario in compliance with the Assessment Act and regulations set by the Government of Ontario.

  • We are the largest assessment jurisdiction in North America, assessing more than five million properties in Ontario, representing $3 trillion in property value.

  • Our assessments provide the foundation that municipalities use to calculate the property taxes needed to pay for community services.
  • Our assessors are trained experts in the field of valuation and apply appraisal industry standards and best practices.
  • Our assessments and data have met international standards of accuracy and are relied upon by banks, insurance companies and the real estate industry.

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