Friday 6 May 2016
This can vary a bit, depending on a number of factors. In my experience, the transaction often closes by noon and you can get your keys. The lawyers typically have everything all set to go a couple days before closing, so it's usually a relatively smooth process. Of course, surprises do sometimes pop up that need to be dealt with on the fly, but these are usually addressed by the title search date.
And even if there are no problems, the closing is dependent on the lawyer receiving the money from your mortgage company. Some lenders are better at being prompt than others. Or if you're selling as well as buying, and you require the proceeds of the sale toward the purchase, then the lawyer could be held up waiting for your sale to close before closing your purchase. Which also could be held up by the other buyer's mortgage lender, among other things.
The standard wording in the Ontario Real Estate Association's Agreement of Purchase and Sale requires the deal to close "no later than 6:00pm". So, while you will often have the keys earlier in the day, it's safest to be prepared to wait until the end of the business day, around 4:30 or 5:00pm. I have occasionally seen them squeak through that late. You just hope it doesn't get held over to the next day... I've never had it happen to any of my clients, but it's not impossible.