Compulsory Acquisition of Land

The expropriation of private land is one of the ultimate exercises of governmental authority. To take all or part of a person’s property constitutes a severe loss and a very significant interference with a citizen’s private property rights. It follows that the power of an expropriating authority should be strictly construed in favour of those whose rights have been affected. This passage is taken from Dell Holdings Ltd. v. Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority, [1997] 1 SCR 32.

Accordingly, the following principles apply in Ontario in connection with expropriations of land:
-Full compensation associated with all losses reasonably resulting from the expropriation;
-Ambiguities are to resolved in favour of the landowner;
-Landowner is entitled to be reimbursed for reasonable professional fees incurred in conjunction with the expropriation.

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