The City of Mississauga and Metrolinx are constructing the Dundas Bus Rapid Transit Line. The purpose of the Dundas BRT is to connect a 48km stretch of Dundas Street from Highway 6 in Hamilton to the Kipling Transit Hub in the City of Toronto. Metrolinx is currently advancing plans for the Dundas BRT and various parcels of land will be required along Dundas Street East in order to widen the road and accommodate the construction of the dedicated bus lanes and centre median. Property owners are entitled to compensation for the market value of lands taken and any disturbance damages or injurious affection. Business owners operating in expropriated land may be entitled to damages due to negative impacts resulting from the construction. In addition, to the extent land is acquired by an expropriating authority, and part of the leasehold interest is impacted, the lessee or business owner has a reduced obligation to pay rent in proportion to the amount of land taken, in accordance with Subsection 34(1) of the Expropriations Act.
It is a popular misconception that when an expropriation is initiated by a municipality, transit agency, or other expropriating authority, that a dispute may arise between the property owner and tenant of the lands to be impacted. Rather, both “owners” i.e., landlord and tenant, as defined in the Expropriations Act, are entitled to claim compensation from the expropriating authority. Under most scenarios, a dispute does not arise between landlord and tenant, as a lease is frustrated per s.34(2) of the Expropriations Act, or otherwise terminated, from the date of expropriation.
Owners that are informed of a pending expropriation should be prudent to act in a manner to preserve their rights to compensation. Relocating a business well in advance of an expropriation may result in forgoing rights to compensation if the expropriating authority is not properly engaged throughout this process. Employing specializes in expropriation, including an expropriation lawyer, business valuator, and land appraiser, as the case may require, is essential to ensure the impacted property and business owner obtain full and fair compensation.