The authorities have the right to enter onto your private property to conduct an assessment to determine whether the property is suitable and necessary to accommodate its construction or infrastructure projects. If so, you may be facing expropriation proceedings. The authorities are required to provide advanced notice to the landowner, advising that they will be entering onto the lands to conduct an inspection prior to any expropriation proceeding commencing. The assessment may consist of archaeological digging, soil testing, traffic flow testing, etc. The property owner and authorities may enter into an agreement around the investigation to limit the time and scope of the authorities use of the property.
Following the investigation, should the authorities view the property as reasonably necessary to carry out the specific construction works, they will attempt to purchase the property from the property owner in good faith prior to initiating any expropriation proceedings. To that end, the authorities will provide the property owner with an offer to purchase property – the amount of compensation will be based on the professional conclusions of a real estate appraiser or business valuator. The property owner is then advised to obtain their own professional advice from an expropriation lawyer, business valuator, and/or real estate appraiser to determine whether the authorities offer to purchase is fair and reasonable in the circumstances. The authorities are required to reimburse the property owner for all reasonable legal and professional fees incurred during an expropriation in Ontario.
In the event an agreement to purchase the land cannot be negotiated, the authorities will be required to undergo expropriation proceedings. We will discuss how expropriations in Ontario unfold in a subsequent blog post.