Expropriation Law – serving Mississauga, Hamilton and Oakville
As the government implements various infrastructure projects across Ontario,
there is a growing need by the authorities to purchase a private property from land owners and business owners in order to accommodate public construction work. The government has the authority to take land without the consent of the owner using the powers set out in the Expropriations Act in Ontario. When a government purchases a property from a private owner without their consent, this is referred to as an expropriation.
Projects such as small as road widening, new bike lanes, or larger projects such as new transit construction often require the authorities to expropriate private property and may have a long-term impact on the future use and value of the remaining lands. The authorities may require your entire property for the project, as such, a direct expropriation will take place and all of your property rights will be purchased; alternatively, only a portion of your property be required (i.e., a small frontage for a road widening). Partial expropriations are often carried out by way of the purchase of a temporary or permanent easement.
At Goldstein Law – Expropriation Law, we have assisted residential property owners, commercial property owners, farmland owners, tenants, and business owners through the expropriation process. Whether you wish to challenge the decision to expropriate your land through a hearing with an inquiry officer, to obtain more compensation from the authorities for the fair market value of your property (or any other damages that are a natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation), or to have experienced legal counsel navigate the expropriation process and represent the property owner in a hearing at the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal.
What are the Fees Involved?
We represent the expropriated property owner for free (with no charge to the client).
The purpose of the Expropriations Act is to ensure that a property owner subject to expropriation is made “whole” by the expropriating authority. As such, an expropriated party is entitled to compensation for their land taken and any other damages (i.e., loss of income for commercial property or business owners, noise and disruption-related damages associated with construction work, costs of relocating or purchasing a new property).
In addition to paying the property owner the fair market value for the expropriated property, Section 22 of the Expropriations Act requires the government to reimburse all reasonable professional and appraisal fees incurred by the property owner associated with the expropriation. As such, you will not be required to pay out-of-pocket for any legal or professional fees, as such fees are covered by the authorities.
What is Injurious Affection?
Expropriations are typically understood to occur when the authorities directly purchase a clients property. In cases of injurious affection, which is defined as the reduction in value that may result in the remainder of the property where a partial expropriation occurs, or where no land is taken and public works substantially interfere with your use and enjoyment of your property.
As such, property owners, in certain limited and specific circumstances are entitled to compensation through an injurious affection claim, where no land has actually been taken. The basis for injurious affection – no land taken claims was initially established by the Supreme Court of Canada case Antrim Truck Centre Ltd. v. Ontario.
Injurious affection claims are premised on the law of nuisance in Ontario. In determining whether there has been a nuisance, the Court in Antrim indicated that an assessment of whether there has been a substantial and unreasonable interference with your property in undertaken. The following factors are assessed:
- The severity of interference;
- The character of the neighbourhood;
- The utility of the defendant’s conduct;
- The sensitivity of the plaintiff; and
- The duration of the interference.
Answers to this inquiry are fact-specific and nuanced. The state of expropriation law in Ontario is evolving as municipalities and provinces are constantly undergoing massive infrastructure projects which necessitate large property purchases. If you are a business or property owner in Ontario and are directly impacted by a public work, whether via direct or partial expropriation, or an injurious affection claim, it is wise to consult with an experienced expropriation lawyer that will assist without any charge to you.
To obtain more information about your rights in an expropriation, contact us today for a free consultation.