Understanding Expropriations in Ontario

Goldstein Law is an expropriation law firm in Toronto. If you have been informed by the Crown or another expropriating authority that your property will be subject to expropriation, contact the Goldstein Law firm today to discuss your rights and obligations.

What is Expropriation?
An expropriation (or commonly referred to as ’eminent domain’ in the United States) occurs when a public authority takes a property owners land without consent. Such taking of land is often required for the public interest (i.e., to extend a highway or develop a city’s transit infrastructure).

When a statutory authority takes your land through an expropriation, you are entitled to receive compensation equal to the fair market value of the land and/or property taken.

Expropriation Process
Before the authorities engage in the expropriation process, they will seek to negotiate an amicable settlement with the property owner. If a settlement is unable to be reached, the expropriation process will ensure, one which is governed by the Expropriations Act in Ontario.

The expropriating authority is required to obtain the consent of the local city council in order to move ahead with the expropriation. The authority will publish a Notice of Intention for Approval to Expropriate, following which time the property owner has up to 30 days to request an inquiry into the expropriation. The inquiry is sought by owners to ensure that the expropriation is reasonably necessary and that no alternative exists aside from expropriation to accomplish the authorities objective.

Once an expropriation is approved (following an inquiry or otherwise), the authorities will serve on the property owner a notice of expropriation.

Have You Received a Notice of Expropriation?
When the government is set to expropriate your land, you will receive a Notice of Expropriation. The Notice will include, among other details, the date on which the authority requires possession of the lands and a date which the owner can select on which the property will be valued.

Following the issuance of the Notice of Expropriation, the authorities have the right to enter the property owners land to conduct an appraisal, which is then served upon the property owner.  The property owner has the choice whether to accept the offer by the authorities in full and final settlement of all expropriation related claims or to accept the offer while preserving the right to claim additional compensation. Where the latter option is chosen, the property owner will proceed through formal or informal negotiation in the Land Appeal Tribunal (formerly Ontario Municipal Board).

Expropriation is a complicated process that requires the assistance of experienced professionals (lawyers, valuators, real estate appraisers, land use planners, etc.).
Goldstein Law is well-versed in the case law related to expropriation and the necessary procedure to ensure you maximize the value of your expropriated business or property. Contact us today if you have any questions at 647-838-6740. 

Even if your property is not being directly taken, you may have a claim under the Expropriations Act in Ontario.