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Archive For Entries On Property Law

Quashing Specific Performance and Piercing the Veil in Southcott Estates Inc v Toronto Catholic District School Board

Southcott Estates Inc v Toronto Catholic District School Board, 2012 SCC 51, is about an agreement to buy surplus school land for use as a housing development.  The school board did not complete the transaction, and it was undeniably in breach of contract.  Interestingly, at the end of a long legal process, the plaintiff Southcott […]

SCC Clears the Air in Family Feud, Clarifies Tort of Unlawful Interference Too

Lillian Schelew and her four sons, Jeffrey, Michael, Bernard, and Alan, have been involved in residential real estate leasing since the 1970s. Jamb Enterprises Ltd. (“Jamb”) was owned by the four brothers equally, and Bram Enterprises Ltd. (“Bram”) was owned by four brothers equally with Lillian Schelew holding a separate class of preferred voting shares. […]

A Very Long Limitation Period for Unjust Enrichment Claims in McConnell v Huxtable

Statutes of limitations are intended to add clarity to the litigation process but, ironically, sometimes have the opposite effect. Ontario’s Limitations Act, 2002, SO 2002, c 24, Sch B (the “Limitations Act“), was meant to reduce the multitude of different limitation periods with the aim of having a two-year limitation on most types of actions. However, […]

The Ontario Court of Appeal Clarifies Rules for the Division of Property in Buttar v. Buttar

On its face, the Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990 (“FLA“) appears to set down a fairly clear rule for the division of property in a divorce.   The net family property (“NFP”) that is in the hands of each spouse is calculated, and the one who has more pays an amount to equalize their positions.  The […]

The Curious Case of Darwin the Ikea Monkey

On December 9, 2012, social media was ablaze with reports of a small monkey in a winter coat and diaper, wandering around an Ikea parking lot, apparently looking for its owners. The “Ikea Monkey”, as the animal was later dubbed, entered the furniture store and was subsequently picked up by Toronto Animal Services. Darwin the […]

Antrim Truck Centre v. Ontario (Transportation) and the Ethos of De Facto Expropriation

I: The Ethos of De Facto Expropriation Statutory schemes across Canada, such as Ontario’s Expropriations Act, RSO 1990, c E.26, provide that if the state directly expropriates private property, it must compensate the erstwhile owner of that property. It has long been recognized, however, that state regulation of private property that has the effect of eliminating […]

The Supreme Court Redefines Resulting Trusts and the Legal Meaning of “Gift” in Nishi v. Rascal Trucking Ltd.

The tangled case of Nishi v. Rascal Trucking Ltd., 2013 SCC 33, is a classic example of the complicated conflicts that can occur when people mix business dealings with personal friendships.   The unanimous decision of the court appears to reaffirm the doctrine of purchase money resulting trust.   However, Justice Rothstein managed to do it in […]

Finding the City Negligent in Williams v Toronto (City)

In Williams v Toronto, the Ontario Court of Appeal explores the relationship between the City and a tenant, Mr. Williams, over loss of rent paid by tenants owed reduced rent under a statutory rent-reduction scheme. This case determined that there could be sufficient relationship between the tenants and the City to ground a cause of […]

Gametes–The New Property

The third question on my first year property law exam asked whether Canadian law classified body parts (organs, limbs and reproductive material) as property. Unfortunately for my class, Justice Russell of the Supreme Court of British Columbia answered that question on April 25th, 2012 in J.C.M v A.N.A. 2012 BCSC 584–two short weeks after the […]

Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia: B.C. Court of Appeal Will Re-examine Aboriginal Land Rights

In February 2009, the British Columbia Court of Appeal lifted a stay of proceedings on Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2007 BCSC 1700, meaning that the momentous claim to Aboriginal title over a large area in the interior of British Columbia will proceed to the province’s Court of Appeal.  In 2007, Justice Vickers of the […]