THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada.*

Archive For Entries On Property Law

The YMCA, Taxation, and Statutory Interpretation: YMCA of Greater Toronto v Municipal Property Assessment Corporation

A recent ruling at the Court of Appeal for Ontario (“ONCA”), Young Men’s Christian Association of Greater Toronto v Municipal Property Assessment Corporation, 2015 ONCA 130 [YMCA, ONCA], held that the Toronto YMCA was not exempt from municipal property taxes on four properties to which it holds leases. The ONCA’s pithy decision rests on principles of statutory […]

Human Sperm to Constitute Legal Property: Lam v University of British Columbia

On January 6, 2015, the British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) delivered a judgment upholding a trial judge’s decision to consider human sperm to be “property” for the purposes of provincial legislation regulating the storage of goods. Lam v University of British Columbia, 2015 BCCA 2, touches on the bioethics of whether human reproductive tissues […]

Revisiting Aboriginal Title Part III: SCC Clarification in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia

This comment is the third in a series detailing the ongoing development of Aboriginal title in Canada. Part I and Part II focused on the British Columbia Court of Appeal decision William v British Columbia, 2012 BCCA 285 [William]. This third part aims to provide an exegesis and analysis of the Supreme Court’s resolution of the appeal from William in Tsilhqot’in Nation v British Columbia, 2014 […]

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

Southcott Estates Inc v Toronto Catholic District School Board, [2012] 2 SCR 675, 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 received […]

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: 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 [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 […]

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 […]