The Expropriation Act

October 31st, 2012 by

Over the last couple of weeks I completed a research assignment on land expropriation, the tort of injurious affection and business loss.  When we studied land expropriation in law school, I remember thinking to myself that land expropriation would turn out to be as practical as calculus…not surprisingly, I would be wrong.

In any event, my research focused on the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension project near the location where the new Finch West station is being built.  This research assignment was of particular interest to me because I can trace much of my formative years and adolescence back to the intersection of Finch and Keele, more on that later.

The main reason this research assignment was so interesting to me, however, was because I had no idea where to begin.  So, I did what any reasonable articling student would do under the circumstances – I googled it.  When that didn’t turn up anything I thought that the best course of action would be to call someone at the TTC, after all, I reasoned, that if our client is having this problem with TTC construction, others must be too.  So I called the TTC, the City of Toronto, City Officials, you name ‘em, I called ‘em.

Several of those calls led nowhere and I was starting to give up hope…until, one person told me to check the Expropriations Act (the “Act”).  But, our client was not having their land expropriated, I explained, we simply wanted to make out the tort of injurious affection and business loss.  The person replied, “look, I can’t tell you any more than that, just trust me…”  With nothing to lose, I looked up the Act and, sure enough, injurious affection is defined under section 1(1)(b). The Act further provides for compensation for injurious affection under section 22.  Cases brought under the Act are heard before the Ontario Municipal Board.  Learning about the OMB’s adjudicative process was a nice change of pace from the Rules of Civil Procedure.  All in all, this has been one of my favourite research assignments because of the opportunity to critically think my way to an answer and how much I learned.

If you’re still reading and wondering why Finch and Keele holds a special place in my heart it’s because my father had a small auto business in the area for more than ten years.  My brother and I spent many summers there; we were in charge of washing the cars and readying them for customers.  My dad also taught me to drive in and around that area, of course, I may or may not have been thirteen at the time, but that’s a story for another blog entry………..


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