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Toronto Expropriation Lawyers Assisting Property Owners

As defined in the Expropriations Act, expropriation is the taking of land by the government in the exercise of its statutory powers, without the consent of the property owner.  In Ontario, a variety of public entities, including the provincial government and all municipalities, have the power to expropriate land.

Expropriation is a controversial practice, significantly interfering with a citizen’s private property rights. It often results in legal disputes. Unsurprisingly, facing an expropriation can be a bewildering situation for the landowner whose property is affected. Not only is it shocking to learn that the government can take your land away, it can feel overwhelming to be up against such an adversary.

If you are a landowner facing expropriation or are otherwise going to be affected by a planned expropriation, it is important to consult with a lawyer with significant experience in this highly niche area of law as soon as possible.

At Baker & Company we understand the immense frustration and stress that property owners, business owners, investors, tenants, and other affected parties can experience during an expropriation. We work hard to make the process clear, to clarify your legal rights, and to ensure that you are receiving maximum compensation while being impacted as minimally as possible.

What is Expropriation 

Historically, following European settlement, all land in Canada belonged to the Crown (i.e. the government). Large sections of that land were subsequently sold to private citizens or corporations for use.

Expropriation occurs when the government determines that it requires some or all of that land back for public use. Examples of public use include construction, creation, or expansion of:

  • Highways;
  • Other transportation systems (i.e. light rail, subway, railroad tracks, etc.)
  • Public utility works (i.e. water, hydro, etc.);
  • Airports;
  • Parks; and/or
  • Municipal boundaries.

Expropriation is intended to balance the inevitable conflict between private property rights and the public need for land. It consists of a step-by-step process that must be followed in all instances of expropriation.

Common Expropriation Disputes 

Disputes that commonly arise in expropriation matters include:

  • Disputes over the value of land to be expropriated;
  • Challenges to an expropriating authority’s expropriation decision;
  • Negotiations with an expropriating authority; and
  • Damages claims for effects of an expropriation on a property owner, business or tenant.

At Baker & Company, our expropriation lawyers have more than 30 years of experience representing parties affected by expropriation. We only represent property owners, business owners, and others affected by expropriation – never the government or other expropriating bodies. We are almost always able to secure our clients more money than what was originally offered to them by the government.

Expropriation and Legal Costs 

Many property owners and others affected by expropriation do not realize that obtaining assistance from an expropriations lawyer is often of no cost to them, because the expropriating authority is required, by statute, to pay reasonable legal costs associated with the expropriation process.

Meeting with an expropriation lawyer can almost always improve your claim and secure you more compensation than you otherwise would have obtained on your own.

Damages for Expropriation 

The Expropriations Act was premised on the concept that an expropriated property owner must be made “whole”. As such, an expropriated property owner is entitled to compensation for:

  • The fair market value of the expropriated land (plus interest);
  • Damages that are the “natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation” (including business losses, moving costs, etc.);
  • Damages for injurious affection (especially where only a portion of the property owner’s land is being expropriated); and
  • “Reasonable” legal, appraisal, and other costs.

The process of determining what amount of compensation is appropriate in a given situation is highly technical and complex and requires guidance from very knowledgeable expropriation lawyers.

Contact Baker & Company in Toronto for Legal Guidance and Representation in Expropriation Matters 

If your property is going to be expropriated, contact the highly experienced and strategic Toronto expropriation lawyers at Baker & Company. We have been assisting property and landowners with expropriation matters for more than 30 years. Call us at 416-777-0100 or contact us online for a free consultation.

 

 

 

Have Questions? Contact Us

130 Adelaide Street West, Suite 3300
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5H 3P5

Phone: 416-777-0100
Fax: 416-366-3992
info@bakerlawyers.com