December 09, 2019
In Ontario, an expropriation is defined as the “taking of land without the consent of the owner by an expropriating authority in the exercise of its statutory powers...” The terms “owner” and “land” are subject to a broad definition under the Expropriations Act. Expropriation is essentially the government’s exercise of its right to take land for the benefit of the wider community, for example, the building of a highway or road. Expropriation can have a significant impact on the landowner, and therefore it is important to know the rules and procedures that govern the expropriating authority as well as the principles that govern the amount of compensation to be provided to the landowners.
The expropriation process generally involves the following steps:
There are three main categories of compensation in an expropriation, as follows:
The fair market value of the fee simple is based on the market price per square footage multiplied by the amount of land being taken.
Disturbance damages are provided for damages that are the “natural and reasonable consequence of the expropriation” such as the relocation of a fence or loss of trees. This may also include compensation for business loss.
Injurious Affection occurs when the expropriating authority expropriates only a portion of the property (as opposed to the entire property). Owners can claim damages for the reduction in the market value of their remaining land as a result of the expropriation.
The lawyers at Dale & Lessmann LLP have a wealth of experience in expropriation law. They have assisted property owners facing expropriation as a result of a wide variety of infrastructure projects, including the construction of the Hurontario LRT in Mississauga, the construction of the Hurontario LRT in Brampton, the expansion of Britannia Road in Milton, and the expansion of Highway 400, as well as additional projects.
 Expropriations Act, R.S.O. 1990 c. E.26, Section 1(1).