Barrister & Solicitor | Integrity Commissioner

Menu

Ontario cases.


To view sample cases that we have been involved in, browse by location by clicking on the geographical area you are interested in, or browse by subject area by clicking on an icon below.

Our Work
Location
Subject
Court
  1. Curtis v. Town of The Blue Mountains

    Location:

    Grey/Bruce


    Subject:

    Residential Development, Severances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicants applied for and were granted a consent to sever their lands. The proposal was to create a new 576 square metre vacant residential lot with a retained lot of 3,091 square metres. A neighbour appealed the decision on the basis that the consent does not conform to the Town’s Official Plan.


    Held:

    Appeal is dismissed.


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the evidence supports the granting of a provisional consent, with conditions, for a new lot as requested. The Board finds that the proposal complies with the Town’s Official Plan policies, as laid out in the evidence. The Board finds that the PPS, the County Official Plan and the Town Official Plan all encourage growth in primary settlement areas through intensification and infilling, such as this proposal.


    Document(s):



  2. Town of Shelburne and Ice River Springs Water Co. Inc. v. Township of Amaranth

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Agricultural, Residential Development, Severances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicant applied for and was granted approval of the creation of two one hectare lots in the northern portion of the property, in the Township of Amaranth. These two lots front on a County Road which separates the Township of Amaranth from the Town of Shelburne, directly across from the Shelburne Industrial Park. They are also adjacent to a wetland, floodplain and a water feature and within a large area identified as a Significant Habitat. Council’s decision was appealed by the Appellants to the Ontario Municipal Board.


    Held:

    Consent for the Severances is denied and the appeals are allowed.


    Reasons:

    The Official Plan states: “Proposals for new development shall include an assessment of the impact of the proposed development on the adjacent land uses include noise, odour, dust, traffic…”. The Board did not find that the existing and future industry are compatible with the proposed lots and the consents do not adhere to land use compatibility. Natural Heritage and Significant Habitat: The language and requirement of an Environmental Impact Assessment is clear and mandatory. No such assessment was completed in this case. Growth Management: With respect to Rural Lands, limited residential development is to occur. The Official Plan includes criteria for a specific number of lots to be created on an annual basis, and these applications do not conform strictly to those numbers.


    Document(s):



  3. Jones v. Township of Seguin

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Residential Development, Severances, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal by the Applicant was made against the failure of the Committee of Adjustment of the Township of Seguin to approve an application for three new lots and against the approval by the Township of Comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 2006-125 with regard to a waterfront property at 189 Isabella Lake. The proposal was to create three parcels from the subject property which will divide the property into four seasonal residential lots with frontage on Lake Isabella. Issues included access on a private road and recreational carrying capacity.


    Held:

    Appeals dismissed.


    Reasons:

    The Board made a finding that the Clergy Principle, modified by James Dick, required that the applications would be tested against the policies in force at the time of application, and that while subsequent policies could be considered, they would not be determinative. The Board concluded that the consent applications do not conform to the Official Plan and they do not have appropriate regard for s. 51 (24) of the Planning Act. Approval of the application would be contrary to the intent of the Official Plan to limit development of waterfront areas on Lake Isabella. The Official Plan policies with regard to access were not achieved because access would be provided on a private road over which a proper registered right of way does not exist. With regard to the zoning appeal, the Board found that it is appropriate to place the lands into the Limited Service Residential zone, where land is not accessed by a public road.


    Document(s):



  4. Chiu v. City of Toronto (Committee of Adjustment)

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicants wish to construct a new two-storey dwelling on the subject property. They applied for and received authorization from the Committee of Adjustment. The Committee’s decision was appealed by Carolyn Koziskie and Lucinda Chiu, who are abutting owners to the north and east respectively. The Applicants and the Appellant, Carolyn Koziskie settled their differences and the application was being amended to reflect the agreement reached between them.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part.


    Reasons:

    The Board is satisfied that the variances, individually and cumulatively, meet the four tests. The intent of the Official Plan is met, and the proposed variances will result in a dwelling that respects and reinforces the physical character of the neighbourhood. The intent of the zoning by-law is maintained, and the authorization of these variances will have less of an impact than potential “as of right” development concepts. The variances are minor both by order of magnitude and will not cause any adverse impact on anyone. The Appellants are concerned about impact on their existing view, and it is well settled law that there is no right to the protection of a view in Ontario. Authorization of these variances will allow the construction of a dwelling meeting modern needs of creative design that will maintain the high quality of the neighbourhood.


    Document(s):



  5. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Ontario (Natural Resources)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Judicial Review, Renewable Energy, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Court of Appeal


    Application/issue:

    The Township of Muskoka Lakes appeals the order of the Divisional Court dismissing its application for judicial review of the decision of the Minister of Natural Resources to prohibit access to certain Crown lands adjacent to Bala Falls under section 28(1) of the Public Lands Act, and for orders: (1) declaring that a portage protected by section 65(4) of the Public Lands Act passes over the site; (2) prohibiting the Minister or any other person from interfering with that portage; (3) setting aside the water frontage at the Site for recreational purposes and access purposes pursuant to section 3 of the Public Lands Act; and (4) prohibiting any interference with that frontage.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Court sees no basis for interfering with the Divisional Court’s decision, as they believe that the Divisional Court identified the appropriate standard of judicial review and applied it correctly. Given the safety concerns, the Minister’s decision was reasonable, even if a portage protected by section 65(4) existed, or section 3 applied to the site. The Minister’s decision fell within a range of possible, acceptable outcomes, which are defensible in respect of the facts and law. Further, subject to any aboriginal and treaty rights, the Minister has the right to make an order under section 28(1) that has the effect of prohibiting passage over portages and Transport Canada has also provisionally concluded that navigation would not be substantially impacted by the proposed waterpower generation facility. The Court of Appeal agrees with the Divisional Court that the Minister’s decision was reasonable without having to make findings on the existence of the alleged portage and the sufficiency of the frontage.


    Document(s):



  6. Thompson v. Ministry of Natural Resources

    Location:

    Northern Ontario


    Subject:

    Aggregate Extraction, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    This prehearing conference dealt with a proposal to build a quarry in the Township of Ryerson. He had made a two-pronged application – one under the Planning Act for rezoning, and another under the Aggregates Resources Act for a Class A quarry licence. The Township Council agreed to rezone, though conditionally. There were appeals of that Zoning By-law to the Ontario Municipal Board. There was also a referral by the Minister of Natural Resources, to the Board, of the licence matter under the Aggregates Resources Act. Issues include traffic/haul route, environmental concerns, compatibility, hydrogeology work, blasting, property values, and the special zoning provisions.


    Held:

    Hearing is set for future date


    Reasons:


    Document(s):



  7. Bayou Cable Park v. Township of Amaranth and Amaranth Alliance for Rural Preservation Inc.

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Agricultural, Recreational Development, Severances, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The matter before the Board is an appeal by Bayou Cable Park Inc. and the owner Brennan Grange from the refusal by the Township of Amaranth of his request for a Zoning By-law Amendment and a consent to sever for the purposes of establishing a wakeboard facility on his property on 20 sideroad. The appeal also includes the failure to make a decision on the site plan application. The proposal is to sever and rezone the western portion of the property that contains a lake from Rural to Recreational to permit the commercial wakeboarding operation and to retain the eastern portion of the property where the Appellant has his home, a single detached residential dwelling and accessory building. Issues raised included the interpretation of minimum distance separation (MDS) policies, noise levels, and general compatibility in the rural area.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the day to day activities and special events is not a passive recreational activity, as there are 300 people expected to attend and where there will be a PA system. An active recreational use is not compatible with the surrounding rural and agricultural uses, and as such, is not consistent with the 2005 Provincial Policy Statement and does not conform to the Growth Plan or the Official Plan. The Board also finds that the proposed use exceeds the scale and intensity intended by the Official Plan for a passive recreational use. Further, the proposed consent does not conform to the Township Official Plan due to the incompatibility of use on the retained and severed lands with respect to noise; it is not good planning to approve a consent and use that will lead to future incompatibility; and finally, the consent is premature and not in the public interest.


    Document(s):



  8. Recycling Specialties Inc. v. AAA Professional Self Storage Inc.

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Industrial Development, Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    This was a hearing in relation to appeals filed by AAA Professional Self Storage Inc. against decisions on applications for an Official Plan Amendment and Zoning By-law Amendment filed by Recycling Specialties Inc. in the Town of Midland. The applications would permit a facility to receive and sort construction waste (concrete, drywall, etc.). The issues included compatibility with surrounding uses, sufficiency of environmental and traffic studies, and appropriate mitigation.


    Held:

    Appeals allowed in part; OPA modified and approved; Zoning By-law approved


    Reasons:

    From the planner’s evidence, it was clear to the Board that the subject site is a suitable location for a Recycling Facility given the surrounding uses. Environmental features are not negatively impacted as a study to address natural features was properly completed. The proposed recycling facility will not be handling hazardous or organic materials.


    Document(s):



  9. Heritage Grove Centre Inc. and Villarboit Development Corporation v. City of Owen Sound

    Location:

    Grey/Bruce


    Subject:

    Commercial Development, Official Plan Amendments, Shopping Centre Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    In March 2012, Heritage Grove Centre Inc. and Villarboit Development Corporation applied for an amendment to the City’s Zoning By-law 2010-78. The intent was to increase the permitted Gross Floor Area and to relax or eliminate the Gross Floor Area and unit size restrictions, so as to facilitate a new retail development. However, City Council refused the application, with concerns about potential market impact. The Applicants appealed to the Board. However, after a series of pre-hearing conferences, the Applicants and the City agreed on modifications to the application as well as a draft Zoning By-law.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The parties were able to agree on a new draft Zoning By-law, which formed part of their settlement. The Board also considered the opinion of expert planner Wendy Nott, who stated, “the settlement is appropriate, in conformance with applicable policy, and represents good land-use planning in the public interest.” The Board found no reason to disagree.


    Document(s):



  10. Boswell v. Seguin (Township)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    This variance hearing was uncontested. On Lake Joseph, there are many substantial boathouses with upper living quarters. Some are larger than what is permitted by today’s zoning – which was sometimes adopted years after these structures were built. Boswell (Applicant) owned on of those non-complying structures in the Township of Seguin. The Applicant proposed a boatlift apparatus, intended for the boat moored under her awning. Although these devices spend much of their time underwater, By-law 2006-25 treats any “in-water shoreline structure or facility” in much the same way as a building. The Applicant applied for three variances: to reduce the sideyard setback; to allow a corresponding increase in width of the boathouse; and to allow an adjustment in the allowable shoreline frontage. The Committee of Adjustment received letters of opposition and the Committee turned down the variances. The Applicant then appealed to the Board.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    Although there are many instances where concerns would be justified, the Board was not convinced that they apply to the fact situation here. In terms of visual impact, and respect for the water and the shoreline: at present, the view is of a boat at water level, under a cantilevered awning; under this proposal, the only change to that vista would be that the boat would be propped, instead of being at water level. The Board was not persuaded that, in this specific case, the incremental act of propping the boat under the awning would represent a significant visual digression – as viewed from the lake. The Board concludes that the evidence makes the proposed variances minor, for the purposes of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  11. Town of Bracebridge v. Bakema (Little Europe Resort)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Commercial Development, Residential Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Town of Bracebridge passed a comprehensive Zoning By-law No. 2006-120, for which there was a site-specific appeal filed by the Little Europe Resort. The Board authorized a zoning change to CT-9H subject to the provision that a site plan agreement be entered into. The Town in its motion to the Board is requesting that the Board issue its final Order without a site plan agreement.


    Held:

    Motion allowed, final Order issued


    Reasons:

    Roelf Bakema was agreeable to the change and none of the other original appellants appeared at the hearing. The Board grants the motion by the Town of Bracebridge based upon the uncontested affidavit evidence of Matthew Holmes and the Board will issue its final Order with respect to By-law No. 2006-120.


    Document(s):



  12. Simcoe (County) v. Innisfil (Town)

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Agricultural, Commercial Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicants own and operate Lake Simcoe Marina and currently operate a year round commercial boat storage business on the subject lands that is related to their Lake Simcoe Marina business. By-law 106-12 seeks to regularize commercial boat storage on the subject lands. The By-law applies to a portion of the lands within the Agriculture designation. The By-law does not permit commercial boat storage on any lands designated Natural Environment. The Town adopted the By-law to permit commercial boat storage on the lands currently designated and zoned Agricultural. The County appealed the matter to the Board. The principal issue before the Board is whether the commercial boat storage is a secondary agricultural use, as set out in the Town’s Official Plan.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed and by-law is repealed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the Official Plan clearly requires the use to be both secondary and agricultural. Regardless of whether one considers the commercial boat storage to be secondary to the livestock operation, no amount of skilful interpretation results in the conclusion that commercial boat storage is an agricultural use. The commercial boat storage is unrelated to an agricultural use on the subject lands. The evidence before the Board is clear that the commercial boat storage is related to the marina business owned by the Applicants and operated several kilometres away from the subject lands. The Board concludes that Town of Innisfil By-law No. 106-12 which permits commercial boat storage on the subject lands does not conform to the Town Official Plan and, as such, does not conform to the County Official Plan, does not conform to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and is not consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement.


    Document(s):



  13. Hamilton v. Correia

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Costs, Residential Development, Severances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Joseph Hamilton seeks costs against Richard Correia arising from a hearing in which Mr. Correia appealed against a severance granted to Mr. Hamilton by the Committee of Adjustment for a property in the Town of Wasaga Beach. In a decision issued on May 28, 2013, the Board found in favour of Mr. Hamilton. The amount Mr. Hamilton is seeking is not stated directly in his Motion, but his counsel indicates in accompanying documentation that Mr. Hamilton claims is $8,241.57 in legal and planning expenses.


    Held:

    Motion for costs dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board’s rules do not provide leeway to award costs when a party’s conduct has been found to be reasonable, but resulted in “inconvenience and financial loss for other parties.” Further, an appellant is under no obligation to provide expert witnesses. Failure to present evidence can be considered to constitute frivolous or vexatious behaviour and worthy of the awarding of costs, but does not apply in this case.


    Document(s):



  14. Robertson v. Town of Bracebridge

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Accessory Dwelling Units, Residential Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Caroline Robertson and Jill Popkey (Applicants/Appellants) have appealed from the refusal of the Council of the Town of Bracebridge to approve a Zoning By-law Amendment for the subject property. The property is designated Residential by the Town of Bracebridge Official Plan and zoned Residential Type 1 by Zoning By-law No. 2006-120. The purpose and effect of the proposed Zoning By-law is to rezone the subject property to Residential Type 1 – Special 56 in order to permit all uses in the R1 Zone including one accessory apartment dwelling unit. The current application results from a complaint by a local resident who suspected that this location contained multiple dwellings. As a result, the Building Department directed the owners to either comply with the permitted use or to apply for permission to allow an accessory apartment unit.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board, in having reviewed and considered the oral and documentary evidence of the parties and the submissions of counsel, finds that the rezoning proposal fails to conform to the spirit and intent of certain policies of the Official Plan. More importantly, the Board is not convinced that the proposal is consistent with the principles of good land use planning, nor can it be seen to have sufficient regard for the public safety and interest. The Board’s view, by virtue of the shape and dimensions of the subject property along with the existing zoning standard deficiencies, permitting a second living/dwelling unit at this location is not conducive to the principles of good planning.


    Document(s):



  15. Breadner v. The Town of Blue Mountains

    Location:

    Grey/Bruce


    Subject:

    Aggregate Extraction


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Application for a Class A License for the removal of aggregate.


    Held:

    License issued upon settlement


    Reasons:

    The parties had reached a settlement. The Board had received revised Site Plans and Site Plan Notes from the parties confirming the settlement has been properly implemented. Therefore, the Board directs the Minister of Natural Resources to issue a Class A, category 3 above the water table license for the property.


    Document(s):



  16. Nizar Fakirani Professional Corp. v. City of Toronto

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicant seeks to permit an existing private school to continue to provide full time English as a second language and high school courses on the main floor of the building. A variance is required from Employment Districts Zoning By-law No. 24982 to permit a 140 square metre private secondary school. The Committee of Adjustment refused to authorize the variance and the Applicant has appealed the decision.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The board finds that the variance is desirable for the appropriate use of the land and building, the general intent and purpose of the By-law and of the Official Plan are maintained and it is minor in impact. The Board further states that there were not neighbours who attended the hearing raising issues with the school; it provides employment in an area designated as an Employment Area; and there was no evidence suggesting any adverse impact.


    Document(s):



  17. Township of Muskoka Lakes v. Ontario (Minister of Natural Resources)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Judicial Review, Renewable Energy, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court


    Application/issue:

    The Township sought judicial review of the Minister of Natural Resource’s decision to issue a section 28 order prohibiting the use by the public of Crown land adjacent to the Bala Falls. The MNR was prepared to lease the lands to Swift River Energy Ltd. to develop the site for hydroelectric power. The Township sought the following declarations, orders and relief: (1) declaring that a portage protected by section 65(4) of the Public Lands Act passes over the site; (2) prohibiting the Minister or any other person from interfering with that portage; (3) setting aside the water frontage at the Site for recreational purposes and access purposes pursuant to section 3 of the Public Lands Act; and (4) prohibiting any interference with that frontage.


    Held:

    Application dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Township has failed to establish that the Ministry’s decision to issue a Notice under s. 28 was unreasonable such that it could invoke our right to interfere with it under the court’s judicial review authority. There can be no reasonable dispute that there are safety issues concerning these lands that include rapids, waterfalls and dams among other hazards. It may be that there were other alternatives to address those safety concerns but the fact that the Ministry chose between different options does not constitute their decision to adopt one option over another as unreasonable.


    Document(s):



  18. Craig Mills v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal to the Board for minor variance to permit height of 26.5 ft. of an accessory structure (garage) whereas the maximum permitted height is 20.0 ft. pursuant to s. 45(12) of the Planning Act.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    A mediation process was held in which both parties agreed that the Applicant would not use the garage as a sleeping cabin or for habitable space. In addition, there were no other negative impacts from the variance and the Township’s Director of Planning concluded that the variance was minor. Therefore, the Board allowed the variance.


    Document(s):



  19. Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 938 v. Wei

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Condominium Development, Industrial Development, Minor Variances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Jane Wei operates the Middlefield Kumon Centre for mathematics and reading in the second floor of an industrial condominium in the City of Toronto. Some years ago, the City advised the applicant to obtain a variance for that use, which she did in 2006 and 2008. She had to reapply again in 2013 as the variance was only valid for two years and upon reapplication, the Metropolitan Toronto Condominium Corporation No. 938 appealed the Committee’s variance decision to the Board, alleging that the centre represented problems for the building management. Two other corporations with factories nearby, appeared to oppose the variance as well: Owens Corning Insulating Systems Canada LP and Trench Canada.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    For the purposes of this appeal, the Board finds no evidence on which to suppose any digression from the four statutory tests at this time. The variance to the applicable Zoning By-law of the City of Toronto is authorized in accordance with the decision of the Committee of Adjustment. The Board found that, if the Motion were granted, the established situation would be compromised primarily on the basis of an apprehension – unproven – that a non-party might have difficulties with MOE at some indeterminate point in the future.


    Document(s):



  20. Still’s Bay Landing Corporation v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Commercial Development, Recreational Development, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Still’s Bay Landing Corporation applied to amend the Township of Muskoka Lakes Zoning By-law 87-87 in order to increase the size of the marina from 38 to 50 slips. The council of the Township of Muskoka Lakes denied the request. Still’s Bay Landing Corporation appealed its denial to the Board. The subject lands are designated “Waterfront” in both the Regional Municipality of Muskoka Official Plan and the Township Official Plan. The property in question is zoned Waterfront Commercial (WC2) in the Township of Muskoka Lakes Zoning By-law 87-87. The By-law limits the dock length to 80 feet and the width to 25% of the lot frontage. The Appellant/Applicant originally applied for a dock length of 150 feet and width of 75.6% and a side lot setback of two feet where the By-law requires 30 feet.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part


    Reasons:

    The Board accepts that there are problems with the existing use of the marina. It also accepts that marina operations such as this are necessary to the development of recreational tourism and cottage development. The Provincial Policy Statement, and both Official Plans provide for recreational and cottage development that is a major component of the local economy. The Board finds that the zoning amendment presented before the board is consistent with the Provincial Policy Statement, conforms to the Official Plans and represents good planning.


    Document(s):