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. Demczur v. Town of Orangeville

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Appeal the granting of a minor variance by the Committee of Adjustment of the Town of Orangeville from the provisions of Zoning By-law 22-90.This By-law requires a minimum yard setback of 1.5 metres and an encroachment of up to 0.7 metres into the side yard for stairs and other structures provided a setback of a minimum of 0.6 metres is maintained.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed (variance not authorized)


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the construction on the subject property does not adhere to the rules and measurements of the Zoning By-law and is therefore contrary to both the provisions and the general intent and purpose of the By-law. Further, it fails three of the four tests required in s. 45(1) of the Planning Act and therefore is not desirable for the appropriate development, as it has an adverse impact on the Demczur property and is not minor.


    Document(s):



  2. Colville-Reeves v. Jobin

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Residential Development, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    A motion requesting to adjourn a hearing, which would allow the Moving Party sufficient time to measure certain elements along the shoreline of the Respondent’s lakefront property. This matter involved an appeal of a decision by the Town of Gravenhurst to amend Zoning By-law 95-54 to permit the construction of a 12.5 metre dock. The appellant states that the dock is a safety hazard to boaters as it is located in a “Narrow Waterway.”


    Held:

    Motion dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the accuracy of the measurements that they had received with the application for the building permit for the boathouse were satisfactory, and therefore the Moving Party will not be prejudiced if the hearing goes ahead as scheduled. Hearing is scheduled for one day only.


    Document(s):



  3. Reid Uptown Homes v. City of Guelph

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Reid’s Uptown Homes has appealed the decision of the City of Guelph Committee of Adjustment refusing its application for a total of nine minor variances from the provisions of the City of Guelph Zoning By-law 14864 to permit construction of its proposed 118 residential units. The proposal was supported by the City of Guelph but opposed by an unincorporated group comprising some 40 local residents calling themselves the “By-the-Law Coalition.” Three individuals represented the Coalition at the hearing.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the variances satisfy the four tests under subsection 45(1) of the Planning Act. They conform to the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan, which in this case is Official Plan Amendment 39 to make more efficient use of land as required by the Growth Plan. As well, the proposed density conforms to the policies for Greenfield Areas. They also conform to the general intent of the By-law, which permits stacked townhouses. Finally, because there is no foreseeable adverse impact on the surrounding properties and because the variances are themselves numerically slight and, from a land use planning point of view, inconsequential, the test of minor is met.


    Document(s):



  4. Slater v. KRH Holdings Inc. & Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from the decision of the Council for the Township of Muskoka Lakes that enacted Zoning By-law Amendment No. 2009-140, which permitted a sleeping cabin above a boathouse in the Community Residential (R1) Zone. The ZBA also placed a maximum floor area size restriction of 650 feet squared for the second storey of the boathouse and in addition restricted the maximum permitted lot coverage.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that there are no consistency issues with any Provincial Planning policies resulting from the application and that the proposed ZBA would be in conformity with the OP policies. There would be no negative impacts resulting from the relief being requested beyond what one would anticipate from a structure built in full compliance with the Zoning By-law’s regulations.


    Document(s):



  5. Coverdale v. Town of Bracebridge

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal under subsection 45(1) of the Planning Act against the decision of the Town of Bracebridge, which authorized a minor variance to permit a front yard setback of 24.6 m from Wood Lake, whereas the By-law requires a minimum of 30 m. The applicants had requested the Committee to authorize a setback of 19.6 m to accommodate the construction of a new two-storey cottage and deck.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that there is room for flexibility to permit the new cottage and there is sufficient space to accommodate additional vegetation on the property up to the 30 m line from the lake. Therefore, the proposed cottage would maintain the general intent and purpose of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law, despite the 20 m setback provisions. However, the Board requires the following conditions: the footprint of the cottage and deck shall not exceed 15.7 m by 12.1 m or 190 m2 of ground coverage; the recommendations of the Environmental Consultant are to be incorporated into the Site Plan Agreement between the Town and the applicants/appellants.


    Document(s):



  6. Brown & Orrett v. Town of Bracebridge & Benson

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal of a variance to Zoning By-law 2006-120 in order to construct a boathouse. Authorization of the variance would increase the permitted percentage of the shoreline to be developed from 25% to 36.52%, resulting in a boathouse of 48.69 feet in width as compared to a permitted 30.08 feet.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the Committee of Adjustment gave the application a thorough review, stating that the application is minor and is appropriate as the boathouse will meet all other requirements of the Zoning By-law. The Board rejects the appellant’s submissions that the application would affect his property value. The Board agrees with the applicants that the general purpose and intent of the ZBL is maintained through the limitation on waterfront structures in that the proposed structure is less extensive than the existing docks and is located some 61 feet from the appellant’s property.


    Document(s):



  7. Steel Crown Corporation v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Residential Development, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal against the Township of Muskoka Lakes refusal to enact a proposed zoning amendment to Zoning By-law 87-87 to rezone lands from Waterfront Residential (WR1) to Waterfront Residential with a Special Exemption (WRS) to permit a cottage on a lot having less than the required frontage.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that there would be some impact on the waters of Medora Lake from the proposed septic system as well as the fish habitat from shoreline activities. It also concludes that there would be impact on the privacy of the abutting property that would result from the reduced setback from the proposed dock. The Board accepts the evidence of the Township that this has not been a developable lot for over 40 years and the Township is concerned about the precedent-setting nature of the application.


    Document(s):



  8. Maile v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Costs, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Maile is seeking an award for costs under ss. 97(1) of the Ontario Municipal Board Act against the Township of Muskoka Lakes in respect to a hearing on an appeal from a decision of the Township’s Committee of Adjustment. The appeal imposed certain setbacks and rezoning, which was allowed by the Board.


    Held:

    Motion is dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board does not believe that Council was being unreasonable, frivolous or vexatious or acting in bad faith in imposing Condition 7 during the hearing, in resisting the appeal, in requiring Ms. Mailer to go through a contested hearing or in allowing its Director of Planning to give evidence. The Board also finds nothing in the Township’s conduct that could be viewed as so clearly unreasonable, frivolous, vexatious or exercised in bad faith as to warrant an award for costs.


    Document(s):



  9. Graham v. Town of Gravenhurst

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal of a decision by the Town of Gravenhurst Committee of Adjustment authorizing minor variances for a property on which the applicants wish to construct a new dwelling. The applicants required relief from the minimum side yard and minimum rear yard requirements of By-law 95-54, as amended.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed in part


    Reasons:

    The Board was advised that the Parties had successfully negotiated a settlement of their differences. The Board finds that the requested relief from By-law No. 95-54, as amended, satisfies the statutory requirements of Section 45(1) of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  10. Rowan v. Town of Erin

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Agricultural, Residential Development, Severances


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Appellant/Applicant owns property approximately 40.9 hectares and is zoned agricultural and environmental protection. She seeks to sever a 1.1 hectare parcel with the intention of creating a new residential lot. The County’s Land Division Committee refused her severance application and the matter is now before the Board on appeal. The Town’s planning staff reviewed the severance application and did not support the proposed severance.


    Held:

    Appeal dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds the evidence of the Town’s planner to be uncontroverted and unchallenged. The Appellant/Applicant’s evidence was the only planning evidence given at the hearing and the Board accepts her evidence. While the Board may be sympathetic to the reasons given by the Applicant in seeking the severance, financial security is not planning evidence. The Board is required to decide on the planning merits of an appeal before it. Further, the agricultural severance policies of the county and the Town’s Official Plan also address new residential lot creation in prime agricultural areas and the conditions upon which they will be allowed. The Applicant’s proposal does not meet these criteria nor does it appropriately address the criteria found in subsection 51(24) of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  11. McIntyre v. Township of Muskoka Lakes

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Residential Development, Shoreline Development, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Applications requesting an amendment to By-Law 87-87 to rezone the subject lands from Waterfront Residential (WR6) to Waterfront Residential (WR5), along with other provisions of minimum lot frontage and maximum floor area for a dwelling. The application was denied and the applicants have appealed this decision before the Board.


    Held:

    Appeals dismissed


    Reasons:

    The Board considers Policies 8.8 and 8.9 of the Township Official Plan and has found no qualifying language, provision for exemptions and no reference to any other policy in the Plan that provides relief from the requirements. The Board concludes that the applications do not conform to the general intent of the Township’s Official Plan and as a result, Section 51(2) of the Planning Act is not met. The proposed frontage’s conformity with the general intent of the Official Plan and Zoning By-law is not proven.


    Document(s):



  12. The Corporation of the Town of Markham v. Gordon

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Leave to Appeal, Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Superior Court of Justice


    Application/issue:

    Town of Markham seeks leave to appeal to the decision of the Ontario Municipal Board to the Divisional Court. Ms. Gordon was successful in her appeal before the Board to demolish an existing building and garage and construct a new gothic revival brick two-storey dwelling with an attached two-car garage. The Town argues that there is reason to doubt the correctness of the Board’s position on the question of the law.


    Held:

    Leave to appeal denied


    Reasons:

    The Court is not satisfied that it is of sufficient importance to merit the attention of the Court. Further, the Court cannot conclude that there is reason to doubt the correctness of the Board’s decision, even if it were determined that a question of law was involved. The applicant has failed to satisfy the Court that there is reason to doubt the correctness of the decision for which leave is sought.


    Document(s):



  13. Solaris Energy Partners Inc. v. Township of East Hawkesbury

    Location:

    Eastern Ontario


    Subject:

    Agricultural, Renewable Energy, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal to an Interim Control By-law under Section 38 of the Planning Act, in which the applicant proposed a solar farm in the Township of East Hawkesbury. The solar farm consists of a substantial array of solar panels to generate electricity and relies on access to Ontario’s power grid. However, because it is on Prime Agricultural land, neighbours have raised concerns about that land-use and apprehensions about side effects. The applicant appealed the ICB pertaining to its proposed rezoning and site plan.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    While rezoning and site plan approval remain to be addressed, for this hearing the Board draws its decision specifically on the ICB appeal. The Board finds that whatever constructive purposes Interim Control and the ICB may have had in the past, Interim Control By-Law No. 288-58 of the Township of Easy Hawkesbury has no further practical purpose.


    Document(s):



  14. Leonard v. Town of Bracebridge

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Recreational Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal against the Town of Bracebridge Committee of Adjustment’s decision to refuse an application for a minor variance, to permit a hunt camp on a 39.97 hectare parcel of land. By-law 2006-120 requires a hunt camp in a rural area to have a minimum lot area of 40 hectares.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the variance meets all four of the statutory tests of subsection 45(1) of the Planning Act and it is the Board’s view that this proposal will be compatible with the immediate area and will not adversely impact the neighbourhood and surrounding properties.


    Document(s):



  15. Brookfield Power Wind Corp. v. Town of Kingsville

    Location:

    Southwestern Ontario


    Subject:

    Official Plan Amendments, Renewable Energy, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    Brookfield Power Wind Corp. has appealed to the Board under subsections 22(7) and 34(11) of the Planning Act, as amended, from Council’s refusal or neglect to enact a proposed amendment to the Official plan for the Town of Kingsville as well as a proposed amendment to Zoning By-law 59-1998 and Zoning By-law 1988-15 of the Town of Kingsville, to redesignate lands within the municipality, add definitions, regulation and setbacks to evaluate and permit application for Wind Energy Conservation Systems.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board recognized that the safeguards itemized as preconditions for the wind farm, the assessments and reports and the locational rules on frontage, area and setback, were are consistent with the principles of sound planning. The Board also agreed that the amendments to the Official Plans and the Zoning By-law advanced the stated objectives of the Provincial Policy Statement.


    Document(s):



  16. Hanmer v. Town of Gravenhurst

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

    Boathouses, Minor Variances, Shoreline Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal from the decision of the Committee of Adjustment for the Town of Gravenhurst, which refused his application for relief from the provisions of the Zoning By-law 94-95, for an increase in the height of his one-storey boathouse. The permitted height is 3.9 metres and the Appellant requests an increase of 0.7 metres, to 4.6 metres. The Town’s position is that it would have negative aesthetic impact on the shoreline when viewed from the water.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the Appellant has discharged its burden to meet all four tests under Section 45 of the Planning Act for the application to be approved. The height variance is minor both in size and impact and the applicant has demonstrated that he intends that structure to be used solely for storage and not habitation. Further, there would be no adverse effect on the aesthetic quality and natural environment of the waterfront.


    Document(s):



  17. Town of Markham v. Gordon

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Appellant proposes to demolish the existing dwelling and detached garage to construct a new two-storey dwelling with an attached two-car garage. The appellant submitted a Demolition Permit application, a Minor Variance application for three variances and a Site Plan Control application, however was denied by the Committee of Adjustment of the Town of Markham. These decisions were appealed and consolidated for this hearing.


    Held:

    Appeal allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the demolition conforms to the Provincial Policy Statement (2005) and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, as well as the York Regional Official Plan and the Town of Markham Official Plan and the Thornhill Secondary Plan. Further, the variances maintain the intent and purpose of the Official Plan and the Zoning By-law by allowing the construction of a two-storey dwelling in an R2 Zone. As such, the variances also meet the four statutory tests under Section 45(1) of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  18. Gordon v. Town of Markham

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe


    Subject:

    Heritage Conservation, Minor Variances, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The Applicant/Appellant submitted a Demolition Permit application, a minor variance application for three variances and a Site Plan Control application. The Town of Markham refused the demolition permit for the property. Later, the Committee of Adjustment approved one of the three variances regarding lot frontage, but refused a building height variance and depth variance, followed by the refusal of the Site Plan Control application. All decisions were appealed and consolidated for the hearing.


    Held:

    Appeals allowed


    Reasons:

    The Board finds that the subject property is was assigned the lowest classification category, a Class C, in the 2007 Thornhill-Markham Heritage Conservation District Plan and therefore does not find this modest dwelling to be a significant building. Further, the Board finds that the demolition of this dwelling conforms to the Provincial Policy Statement and the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe with respect to conservation of significant heritage resources. Based on the evidence, the variances maintain the intent and purpose of the Zoning By-law and Section 45(1) of the Planning Act.


    Document(s):



  19. Town of Bracebridge By-law No. 2006-120 (Re)

    Location:

    Muskoka/Parry Sound/Haliburton


    Subject:

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


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    The matter before the Board is the only remaining appeal against the Comprehensive Zoning By-law 2006-120 of the Town of Bracebridge. The remaining appeals of N. Montanaro, J.R. Ward, L. Power are site specific appeals dealing with the zoning proposed for the subject property known as Little Europe Resort. The Resort property is an established tourist camp of 56.33 acres with extensive frontage on the Muskoka River. A Superior Court of Justice Decision respecting the Resort site ordered that; The use as a tourist camp of the lands is a legal non-conforming use within the meaning of Section 34(9)(2) of the Planning Act. The lands are subject to the By-laws of the Town of Bracebridge. The appellants articulated their concerns effectively. Their concerns include impediment to the enjoyment of their properties, trespassing, smoke, continuous expansion, public safety with respect to use of boats and the boat ramp, defined swimming area and environmental issues as they relate to septic systems.


    Held:

    Board orders that Zoning Amendment come into full force and effect.


    Reasons:

    The Board accepts the testimony of the Town Planner and finds that the proposed zoning provisions are in the public interest, set standards of operations, regulations and permitted uses and zone provisions respecting the naturalized buffer areas, and provide for a scale of development that is appropriate for the Resort site.


    Document(s):



  20. Weselan Farms Limited v. Norfolk County

    Location:

    Greater Golden Horseshoe, Southwestern Ontario


    Subject:

    Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-law Amendments


    Court:

    Ontario Municipal Board


    Application/issue:

    An appeal of Official Plan Amendment 22 and an appeal of the City of Nanticoke’s Zoning By-law 30-Z-2007.


    Held:

    Settlement of OPA 22 and appeal allowed for ZBL


    Reasons:

    The Board is satisfied that the proposed zoning amendment conforms to both the City of Nanticoke Official Plan and the adopted but not yet approved Norfolk County Official Plan. Further, the Board accepts that the proposed amendment represents good planning and is in the public interest.


    Document(s):