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Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court

  1. 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):



  2. Mattamy (Rouge) Ltd. v. City of Toronto

    Location:

    City of Toronto


    Subject:

    Plan of Subdivision, Residential Development


    Court:

    Ontario Superior Court of Justice – Divisional Court


    Application/issue:

    Application by the Ontario Municipal Board for determination of a stated case as to whether the board had jurisdiction to order a municipality to assume ownership of, and service, a laneway in a subdivision against its wishes. The applicant Mattamy owned 150 acres of land in Toronto; it wished to build a subdivision and submitted plans to the city for approval. The plans included laneways for access, depicted as public streets, which Mattamy intended to be city streets with attendant city services. The city refused to approve the plans on the grounds that the proposed lanes were too narrow, at 10.5 metres, for city streets, whereas the City’s standard width was 18.5 metres. Mattamy argued that, within the subdivision, the proposed width met all needs for access by the city and its services, and that the plan should be approved. It also argued that the city had assumed ownership of other laneways of the same width in the area. Mattamy appealed to the Board, seeking approval of the plan and an order requiring the city to assume the ownership and service of the laneways at the proposed width. The city argued that the Board had no jurisdiction to make such an order.


    Held:

    The OMB did not have jurisdiction to order the city to assume the ownership of the proposed laneways or to service those laneways, even if the OMB approved Mattamy’s subdivision plan.


    Reasons:

    The Board does not have any jurisdiction to order the City to assume roads or services under section 41 or section 51 or the Planning Act, and the Board does not have the jurisdiction to order the City, against its will, to enter into subdivision agreements or site plan agreements that include clauses requiring the municipality to assume roads and services in order to give effect to the Board’s decision approving the plan. It is therefore the Board’s view that they are without jurisdiction to order the City, contrary to its wishes, to do any of the things set out in the stated case submitted to the court.


    Document(s):