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The Lay of the Land


Introduction to the Fair Housing Plan: Ontario

Posted in Policy, Residential
Christine Wong

Ontario has introduced the Fair Housing Plan which includes some measures that will have an immediate effect such as a rent control expansion, a new standardized lease and a new 15 percent Non-Resident Speculation Tax should the legislation be passed. –> Read More

Setting the Bar: Further Sections of the BC Building Act Set to Come into Force

Posted in Construction, Municipal, Policy
Aidan CameronGordon LambJoy Ren

The BC Government has announced that the next round of provisions in British Columbia’s new Building Act, 2015 SBC, c. 2 (the “Act”) are set to come into force on February 28, 2017. –> Read More

Not So Common Knowledge: BC Supreme Court Clarifies Process for Enforcing Liens against Common Property

Posted in Construction, Litigation, Residential
Aidan CameronGordon Lamb

A recent BC Supreme Court decision has clarified the parties that must be named in an action to enforce a builders lien involving common property. –> Read More

I Need To Do What? New Rules On Record Keeping For Ontario Corporations Owning Land

Posted in Commercial, Land Use, Policy
Bram Costin


In conjunction with the enactment on December 10, 2016 of the Forfeited Corporate Property Act on December 10, 2016, the Ontario government has amended the Business Corporations Act to require all corporations to maintain at its registered office a register of its ownership interests in land –> Read More

Should I Challenge My Property Tax Assessment?

Posted in Commercial, Municipal, Property Tax Assessment, Residential
Phillip SanfordTed Cox

Ontario property owners are receiving notices of assessment this year that will serve as a basis for tax collections in 2017 through 2020. Values are set by the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (“MPAC”) based on estimated January 1, 2016 market values. Municipalities will then use these assessments to determine your property taxes payable. –> Read More

New Québec Transfer Duty Regulations

Posted in Commercial, Policy, Residential
D. James Papadimitriou

The Quebec government has deposited new regulations to give effect to measures ann‎ounced in the March budget.

Among the clarifications are confirming that exemptions for inter corporate transfers are based on 90 per cent issued shares and not voting shares, a trigger on change of control within 24 months of an exempt transfer, clarifying that options to purchase shares are captured within the anti-avoidance provisions as well as clarifying that amalgamations are exempt transfers. –> Read More

Advancing Mortgage Funds in the Face of a Lien in Alberta – Don’t Do It

Posted in Commercial, Construction
Bryan WestAllyson Hopkins

This is an unusually long blog-post on a tricky area of Builders’ Lien law in Alberta. The first part of this post provides a quick Q&A for lenders/mortgagees; the second part deals with the underlying substantive legal considerations when advancing in the face of a lien. –> Read More

Bhasin Two Years On: The Impact of Bhasin v. Hrynew on the Practice of Canadian Commercial Real Estate Law

Posted in Commercial
Anthony SalandraBen Leith

Edited and approved by Ben Leith

In 2014, the Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew (“Bhasin”) established good faith contractual performance as a general organizing principle of the common law of contract and created a specific duty of honesty in contractual performance – ultimately, imposing a stand-alone duty of good faith. Despite Justice Cromwell’s repeated assertions that the judgement in Bhasin was an incremental step in the common law, Canadian legal scholars and prominent Canadian law firms dubbed it a “landmark” decision that would transform the manner in which business parties performed their contractual obligations.

–> Read More

In distinguishing Iona, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta confirms the sanctity of the Torrens registration system in determining priority interests even in the face of a statutory trust

Posted in Commercial, Construction, Land Use
Bryan WestAllyson Hopkins

In the recent decision of 1864684 Alberta Ltd. v 1693737 Alberta Inc., 2016 ABQB 371, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta held that purchasers claiming a statutory trust pursuant to section 14(3) of the Condominium Property Act, RSA 2000 c C-22 (“Condo Act”) were subject to the same registration requirements, and priority regime, as other creditors under the Land Titles Act, RSA 2000 c L-4 (“Land Act”).

–> Read More

Is a Developer Liable for A Buyer’s Losses from Changes in the Market? A BC Court Says No

Posted in Commercial, Litigation
Alexandra Cocks

Where there has been a misrepresentation by a developer in a real estate transaction, who is responsible for the losses suffered solely as a result of a change in market conditions? On September 15, 2016, in The Owners, Strata Plan LMS 3851 v. Homer Street Development Limited Partnership, 2016 BCCA 371, the BC Court of Appeal held that for a statutory misrepresentation under the Real Estate Act, a developer is not liable to compensate an investor for losses suffered as a result of external causes, such as changes in the market, which do not result from the inaccuracy of the representation. –> Read More