Expropriation at Rayman Harris LLP

Rayman Harris LLP is a team of experienced, hard-working and tenacious lawyers that provides high quality and responsive legal counsel to protect the rights of its clients throughout the expropriations process.

Our Services to Clients

Our lawyers have represented a wide variety of clients who include multinational corporations, farmers, property developers, homeowners, municipalities and small businesses in well over 600 expropriation files. Whether the expropriation involves a complex multi-million dollar claim with novel legal issues, a taking from the frontage of a residential property, or an appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada, clients of Rayman Harris LLP can expect to receive thoughtful and attentive service that will ensure that their rights are protected.


Our Approach in Expropriation Proceedings

Our approach is to make sure that those involved in the expropriation process feel comfortable, well-informed and confident that they have the best possible legal representation in negotiations, mediations, and at hearings before the Ontario Land Tribunal and on appeals. We accomplish this goal by providing all of our clients with outstanding service from the time they first contact us until they receive final compensation and a favourable resolution. We offer our services to property owners in a way that seeks to avoid financial hardship and ensure access to justice.


Our Advice to Expropriated Owners

We believe that all expropriated owners should have an understanding of the expropriation process and their rights under the Expropriations Act.  Understanding the law in this area is critical to ensuring that they are made whole through full and fair compensation.  To provide an overview of these rights our website offers answers to common questions about the expropriation processWe also provide a link to expropriation terms to assist owners in this process. We recommend that all owners who are in a situation involving an expropriation or potential land acquisition by government seek professional advice.


Experience of Rayman Harris LLP in Expropriation

Rayman Harris LLP assists expropriated owners, and certain government bodies, throughout the province of Ontario.  The following provides a list of notable expropriations in which our lawyers are, or have been, involved.

In addition to providing representation in legal proceedings, Shane Rayman has authored numerous publications on expropriations law and related matters.  Those publications have been published in legal journals and presented at expropriation conferences throughout Canada and at conferences on eminent domain law in the United States.


Rayman Harris LLP’s philosophy in expropriation matters is based on the prevailing law in Canada.  Our lawyers take guidance from the words of Mr. Justice Rand in the decision of Diggon-Hibben Ltd. v. The King, where the Supreme Court of Canada wrote:

A compensation statute should not be approached with the attitude that Parliament intended an individual to be victimized in loss because of the accident that his land rather than his neighbour’s should be required for public purposes


The fair treatment of expropriated owners, which our lawyers seek to ensure, was discussed by the Law Reform Commission’s 1967 report that formed the basis of Ontario’s current Expropriations Act.  In that report the Commission wrote as follows (which was later referenced by the Supreme Court of Canada):

[T]he Commission has formed the opinion that some of the difficulties with assessing compensation flow from a failure to appreciate that the true basis for it is not to be found in an imaginary haggling over the price to be paid for land in a deal between two private individuals, nor the negotiation of a normal bargain in the market place, but in the fulfilment by the state of its obligation to repair the injury caused to particular individuals for the public good, and to minimize the loss, inconvenience, and disturbance to the life of its citizens to as great an extent as possible.


In the decision of Toronto Area Transit Operating Authority v. Dell Holdings Ltd. the Supreme Court of Canada directed expropriating authorities as to how owners should be treated in the expropriations process:

The expropriation of property is one of the ultimate exercises of governmental authority.  To take all or part of a person’s property constitutes a severe loss and a very significant interference with a citizen’s private property rights. … It follows that the Expropriations Act should be read in a broad and purposive manner in order to comply with the aim of the Act to fully compensate a land owner whose property has been taken. … Indeed, the overriding objective of the entire Act is to provide fair and proper indemnity for the owner of the expropriated land. 


Even when property owners are not expropriated, but suffer substantial and unreasonable interference and loss due to public works, they have a right to compensation.  Those rights were outlined by the Supreme Court of Canada in Antrim Truck Centre Ltd. v. Ontario:

How should we decide whether an interference with the private use and enjoyment of land is unreasonable when it results from construction which serves an important public purpose? The answer, as I see it, is that the reasonableness of the interference must be determined by balancing the competing interests, as it is in all other cases of private nuisance. The balance is appropriately struck by answering the question whether, in all of the circumstances, the individual claimant has shouldered a greater share of the burden of construction than it would be reasonable to expect individuals to bear without compensation.


Shane Rayman was counsel for the successful property owner in that case. His argument before the Supreme Court of Canada can be found here.

Our lawyers take this guidance from the Courts to heart when providing services our clients. Our priority is to make sure that clients are comfortable during this trying process, and have their rights protected in accordance with the Expropriations Act.


The lawyers at Rayman Harris LLP are pleased to answer further questions on the expropriations process.

For more information, please contact:

Shane Rayman at (416)-597-5406 / shane@rbllp.com or Conner Harris at (416) 597-5422 / conner@rbllp.com.