New Cambridge LRT Project Introduces Potential Expropriation Challenges

On February 10, the Region of Waterloo announced the preferred route for the next phase of the Ion LRT project.

The preferred route linking Fairview Park Mall in Kitchener and the Ainslie Street Terminal in Cambridge has been identified following consultation with the community. The proposed route is intended to address public concerns raised in the initial planning stages, and to maximize potential economic benefits to the community.

Unfortunately for those affected,  the LRT extension will likely require the expropriation of homes and businesses along the route when it proceeds. If your property is identified as potentially impacted by the new route, you need information and legal advice about your options.

Although the Cambridge LRT extension may be many years away, expropriations must take place before work can begin on the affected lands and expropriating authorities often approach property owners well in advance of a project commencing in an effort to acquire properties on a mutually agreeable basis.

Expropriation of Property by a Municipality

Expropriation is the taking of land without consent of the owner. Like other Canadian Provinces, Ontario has legislation that permits the expropriation of land by certain public authorities, including municipalities, school boards   and the provincial government.

Expropriation almost always involves high stakes: property owners do not want to lose the value of their property, may be unwilling to leave the property at all and may be concerned about the impact of a public project on any lands that they retain. The expropriating party needs to reach an affordable and timely settlement so that the project can move forward successfully.

In many circumstances, an experienced expropriation lawyer can help a property owner reach a negotiated agreement that provides compensation for the fair market value of the expropriated property, the impact on any remaining lands of the property owner, any business loss and any other damages resulting from the expropriation.

Expropriation and Fair Compensation

Even if a negotiated agreement cannot be reached, property owners are not without recourse. In Ontario, owners that receive notice that a public body intends to expropriate their property may request an inquiry in to the proposed expropriation within thirty days, to ascertain whether the expropriation is fair, sound and reasonably necessary.

Once a property is expropriated, navigating the compensation process can be extremely complicated. If a land owner feels that the amount of compensation offered by the expropriating authority is unfair, they have the right to seek the assistance of the Board of Negotiation and, ultimately, to have the compensation payable determined by the Ontario Municipal Board.

Expropriation Lawyers serving Kitchener, Cambridge and the rest of Waterloo Region

If you have concerns about the impact of proposed public project on you, speaking with an expropriation lawyer can provide clarity and guidance about your legal rights and the options available.

Contact the expropriation team at Duncan, Linton LLP, and get the cumulative experience and industry knowledge to support you through the expropriation process, and provide thoughtful, balanced advice. With extensive experience representing property owners and expropriating authorities, we can identify with the needs and concerns of all sides and help facilitate a faster resolution.