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Municipalities now have a higher inspection standard

The Corporation of the Township of Lake of Bays was allegedly negligent in granting a permit and conducting inspections of the Breens’ cottage. The trial judge found that the municipality had breached its duty of care to the Breens right from the planning stage, and continuing through its inadequate inspections during construction , and these failings led (in part) to later damage to the cottage. The Court of Appeal has upheld that decision (The Corporation of the Township of the Lake of Bays v Breen, 2022 ONCA 626).

Zoe Aranha and Natalie Kolos have written an article worth reading on the topic.

I would be interested to see some in-depth analysis comparing this case with Charlesfort Developments Limited v. Ottawa (City), which this blog discussed here. In Charlesfort the Court of Appeal held that a municipality was not negligent in providing inaccurate information which resulted in damages to a developer who had relied on that.

There are two distinguishing items which leap out: (1) in Charlesfort, only information was provided rather than an active service; and (2) in Charlesfort it was held that the municipality was operating in a general public interest, whereas in Breen the municipality had specific responsibilities to specific people.

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