Mark Ross and Avi Bourassa win property application

Posted on: March 23, 2021
A photograph of a house during sunset representing a visual aid to the case described

Congratulations to Mark and Avi for their success in the application, 11428349 Canada Inc. et al v. Royal Bank of Canada (unreported), which was brought on an urgent basis. They convinced the Court to retroactively rectify title under sections 159-160 of the Land Titles Act in order to effectively unmerge title for two properties, which had previously been merged in title under the Planning Act inadvertently (when the same purchaser took title to both properties at the same time). This result on the application meant that a planned sale of one of the subject properties could close as scheduled, without having to incur the significant extra time and expense of seeking a severance from the Committee of Adjustment.

This case is a good reminder that:

i) if purchasing two abutting properties at the same time and there is no desire to merge title, different individuals or corporate entities should obtain title for each property to avoid a merger of title under the Planning Act; and

ii) if a purchaser does not intend to merge title for two abutting properties but does so inadvertently, the Court has broad and equitable discretion to rectify title under the Land Titles Act, particularly if no innocent third party is adversely affected.