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Canadian Real Property Law Blog Quarterly Review


April 1, 2014

This is our Quarterly Review, highlighting posts on our Canadian Real Property Law Blog: The Lay of the Land. Follow the links to any of these specific posts, or visit the blog, where you can sign up to get each new post as it is published. As always, your comments and suggestions are most welcome.

REDMA Revisited
By Scott Smythe on March 31st, 2014

For at least 10 years prior to the market correction in 2008, strata lot prices in British Columbia were on a decidedly upward trend and, not surprisingly, the market attracted not just homebuyers, but also speculators who signed purchase agreements with a view to making a profit by either assigning their contracts or selling their ...

Restrictions on Foreign Investment in Alberta
By Brittany Weikum on March 24th, 2014

Building on Michael’s post from last week, another issue facing foreign investors in the Canadian real estate market are restrictions on the acquisition and ownership of land in the Prairie Provinces. Alberta’s Foreign Ownership of Land Regulations restrict foreign acquisition of interests in mainly rural land by the establishment of a scheme of ...

Dealing with Non-Resident Companies
By Michael Nienhuis on March 17th, 2014

In a topsy-turvy world, the relative strength and stability of Canada’s economy continues to attract foreign investment, including our commercial and residential real estate sectors. Since it may not always be advantageous for foreign companies to incorporate a Canadian entity, Canadian businesses are more likely today than ever to have dealings with non-resident companies, whether ...

BCCA Overturns Decision Allowing Post-Closing Rescission Of Pre-Sale Condo Contracts
By Lisa Martz on March 10th, 2014

On March 4, 2014, the B.C. Court of Appeal released its judgment in Woo v. Onni 2014 BCCA 76, reversing the decision of the court below which was the first to allow purchasers to rescind their contracts under the Real Estate Development Marketing Act post-closing. The case involved 10 purchasers in a residential condominium ...

The Second Opinion: Limitation Periods and Unjust Enrichment — Clarity and Complexity from the ONCA
By McCarthy Tétrault LLP on March 3rd, 2014

The following post by Anthony Alexander on the Canadian Appeals Monitor blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: Limitation Periods and Unjust Enrichment — Clarity and Complexity from the ONCA. A recent ruling of the Ontario Court of Appeal, McConnell v. Huxtable, 2014 ONCA 86, provides useful clarification of two potentially complex questions ...

How Does Real Estate Security Differ Between Canada and the U.S.? The Power of the Private Power of Sale.
By Paul Galbraith on February 24th, 2014

A few weeks ago, I blogged about one of the key differences between taking security in Canada as compared to the US, which is a question I’m often asked by lenders when working on cross-border transactions. As a follow up to that post, I’m going to discuss one other reason why lender rights are generally ...

The SCC Rules that Interfering with the Sale of a Property is not "Unlawful"
By Hovsep Afarian on February 18th, 2014

The contours of the tort of unlawful interference with economic relations have, heretofore, been "unsettled", "confusing" and "inconsistent". The tort essentially provides redress when party "A" intentionally inflicts economic injury on party "B" by use of unlawful means against party "C". What is the nature of the "unlawful" activity that can ground the tort? What ...

Builder’s Risk Policies: Scope of the Faulty Design/Work Exclusion
By Ariel DeJong and Julia Lockhart on February 12th, 2014

What is the scope of the exclusion for making good faulty workmanship under a builders risk insurance policy? If cleaners scratch the windows during the construction process, does making good just mean a repeat cleaning or does it also include repairs to the windows? This was the issue that the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench ...

How Does Real Estate Security Differ Between Canada and the U.S.? Good News for Canadian Mortgagees.
By Paul Galbraith on February 10th, 2014

US lenders in cross-border M&A transactions often ask how real estate security differs in Canada. The short answer is "not much". The security and legal requirements are pretty much the same, though perhaps not as heavily negotiated and labyrinthine as US-style documentation. The best news, however, is what’s unique about Canada as compared to the ...

REDMA: Considerations For Lenders
By Conrad Rego on February 3rd, 2014

Lenders should be more aware of the sweeping effects of the British Columbia Real Estate Development Marketing Act (REDMA). Compliance by developers with the REDMA is crucial for lenders because failure to comply can lead to unenforceable purchase contracts. Overview The REDMA requires a developer to file a disclosure statement before marketing commences. The disclosure ...

"I’ve been working on the subway…" When can you lien a public transportation infrastructure project
By Julie Parla and Daniel Dawalibi on January 27th, 2014

As Ontario governments continue to invest in transportation infrastructure, the question arises: Can these public projects be subject to liens by the trades who work on them? The short answer is "yes, potentially". That was the finding of Master Short in the decision of Advanced Construction Techniques Ltd. v. OHL Construction, Canada, 2013 ONSC 7505 ...

McCarthy Tétrault launches Canadian Class Actions Monitor blog
By McCarthy Tétrault LLP on January 22nd, 2014

For those who may be interested, McCarthy Tétrault has just launched its eleventh blog, Canadian Class Actions Monitor, at The blog provides the firm’s views on class actions across Canada in sectors including securities, financial services, product liability, competition, healthcare and other areas of business. It also comments on the impact of class actions ...

Is Time on Your Side? Best Practice for Purchase Contract Date Extensions
By Craig Shirreff on January 20th, 2014

The "time is of the essence" clause in a standard purchase contract is often treated as "boilerplate", but this short, simple statement can be critically important, as it makes it "essential" that the parties perform their obligations by the relevant dates and times specified in the contract (e.g., the date by which a deposit must ...

A Guide to Canadian M&A in the Second Half of 2013
By McCarthy Tétrault LLP on January 14th, 2014

The following post by David Randell and Rachel Liang on our Canadian M&A Perspectives blog may be of interest to readers of this blog: A Guide to Canadian M&A in the Second Half of 2013 The piece recaps the Canadian M&A landscape in the second half of 2013, including what happened in the real property ...

Municipal Taxes – Vacant Unit Rebate Applications (Ontario)
By Tara Piurko on January 13th, 2014

What is the test to meet in Ontario when only a portion of a commercial building is vacant? Does the space have to be separated by walls? Does it have to be empty? Not necessarily on both counts. It all depends on the facts and, a word of advice, take photos to document the vacant ...

Who owns a tree growing on or over the property line?
By Michael Foderick on January 8th, 2014

The answer to this question greatly depends on the province in which you live. In some provinces, the common law appears to allow a property owner to simply cut any part of the tree that crosses the property line. In Ontario, however, the Ontario Court of Appeal has recently clarified that an obscure statutory ...

Canadian Appeals Monitor wins Clawbie
By McCarthy Tétrault LLP on January 3rd, 2014

We are delighted to share that McCarthy Tétrault’s Canadian Appeals Monitor blog has received a 2013 Clawbie (Canadian Law Blog Award) in the Practice Group Blog category, for its overall excellence in covering Canada’s appellate courts and cases. Canadian Appeals Monitor is one of McCarthy Tétrault’s 10 blogs covering a variety of practice areas. The ...


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