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Cassels Successfully Represents the City of Brampton at the Court of Appeal on the Interpretation of a Historical Subdivision Agreement and Upholding a Costs Award


In a decision made at the conclusion of the hearing on May 10, 2018, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal brought by a land developer, Di Battista * Gambin Developments Limited  (the “Appellant”), from the Ontario Superior Court’s dismissal of its application. At the Ontario Superior Court, the Appellant had sought compensation for a block of land conveyed to the City of Brampton (“City”) as a condition of subdivision approval twenty years prior on the grounds that it was not being used by the City as a road as initially intended, among other grounds. Cassels Brock was successful in arguing that the subdivision agreement was comprehensive in its terms and that the Appellant retained no interest in the block and was not entitled to compensation, irrespective of the use ultimately made of the block by the City. At the Superior Court, the Appellant attempted to rely upon the doctrines of resulting trust and constructive trust to argue that it was entitled to compensation.  The Superior Court disagreed, and the Ontario Court of Appeal held that there were no grounds to overturn the lower court decision.

The Appellant also sought to appeal the costs award on the basis that the application judge ought to have drawn a negative inference from the refusal to disclose detailed dockets, in addition to a detailed Bill of Costs. The Court of Appeal held that there was no basis to overturn the costs award as “the application judge felt that he had sufficient evidence upon which to arrive at an appropriate costs award.” While sufficient evidence to allow a court to determine an appropriate cost award must be provided and will vary depending upon the quantum of the costs being claimed, there is no requirement for detailed dockets to be provided.

Cassels represented the City of Brampton with a team that included Signe Leisk, Melissa Winch and Michael Mahoney.

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