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Cassels Brock Successfully Defends Appeal Regarding Town of Caledon’s Legal Right to Ownership of Parklands

Published: 08/01/2017

Team: Signe Leisk, Adrianna Pilkington, Michael Mahoney

In a decision released August 1, 2017, the Ontario Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal brought by a developer to overturn a lower court decision where Cassels Brock had successfully argued for and defended the Town of Caledon’s entitlement to legal title to a community park pursuant to a historical subdivision agreement. 

At issue on appeal was whether the lower court had committed an error regarding the interpretation of two subdivision agreements signed in 1972 and 1973 by the Town and the developer (via its predecessor companies). Justice Roberts affirmed the lower court’s determination that, on the facts, the developer was required to convey the park to the Town as a condition of the 1973 agreement without a right of reconveyance and had not made a mistake in contract.

Additionally, the Court of Appeal sided with the Town and the lower court in determining that the 1973 agreement created a constructive trust in favour of the Town as beneficial owner of the Parkette. The Court of Appeal asserted that the subsequent administrative transfer of the Parkette into the Land Titles system did not extinguish the Town’s beneficial ownership of the Parkette. In the alternative, the Court of Appeal held that the Town had acquired ownership of the Parkette by application of the doctrine of dedication and acceptance.

Cassels Brock represented the Town of Caledon with a team that included Signe Leisk, Adrianna Pilkington and Michael Mahoney.