Construction Law Lawyers – An Overview of Construction Law

Josef FinkelCivil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Construction Liens, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

Construction law and practice, largely governed by the Construction Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. C.30 (the “Act”), is a specialized field of law which has unique attributes, processes and deadlines. One cannot contract out of the application of the Act and must abide by its provisions. Without going into the various intricacies, the following is a brief primer on some (not all) key parts of the Act for those that may need legal assistance with a construction related dispute. The Initial Contract A construction project will typically start with a contract between a property owner and a general contractor. For a fee, the contractor takes on the responsibility of overseeing the project and supplying services and/or materials to the construction project. The Subcontracts The contractor often needs help from tradespeople (“subcontractors” or “subtrades”) with various aspects of the project like plumbing, painting, etc. For such assistance, the contractor tends to enlist … Read More

Is it a Gift or a Loan?

Josef FinkelCivil Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Gift Law0 Comments

Have you loaned money to a friend or relative who now refuses to repay you and alleges that the loan was actually a gift? Or are you on the other side of this problem wherein your friend or relative gifted you a sum of money a while ago but is now demanding repayment? These issues come up most often in the private sphere where parties to a transaction do not habitually document all of their ventures. Nevertheless, verbal loan or gift agreements of this sort are still enforceable. Litigation involving a disagreement about whether a transaction was a loan or a gift is typically commenced by the transferor (i.e. the person who has transferred the funds) who claims that the transfer was a loan and not a gift. If you require assistance in either commencing such a claim in the Superior Court of Justice or defending against same, we have … Read More

Toronto Lawyers for Mortgage Defaults – Assessing your Bank’s Bill

Josef FinkelCivil Litigation, Commercial, Mortgage Enforcement, Mortgage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

Once a mortgage has been defaulted on, banks and other mortgage lenders will often charge mortgagors (you-the borrower and their customer) exorbitant and excessive fees, whether it be intentional or not. Time and again, we have seen these fees levied at exponentially greater amounts than lenders are reasonably entitled to charge under the circumstances. The charging of such unreasonably high fees has not been viewed favourably by the courts. In the midst of Covid-19 related complications and with other financial difficulties remaining on the horizon, many property owners have been unable to continue to pay their mortgages on a consistent basis. One difficulty that presents itself for home owners in this type of situation is the ability of their mortgage lenders to sell their properties via “power of sale” proceedings. A power of sale is meant to pay off secured mortgage lenders for the amount that they are owed under … Read More

Toronto Debt Recovery Lawyers | Enforcement of Judgment Lawyers

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorCivil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Contracts, Contract Disputes, Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Finance Litigation, Fraud Recovery, Gift Law, Lenders | Borrowers, Loan and Guarantee, Promissory Note Claims0 Comments

Domestic and, US and Other Foreign Debt, Judgments and Awards We are often consulted or retained in connection with recovery of large local debt or foreign debt, including casino debt, or to seek recognition  and enforcement in Ontario, Canada, of judgments, orders, or arbitration awards obtained in Ontario, other provinces of Canada, US and other foreign jurisdictions. We are sometimes retained to work with the assistance of lawyers practicing debt recovery in other jurisdictions, including, those located offshore. Claims on Loan Guarantee We can advise and represent those claiming payment on a guarantee, and those named as guarantor of a loan. Loan or Gift? | Loan or Investment? Disputes sometimes arise when either a payment advanced or transfer is alleged to be a loan rather than a gift, or alleged to a loan rather than an investment, or vice-versa. We have relevant experience in both domestic and cross-border litigation. Injunctions and Other … Read More

B.C. Bans Evictions if Commercial Landlords Fail to Apply to CECRA: A Similar Ban Coming to Ontario?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Real Estate Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Although the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program (CECRA) opened for applications last week, complaints about the program have continued from both small business tenants and commercial landlords. Small business tenants have complained that landlords continue to refuse to apply to CECRA, the eligibility requirement for a revenue loss of at least 70 percent was too high and the number of months of relief should be expanded.  Today, Ontario extended the state of emergency until June 30, 2020 although Premier Doug Ford stressed that the gradual and safe re-opening of the economy would continue.  It is unlikely most eligible tenants will be able to make their full rent payment on July 1, 2020, even if they receive rent relief for the months of April, May and June, 2020 under CECRA.  Landlords have complained that the application process is too confusing, costly, time-consuming and risky.  Under CECRA, landlords are required complete … Read More

COVID-19 | Ontario Announces More Businesses to Reopen During First Stage

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Event Cancellation, Event Termination, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Following on our previous blog last week entitled COVID-19 | Ontario Allows More Businesses To Reopen Soon, the Ontario government announced today plans for stage 1 to reopen the province, including allowing more businesses to reopen and/or relaxing restrictions on the delivery of goods and services. While the reopening of more businesses is welcome news after eight weeks in quarantine, Premier Doug Ford warned that individuals must still continue to practice social and physical distancing, and businesses should only reopen if they are ready to comply with the strict public health guidelines.  We cannot risk moving one step forward, but moving two steps back. The following is a list of some businesses that may reopen or expand their services on the following dates: May 16, 2020  Golf courses may open to the public but clubhouses only for washroom access and restaurants only for take-out (previously, golf courses could only prepare … Read More

Are Examinations by Video Conference the “New Normal” During COVID-19?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Investment | Financial Services, Investment Fraud, Professional Liability, Securities Fraud, Securities Litigation0 Comments

On March 17, 2020, Ontario declared a State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic and ushered in a new era of physical and social distancing rules.  Individuals are required to maintain a minimum distance of two metres from any other person who is not a member of the same household.  Gatherings of more than five people are banned unless they are members of a single household. Since March 17, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended all regular operations, including hearings for civil matters except urgent and time-sensitive motions and applications and other limited matters such as consent motions in writing.  Most of these hearings are conducted in writing, or remotely by telephone or video conference, due to physical and social distancing rules.  In-person hearings would only be granted in very limited circumstances. Although the Court may be closed for the time being, civil litigants and their … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Urgent Hearings in Small Claims Court

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Leasing, Condo Litigation, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Event Cancellation, Event Termination, Fraud Recovery, Mortgage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

Since March 16, 2020, all hearings in the Ontario Small Claims Court have been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Although the Superior Court of Justice has had procedures in place to bring an urgent civil or commercial list hearing since March 15, 2020, the Small Claims Court was left without the ability to hear urgent motions and garnishment hearings until today. Today, the Chief Justice of the Superior Court of Justice released the updated Notice Regarding the Suspension of Small Claims Court Operations to outline the procedure to request an urgent hearing in Small Claims Court and to provide guidance on the type of matters a judge may find to be urgent.  Urgent  hearings may include: Cases in which a judgment debtor has an outstanding warrant for arrest issued in relation to a Small Claims Court proceeding; or Time-sensitive cases that would result in immediate and serious financial hardship … Read More

COVID-19 | Ontario to Permit Some Businesses to Reopen on May 4

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Event Cancellation, Event Termination, Force Majeure, Government Action, Loan and Guarantee, Mortgage Enforcement, Mortgage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

On May 1, 2020, the Ontario government announced that a select few businesses will be allowed to re-open on Monday, May 4, 2020 but with strict public health and safety measures in place.  Most of these businesses are seasonal businesses and some essential construction projects. This announcement follows from the release earlier this week of the three-staged Framework for Reopening our Province which included stage 1 to reopen certain Ontario businesses gradually under strict guidelines in order to allow the economy to return to some sense of normalcy while continuing to safeguard the public and limit health risks. The following is the list of businesses that may be re-opened on May 4, 2020: Garden centres and nurseries – but they are restricted to alternative methods of sale such as curbside pickup and delivery; Lawn care services and landscaping services; Essential construction projects including shipping and logistics; broadband, telecommunications and digital … Read More

A Guide to Urgent Residential Eviction Orders and Enforcement During COVID-19

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Building | Property Management, Civil Litigation, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On March 19, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice suspended the eviction of residents from their homes, pursuant to eviction orders issued by the Landlord and Tenant Board or writs of possession, during the COVID-19 pandemic, unless ordered otherwise in an urgent motion. On the same day, the Landlord and Tenant Board suspended all hearings related to eviction applications and suspended the issuance of eviction orders, unless the matter related to an urgent issue such as an illegal act or a serious safety threat. Urgent Eviction Order or Urgent Enforcement? 1.  If the landlord requires an urgent eviction order, then the landlord should proceed to file an urgent application with the Landlord and Tenant Board. 2.  If the landlord already has an eviction order (or writ of possession) and requires urgent enforcement, then an urgent motion should be made to the Superior Court of Justice under Rule 60.17 of … Read More

Toronto Lawyers for COVID-19 / Coronavirus Urgent Legal Services

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorAlternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), Arbitration, Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Condo Litigation, Construction Litigation, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Estates Litigation, Family Law, Franchise Law, Wills and Estates0 Comments

See our information and resources regarding legal services during COVID-19 through these links to the Gilbertson Davis LLP website: Arbitration During the Pandemic Remote Arbitration Hearings – Emerging Protocols Arbitration & Court Closure  Contract Arbitrator Event Cancellation Arbitrator Contract Termination Arbitrator Moving Litigation to Arbitration | Arbitration Options Business and COVID-19 Ontario Allows More Businesses To Reopen Soon Ontario to Permit Some Businesses to Reopen on May 4 Small Business Relief Resources Ontario Extends Mandatory Closure of Non-Essential Businesses Ontario-Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance Program Construction and COVID-19 Are Closing Dates Extended Due to Construction Sites Closing? Urgent Hearings for Real Estate Closings Contracts and COVID-19 Pandemic Closures: Considerations For Commercial Tenants And Landlords How to Schedule an Urgent Civil or Commercial List Hearing Comments on Frustration and Force Majeure Clauses in The Huffington Post Legal Consequences on Commercial Contracts Distribution Agreements Manufacturing Contracts Shopping Mall Lease Deferral Contract Disputes … Read More

Ontario Extends Mandatory Closure of Non-Essential Businesses

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Dispute Arbitrator, Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Employment, Franchise Law0 Comments

On April 23, 2020, the Ontario government announced that all emergency orders under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, including the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses, have been extended until May 19, 2020 (Updated: May 7, 2020). A list of the extended orders and the current revocation dates are found here. Although the closure of non-essential businesses is necessary to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, many small businesses have been closed for over a month and will be closed for at least another two week period with no or very minimal revenue coming in.  A survey conducted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) indicated that 40% of Canadian small businesses were worried the pandemic would force them to permanently close.  These small businesses, which form the backbone of the economy, are unlikely to survive without further assistance from the federal, provincial and municipal governments and/or cooperation from landlords, … Read More

Ontario Courts Suspend Civil Jury Trials Due to COVID-19 / Coronavirus

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Arbitration, Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Condo Litigation, Construction Litigation, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Family Law, Force Majeure, Franchise Law, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On April 20, 2020, the Chief Justice of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice issued a Notice to the Profession, Public, Accused Persons and the Media Regarding the Suspension of Criminal and Civil Jury Trials to advise that criminal and civil jury trials will be suspended until September, 2020, at the earliest. Since March 17, 2020, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice has suspended all regular operations, including adjourning all civil matters except: (a) civil motions and applications deemed to be urgent and time-sensitive by the court; (b) outstanding warrants issued in relation to a Small Claims Court or Superior Court civil proceeding; and (c) the following expanded civil matters, subject to each region’s notice and effective April 6, 2020: (i) pre-trial conferences that were cancelled between March 16 and May 31, 2020, and to be held for the purpose of settlement; (ii) Rule 7 motions or applications for approval … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Rent Relief for Small Businesses Is Coming

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Interruption, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Arbitrator, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Law, Commercial Lease Arbitrator, Commercial Leasing, Commercial List Matters, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On April 16, 2020, the Federal government announced the Canada Emergency Commercial Rent Assistance (CECRA) program to assist small businesses with their rent payments during the COVID-19 crisis. The CECRA program will provide loans and/or forgiveable loans to commercial property owners who will be expected to pass on the benefit to small businesses by lowering or forgoing rent for April (retroactively), May and June 2020.  Further details of the program are expected to be released soon and the program will be administered by the provincial and territorial governments. Although the Ontario Superior Court of Justice had issued an Order on March 19, 2020 suspending the eviction of residents from their homes (unless ordered otherwise under an urgent motion), there was no similar protection against evictions for commercial tenants which included many small business owners. Commercial rent payments are typically the second largest operating expense for most small businesses after payroll … Read More

Small Business Relief Resources During COVID-19 / Coronavirus

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Disputes, Business Interruption, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Commercial Lending, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Distribution Agreements, Event Cancellation, Event Termination, Force Majeure, Franchise | Licensing, Government Action, Loan and Guarantee, Mortgage Enforcement, Mortgage Litigation, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Disputes, Retail Litigation, Shopping Mall Lease Disputes, Shopping Mall Lease Litigation0 Comments

On April 14, 2020, the Ontario legislature passed a bill during an emergency sitting to extend the state of emergency to May 12, 2020. The state of emergency in Ontario was initially declared on March 17, 2020, and subsequently extended to April 14, 2020.  Under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act, any further extensions must be passed by the legislature, and can only be extended for additional periods of no more than 28 days.  On May 12, 2020, the state of emergency was extended to June 2, 2020 (Updated: May 12, 2020). Although the extension of the state of emergency does not automatically apply to individual orders such as the closure of non-essential businesses, it is expected the mandatory closure of non-essential businesses will be extended as well to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.  In addition, many small businesses (deemed essential) have voluntarily closed due to safety concerns for their … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Are Closing Dates Extended Due to Construction Sites Closing?

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Arbitration, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Condo Construction, Condo Litigation, Construction | Builders, Construction Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Force Majeure, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Arbitrator, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

On April 3, 2020, the Ontario government ordered that further non-essential businesses must close by April 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. including closing down most construction sites in order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The number of essential businesses was reduced from 74 to 44.  The revised list of essential businesses can be found here. Construction sites related to the healthcare sector, provincial infrastructure such as transit, and projects related to the production of ventilators and other products directly related to fighting COVID-19 were permitted to remain open.  Residential construction sites were permitted to remain open where: (i) a footing permit has been granted for single family, semi-detached and townhouses; (ii) an above grade structural permit has been granted for condominiums; or (iii) the work was related to renovations and started before April 4, 2020. Given the expansive definition of essential residential construction sites, it appears that … Read More

COVID-19 / Coronavirus: Urgent Hearings for Enforcement Matters

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Creditors Rights, Debt and Enforcing Judgments, Fraud Recovery0 Comments

Further to my blog posts in respect to scheduling urgent hearings in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice for commercial lease matters and real estate closings, an urgent hearing was recently granted in an enforcement matter involving a contempt hearing against a judgment debtor. In Morris v. Onca, 2020 ONSC 1805, the judgment creditor had obtained default judgment in November 2019 for repayment of funds obtained by fraud.  The judgment creditor took steps to enforce the default judgment, including conducting examinations in aid of execution, but the process was frustrated by the judgment debtor’s refusal to answer relevant questions and his failure to comply with court orders to produce documents.  The judgment debtor did not dispute the adjudged amount was owed to the judgment creditor but provided numerous excuses for his failure to pay the default judgment and to produce documents in accordance with court orders. The judgment creditor had previously … Read More