Is a Burrito a Wrap? Ontario Court Decides Injunction Involving Exclusivity Clause in Commercial Lease

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes, Injunction & Specific Performance0 Comments

In 2432714 Ontario Inc. v. Heffner Development Group Limited, 2018 ONSC 1034, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice was recently asked to decide the age old question of whether a burrito was a wrap in the context of an exclusivity clause in a commercial lease agreement. In this case, the tenant operated a Pita Pit franchise in a 13 unit plaza owned by the landlord.  The tenant had negotiated an exclusivity clause in the lease agreement that gave it the exclusive right to sell “pitas and wraps” in the plaza.  When the tenant discovered that a Mexican fast food chain, Holy Guacamole, was renovating one of the units, it brought a motion for an interlocutory injunction prohibiting the landlord from leasing a unit in the plaza to Holy Guacamole. The tenant argued that Holy Guacamole sold “wraps” because its menu of tacos, burritos and quesadillas were all prepared by wrapping up food items in a tortilla.  … Read More

Court of Appeal Confirms Importance of Requisitions in Real Estate Transactions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Contracts, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Contract Termination, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The Court of Appeal of Ontario decision in 1418885 Ontario Ltd. v. 2193139 Ontario Limited, 2018 ONCA 54, recently overturned a summary judgment motion decision which confirmed the importance of requisition letters in real estate transactions. In this case, the parties had entered into an Agreement of Purchase and Sale for a property with a restaurant, golf course, 12 residential apartments, a two-storey home and a banquet hall.  The Agreement of Purchase and Sale included the following requisition clause:    8.  TITLE SEARCH:  Buyer shall be allowed until 6:00 p.m. on the 30th day of May, 2016 (Requisition Date) to examine the title to the property at his own expense and until the earlier of: (i) thirty days from the later of the Requisition Date or the date on which the conditions in this Agreement are fulfilled or otherwise waived or, (ii) five days prior to completion, to satisfy himself that there are … Read More

Court of Appeal Provides Guidance on Whether Party Carrying on Business in Ontario as Basis for Jurisdiction

Andrew Ottaway, B.A. (Hons.), LL.B.Appellate Advocacy, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes, Cross-Border Litigation, Jurisdictional Challenges, Of Interest to US Counsel0 Comments

In Sgromo v. Scott, 2018 ONCA 5, the Court of Appeal considered the scope of one of the presumptive grounds for jurisdiction of the Ontario Court: whether a party carried on business in Ontario.  The Defendants were incorporated in jurisdictions outside of Ontario.   The Defendants brought motions to stay or dismiss the subject actions. On the motion, the Plaintiff alleged that because the products of some of the Defendants were advertised, marketed, and distributed by third party retailers in Ontario, the Defendants were carrying on business in Ontario, such that Ontario had presumptive jurisdiction.  The motion judge rejected that argument. On appeal, the Court of Appeal agreed with the motion judge’s reasons, stating that: as set out by the Supreme Court of Canada in Club Resorts Ltd. v. Van Breda, 2012 SCC 17 (CanLII), the Courts must be cautious when considering whether an entity is carrying on business in the jurisdiction, … Read More

Ontario Court Decides on Appropriate Use of Mini-Trial in Summary Judgment Motions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial, Contract Disputes, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Professional Liability, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Summary Judgment0 Comments

In Crisafi v. Urban Landmark Realty Inc., 2018 ONSC 191, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice addressed a summary judgment motion brought in a real estate litigation matter and provided guidance on when the Court will use its enhanced fact-finding powers set out in the 2010 amendments. Background This case involved a claim by a real estate agent against his former real estate brokerage for unpaid real estate commissions in the amount of $60,000.  The brokerage took the position that the agent breached his contractual, statutory and fiduciary duties to its clients and was negligent in handling four transactions which caused it to suffer damages. The brokerage argued that the agent failed to properly advise one of its clients while in a multiple representation situation including the anticipated sale price of the house and an estimate of whether the client could afford to purchase a subsequent property.  The house ended up sitting on the market even after several reductions in the listing price.  As is commonplace in the industry, this resulted in … Read More

Ontario Court Decides Motion in Loblaws Bread Price Fixing Class Action

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Class Action Defence, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Contract Disputes0 Comments

The recent Ontario Superior Court of Justice decision in David v. Loblaw, 2018 ONSC 198, involved a motion brought by the plaintiff to challenge the terms of a $25 consumer card program that the Loblaw defendants (“Loblaws”) had offered to consumers after various class actions were commenced in connection to a bread price fixing scheme that Loblaws participated in from 2002 to 2015. Customers may sign up for the consumer card, either online or by paper application, by declaring that he or she had purchased bread from Loblaws during the relevant time period.  The application advised customers that sign up for the consumer card that they will still be eligible to receive “incremental compensation” and recommended they seek legal advice from plaintiff’s counsel or from independent counsel.  The application also included a form of Release, which read in part as follows: In exchange for this twenty-five (25) Canadian Dollar Loblaw Card you hereby release and forever discharge Loblaw … Read More

Touchdown! University Football Team Scores Interim Interlocutory Injunction

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Civil Litigation, Commercial, Contract Disputes, Injunction & Specific Performance, Specific Performance0 Comments

In Saint Mary’s University v. U SPORTS, 2017 ONSC 6749, Justice Archibald of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently decided an urgent interim interlocutory injunction brought by Saint Mary’s University to enjoin U SPORTS from releasing its ruling on the eligibility of a Saint Mary’s football player. Background U SPORTS is the national sport governing body of university sports in Canada and has established by-laws and policies to regulate, amongst other issues, the eligibility of student-athletes to participate in university football competition.  One of those policies states that “an athlete’s name [that] appears, with his acquiescence, on a [CFL] practice roster … or such other list that directly or indirectly confers a monetary benefit to the athlete” is prohibited from participating in university sports “within one year” of CFL participation. It was not disputed by the parties that the football player was on a CFL non-active practice roster from September 14, 2016 to October 11, … Read More

Court of Appeal Confirms Strict Notice Requirements in the Termination of Commercial Leases

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Commercial, Commercial Leasing, Contract Disputes, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Jay-Pee Drycleaners Inc. v. 2321324 Ontario Inc., 2017 ONCA 798, recently overturned a summary judgment motion decision involving the termination of a commercial lease agreement. In this case, the tenant had operated a dry cleaning business for 12 years before the lease was converted into a month-to-month tenancy.   After the new landlord purchased the property and was assigned the lease, it demanded the tenant provide evidence that it had successfully completed a course related to the management of dry cleaning contaminants and waste.  Even though the tenant advised that the Ministry of Environment had deemed the course to be unnecessary and the course was not available until the following year, the new landlord terminated the lease and retained a bailiff to re-enter and re-possess the premises. The tenant brought an action for damages arising from the unlawful termination of the lease.  The new landlord responded with a counterclaim and brought a summary judgment motion. The … Read More

Use At Your Own Risk: Partial Summary Judgment Motions

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Business Litigation, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Franchise Law, Misrepresentation, Negligence, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal in Butera v. Chown, Cairns LLP, 2017 ONCA 783, recently overturned an award of partial summary judgment in a professional negligence action and provided guidance on the appropriate circumstances in which partial summary judgment motions should be brought. In the original action, the plaintiffs brought an action against various Mitsubishi companies after their Mitsubishi dealership franchise failed, claiming damages for breach of contract, misrepresentation, negligence and breaches of the Arthur Wishart Act.  The original action was dismissed on summary judgment because the applicable two-year limitation period had passed.  The plaintiffs were also ordered to pay $150,000 in costs for both the action and the summary judgment motion. The plaintiffs appealed the summary judgment motion decision and argued that a six-year limitation period was applicable notwithstanding that they had conceded at the motion that the applicable limitation period was two years.  The appeal was dismissed. The plaintiffs then brought the subject action against their former lawyers for negligence.  The plaintiffs claimed damages for … Read More

Bhasin v. Hrynew and the Duty of Good Faith in Real Estate Agreements of Purchase and Sale

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Certificate of Pending Litigation, Commercial, Real Estate | Developers, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation0 Comments

The Supreme Court of Canada in Bhasin v. Hrynew, 2014 SCC 71,  recognized the duty of good faith in contract and the obligations of the parties to act honestly in the performance of their contractual obligations.  The duty of good faith applies to any contract, including real estate contracts such as Buyer Representation Agreements, Listing Agreements and Agreements of Purchase and Sale. As discussed in a previous blog post, Agreements of Purchase and Sale generally include a “time is of the essence” clause which means that time limits will be strictly enforced by the courts.  Problems often arise when vendors refuse to agree to seemingly minor indulgences requested by purchasers such as an extension of the closing date or an extension of the deadline to provide the deposit. Two recent decisions in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice have addressed the duty of good faith, as expressed in Bhasin v. Hrynew, in the performance of Agreements of Purchase and Sale.  Unfortunately for purchasers, it appears that … Read More

Court of Appeal Majority Rejects Oppression Claim Against Condominium Corporation’s Leasing of Parking Spaces

Robert Kalanda, B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Commercial, Commercial Leasing, Condo Litigation, Oppression Remedies, Real Estate Litigation, Retail Disputes, Retail Litigation0 Comments

In Cheung v. York Region Condominium, the appellant owned several units which were leased to tenants who operated a 230-seat restaurant out of those units. After complaints by other unit owners that restaurant customers were taking up most or all of the 162 shared common element parking spaces, the condominium corporation enacted a by-law to allow the corporation to lease four parking spots per unit owner “from time to time”, reducing the potential number of spaces available to restaurant guests by 80%. The applicant sought a declaration that the by-law was invalid since the leases could be perpetual and thereby essentially create exclusive use common elements, which can only be created by specific declaration, not through by-law. The applicant further argued that the by-law was oppressive and unfairly prejudicial to the applicant’s interests. The majority held that, since the by-law only approved the ability to enter into leases, which could be on whatever … Read More

Timing is Everything in Real Estate Agreements of Purchase and Sale

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Commercial, Real Estate Agent and Broker, Real Estate Litigation, Specific Performance0 Comments

The recent Court of Appeal decision in Preiano v. Cirillo, 2017 ONCA 615, involved a residential real estate Agreement of Purchase and Sale which required the purchasers to deliver a deposit of $25,000 in the form of a negotiable cheque to the vendors’ brokerage within 24 hours of acceptance of the agreement.  The closing date was scheduled to take place about three months later.  The agreement included a “time shall be of the essence” clause. The purchasers had initially submitted a personal cheque in the amount of $25,000 with the offer but the vendors’ brokerage requested the deposit be paid in certified funds.  The purchasers subsequently delivered the deposit in the form of a bank draft to the vendors’ brokerage but it was about one day late.  The vendors’ brokerage did not take issue with the late delivery and provided a receipt for the deposit. Six days before the scheduled closing date, the vendors took the position that they would not be closing … Read More

Toronto Lawyers for Breach of Non-Compete or Non-Solicit Clauses

Bianca Thomas, B.Sc.(Hons.), J.D.Breach of Confidentiality Agreement, Breach of Confidentiality Clause, Breach of Non-Competition Agreement, Breach of Non-Competition Clause, Breach of Non-Solicitation Agreement, Breach of Non-Solicitation Clause, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Confidentiality Agreement, Confidentiality Clause, Contract Disputes, Employment, Employment & Wrongful Dismissal, Injunction & Specific Performance, Non-Compete, Non-Competition Agreement, Non-Competition Clause, Non-Solicitation Agreement, Non-Solicitation Clause0 Comments

Our lawyers can advise and represent employers or purchasers of a business regarding the enforcement of non-compete, non-solicit clauses or confidentiality agreements. An employer or purchaser of a business who wishes to enforce a restrictive covenant can pursue an interim injunction from the Court, which prohibits the employee from breaching the covenant. Various types of injunctions may be sought, including: Injunctions enforcing post-termination restrictive covenants; Injunctions preventing the use of the employer’s confidential information. An employer or purchaser of a business can also seek damages following an employee’s breach of a covenant if there is particular loss tied to the breach. An employer or purchaser of a business can also seek damages following an employee’s breach of a covenant if there is particular loss tied to the breach. Why Gilbertson Davis LLP? Our team of lawyers are leading practitioners and provide sound advice and effective representation in time sensitive matters. When … Read More

Summary Judgment Granted in Multiple Proceedings Surrounding Enforcement of Italian Judgment

Bianca Thomas, B.Sc.(Hons.), J.D.Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Cross-Border Litigation, Enforcement of Foreign Judgments, Jurisdictional Challenges, Summary Judgment0 Comments

The case of King v Lang Michener, 2017 ONSC 1917 (one of three related actions), began with a transaction that went awry. The Plaintiff, Gregory King, a lawyer at Aylesworth and later Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, acted in a transaction relating to a new hotel in China with an Italian company, Sincies Chiementin SpA (“Sincies”), and various other foreign individuals and businesses. Mr. King received a 5% interest in the hotel, and Aylesworth was to receive payment for legal fees. Sincies went bankrupt, and one of its assets, a $600,000.00 USD deposit, vanished. Sincies’ trustee in bankruptcy eventually sued Mr. King, among others, in Italy, to try to recover the money. Mr. King did not defend the Italian proceedings. The Italian court ruled against him, and ordered him to pay the deposit. Mr. King did not pay the judgment on the grounds that the Italian court lacked jurisdiction. Sincies’ trustee then … Read More

Toronto Litigation Lawyers for Manufacturers and Distributors

David Alderson, LL.B, LL.M (Commercial and Corporate), Q.Arb, Lawyer and ArbitratorBrand Protection, Business Litigation, Commercial, Commercial and Contract Litigation, Distributors | Dealers, Manufacturers | Re-Sellers0 Comments

Our lawyers can provide sound advice and effective representation to manufacturers and distributors involved in actual or potential disputes or litigation.  We focus on a wide variety of manufacturing industries in a broad array of legal disputes, including sale of goods, branding and brand protection, transportation and logistics, supply and outsourcing contracts, unpaid accounts, internal business disputes, construction and urgent remedies. The automotive industry, the food and beverage industry and technology industries in the Toronto – Waterloo Innovation Corridor comprise the most substantial sectors of the Ontario manufacturing landscape. We also can provide advice and representation to the many other manufacturing industries in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario, including these: Automated Machinery and Robotics, Automotive Industry, Auto Parts Manufacturing, Building Materials, Canning and Bottling, Chemical Manufacturing and Supply, Clean Tech, Computer Equipment and Electronic Equipment, Concrete, Brick, Glass, Drywall, Lumber and Stone, Confectionery, Food and Beverage, Financial Technology, Furniture Manufactures and Importers, Glass, Bottling, Packaging and Containers, … Read More

Court of Appeal Confirms Defamation Notice Periods Apply to Online Newspapers

Nick P. Poon, B.Sc. (Hons.), B.A., J.D.Appeals, Civil Litigation, Commercial, Defamation, Online Defamation0 Comments

The Ontario Court of Appeal recently released its decision in John v. Ballingall, et al, 2017 ONCA 579, which confirmed that online versions of newspapers are subject to the protections found in Ontario’s Libel and Slander Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. L.12 (the “Act”). The Act provides for certain notice and limitation periods, which if not met, may act as a bar for any future defamation actions.  Specifically, Section 5(1) of the Act provides that no action for libel in a “newspaper” or “broadcast” lies unless the plaintiff has, within six weeks after the alleged libel has come to the plaintiff’s knowledge, given the defendant notice in writing of the specific matter complained of. Section 6 of the Act provides that an action for libel in a “newspaper” or “broadcast” shall be commenced within three months after the libel has come to the knowledge of the plaintiff. In this decision, the plaintiff (a rapper known as Avalanche the Architect) commenced an action for libel against the Toronto Star because … Read More

Supreme Court of Canada Upholds Worldwide De-Indexing Order Against Google

Robert Kalanda, B.A. (Hons.), J.D.Appeals, Brand Protection, Commercial, Commercial Litigation, Counterfeit Goods, Cross-Border Litigation, Cyber Risks, eCommerce | Online Retail, Information Technology, Injunction & Specific Performance, Intellectual Property, Internet | Technology, Of Interest to US Counsel, Technology and Internet0 Comments

The Supreme Court’s recent decision in Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc. has approved the use of a worldwide injunction directing Google to de-index the defendant’s website used to facilitate the sale of goods in violation of the Equustek’s intellectual property rights. Equustek obtained an interlocutory injunction against the website owner directly, however the defendant left Canada, refused to comply with the order, and continued to sell products on their website from an unknown location. To help prevent or reduce further ongoing harm, Equustek sought for Google to de-index the site, making it less likely that a potential purchaser will discover the infringing website. Google initially agreed to de-index the result from Canadian search results on google.ca, but refused to enforce this order worldwide. It was concerned that the Canadian courts were using Google to usurp the laws of other nations, particularly on free speech issues, and potentially would force Google … Read More