The Ontario Line
What is the Ontario Line?
The Ontario Line is a proposed expansion of the transit infrastructure in the GTA that will run through the heart of downtown Toronto, connecting Exhibition Place in the south-west to the Ontario Science Centre in the north-east. The 15.6-kilometre, 15-stop subway line will connect to the Yonge-University Spadina Line (Line 1) and the Bloor Line (Line 2), GO Train lines and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, forming an integrated transit network that proposes to make getting around the city and surrounding area easier and more intuitive.
How does this affect me?
Metrolinx has determined that it needs to acquire 906 properties to support the construction of the Ontario Line. Some properties will only be needed temporarily, while others will be acquired permanently. In some cases, only parts of the properties will be needed, while the entirety of others will be needed. In some cases, only an underground interest will be needed.
By now, Metrolinx or a representative has reached out to owners of every property it proposes to acquire – and their tenants, where possible – to advise of its plans and determine next steps. If yours is one of those properties, you have options.
What are the implications?
First, the bad news: The Expropriations Act (the “Act”) allows an expropriating authority – in this case, Metrolinx – to acquire land required for a public work or other public purpose without the consent of the person whose property or interest in the property is being acquired. The process by which Metrolinx may legally acquire these properties is governed by the Act and there is no effective mechanism for property owners to fight the expropriation.
There is a silver lining: The Act provides that an expropriating authority must pay the owner the fair market value based on the highest and best use of the land that it intends to expropriate. When making its offer, Metrolinx must serve an appraisal report, setting out the basis for its valuation. Metrolinx must also reimburse the reasonable costs incurred by a landowner as a result of the expropriation.
What are my options?
Despite the mandatory nature of the expropriation process, you are not obligated to accept the first offer Metrolinx makes for your property.
Davies Howe LLP has recovered millions of dollars in additional compensation for affected landowners and tenants throughout Ontario and the GTA for this and other projects.
If you have received an offer of compensation from Metrolinx or any other expropriating authority and would like to better understand your rights, contact Ava Kanner at 416.977.7088 extension 243 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.