August 24, 2016
Why is My Land Being Expropriated
Land can be expropriated for a variety of public purposes, depending on the institution or government authority carrying out the work. Most expropriation projects arise out of a need for new and improved public infrastructure, and arrive on the heels of environmental assessments which determine the best route or location for the project.
For example, the Ministry of Transportation expropriates land to construct highways, including new 400-series highways such as the 407 East (see http://www.407eastphase2.ca/. Land along existing and planned future highways can also be required for overpasses, bridges and highway interchanges.
Municipal governments expropriate land to widen roads and build community facilities such as recreation centres, shelters and civic halls. Municipalities can also expropriate land to implement community improvement plans. This type of expropriation facilitated the redevelopment of Dundas Square in Toronto, and allowed for the acquisition of lands ultimately used for the athlete’s village for the Pan Am games.
Conservation Authorities have powers to expropriate lands to further the conservation, restoration, development and management of natural resources. This includes the construction of damns and the creation of reservoirs to control flooding, such as the man-made lake known as Guelph Lake.
Universities and school boards can expropriate land to construct new educational facilities
No matter which government authority or institution is carrying out the work, the purpose of a project should be clearly communicated to property owners. The purpose must be clearly stated in the Notice of Application for Approval to Expropriate, the document signaling the beginning of expropriation proceedings.
While the creation of new public infrastructure may be routine for many government departments and institutions, the impact of an expropriation on a landowner can be anything but. The consequences can extend to personal residences, long-held family farms, tenants and businesses. Should you have any questions with respect to the impact of a proposed infrastructure project in your area, please do not hesitate to contact us.