Taking Legal Action Against the City
Note: The information provided below is intended to provide general information regarding commencing a legal claim against the City and should NOT be considered legal advice. The information provided below may not apply in every situation. If you believe that the City is liable for damages you have sustained then you may consider taking legal action against the City.
In order to commence a legal action you must issue a claim in the appropriate court office. Any notice of your claim that you have provided to the City, including written notice required by law, is not sufficient to commence a claim in Court.
A proceeding shall not be commenced in respect of a claim more than two years after the claim is discovered. This is provided for in the Limitations Act, 2002, which is a provincial law.
The Ontario Small Claims Court may be an appropriate venue in which to bring your claim. The Small Claims Court may only determine actions for the recovery of $25,000.00 or less or for the return of personal property valued at $25,000.00 or less. An action in Small Claims Court is governed by rules that may make the conduct of the action simpler and less expensive. Further information regarding the Ontario Small Claims Court.
Some individuals (not corporations) may qualify for assistance from Pro Bono Ontario, a free legal advice service offered at the Toronto Small Claims Court to individuals that cannot afford a lawyer.
The Law Society of Upper Canada, which regulates lawyers and paralegals in the province of Ontario, maintains a lawyer and referral service.
The City evaluates all claims against it on the basis of legal liability regardless of whether a legal action is commenced. Where the City has determined that it is not liable it will vigorously defend any legal claim against it. The City does not pay “nuisance settlements” to avoid going to Court.