City of Ottawa wins appeal again Charlesfort Developments over water main lawsuit

Charlesfort Developments won a $4.5 million lawsuit against the City of Ottawa that caused the developer to do a redesign of its property when it discovered a water main a metre from the site’s property line. The issue was that Charlesfort Developments was already approved for rezoning of the Continental condo.

At the time, Justice Sally Gomery said  the city made “negligent misrepresentations” to Charlesfort during the process. Rick O’Connor, the city’s solicitor, said it would appeal the decision and the tables have now turned. 

On Friday, an Ontario Court of Appeal overturned the previous $4.5 million decision over these points: 

  1. Saying the city owed Charlesfort duty of care during the rezoning process (a legal obligation imposed on an organization to avoid omissions that could cause harm to others).
  2. Finding that Charlesfort relied on the city’s misrepresentation.
  3. “In varying the rate of pre-judgment interest,” the developer was entitled to.

“Charlesfort was not entitled to rely on the City’s silence for the purpose of assuring itself that the project could proceed as planned and was viable prior to completing its real estate transaction,” said the document. “As I have concluded that the City did not owe Charlesfort a duty of care during the rezoning process such that the City can be held liable for Charlesfort’s pure economic losses, there is also no need to consider the other grounds of appeal raised by the City.”

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