Ontario Civil


Business Associations

Specific matters of corporate organization

Foreign and extra-provincial corporations

Notion of carrying on business requires some form of actual, not only virtual, presence in jurisdiction

Plaintiff PS brought four related actions arising out of various dealings with defendants. Two of actions were also brought by plaintiff W Ltd., company in which PS was sole officer and shareholder. PS was Canadian citizen living in Ontario, but during period of time at issue in lawsuits he lived in United States. Actions of defendants of which PS complained all took place in United States. Defendants brought successful motions to dismiss actions on ground that Ontario court had no jurisdiction as there was no real and substantial connection between litigation and this province. Plaintiffs appealed. Appeals dismissed. Both on appeal and motions, PS argued that because products of some of defendants were advertised, marketed and distributed in Ontario, defendants were carrying on business here. Motion judge in each case rejected this submission, in some instances citing Supreme Court of Canada decision wherein it was stated that notion of carrying on business requires some form of actual, not only virtual, presence in jurisdiction, such as maintaining office or regularly visiting territory of jurisdiction. There was agreement with these findings on motions, and it was added that in Supreme Court of Canada case it was emphasized that even active advertising in Ontario would not be enough to establish that defendant was carrying on business here.

Sgromo v. Scott (2018), 2018 CarswellOnt 143, 2018 ONCA 5, John Laskin J.A., B.W. Miller J.A., and David M. Paciocco J.A. (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 7411, 2017 ONSC 2522, D.C. Shaw J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 7412, 2017 ONSC 2525, D.C. Shaw J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 7429, 2017 ONSC 2524, D.C. Shaw J. (Ont. S.C.J.). (Ont. C.A.); affirmed (2017), 2017 CarswellOnt 10870, 2017 ONSC 3978, T.A. Platana J. (Ont. S.C.J.).


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