Processes followed by ministry and municipality had not been perfect but had been fair

Transportation - Highways and streets - Abutting owners

Signage. Property owner’s industrial property backed onto major highway, and there was sign on one-storey building advertising services of third party law firm. Building signs of that kind were regulated by both provincial Ministry of Transportation and municipality. Many years prior, owner had obtained provincial and municipal permits for sign relating to business operating on its property, but changes to structure and content of sign had been made on various occasions without prior approval. Ministry ultimately directed owner to take sign down pursuant to s. 38(5)(b) of Public Transportation and Highway Improvement Act due to lack of valid permit. Municipality ultimately revoked its permit due to lack of provincial permit and change in sign. Owner brought application for judicial review. Application dismissed. Sign contravened Act, ministry policy, and applicable municipal bylaws. Ministry had reasonably determined sign was third party sign, though its decision could have also been justified on basis of unauthorized changes to sign. Characterization of sign was not changed by law firm’s rental of idle office, to which law firm did not invite public as regular place of business, and which was apparently used primarily for storage of boxes. Municipality’s decision to revoke municipal permit on basis that owner did not have valid provincial permit was thus properly founded and also reasonable. Processes followed by ministry and municipality had not been perfect but had been fair.

250 Bridgeland Realty Inc. v. Ontario (Min. Transportation) (2019), 2019 CarswellOnt 17376, 2019 ONSC 6053, Smith J., D.L. Corbett J., and Myers J. (Ont. Div. Ct.).

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