This is further to our May 25th blog of last week on the Special Circumstances Doctrine.
Thanks to Edward Key of O'Donnell, Roberston & Sanfilippo, Toronto, for this comment:
My understanding is that “special circumstances” is still alive for causes of action that pre-date January 1, 2004.
For example, in Parent v. Janandee Management Inc. (2009) 82 C.P.C. (6th) 321 (Ont. Master), Master Short wrote:
 For cases dealing with events occurring after January 1, 2004, the Ontario
Court of Appeal has held in Joseph v. Paramount Canada's Wonderland (2008),
90 O.R. (3d) 401 (Ont. C.A.) (at paragraphs 27 and 28) that the equitable concept
of special circumstances permitting an extension of time for suit, no longer
applies in Ontario. As this case is based upon an occurrence that took place prior
to January 1, 2004, the Court of Appeal's decision in Meady v. Greyhound
Canada Transportation Corp., 2008 ONCA 468 (Ont. C.A.) does hold that the
doctrine of special circumstances may be available to the plaintiffs in this in
seeking the addition of a party to litigation after the expiry of the limitation