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December 10, 2014

City Not Liable for Icy Boulevard

In 2013, we blogged on a decision by Justice Gorman dismissing a claim where the plaintiff fell on a sloped boulevard between the street and the sidewalk, Bondy v. London.  The link to the blog post can be found here.  The plaintiff appealed the decision.

The Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal, at 2014 ONCA 291 (C.A.).  The parties agreed that the boulevard was a "highway" within the meaning of the Municipal Act.  The Court of Appeal held that the highest standard to which the area needed to be maintained was as a highway for vehicles, not as a passageway for pedestrian traffic. 

The plaintiff argued on appeal that because from time to time people cross the road in the middle between intersections, it creates a special circumstance that elevates the standard of maintenance.  The Court of Appeal disagreed, holding that "The fact that people may cross at undesignated places on a road does not create or impose on the Municipality a higher level of maintenance obligation."  There were also no special circumstances that created an obligation on the adjacent property owner to maintain the boulevard.

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