Slip and Falls on City Sidewalks in Ontario – An Update

The Municipal Act, R.S.O. 1990, c M.45 and/or the City of Toronto Act, 2006, SO 2006, C 11, Sch A impose a responsibility upon a municipality to keep a road or sidewalk in a reasonable state of repair in the circumstances.

Accordingly, a municipality may be liable where someone trips (and is injured) on a change of elevation of as little as 3/4″. Grayling v. The Corporation of Haldimand County, 2014 ONSC 198.

Likewise, where slip and falls are caused by the accumulation of snow or ice, the city may be responsible if its maintenance policy is ineffective in the circumstances, taking into account a number of factors, including notice, how long the condition had existed and the expected level of pedestrian traffic. Cerilli v. Ottawa (City), 2006 CanLII 40785 (ON SC).

While the Municipal Act & City of Toronto Act require that notice be provided to the municipality within 10 days of the occurrence, both acts provide an exception where “reasonable excuse is shown.” The Courts have decided that this provision is to be given a “broad and liberal” interpretation.

Accordingly, in the recent case of Seif v. Toronto (City), 2015 ONCA 321 the Court found that Seif had a reasonable excuse for not giving timely notice as she initially did not think her injuries were serious and did not intend to sue.

A similar result was reached in the Bramer v City of Hamilton, 2015 ONSC 713 case, where the Court found no prejudice to the City, despite the fact notice was received 27 days late.

If you’ve been injured and require a Slip and Fall Lawyer, call Michael’s Firm at 1-647-495-8995 for a free, no charge assessment of your case.

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