Harbour Bridge Authority v. Driscoll Ltd., 68 DLR (2d) 707

JudgeCartwright, C.J.C., Judson, Ritchie, Hall and Spence, JJ.
CourtSupreme Court of Canada
Case DateMay 13, 1968
JurisdictionCanada (Federal)
Citations68 DLR (2d) 707;[1968] SCJ No 42 (QL);[1968] SCR 626;1968 CanLII 16 (SCC);[1968] N.B. Law News No. 83 (SCC);64 WWR 524;[1968] SCR 645;68 DLR (2d) 537;1968 CanLII 763 (SCC);1968 CanLII 83 (SCC);64 WWR (ns) 502;[1968] SCR 617

Harbour Bridge Authority v. Driscoll Ltd., [1968] N.B. Law News No. 83 (SCC)

MLB Law News

Saint John Harbour Bridge Authority v. J.M. Driscoll Ltd.

Indexed As: Saint John Harbour Bridge Authority v. Driscoll (J.M.) Ltd.

Supreme Court of Canada

Cartwright, C.J.C., Judson, Ritchie, Hall and Spence, JJ.

May 13, 1968.

Summary:

Arbitration - Supreme Court of Canada varied judgment of N.B. Court of Appeal by stating that it was an error of principle to add or include an amount for buildings where the land was valued by the N.B. Court of Appeal under a method which considered the value of the land for its highest and best use. Supreme Court of Canada referred to Diggon-Hibben v. The King (1949) S.C.R. 712 where Rand, J., at page 715 stated:

"The owner at the moment of expropriation is to be deemed as without title but all else remaining the same, and the question is what would he, as a prudent man, at the moment pay for the property rather than be ejected from it."

Court added,

"It is to find the amount which should be fixed by that standard that is the task of the arbitrator. The arbitrator, of course, must consider the value of the land for its highest and best use."

The Court did not allow any amount for special value to the owner and stated,

"It is also true that the lands in so far as site and equipment were concerned were excellently suited for the use put by the owner and had a special value to him for such purpose. It must, however, be remembered that the Appeal Division are not fixing the value of those lands when used for such purpose but found upon the evidence of Mr. Corbett the potential value of the land based on a higher and better use and thereby increased the value of the lands from 35 cents per square foot to $1.00 per square foot."

Respondent awarded $7,710. for business disturbance because it was found impossible to obtain other suitable premises and respondent had to wind up his business within two and one-half months from the date of the resolution expropriating the lands. The Supreme Court of Canada stated that it is reasonable to allow one year for the orderly realization of the assets of the business. In making the calculation the Court looked at the average net profit of the respondent during the past six years and subtracted an amount for interest allowed on the award from the date of the taking of the premises.

Award to respondent as follows:

For land value, 135,565 square foot at $1.00 per square foot

$135,565.00

For damages for business disturbance

$7,710.00

$143,275.00

See N.B. Law News, August 1, 1967, Issue #67-80 for summary of judgments of N.B. Court of Appeal.

Counsel:

E. Neil McKelvey, Q.C., and Thomas B. Drummie, for the appellant;

Donald M. Gills, Q.C., for the respondent.

This case was heard before Cartwright, C.J.C., Judson, Ritchie, Hall and Spence, JJ., of the Supreme Court of Canada, who delivered the following decision on May 13, 1968.

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