What steps must a municipality take to prove a sidewalk is in a state of non-repair?

Ontario, Canada


The following excerpt is from Worthey v City of Hamilton, 2015 ONSC 3690 (CanLII):

In considering these steps, it is important to remember that the municipality is not to be treated as an insurer of those who use the sidewalks, and that proof of a state of non-repair is not in itself enough: Ondrade v. Toronto (City), [2006] O.J. No. 1769 at para. 65.

As to the first element, that is proof of non-repair, it is important that s.44 imposes a duty on the municipality to maintain sidewalks in a state of repair “that is reasonable in all of the circumstances”. Merely because a pedestrian falls does not equate to evidence that the sidewalk was in a state of non-repair as a municipality cannot be expected, nor is it required, to maintain perfectly even sidewalk surfaces: Blaquiere v. Burlington (City), [1999] O.J. No. 2558 at para. 8, affirmed [2000] O.J. No. 4934 (Div. Ct.).

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