SMP Law and Landlord Prejudice – An Update


It was a significant Court of Appeal decision that upheld that Justice Morgan was correct to invoke anti-Black racism in relation to the landlord’s refusal to negotiate a lease renewal, “regardless of whether the Landlord’s actions were consciously motivated by racism.” (paragraph 15).


In a previous post by SMP Law, the case Elias Restaurant v. Keele Sheppard Plaza Inc., 2020 ONSC 5457 (CanLII) referred to a husband and wife team that lease a space for a restaurant that primarily serves the African/Black/Caribbean community. The landlord decided that they no longer wanted to lease the space to the tenants because they preferred a different clientele, more ‘like-minded’. The tenants had complied with everything they needed to do to renew the space, however the landlord made it difficult and ultimately refused the renew their lease. The court ruled that the tenants were allowed to renew their lease.


The Court of Appeal made several key points in their decision:

·       The language in the tenant’s affidavits appeared to be stereotypical labelling

·       The application judge was entitled to take notice of anti-Black racism in Canada

·       The application judge based his findings on the facts that the tenants were not in breach of their lease, the business was successful, they never missed a rent payment, and the landlord did not suffer any financial losses.


This is a great example of how courts can help address racism in our communities.


Contact us anytime at SMP Law to help SiMPlify your legal matter at 905-565-9494 or email if you have any questions or would like to book an appointment to meet and discuss your situation and how we can help.


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