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Tort law in Canada concerns the treatment of the law of torts within the Canadian jurisdiction excluding Quebec, which is covered by the law of obligations.



As with most common-law countries, Canadian tort law is primarily judge-made law, much of which is inherited from English tort law, which is supplemented by mostly provincial regulatory laws such as provincial automotive safety Acts. The core of Canadian tort law has not strayed far from its English origins, however, it is in the evolving areas of law, such as nuisance, defamation, or medical liability, where Canadian jurisprudence has set out on its own.

Intentional Tort

Except where excluded by statute, the common law intentional torts are applicable in Canada. This includes:

  • assault[1]
    • Threat by one person to commit unwanted physical contact to another person
    • Reasonable belief to feel threatened with imminent harm
  • battery[2]
    • Unwanted physical contact
    • Contact was intentional
  • false arrest
    • Deprivation of liberty
    • Insufficient reason to arrest OR excessive force
  • false imprisonment
    • Deprivation of liberty
    • Lack of lawful authority
  • nuisance
    • The defendant engages in some land use that affects the plaintiffs use or enjoyment of her/his land
    • The defendants activity is an unreasonable and substantial interference with the plaintiffs use or enjoyment
  • trespass
    • Defendant enters onto plaintiff’s property
    • The defendant does not have the occupiers express or implied consent
  • intentional infliction of mental distress[3]

There has been no agreed upon common law action for breach of privacy.[4]

There was some debate over whether there was a common law tort of discrimination. This was eventually dismissed by the Supreme Court in Bhadauria v. Seneca College.

Unintentional Tort


  1. ^ See Bruce v Dyer (1966) 58 DLR (2d) 211
  2. ^ See Bettel v. Yim
  3. ^ e.g. see Clark v. Canada (1994), 20 C.C.L.T. (2d) 241 (F.C.T.D.) and Nolan v. Toronto Metro Police [1996] O.J. No. 1764 (O.C.J.)
  4. ^ See Somwar v. McDonald's Restaurants of Canada Ltd. [2006] O.J. No. 64 [1]

External links



Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

This text is intended to provide an overview of the current law of torts, and its relevant jurisprudence and history.



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