Determining the Enforceability of a Notice to Vacate Lease

Author: Mike Brown |


In Bennett Law Chambers Professional Corporation v. Camcentre Holdings Inc., 2022 ONCA 658, the landlord issued its tenant a notice to vacate a commercial lease on the basis that it wanted to demolish the property in order to build condos. However, the landlord had not obtained a demolition permit at the time it issued its notice because its immediate need for the tenant to vacate was for asbestos removal, not demolition. In making its ruling, the court evaluated the language of both the lease and the notice to determine whether such notice was enforceable. The court ruled that the notice was not enforceable because: a.) while the lease provided demolition as a valid reason for termination, and the notice itself stated demolition as the reason for termination, the landlord failed to obtain a demolition permit when it issued its notice; and b.) asbestos removal did not qualify as the commencement of the demolition process but rather was a precursor to it.