Before starting a lawsuit against the Crown (in the case of this article, the Ontario Government), it is necessary to provide 60 days notice. In other words, the plaintiff must provide a notice of claim for damages at least 60 days before starting an action for damages.
With respect to 60 days notice, section 18(1) of Ontario’s Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019 states as follows:
Notice of claim for damages required
18 (1) No proceeding that includes a claim for damages may be brought against the Crown unless, at least 60 days before the commencement of the proceeding, the claimant serves on the Crown, in accordance with section 15, notice of the claim containing sufficient particulars to identify the occasion out of which the claim arose.
The notice of claim for damages is typically sent in letter format. You can purchase a notice of claim for damages template letter here:
Template Notice of Claim for Damages
The notice of claim for damages is a matter of advocacy and should be well-drafted, as it will be the starting point for litigation. A good notice of claim for damages is concise and provides basic information such as when the event(s) occurred, where, who was present or involved and what happened.
Please note that there may be other notice requirements in the legislation, such as a 10 day notice requirement to give notice “in respect of a breach of duty attaching to the ownership, occupation, possession or control of property. See sections 18(4) and 8(1)(a) of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019.
With respect to service, section 15 of Ontario’s Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019 states as follows:
Service on the Crown
15 A document to be served personally on the Crown in a proceeding to which it is a party shall be served by leaving a copy of the document with an employee of the Crown at the Crown Law Office (Civil Law) of the Ministry of the Attorney General.
Service of the notice of claim for damages is typically done by hand-delivery (by the plaintiff or a process server) to the Crown Law Office (Civil Law). As of December, 2022, the Crown Law Office advised it would accept service by email or hand-delivery at the following addresses (check here to confirm these addresses are current):
Crown Law Office – Civil
720 Bay Street
Further Information on Claims against the Crown
For a discussion of the An Overview of the Crown Liability and Proceedings Act, 2019, please click here.
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