Property Law deals with the relationship between persons and tangible and intangible things based on such concepts of “ownership.” We will consider how such rights arise, are managed, may be transferred or assigned, and might be extinguished or forfeited. As we proceed we will also consider such vehicles for property management as the use of  a trust. The key to understanding property law is to appreciate the balancing of interests in respect of ownership of a particular thing, and those institutional considerations that allow property rights to be exploited and vindicated.


There is no casebook or textbook required.


50% of your final grade will be assessed in relation to materials and topics taught in the Fall Term:

Two online quizzes: 5% each = 10% of your final grade. Details TBD.

December Examination: 10% of your final grade (up to 25% if the additional weight above 10% improves your final grade)

Final Examination: Part of the final exam will deal with materials and topics taught in the Fall Term and will be worth 15-30% of your final grade (determined by the weight accorded to the December examination)



Tuesdays & Thursdays 10:00-11:30am (Law Building, Classroom 003). Classes will be held exclusively in person.

Classes & Readings

(“under construction”)

September 7, 2023

No reading required. This will probably be a shortened class to discuss expectations and explain how the course will be taught.

September 12, 2023

No reading required. Introductory concepts.

September 14, 2023

I.  Entitlement: “Property” and “Ownership” at Common Law

(a) What Do We Want to Protect and How?

Sarah E Hamill, “Common Law Property Theory and Jurisprudence in Canada” (2015), 40 Queen’s LJ 679

Victoria Park Racing and Recreational Grounds Ltd v Taylor (1937), 58 CLR 479 (Aust. H.C.)

September 21, 2023

International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918, U.S.S.C.

R. v. Stewart, 1988 CanLII 86 (S.C.C.)

September 26 & 28, 2023

(b) Ownership, Possession,” and Control

Harrison v. Carswell, [1976] 2 SCR 200 (S.C.C.)

Pierson v. Post, 3 Cai. R. 175 (1805, NYSC) 

Nakhuda v Story Book Farm Primate Sanctuary, 2013 ONSC 5761 (S.C.J.)

October 3, 2023

II.  Common Law and Equity

Soulos v. Korkontzilas, 1997 CanLII 346 (S.C.C.)

October 5, 2023

III.  Acquisition

(a)  Intellectual Property

Baker v. Selden, 101 U.S. 99 (1879)

Cuisenaire v. South West Imports Ltd., 1967 CanLII 1106 (Excheq.); appeal dismissed, 968 CanLII 122 (S.C.C.)

October 10, 2023

(b)  Finding

Armory v Delamirie, (1722) 93 ER 664 (K.B.)

Bridges v. Hawkesworth (1851), 21 L.J.Q.B. 75 (Q.B.)

South Staffordshire Water Co. v. Sharman, [1896] 2 Q. B. 44

October 12, 2023

Hannah v. Peel, [1945] 1 K.B. 509 (K.B.)

Bird v. The Town of Fort Frances, 1949 CanLII 79 (Ont. H.C.)

Kowal v. Ellis, 1977 CanLII 1866 (Man. C.A.)

October 17, 2023

Grafstein v. Holme & Freeman, 1958 CanLII 97 (Ont. C.A.)

White v. Alton-Lewis Ltd., 1974 CanLII 740 (Ont. County Ct.)

October 19, 2023

(c)  Gifts, Gifting, and Undue Influence

Teixeira v. Markgraf Estate, 2017 ONCA 819 (C.A.)

Fichera v. McAllister, 2021 ONSC 2685 (S.C.J.)

October 24, 2023

Re Marsh Estate (1991), 1991 CanLII 2566 (N.S.C.A.)

Pascu v. Benke, 2005 CanLII 1086 (Ont. S.C.J.)

October 31, 2023

(d) Gratuitous Transfers and the Doctrine of Resulting Trust

Pecore v. Pecore, 2007 SCC 17 (S.C.C.)

MacIntyre v. Winter, 2021 ONCA 516 (Ont. C.A.)

November 2, 2023

III.  Third Party Possession: Bailment

Heffron v. Imperial Parking Co., 1974 CanLII 801 (Ont. C.A.)

Letwin v. Camp Mart, 2021 ONSC 4175 (S.C.J.)

November 7 and 9, 2023

No classes.

November 14, 2023

V.  Dealings with Property 

(a)  Formalities

Statute of Frauds, R.S.O. 1990, c.S.19

(b)  Vesting of Interests

Perpetuities Act, R.S.O. 1990, c.P.9

Quercus Algoma Corporation et al. v. Algoma Central Corporation, 2021 ONSC 2457 (S.C.J.)

November 16, 2023

(c)  Trusts, Trustees, and Agents

Hydro-Electric Power Commission v Brown, 1959 CanLII 123 (Ont. C.A.)

Air Canada v. M & L Travel Ltd., 1993 CanLII 33 (S.C.C.)

November 21, 2023

VI.  Liability for Interference: Conversion, Detinue, & Replevin

384238 Ontario Ltd. v. Canada, 1983 CanLII 2849 (Fed. C.A.)

Kew v. Konarski, 2020 ONSC 4677 (Ont. S.C.J.)

November 23, 2023

VII.  Causes and Remedies that Change Proprietary Entitlements

Garland v. Consumers’ Gas Co., 2004 SCC  25 (S.C.C.)

Kerr v. Baranow, 2011 SCC 10 (S.C.C.)

November 28, 2023

Moore v. Sweet, 2018 SCC 52 (S.C.C.)

Ontario (Attorney General) v. Norwood Estate, 2021 ONCA 493 (C.A.)

Dhingra v. Dhingra, 2012 ONCA 261 (C.A.)