The intent of the Condominium Act
Ontario Superior Court of Justice
Before: Justice Gilmore
Heard: 14 December 2015
This case is important as a purchaser managed to get his deposit back
after rescinding a purchase agreement of a hotel unit at the Toronto
However, in my view, the most important point is when the judge said
that the intend of the Condominium Act is consumer protection and that
this must be viewed in a liberal way. The exact wording is:
 The Condominium Act is a piece of consumer protection legislation,
and as such, should be interpreted liberally and broadly. In the
absence of any case law, and keeping in mind the legislature’s goal of
protecting purchasers of condominiums, the court should not read in a
requirement that all notices of rescission given under s. 74 of the Act
include the precise term "rescission."
It continues at paragraph 43.
 Consumer protection legislation must be interpreted
generously in favour of the consumer (Seidel v. TELUS Communications
Inc., 2011 SCC 15 (CanLII),  1 S.C.R. 531, at para. 37).
While it is true that the applicants are not unsophisticated parties
and had the benefit of legal counsel, in general, the legislation’s
policy objective of protecting consumers in an asymmetric contractual
relationship would not be well-served by reading in a requirement that
the notice of rescission must include the term “rescission”. This is
particularly true given the “fundamental confusion” between rescission
and repudiation, as noted by the Supreme Court in Guarantee Co.
[Guarantee Co. of North America v. Gordon Capital Corp., 1999 CanLII
664 (SCC),  3 S.C.R. 423, at para. 39). An interpretation
more in line with the policy objectives of the Act would require only
that the purchaser’s notice make clear its intention to undo or unmake
the contract and restore the parties to the status quo ante, a “crucial
aspect of rescission” (Guarantee Co., [supra,] at para. 46). In
this case, that would include the return of the deposit, which is
provided for in the Act.
 I find that there are no statutory
requirements for the form of the notice of rescission under the Act,
other than that it is in writing.
 In the face of an absence of case law on
this point, and given that the Act is a piece of consumer protection
legislation, as well as the “fundamental confusion” over the meaning of
the term rescission purchasers should not have to explicitly use the
words “rescission” or “rescind” when giving notice.
 I agree that the notice of rescission
provided in Mr. Lee’s letter of February 23, 2012 is imperfect.
However, I also find that the Act does not require perfection, only a
certain degree of clarity. As long as the notice fulfills the statutory
requirements and makes clear the purchaser’s intention to undo or
unmake the agreement, such as by requesting the return of their
deposit, the notice should be considered sufficient.
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