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Feb 18, 2022
Services: Condominium Law

The Broad Interpretation of ‘Dangerous Activities’ Under Section 117

February 18, 2022, Ottawa-Carleton S.C.C. No. 671 v. Friend, et al., 2017 ONSC 7379, 2021 ONCA 666; York C.C. No. 188 v. Chaudhry, 2021 ONSC 7027; York C.C. No. 794 v. Watson, 2021 ONSC 6574; Niagara South C.C. No. 12 v. Kore, et al., 2021 ONSC 8475


Are you or a property manager you know being bombarded with emails, phone calls, and voicemails from a persistent unit owner? Are you being subjected to rude or disparaging remarks from tenants? The courts are now prepared to provide a remedy for such behaviour. Section 117 of the Condominium Act, 1998 (the “Act”) prohibits “dangerous activities” which in the past have been limited to the most egregious conduct. 

In a recent series of cases, which we have fondly dubbed the “quadrilogy”, the courts have endowed s. 117 with a broad interpretation that captures a wide range of harassing, rude, and disrespectful conduct that may attract intervention by the courts pursuant to s. 134 of the Act.

The “Quadrilogy” of Cases

In Ottawa-Carleton S.C.C. No. 671 v. Friend, et al., the Court explained that the phrase “injury to an individual” contained within s. 117 of the Act includes psychological harm and verbal and written forms of abuse. In the case before the court, a unit owner’s behaviour towards members of the Board of Directors and employees of the condominium was consistently rude, harassing, and demeaning. The Court held that this conduct caused non-trivial psychological harm and, accordingly, violated s. 117 of the Act. 

The case York C.C. No. 188 v. Chaudhry involved a unit occupant’s harassing communications that targeted individuals on the basis of their religious beliefs and/or positions of authority or employment within the condominium community. The Court held that this “campaign of harassment” constituted a dangerous activity which violated s. 117 of the Act and necessitated intervention.

The conduct of the unit owner in York C.C. No. 794 v. Watson included that: 

  1. Yelling obscenities and racial slurs,
  2. Sending harassing and defamatory emails to board members and employees of the condominium,
  3. Threatening the condominium’s legal counsel and staff,
  4. Making inappropriate comments to the Board’s president, the condominium’s security staff, and other residents of the community. 

The court concluded that the purpose of this behaviour was to intimidate and instill fear and, therefore, the unit owner was in breach of s. 117 of the Act.

In Niagara South C.C. No. 12 v. Kore, et al., which was successfully argued by our litigation team, the Court determined that the unit owners’ intimidation, harassment, and disrespect of others amounted to a breach of s. 117 which warranted intervention by the Court. This point was driven home by Justice Donohue’s statement that “It comes down to respect”.

Actions that Amount to a “Dangerous Activity”

The case law has determined that all of the following manners of conduct may constitute a violation of s. 117:

  • Physical aggression
  • Intimidation
  • Disrespect of others
  • Threats
  • Persistent emails and phone calls
  • Disparaging remarks
  • Posting threatening flyers on public bulletin boards
  • Uttering obscenities and racial slurs


Bottom Line

Property managers now have another tool in their toolbox against unit owners and occupants who intimidate, threaten, harass, and disrespect other members of the condominium. As a result of the “quadrilogy” of cases, all of those manners of conduct now fall in the scope of “dangerous behaviours” within the meaning of s. 117 of the Act. Therefore, the condominium may seek intervention of the Superior Court in these situations pursuant to s. 134 of the Act. 

Written by Fiona Burnett, edited by Robert Mullin. *This article does not constitute legal advice, always consult legal counsel.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not legal advice. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your specific circumstance.