Articles - Focus on Franchising

About Articles The following articles are published by the Franchise Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association. Members are encouraged to submit articles. About Articles

Editor: Stephanie Sugar


The Danger of the Accidental Franchise

  • January 10, 2018
  • Chuck Merovitz and Kelli-Anne Day

The statutory definition of "franchise" is expansive and leaves significant room for interpretation. This article examines the various elements of the definition and comments upon the importance of being able to distinguish a franchise from other unregulated business relationships.

Franchise Law

Subway Not Liable for Defective Sandwich

  • September 06, 2017
  • Jeffrey Hoffman

What do you do when your franchisor client has been improperly named in litigation that should have been commenced against the franchisee? This article discusses a practical approach to the problem, with reference to a recent British Columbia decision involving Subway Franchise Restaurants of Canada Ltd.

Franchise Law

Ontario Court Revisits Disclosure of Leases in Recent Decision

  • June 13, 2017
  • Pam Vermeersch

In a relatively recent decision, 2212886 Ontario Inc. v. Obsidian Group Inc., the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that a franchisee of the Crabby Joe's system was entitled to rescind its franchise agreement due to "significant and material" omissions in the franchisor's disclosure document. Interestingly, the absence of a copy of the head lease for the business premises did not form a basis for rescission, in the court's view.

Franchise Law

Mendoza v. Active Tire & Auto Centre Inc. - The Role of an "Informed Decision" in Rescission

  • April 10, 2017
  • Gillian Scott and Stephanie Henry

A recent decision of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice adopts a new approach to evaluating a claim for rescission under section 6(2) of the Arthur Wishart Act, (Franchise Disclosure), 2000 (SO 2000, c 3). Instead of considering whether the franchisor’s disclosure was materially deficient, thereby amounting to no disclosure at all, this recent decision looks to whether the franchisee made an “informed decision” on the basis of the disclosure provided.

Franchise Law

OBA Institute 2017: The Fundamentals of Franchise Law in Ontario - Record Attendance!

  • February 21, 2017
  • Joe McGrade, David Shaw and Melissa Won

On February 8, 2017, the Ontario Bar Association's Franchise Law Section and Sole, Small Firm and General Practice Section co-hosted an introductory franchise law seminar as part of the OBA Institute Program. The session was informative, well-received and saw record attendance. Congratulations to all those who participated!

Franchise Law

Liability of Franchisors in Human Rights Applications

  • February 08, 2017
  • Daniel So and Sara Michienzi

The franchise relationship, although one of independent contractors, may give rise to a finding of liability on the part of a franchisor for the acts and omissions of its franchisees if certain precautions are not taken. In this article, Daniel So and Sara Michienzi consider three relatively recent human rights applications and the approaches adopted by the provincial human rights tribunals in evaluating such liability.

And Then There Were Six: British Columbia's Franchise Legislation Came Into Effect on February 1, 2017

  • February 06, 2017
  • David Shaw, Arash Amouzgar and Saktish Pillai

On February 1, 2017, British Columbia joined Alberta, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Manitoba to become the sixth Canadian province to enact franchise legislation. In this article, the authors discuss the fundamental aspects of the B.C. Act and provide a practical and useful comparison of the B.C. Act to franchise legislation in the other five regulated provinces.

Franchise Law

Who's the Boss? An Analysis of the Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors' Interim Report

  • December 05, 2016

In July 2016, special advisors leading the review of the Labour Relations Act (Ontario) and Employment Standards Act (Ontario) released an interim report, titled "Changing Workplaces Review: Special Advisors’ Interim Report". This article provides an overview of the salient aspects of the Report, with a particular focus on how the proposed amendments stand to impact the franchise industry.

Franchise Law

Counting Calories: Calorie Disclosure Requirements Coming to Ontario Restaurant Menus in 2017

  • October 11, 2016
  • Laura Weinrib, Pei Li and David Shaw

As of January 1, 2017, the Healthy Menu Choices Act will require food service chains with 20 or more locations in Ontario to disclose calorie information for most standard food and drink items on menus, labels, tags and signage. This article provides an overview of the various disclosure obligations imposed by the Act and discusses the Act's application to, and impact on, franchisors in the food service industry.

Franchise Law