70 Centre Avenue, Toronto: New Ontario Court of Justice # 4871

Update: See page Ontario Provincial Offences Courts (Ontario Court of Justice).

70 Centre Ave by fightyourtickets.ca

On July 6, 2009 a new court house opened in Toronto at 70 Centre Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1R5.

70 Centre Avenue is located in downtown Toronto, 1 Street East of University Avenue, North of Dundas Street East and South of Edward Street.

This newest addition to Toronto’s current court houses, 70 Centre Avenue has opened up with four courtrooms (known as C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4). These are small court rooms and have been added to currently deal with parking tickets, GO Train tickets and Toronto Transit Commission (T.T.C.) tickets.

The times that have been set for trials in courtrooms C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4 are 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

70 Centre Ave - located on the exterior front door

When your trial is scheduled to proceed, you will come to this address.  First of all you will be greeted by four (4) Court Officers who will ask you to empty out your pockets into a little plastic tray. This will include any metal object on your person (keys, change, coin, lighter, pen, cell phone, iPod, MPS/DVD player or anything else that may trigger the security alarm as you walk through the security door). This experience is similar to the security at the Airport, but you don’t have to take your shoes off for the flight (you can now keep your shoes on for all domestic flights within Canada). You will also be asked what time your trial is scheduled for.

One of the Court Officers will inform you that you must walk straight ahead and turn right down the short flight of stairs to the courtroom where your trial is scheduled. There are four court rooms (C-1, C-2, C-3 and C-4) and you will have to check the lists posted outside of the court room to see if your name appears on the post.  You will notice that the area just outside of the courtrooms is extremely confined with only a few seats.  If you need to sit down and read your material or make any last minute adjustments, you can go back upstairs where there are plenty of chairs to sit down.

All Courts in Toronto will make sure you go through the security assembly line (much like the airport) before entering the Courts. The rule is that you can't be snacking (water is acceptable) or packing.
As soon as you walk in to 70 Centre Ave - you'll see this NO FOOD or DRINK sign (with the exception of water)

The shocking thing about this courthouse is that although this building has been renovated (it was a building housing Legal Aid and has now been converted into a court house) it only contains court rooms that are operational.  There are plenty of service counters, but there is no one in the empty offices. There are no staff or clerks to request or obtain information from, there is no place to file a notice of motion or even to pay a fine. The offices, which have been built with service counters have no staff within the offices. In fact, the furniture is still in its’ plastic merchandise wrapping and this court house opened months ago. On October 6, 2009 the new courthouse will be three (3) months old, but there will be no staff to assist defendants who walk through the door.

It is disturbing that the City of Toronto is opening and operating thiscourthouse with only one objective in mind; raising revenues generated by those who allegedly PARK – FAIL TO DEPOSIT FEE IN MACHINE contrary to the CITY OF TORONTO MUNICIPAL CODE; CHAPTER 910-4A(1) or FAIL TO CANCEL GO TRAIN TICKET in accordance with the contrary to the GREATER TORONTO TRANSIT AUTHORITY BYLAW # 2 Section 2.17 or who are charged with one of many offences found within the Toronto Transit Commission. There is no commitment whatsoever to service defendants who cannot afford to wait an hour or even longer at the Court Services Office around the corner at 137 Edward Street, 2nd Floor in Toronto.

The times of the trials given for City of Toronto Parking Tickets, GO Train Tickets and Toronto Transit Commission (T.T.C) Tickets are 9 a.m. , 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.

70 Centre Avenue - Ontario Court of Justice

Ontario Auto Insurance – Reducing Accident Benefits from 100 to 25 Thousand Dollars.

Update: see Insurance Rates page                                                                   

The Insurance Industry is up to their old tricks again, crying poor and raking in billions of dollars. Remember, if the Insurance Industry earned say, seven (7) billion dollars in profit in 2007 and only made five (5) billion dollars in profit in 2008, they can state that they lost billions of dollars in 2008 (based on the profit margin from the previous fiscal year). The natural question arises; if Insurance Companies providing Ontario driver’s automobile insurance are losing money on this particular product, then why are they still selling this particular product? Anyone that had money invested in the stock market (which includes Insurance Companies) have lost monies on their investments due to the economy in 2008, which continues in 2009. Insurance Companies need to satisfy the appetite of their shareholders and therefore remain profit driven in any economic climate. Auto Insurance in Ontario remains the most expensive Auto Insurance anywhere  in Canada.

Based on the March 31, 2009 recommendation number twenty-two (22) of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO)  in their Five Year Review of Automobile Insurance in Ontario, is as follows:

Recommendation #22: Reduce the cap for medical and rehabilitation benefits for non-catastrophic claims to $25,000. Introduce a $100,000 optional medical and rehabilitation benefit along with the existing $1 million optional benefit.
There have been some proposals for expanding the Pre-approved Framework (PAF) Guidelines to include other minor injuries. This idea is worth exploring from a number of perspectives. If feasible, it would expand the amount of treatment without requiring prior approval by the insurer, thereby simplifying the system and reducing transaction costs. As well, if the accident benefit system moves towards designating primary health professionals, expanded PAF Guidelines would reduce the time spent by designated professionals in managing minor claims and allow them to focus on the most seriously injured.
In February 2008, the Neck Pain Task Force (NPTF) of the World Health Organization published a series of articles summarizing its findings. There may be some merit in providing a more extensive continuum of care to ward off chronicity and recurrences based on the NPTF findings
.

The Ontario Liberal Government supports the FSCO’s recommendation of reducing statutory accident benefits resulting from motor vehicle accidents,  from $100,000.00 to $25,000.00 due to Insurance companies complaining that they are losing money under the current system. Insurance companies are suggesting that the $100,000.00 should only apply to catastrophic injuries (which amount to about 1% of the injuries that are reported on Ontario roads and highways). The change would not apply to motor vehicle accidents where the driver or passenger received catastrophic injuries and they would still be eligible for rehabilitation services that cost up to a million dollars.

Ontario Liberal Finance Minister Dwight Duncan wants to change the rules in the next 45 days by the end of June, 2009. On top of this latest gift from the Liberals to the Insurance Industry, we will all be paying alot more for everything beginning on July 1, 2010 when Dwight Duncan brings in the 13% Harmonized Sales Tax (H.S.T.) in Ontario.

The “Alliance of Community Medical and Rehabilitation Providers”, a coalition of 43 organizations that provide care for accident victims are opposed to this drastic change to the legislation, which would have an overall detrimental affect on accident victim clients. From the Alliance’s website: The Alliance urges consumers to contact their MPP and email Finance Minister Dwight Duncan directly at dwight.duncan@ontario.ca .  As well, consumers can sign an online petition at www.feelinglucky.ca


Definition of Catastrophic Injury (which amounts to 1% of all Ontario accidents):

(1.2)  For the purposes of this Regulation (O.Reg. 281/03 which amends O.Reg. 403/96), a catastrophic impairment caused by an accident that occurs after September 30, 2003 is,

(a) paraplegia or quadriplegia;

(b) the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of both arms or both legs;

(c) the amputation or other impairment causing the total and permanent loss of use of one or both arms and one or both legs;

(d) the total loss of vision in both eyes;

(e) subject to subsection (1.4), brain impairment that, in respect of an accident, results in,

(i) a score of 9 or less on the Glasgow Coma Scale, as published in Jennett, B. and Teasdale, G., Management of Head Injuries, Contemporary Neurology Series, Volume 20, F.A. Davis Company, Philadelphia, 1981, according to a test administered within a reasonable period of time after the accident by a person trained for that purpose, or

(ii) a score of 2 (vegetative) or 3 (severe disability) on the Glasgow Outcome Scale, as published in Jennett, B. and Bond, M., Assessment of Outcome After Severe Brain Damage, Lancet i:480, 1975, according to a test administered more than six months after the accident by a person trained for that purpose;

(f) subject to subsections (1.4), (2.1) and (3), an impairment or combination of impairments that, in accordance with the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, results in 55 per cent or more impairment of the whole person; or

(g) subject to subsections (1.4), (2.1) and (3), an impairment that, in accordance with the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, results in a class 4 impairment (marked impairment) or class 5 impairment (extreme impairment) due to mental or behavioural disorder.

(1.3)  Subsection (1.4) applies if an insured person is under the age of 16 years at the time of the accident and none of the Glasgow Coma Scale, the Glasgow Outcome Scale or the American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 4th edition, 1993, referred to in clause (1.2) (e), (f) or (g) can be applied by reason of the age of the insured person.

(1.4)  For the purposes of clauses (1.2) (e), (f) and (g), an impairment sustained in an accident by an insured person described in subsection (1.3) that can reasonably be believed to be a catastrophic impairment shall be deemed to be the impairment that is most analogous to the impairment referred to in clause (1.2) (e), (f) or (g), after taking into consideration the developmental implications of the impairment.

The FSCO now seeks to change the definition of “Catastrophic Impairment” as reflected in recommendation number ten (10) of their March 31, 2009 report, is as follows:

Recommendation #10: Further consultation with experts in the field is needed to amend the definition of “catastrophic impairment.” The goal for this review should be to ensure that the most seriously injured accident victims are treated fairly.
One area where stakeholders appear to be in agreement is that there is a problem with overutilization of assessments in the auto insurance system. The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) submitted that in 2007, based on incurred losses (paid claims plus reserves), for each dollar spent on treatment, another 60 to 80 cents were spent on assessments. Multiple requests for assessments may be sent to insurers involving treatment plans, completion of certificates and forms, and benefit applications. It has been suggested that adjusters frequently refer requests for an insurer examination in order to buy themselves more time which only adds more transaction costs, paper and delays.

This latest Liberal “rush to change the laws quick” move, is not beneficial for Ontario driver’s and passengers. If you want to sign the petition against this move to enrich Insurance Companies, you can sign the online petition at petition online.

The Financial Services Commission of Ontario has produced their “Report on the Five Year Review of Automobile Insurance March 31, 2009” see report. Other political parties in Queen’s Park, adamantly disagree with the Liberal party’s intention to rapidly impose this  “insurance friendly” legislation on Ontario driver’s and passengers. There may be more to come on the insurance front, that hasn’t yet been realized in Ontario.

How cyclists in accidents are treated by Insurance Companies.

How much have our beloved insurance companies lost? See story.

See Twelve (12) Tips to save on automobile insurance.

Parking Tickets issued to non-residents of Ontario cannot be collected by the City of Toronto.

Update:

In the City of Toronto, approximately 2.8 million tickets (and growing) are issued each year and the City collects the fines associated with almost 82 % of all tickets issued, representing annual revenues of approximately $80 Million.

Although the Province of Ontario has reciprocal agreements regarding traffic violations with other Provinces and Territories within Canada and with States within the United States of America, this does not extend to parking tickets issued by the the City of Toronto, to cars improperly parked. See Reciprocal Agreements within Canada and the U.S.A, which includes the Canadian Driver Licence Compact.

If a visitor to Toronto receives a traffic ticket for a moving violation, given their status as Non-residents, they can fight their tickets, without having to attend and dispute the ticket in the court room where the trial is taking place.

Recently the City of Toronto revealed that it has a low expectation that out of town drivers, who receive parking tickets, will actually pay their parking fines.

In 2008 the City of Toronto issued 113,781 parking tickets to out of Province motor vehicles. The City only had 16% of those out of Province motorists pay their parking fines. On average the parking fine amounted to $30.00.
The 16% collected in parking fines equalled about $546,148.80 (based on 18,204.96 $30 parking tickets), which represents a loss of approximately $2.9 million in potential revenue to the City of Toronto’s coffers.

Given that the City acknowledges that 84% of motor vehicles visiting from outside of Toronto don’t pay their tickets and there is no mechanism available to legally force them to pay (given that other jurisdictions will not share the vehicle’s owners name and address and other particulars), the City is now considering placing a friendly reminder on those improperly parked vehicles, rather then a ticket, which will has a 84% probability of never being paid.

Conversely, if an Ontario resident drives to another City in Canada and illegally parks their vehicle, apparently the motor vehicle’s owner information will not be disclosed by the Ontario Provincial Government, because there is no reciprocal agreement allowing exchange of information over simple parking matters and therefore that City will have no information (name, address, DOB, licence number, etc) to utilize on the parking ticket or in an attempt to collect the  resulting fines and costs, through a default system.

Update: March 19, 2008 – No escape from EU traffic fines

Update: January 9, 2009 – Foreign drivers ‘not prosecuted’

Update: February 5, 2010: An auditor’s report has revealed that as of December 2008, City of Toronto books showed about $103 million in unpaid fines.  About $7.5 million in unpaid fines can be attributed to tickets written to out-of-province motorists for tickets issued in 2007 and 2008.

Update: September 27, 2010 – EU urged to adopt foreign driver prosecution system

Etobicoke will be home to a new Ontario Court of Justice Courthouse

Update:

On April 7, 2009 Ontario Provincial Liberal Attorney General, Chris Bentley, announced that he would construct a multi-million dollar courthouse on the old Westwood Theatre property, located at the Westwood Theatre Lands and Six Points Interchange.

The multi-million dollar construction on this new Ontario Court of Justice Courthouse, which would house twenty courtrooms, is expected to begin in the next two years and to be completed by 2013.  Two (2)  of these courtrooms will be designated as priority courtrooms for major/complex cases, which will accomodate multiple defendants and high security.

The Attorney General hopes that this new courthouse will accomodate the needs of Etobicoke residents well into the next quarter of a century and will be extremely accessible to the public.  This courthouse is meant to replace the westend courthouse located at 1000 Finch Avenue West, which will probably be phased out upon the completion of this new Etobicoke Ontario Court of Justice courthouse.

Those that need to attend this new Ontario Court of Justice courthouse, will be able to access it from the nearby TTC’s Kipling Subway Station and the Kipling GO Train Station.

Not all the Etobicoke residents are as enthusiastic as the Attorney General is, regarding this new location for this 20 courtroom courthouse in their neighbourhood and what they anticipate will come with this new courthouse.

Update: March 29, 2011 – Almost two (2) years after the Ontario Provincial Attorney General announced the constuction of this courthouse, Ontario Liberal Government announced in the 2011 budget, that they will cancel the funding of the construction of the Toronto West Courthouse, saving the Province of Ontario $181 million over three years. This effects Etobicoke’s local economy and will force the City of Toronto to build its’ own courthouse and pay for that construction.

Demerit Points/Set Fines/Court Fees & Victim Fine Surcharges

Update:

A new page has  been  introduced to this site which sets out the demerit points that a driver accumulates (pursuant to  the Ontario Highway Traffic Act) when convicted of a traffic related offence, the Set Fines as set out in the Ontario Court of Justice’s “Schedule 43” including the Court Fee ($ 5.00) and the Victim Fine Surcharges related to each offence.

You will be able to find the number of demerit points each offence/infraction attracts, the section of the Highway Traffic Act that applies to each offence, the Set Fine (or No Set Fine “NSF”) added to the Court Fee of $ 5.00 and the appropriate Victim Fine Surcharge. (The demerit points, the set fine, the court fee and victim fine surcharge only apply if you are convicted of the alleged traffic offence).  Speeding is dealt with under section 128 of the Highway Traffic Act; if you speed near a construction zone, your fine will be doubled. You will also find that if convicted of an offence in a community safety zone or a construction zone, the fines almost double (see community safety zone or in or around a construction zone)

It should be noted that a large percentage of driver’s believe that they can pay tickets (which constitutes an admission of guilt) for offences which do not attract demerit points (example: speeding up to fifteen (15) kilometres over the posted speed limit) and in doing so, will avoid insurance premium increases. This is a false belief. Insurance companies will increase your premiums, whether the offence you were convicted of included demerit points or not. Remember, you don’t lose demerit points when convicted of a driving offence, you accumulate demerit points.

The current ecomonic reality (a recession, although alot of people believe it is a depression, disguised as a recession) facing all of us, will not stop the insurance companies from drastically increasing auto and home insurance and then investing considerable resources in challenging insurance claims, once made, especially the larger claims.

If you have determined after you have filed your ticket (requesting a trial date, disclosure, etc.) for a trial that you will most likely be convicted, it is important, especially if it is a major offence or a second minor offence, that you change your insurance company, before the conviction. If the insurance company that you have, that is providing you with auto insurance, is made aware of your conviction, your insurance premiums will be increased, for a number of years. If you try to go to another insurance company once you are notified by your current insurance company that your rates are increasing, the new company will take advantage of your situation and increase your insurance premiums.

If you think that you are valued by Insurance Companies because of your consumer loyalty, think again. The system, designed by private insurance companies, is not designed to work like that. Profit, not loyalty, is the only word which Insurance Companies care to hear. A couple in their seventies (70’s) contacted this site and provided their story to fightyourtickets.ca – this is what they had to say:

“We have read your site and found it to be enlightening; the page on Insurance Rates was so interesting, because it is true. We have had home and automobile insurance with Pilot Insurance for thirty two (32) years.  During this time, we have not had a single home or automobile insurance claim submitted.  Our rates have always gone up and have never come down.  We contacted you and you told us we should be rewarded for our outstanding insurance record and that we should shop around.  Given our age, you suggested that we should approach “Grey Power” and make enquiries about the same coverage, with a reduced rate.  We followed your advice and were told by Grey Power, that they were prepared to give us the same coverage, for three hundred and fifty dollars ($ 350.00) less, every year.  We called back Pilot and told them of the Grey Power offer, which would save us $ 350 a year, based on the rates we were presently paying Pilot Insurance.  The Pilot agent told us that Pilot could match Grey Power’s offer, given that their company name changed to Aviva Pilot, based on a recent merger”.

This is a very revealing situation, which says alot more about Pilot Insurance, than anyone else.  Two retired senior citizens, in their mid-seventies, on fixed incomes, were not rewarded for their loyalty or their zero insurance claims (on home and auto) for thirty two (32) years.  Pilot has made a fortune off of this couple (one of them is a war veteran who fought for our country) and never offered them a reduction on their premiums, until they became proactive and called Grey Power, who offered them a reduction of $ 350 dollars a year, for exactly the same coverage that Pilot had been charging $ 350 a year, too much over three decades!  It is shameful that Insurance Companies knowingly and willingly take advantage of retired senior citizens and war vets on fixed incomes, the very people that cannot afford to be taken advantage of and have their rates increased every year.

Pilot Insurance had 5.59% of the Market Share in 2007, that share of the market has now increased to 6.14% of the Market Share within the Insurance Industry in 2008. This growing and bloated company jacked their automobile insurance rates up 3.02% in the first quarter of 2008.  In the fourth (4th) quarter in 2008, Pilot Insurance Company increased their insurance rates by another 9.2% – amazing isn’t it. By increasing their insurance rates in the first and fourth quarter of 2008 by 3.02% + 9.2% = 12.22%;  with a Market Share of the Insurance industry which climbed from 5.59% to 6.14% – why would Pilot Insurance need to charge two retired citizens so much (over thirty two (32) years) when this couple has never submitted a home/auto claim? Why did their rates continue to climb, why didn’t someone in this insurance company call them and offer to reduce their rates?

Always shop around, you would be surprised how many companies will offer you the same product at a reduced rate.  Don’t think by leaving an insurance company that it will end up costing you more, in fact, many consumers find that just the opposite is true.

Auto Insurance Rates for the Fourth Quarter of 2008

ONTARIO PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATE FILINGS APPROVED

October 1, 2008 – December 31, 2008

Rate applications approved during the fourth quarter of 2008 (October 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008) averaged +2.57%, based on the entire market.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, for the 69.37% of the market that had rate changes approved, the average rate change was +3.71%, when weighted by market share.

The rate changes approved in the fourth quarter of 2008 become effective in the fourth quarter of 2008 or later for renewal business.

The rate changes approved in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 were -10.60%, -2.43%, -1.27%, +0.55% and +5.59%, respectively, for the entire market.

Look at Aviva and Pilot for the fourth quarter of 2008:

ONTARIO PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE RATE FILINGS APPROVED

October 1, 2008December 31, 2008

Insurer

2007
Market
Share

Effective
New
Business
Date

Effective
Renewal
Business
Date

Approved
Rate
Change

Aviva Insurance Company of Canada

0.41%

1-Feb-09

1-Mar-09

4.60%

Pilot Insurance Company

5.59%

1-Feb-09

1-Mar-09

9.20%