Photo credit: Andrew Duthie

It turns out that, in Canada, a “real place,” you could just, like, park your car in a spot. For a decade. And then you own it. The entire parking spot. That’s it. It doesn’t matter if someone else owned it. You own it now. Somehow.

From CTV News Montreal:

The case in question involved Helene Allie and her new neighbours, Alain Ostiguy and Valerie Savard.

Allie began using one or two parking spaces on her neighbour’s property in Bromont in 1994, and nobody ever objected.

After doing this for ten years the Bromont resident effectively gained ownership of the property — even though she never paid for it.

Under Quebec’s Civil Code, anyone who continues to use something, without objection, for a decade has acquired ownership of the item, and can formally apply to the courts to have their ownership recognized.

When the neighbour sold their property in 2011, the new owners, Ostiguy and Savard, filed for an injunction to stop Allie from using the lot. She refused to comply, pointing out that by ‘squatting’ on the parking space for so long, it was legally now hers.

Judges in Quebec Superior Court and the Court of Appeal agreed with Allie that she had acquired the ownership of one parking space.


And that’s crazy! That’s nuts! That’s so, deeply weird.

And better yet, the Canadian Supreme Court (I don’t know for sure, but I have to assume it is made up of three beavers, a moose, Don Cherry, and a sentient toque) not only agreed with the appeals court, but then issued the most ice cold recommendation I’ve seen this side of the Atlantic.

They actually said that if Ostiguy and Savard (the poor schmos who lost out on the parking space) would like their parking space back, they would have to go to the previous owners – the ones Allie squatted the parking space from – and try and get compensation for selling a parking space that they didn’t actually own any more.

CTV went on to point out that because Quebec is weird and French and adheres to civil law, rather than common law like the rest of Canada, this sort of thing probably only applies in Quebec.


But still. Tabernac.

H/t to Benjamin Hunting!

Deputy Editor, Jalopnik. 2002 Lexus IS300 Sportcross.

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