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Attorney-General (Ontario) v Orange Productions Ltd (1971), 21 DLR (3d) 257 (HC)


AG sought interim injunction to restrain D from holding outdoor rock concert on grounds of public nuisance. Evidence showed trouble with D’s prior concerts including drug use, open alcohol, public sex, trespassing.


At what point are a sufficient number private persons are involved that it turns from a private to public nuisance?
** How is the court to distinguish between private and public nuisance?


A public nuisance is a nuisance which is so widespread in its range or so indiscriminate in its effect that it would not be reasonable to expect one person to take it on – instead, taking action becomes the responsibility of the community at large.


Looks at it from a crowd/numbers perspective:
** “Social disaster” of noise, dust, etc.
** This is a problematic for everyone in the neighborhood.
** Court also rules that because there isn’t proper sanitation and crowd control, it would also be a nuisance to those attending the event.

Wells CJHC:
** AG v. PYA Quarries Ltd [1957] cited as authority, area affected by public nuisance best understood as “the neighbourhood”.
** The Romer LJ test: To be a public nuisance it must materially affect the reasonable comfort and convenience of life of a class of Her Majesty’s subjects (people); it is sufficient to show that a “representative cross-section of the class” has been affected.
** The Denning LJ test: With a public nuisance, because of its range or indiscriminate impact, the responsibility falls on the community to take action. Public nuisance is a nuisance that is so widespread in its range or so indiscriminate in its effect, that it would be unfair for one person to initiate proceedings to put a stop to it, rather it should be the community at large. So WIDESPREAD that if affects many people.

** If nuisance is concentrated to only two or three property owners, this would be a private nuisance with no expectation of community action.
** Here, the concert was seen as a social disaster waiting to happen, proper sanitation must be installed, attendance limits required so safety risk can be reduced.


Interim injunction granted in favour of AG.

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