News Analysis

Building Owners Responsible for Bird Deaths, Judge Rules

Canadian nonprofit Ecojustice filed charges against Cadillac Fairview, owners of Toronto’s Yonge Corporate Centre, claiming that the three buildings’ highly reflective windows caused the deaths of more than 800 birds in 2010, including threatened species. In the trial, which began in April 2012, Ecojustice accused Cadillac Fairview of violating the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) and the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA), which prohibit the discharge of contaminants harmful to wildlife.

Ecojustice charged that “contaminants harmful to wildlife” should be interpreted to include reflected light that confuses birds or lures them toward reflected sky or trees, resulting in collisions and injury or death. Judge Melvyn Green of the Ontario Court of Justice ruled the interpretation valid, meaning that the Ontario Ministry of Environment will now regulate buildings reflecting light that leads to bird fatalities.

Published March 7, 2013

Weaver, E. (2013, March 7). Building Owners Responsible for Bird Deaths, Judge Rules. Retrieved from