The group behind the legal challenge of Ottawa's planned development of Lansdowne Park is hoping its case can help change the way municipalities do business.
Friends of Lansdowne had challenged the sole-sourced partnership between the city and Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group (OSEG) in the summer, but lost the first legal round this summer.
So the group appealed the decision, and had their day in court Monday in front of the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The three judges of the appeals court are not expected to hand down a decision for several weeks.
Friends of Lansdowne has argued the City of Ottawa broke its own procurement rules when it entered into a partnership with OSEG on the $300-million renovation and development of Lansdowne Park. The group also argued the city negotiated a deal that weighs too heavily in favour of the developers.
Under the Lansdowne deal, OSEG will build a mix of condominium and retail space in the rest of the park and oversee renovations of Frank Clair Stadium. The group has been awarded Canadian Football League and North American Soccer League franchises, both on the condition there is an appropriate stadium in place.
This past summer, a Superior Court justice ruled the city acted in good faith when it approved the deal and did not break its own rules in entering into the partnership with OSEG, prompting the appeal.
Friends of Lansdowne vow to keep fighting
Friends of Lansdowne supporter June Creelman said the appeals ruling may help set limits for what municipalities can do.
She is cautiously optimistic of the results, but said either way the group is not done fighting.
"In the meantime, we'll keep our eye on things at Lansdowne and keep watching and working on transportation, heritage, environment, etcetera," Creelman said.
Toronto community activist Jutta Mason was also in attendance Monday. She said the ruling is of interest to anyone concerned about public land falling into private hands.
"We're very much affected by it, public spaces in Toronto are very much affected by it, and we're really glad that somebody is testing this," Mason said.