Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Ordinarily Resident Definition:

The place where in the settled routine of an individual's life, he or she regularly, normally or customarily lives.

Related Terms: Domicile, Permanent Resident, Habitual Residence

In Mcfayden v The Queen, Justice Garon of the Tax Court of Canada adopted these words from the Supreme Court of Canada, Justice Rand, in the 1946 case of Thomson v MNR:

"A reference to the dictionary and judicial comments upon the meaning of these terms indicates that one is "ordinarily resident" in the place where in the settled routine of his life he regularly, normally or customarily lives....

"The graduation of degrees of time, object, intention, continuity and other relevant circumstances, shows, I think, that in common parlance "residing" is not a term of invariable elements, all of which must be satisfied in each instance. It is quite impossible to give it a precise and inclusive definition. It is highly flexible, and its many shades of meaning vary not only in the contexts of different matters, but also in different aspects of the same matter. In one case it is satisfied by certain elements, in another by others, some common, some new.

"The expression "ordinarily resident" carries a restricted signification, and although the first impression seems to be that of preponderance in time, the decisions on the English Act reject that view. It is held to mean residence in the course of the customary mode of life of the person concerned, and it is contrasted with special or occasional or casual residence. The general mode of life is, therefore, relevant to a question of its application.

"For the purpose of income tax legislation, it must be assumed that every person has at all times a residence. It is not necessary to this that he should have a home or a particular place of abode or even a shelter. He may sleep in the open. It is important only to ascertain the spatial bounds within he spends his life or to which his ordered or customary living is related. Ordinary residence can best be appreciated by considering its antithesis, occasional or casual or deviatory residence. The latter would seem clearly to be not only temporary in time and exceptional in circumstances, but also accompanied by a sense of transitoriness and of return.

"But in the different situations of so-called "permanent residence", "temporary residence", "ordinary residence", "principal residence" and the like, the adjectives do not affect the fact that there is in all cases residence; and that quality is chiefly a matter of the degree to which a person in mind and fact settles into or maintains or centralizes his ordinary mode of living with its accessories in social relations, interests and conveniences at or in the place in question. It may be limited in time from the outset, or it may be indefinite, or so far as it is thought of, unlimited. On the lower level, the expressions involving residence should be distinguished, as I think they are in ordinary speech, from the field of "stay" or "visit"."

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