No Right of Way: How Democracy Came to the Oil Patch


272 pages
Contains Photos, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-55041-065-2
DDC 333.76'13'09713




Reviewed by George Jackson

George Jackson is a retired professional agrologist.


Lewington, who died in April 1992, was a well-known and respected
agricultural writer. He had been a dairy farmer, editor, feature-article
writer, researcher, and book author.

No Right-of-Way recounts the extended confrontation between Lewington
and his neighbor, O’Neil, with Interprovincial Pipelines Limited
(IPL). The conflict relates to the right of the pipeline company to
cross farm lands using a legal right of expropriation to gain access.
Compensation for damage to soils on the farm, the natural and tile
drainage system, and the crops was also at issue.

The conflict between these parties extended over a period of 32 years
until an Ontario Supreme Court decision came down in favor of
Lewington’s position. The author details the steps taken to document
his position and bring his case before the courts. The court
decisions—initially against, finally for—are noted.

This is the story of how a layperson with writing and organizational
skills, as well as unlimited determination, challenged a major national
pipeline construction company. The final legal decision resulted in a
new approach to pipeline construction on arable lands.

The many notations and quotes included in the text provide an
indication of the comprehensive files Lewington kept. These reference
files have since been donated to the D.B. Weldon Library at the
University of Western Ontario and may be accessed. These files will
remain as a continuing and pertinent source of information on the legal
and environmental aspects of transmission-corridor crossings of farm


Lewington, Peter., “No Right of Way: How Democracy Came to the Oil Patch,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 21, 2024,