Our Municipal Law practice involves all aspects of land acquisition, development, disposition, taxation, and expropriation including applications, lobbying, approvals and appeals under various statutes, policy development, amendments to official plans and zoning by-laws, consents and subdivisions, heritage designations, building permits, sign permits, development charges, municipal and other realty taxes and charges, compensation for expropriation, municipal conflicts of interest, and the powers and corporate capacity of municipal government.
We also advise on all matters that fall under the Municipal Act (2001), City of Toronto Act, Planning Act, Building Code Act (1992), Development Charges Act, Expropriations Act, Ontario Heritage Act, Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act, and development related matters under the Environmental Assessment Act, Condominium Act, and Ontario Municipal Board Act.
Our Assessment Law practice provides cost effective and strategic guidance for property tax issues, respond quickly with sound advice and legal opinions on assessment law matters, prepare applications, effectively liaise with municipal and provincial staff, engage and lead consultants in a wide variety of disciplines and achieve client goals through negotiation and representation before the Ontario Municipal Board, the Assessment Review Board and the Ontario Court of Justice.
We are active in professional activities on tax and assessment related legislative and public policy initiatives. We represent a broad range of clients including:
- Industrial properties
- Hotel and retail properties
- Commercial and office premises
- Redevelopment properties
- Theatre and entertainment properties
- Rural properties
- Transport and airline facilities
- Mining facilities and extraction areas
- Residential properties including condominium
- Mixed-use community facilities and theatre properties
- Non-profit, governmental and educational facilities
- Health care facilities
Planning and Development Law
Our Planning and Development Law practice encompasses all aspects of land development, planning, conflicts of interest, by-laws, permits, municipal law, expropriation and land law and development related environmental law.
We have extensive experience in representing clients at local, regional and provincial levels and in political, administration and judicial forums. We assist clients at the predevelopment stage by providing advice on applicable laws, regulatory requirements and necessary permits, helping to determine the development or development potential of lands, creating a client focused strategy and assembling the right team of professionals to see the development vision through to its construction.
We advance our clients' interest by liaising with municipal, agency and ministry staff, lobbying politicians and making presentations before municipal councils, committees of council and conservation authorities. We are committed and active during the development review process, anticipating on responding to the concerns of reviewing agencies, guiding the team, communicating with the client and keeping everyone focused on the project goal and timeline. We use our skills in mediation and negotiation to resolve issues but also appeal matters and applications to the Ontario Municipal Board, the Environmental Review Tribunal, the Mining and Lands Commissioner, the Courts and any other review or appellant body where we can achieve effective results.
Both public and private corporations have relied on our expertise. We have delivered creative and leading edge opinions on legal matters and drafted and authored opinions on municipal by-laws. We have also provided commentary and advice on municipal and provincial law reform and policy development both through our active involvement in professional activities and associations (e.g. the executive of the Municipal Section of the Ontario Bar Association) and directly to government bodies. One of our partners, Neil Smiley, not only worked as a planner for a municipality, but as a lawyer, he was seconded for a significant period of time to the legal department of the former municipality of Metropolitan Toronto.
Our project experience includes:
- Industrial land and projects
- Commercial land and projects
- Recreational and entertainment uses from small to large scale
- Residential land and projects, both low and high rise and including condominiums
- Mixed uses
- Energy projects such as wind turbine generators or hydro-electric generators
- Aggregate pits
- Hospitals and healthcare facilities
- Changes of land uses, including conversions of rental residential buildings to condominiums
- Heritage buildings, sites and neighbourhoods
- Ravines and environmentally sensitive lands