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Neil Smiley Toronto Lawyer

Neil M. Smiley *

Partner Fasken
Property investment and development has become more challenging with steadily rising land prices, the complexity of the development approvals process and the changes contemplated to the breadth of appeals that may be heard by the Ontario Municipal Board.
Jurisdiction Ontario, 1989
Language(s) English
Office(s) Toronto
*practising through a professional corporation

Neil M. Smiley specializes in complex real estate transactions, planning and development. Having a unique dual expertise as an experienced commercial real estate lawyer as well as a planning and development lawyer, Neil advises clients regarding the acquisition, financing, leasing and disposition of real property, as well as in connection with the myriad of approvals and entitlements required of governmental authorities to maximize value and/or develop such real property.

Neil provides corporate support for all types of real estate transactions including negotiation of joint ventures, co-ownerships, partnership agreements, easements  and governmental development agreements. His expertise also extends to municipal planning and development law, where he assists clients with the maximizing the value of real estate by securing development approvals, including severances, variances, subdivisions, condominiums, official plan amendments, zoning amendments and site plan approvals and where required on appeal, in litigating such cases before Ontario’s Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly the OMB) or other local appeal body.

Further to his real estate development practice, Neil also has experience in land assemblies, hospital/institutional and energy projects. He has been involved in property regulation, site selection and approval/appeal process in respect of such projects for over 30 years.

Prior to his legal career, Neil worked as an urban planner with a former Toronto municipality and maintains close connections to that discipline. As a result of this, Neil is able to draw on his planning experiences and contacts to provide value-added advice in connection with his broader legal practice.

  • Recognized in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law in Toronto, The Best Lawyers in Canada 2020 to 2022
  • Recognized as an Acritas Star™ lawyer, Acritas Star Independently Rated Lawyers 2019 to 2021
  • 2019 Friend of the Faculty Impact Award – University of Waterloo School of Planning , 2019
Date Client


  • Course, Corporate Real Estate Finance NACORE Capstone
  • LLB Osgoode Hall Law School at York University
  • BES, (Hons), Urban Planning University of Waterloo

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, Ontario Bar Association - Municipal Law Section
  • Member, University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto, which through its annual dinner, raises funds for the University of Waterloo's School of Planning
  • Member of Pragma Council, which involves high-level planning experts in Ontario
Masters of Ceremonies - University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto's Annual Industry Dinner University of Waterloo Planning Alumni, Toronto's Annual Industry Dinner at the Royal York Hotel, Toronto location location Toronto Royal York Hotel, Toronto
Moderator - Fasken's Annual Planning and Development Program - High level exchange of planning and development issues, with past presentations from Chief Planner's from Toronto, Mississauga, Vaughan and from Waterfront Toronto, BILD, and other building and development industry representatives Fasken Martineau location location Toronto
Commercial Mortgage Transactions - Professionalism Issues Law Society of Upper Canada location location Toronto Toronto, Ontario


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