Infrastructure projects in Canada
With an infrastructure group spread across Western Ontario and Quebec, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP operates as a unified national practice group, taking lead roles in significant PPP projects and transactions across Canada. The team has experience of every asset class, with a particular focus on transit infrastructure, having recently acted for the City of Calgary in the development of a light rail transit line. Indeed, the firm has a strong reputation for advising public sector entities, an area where Judy Wilson is a key contact. The firm also has an impressive track record acting for clients in the private sector, including private bidders, financiers and integrated consortia. Catherine Doyle is highly sought after in this space for her market-leading expertise in the financing and development of infrastructure assets. Other key names in the practice include Alain Massicotte, who heads the Montréal infrastructure and P3 group and Jeffrey Merrick, who chairs the wider team from Vancouver. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless stated otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
Fengate Capital Management
Arjun Infrastructure Partners Limited
City of Calgary
City of Toronto
VIA Rail Canada
City of Winnipeg
Collectif Santé Montréal, S.E.C.
Société québécoise des infrastructures
- Acted as VIA Rail’s legal advisor in its Corridor Fleet Replacement Project, a project aimed at procuring a new bi-directional fleet of 32 train sets to replace VIA Rail’s fleet operating in the Quebec City-Windsor Corridor.
- Acting for the City of Calgary in the development of a light rail transit line in Calgary, Alberta.
- Represented Dexter Nova Alliance in reaching a financial close on the Highway 104 Sutherlands to Antigonish Twinning Project.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP
With strong bases in Montréal and Toronto, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is recognized as having one of the leading infrastructure practices in Canada. Active throughout North America, the team has experience of major projects across a variety of asset classes, including social infrastructure; myriad transportation projects; power and renewables projects; and harbour restoration. The group has a particularly strong track record in P3 projects, and was recently involved in Newfoundland's first PPP. Toronto-based William Buchner took the lead on that matter. Buchner is regularly instructed by developers, investors and lenders on large infrastructure and power project development and financing matters. Another key area of work for the department is transport infrastructure, and in particular light rail transit projects. The practice group is jointly led by Gregory Southam and project development lawyer Robert Bauer; Carol Pennycook and Nicholas Williams are key figures for project finance work; and David White and William Buchner are names to note on the more junior end of the partnership.
‘The team at DWPV are very solutions oriented.‘
Axium Infrastructure Inc.
DIF Capital Partners
The City of Toronto
Northleaf Capital Partners
Aecon Group Inc.
John Laing Group plc.
Fengate Capital Management Ltd.
- Acted as counsel for US projects in the clean energy sector, including the Huntington Beach Desalination Plant project in California, Campus Energy Project at the National Western Center in Colorado, Syracuse University’s steam station operations project in New York and Louisiana State University’s Central Utility Plant Project in Louisiana.
- Worked on the first PPP project in Newfoundland, Corner Brook Long Term Care, and continuing on to Corner Brook Acute Care Hospital and Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor Care Homes also in Newfoundland; and Halifax Organics and Bayers Lake Community Outpatient Centre in NovaScotia.
- Acted as lead transaction counsel for Innovate Energy in its contract to modernize, maintain and operate the district energy system that heats 80 buildings and cools 67 buildings, including the Parliament buildings, in Canada’s capital region.
DLA Piper (Canada) LLP
Working in conjunction with colleagues across the globe, DLA Piper (Canada) LLP is regularly involved in significant international mandates in the infrastructure space, a recent example of which included advising Bermuda Airport Authority on the redevelopment of the LF Wade International airport. The department has recognized strength in the transportation sector, acting in the rail and light rail space, as well as in road and bridge projects. It works in tandem with the firm's procurement practice to provide comprehensive support to public sector clients involved in major infrastructure developments. Foreign legal consultant Ian Bendell leads the team from Toronto and has extensive experience advising on international transactions in the public infrastructure space. Also recommended is Vancouver-based Andrew Burton, who specializes in P3 mandates, covering project agreements, contracting and financing arrangements.
‘Ian Bendell – he came in at a critical point and at the close of a procurement. His ability to understand, synthesise, lead and negotiate complex issues was remarkable.‘
Canada Infrastructure Bank
Bermuda Airport Authority
SNC-Lavalin Capital Inc.
Ellis Don Inc.
ACS Infrastructure Canada
Dragados Canada, Inc.
Transport for New South Wales
Kiewit Development Company
HOCHTIEF PPP Solutions North America Inc.
Transdev Services (Canada) Inc.
Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corp.
Fluor Canada Ltd.
Province of British Columbia
Toronto Transit Commission
Fiera Infrastructure Inc.
BAM International bv
Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc.
Flatiron West, Inc.
John Laing Infrastructure Limited
Fraser Health Authority
- Advising the CIB and VIA Rail on the development of a potential intercity passenger rail project.
- Advising Bermuda Airport Authority on the redevelopment of the LF Wade International Airport.
- Acting for Dragados and Aecon in relation to the Valley Line West Light Rail Transit project in Edmonton, Canada.
At McCarthy Tétrault, clients feel 'absolutely certain that the quality of the work will be top notch'. A 'cohesive and coordinated' full-service group, the team handles a range of procurement, development and financing mandates for a variety of clients involved in public-private partnerships, including EPC contractors, service providers, domestic and international banks, and other institutional lenders. Joint group heads Linda Brown and David Lever in particular are seen as leaders in project finance. The duo have considerable experience in domestic and international projects matters. Ontario-based Godyne Sibay specializes in public procurement, while counsel Gordon Willcocks in Toronto is recognized for his expertise in construction, procurement and financing work in complex infrastructure development projects. Next generation partner Morgan Troke in Vancouver is also recommended for his work in infrastructure and renewable energy projects.
‘The McCarthy team has a deep understanding of risks inherent to infrastructure projects, particularly the P3 structure. As such, they can appropriately advise as to actual risk factors to be mitigated (as opposed to all theoretical risk factors).’
‘They truly master the field of infrastructure projects. They have done this successfully at the federal, provincial and regional level. We have worked with all major firms and find this team to usually have a leg up on all others, in terms of knowledge and precedent to refer to.‘
‘With McCarthy, I am absolutely certain that the quality of the work will be top notch as that been the case time and time again which is essential for our company. You know with certainty that nothing has been left untouched when the final work product is delivered and that is how McCarthy has become a trusted partner to our company.‘
‘Ability of the team to work cohesively and are coordinated. I can call on any of the team members for a response. All are fully aware of my issues and can assist.‘
‘Individuals are available when I need and are prompt in getting back to me. Individuals have strong knowledge of the market and can explain concepts easily.‘
Infrastructure Ontario and Lands Corp
ACS Infrastructure Canada
ENGIE Services Inc.
Kiewit Development Canada
The City of Calgary
Connor, Clark & Lunn Infrastructure
- Advised IO and Metrolink on the Hurontario LRT project with Mobilinx Hurontario General Partnership.
- Advised ENGIE Services Inc. as part of the Plenary Properties Gatineau consortium on the closing of a C$330m 33-year P3 contract with Library and Archives Canada (LAC) to design, build, finance, maintain and operate a preservation facility to be constructed adjacent to the existing Preservation Centre in Gatineau, Québec.
- Advising the City of Calgary on its definitive agreements with the Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation and Calgary Exhibition and Stampede for the development and construction of a new event centre.
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP
Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP acts for key players in P3 transactions, representing a range of equity sponsors and lenders, design-build and maintenance sub-contractors and public sector entities. The last few years have seen sustained growth in the practice group, with an increase in financing mandates across a wide variety of asset classes including large scale infrastructure projects. Financial services chair Christopher Bennett has extensive experience acting for domestic and international lenders, bidding consortia and equity sponsors in social infrastructure, transportation, electricity and renewable energy. Tobor Emakpor has particular experience in the areas of education, transportation and healthcare. Rocco Sebastiano is another name to note in the team. All named lawyers are based in Toronto.
Mobilinx Hurontario General Partnership
EllisDon Capital Inc. / EllisDon Corporation
Peter Kiewit Infrastructure Co.
Meridiam Infrastructure North America Corporation
SUEZ Group SAS
The Miller Group
Arjun Infrastructure Partners
- Advised Mobilinx Hurontario General Partnership on its agreement with Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx to design, build, finance, operate, maintain the new Hurontario LRT in the Toronto region.
- Acted as counsel to the lenders to Kiewit and Vinci Group as part of the East-West Connectors consortium, which was selected as the successful consortiums to bid on the design, build, and finance of Stage 2 of the Confederation Line Extension Project in Ottawa, Ontario.
- Advising the shortlisted bidder Ellis Don Infrastructure Healthcare on the construction of the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia.
'Responsive, diligent and constructive', the team at Torys operates on both sides of the Canada-US border to plan, procure, finance and build major infrastructure projects. The practice group works closely with the firm's highly regarded power and oil and gas teams to advise on large-scale energy. A recent example of this linked-up approach saw the team advising Wataynikaneyap Power on various commercial, regulatory and strategic matters related to the development, financing and operation of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project. PPP specialist Mark Bain jointly leads the practice group alongside Scott Kraag, who has considerable experience in the energy and mining sectors. Also recommended is Daniel Ford, who is increasingly active in public mandates in the rail and healthcare sectors. All are based in Toronto.
‘The Torys team is very responsive, diligent and constructive in their approach to advising us on legal matters. Frequently developing commercially reasonable solutions to complex legal challenges on large infrastructure projects.‘
‘There is a general understanding of the pace and diligence required to execute on infrastructure projects.‘
Government of the Northwest Territories
Wataynikaneyap Power LP
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
MTR Corporation Ltd.
Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology Inc.
Fengate Capital Management Ltd.
Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
Canada Pension Plan Investment Board
Mizuho Corporate Bank
Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ
- Acting for TransitNEXT as the successful proponent for the C$1.6bn Trillium Line South Extension PPP project to design, build, finance and maintain a 12 km extension to the existing light rail transit system in Ottawa, Ontario.
- Acted as project counsel to Wataynikaneyap Power, a partnership between 24 First Nations Communities and FortisOntario Inc., in various commercial, regulatory and strategic matters related to the partnership and the development, construction, financing and operation of the C$1.9bn Wataynikaneyap Transmission Project.
- Representing SWIFT as the public authority in all aspects of the development and financing for the C$288m Southwestern Integrated Fibre Technology PPP project to design, build, finance, operate and maintain an ultra-high-speed fibre-optic regional broadband network, providing critical fibre optic infrastructure to over 350 communities in Ontario.
Bennett Jones LLP
Bennett Jones LLP is perhaps best known for its work in the oil and gas space, on acting in conjunction with the firm's highly regarded energy group. In addition, the team has noted experience of P3 project, with a strong track record in areas including healthcare, education and hospitality. The practice has gained additional capabilities with the arrival of Charlene Hiller and David Little from Fasken in January 2020, both of whom specialize in all aspects of projects and social infrastructure work. Jason Roth leads the firm's capital projects team and is regularly instructed by owners, developers and contractors in energy and infrastructure developments. Also recommended is construction and project delivery specialist Paul Blundy, who has worked on a wide variety of PPPs and AFP transactions.
Provincial Health Services Authority
Providence Healthcare Society
New Westminster School Board
Fraser Health Authority
Northern Health Authority
Abbotsford Regional Hospital
Interior Health Authority
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
Partnerships British Columbia
BC Hydro and Power Authority
Ameresco Canada Inc.
ATCO Group (all subsidiaries including: ATCO Electric Ltd., ATCO Structures & Logistics Ltd., ATCO Energy Solutions Ltd, ATCO Gas and Pipelines Ltd., Alberta PowerLine etc.)
Canadian Aviation Fuel Facilities Consortia (i.e. Calgary Fuel Facilities, Montreal International Fuel facilities, Pearson International Fuel facilities, Vancouver Airport Fuel Facilities etc.)
Capital Regional District Core Area Wastewater Treatment Project Board
City of Vancouver
Government of Nunavut
NorthWest Redwater Partnership
Ontario Infrastructure and Lands Corporation
- Acting for Provincial Health Services Authority, a publicly funded health service provider (in the province of British Columbia), in connection with the new Centre for Mental Health Care & Addictions project.
- Acting for the owner, Providence Healthcare Society in the approved St. Paul’s Hospital project.
- Acting for The Board of Education of School District No. 40, in the Westminster Secondary School Replacement Project.
Norton Rose Fulbright has developed a particularly strong reputation in the rail sector, where recent highlights include acting for Québec City in relation to the procurement and development of its C$3bn public transit network project. On the private sector side, the team acts for project proponents and lenders primarily in energy-related infrastructure projects. The group is fully integrated within the firm's global platform and secures international mandates including in the US and South America. James LeMoine is a key contact for PPP projects and infrastructure-related business transactions. The North American infrastructure group is jointly led by Douglas Buchanan QC and Greg Lewis QC, the latter of whom also leads the Canada infrastructure group. LeMoine and Lewis are based in Vancouver, while Buchanan divides time between Vancouver and New York.
Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
Province of BC
OMERS Infrastructure Management
Alberta Electric System Operator
Metro Vancouver (Greater Vancouver Sewage & Drainage District)
Capital Regional District (Greater Victoria)
City of Ottawa
Partnerships British Columbia
Prince Rupert Port Authority
Fraser Health Authority
- Acted as counsel to OMERS Infrastructure Management Inc. in connection with the sale of its portfolio of Ontario-based hospitals and long-term care facilities to Plenary Group.
- Advising TransLink on the C$3.1bn Surrey-Langley rapid transit rail project in Vancouver.
- Advising the Quebec City on the C$3bn public transit network, which is to include tramways, an electric trambus, and reserved bus lanes.
Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
The team at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP has shown its expertise both in public and private infrastructure work. Within the former, the team has recognised strength in energy and transportation while in the latter it represents a strong portfolio of developers and design-build clients. Based in Vancouver, corporate specialist Robert Shouldice leads the practice and focuses on energy projects and other public infrastructure work. He has acted in numerous transactions involving transport infrastructure, healthcare and educational facilities and renewable energy projects.
Groupe NouvLR (Consortium composed of SNC-Lavalin Major Projects Inc., Dragados Canada, Inc., Groupe Aecon Québec Ltée, Pomerleau Inc. and EBC Inc.)
City of Ottawa
AECOM Energy and Construction
Duit Construction Company
RER Consortium (DB Engineering (Deutch Bahn), Aecon Construction Group, John Holland Pty Limited)
Manitoba Hydro (Keeyask Generation Project)
Government of Canada (Trans Mountain Pipeline)
Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids)
Government of British Columbia (Nanaimo Correctional Centre)
Regional Municipality of Waterloo
City of Kingston
Regional Municipality of Peel
Dragados Canada, Inc
Fluor Canada Ltd
Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc
Parkway Infrastructure Constructors
Windsor Essex Mobility Group GP
City of Edmonton
- Advising BC Hydro on the $9bn Site C hydro-generation facility and $1bn John Hart Generating Station Replacement Project.
- Advising City of Ottawa on land assembly, acquisitions and related property matters and on regulatory governmental approvals relating to the Confederation Line Stage 1 and 2 (light rail) and Trillium Line (commuter line).
- Advising NouvLR General Partnership on the procurement and construction of Montreal’s Light Rail Train Project (Réseau Express Métropolitain).
Fasken has acted for development entities, contractors, lenders and other project participants in energy, transportation and social infrastructure projects across Canada and the US, Africa, Asia, South America and Europe. Project finance specialist Ella Plotkin leads the global infrastructure and projects group. Other key contacts include Brian Kelsall and Thomas Barlow. Named lawyers are based in Toronto.
Gowling WLG is routinely instructed by project sponsors, equity providers, and EPC contractors in major construction and infrastructure projects. In particular, the team is rated for its 'exceptional depth of transactional expertise' in the PPP space. The team has been involved in large-scale projects across North and South America, the Middle East and Africa, bringing particular expertise in energy and transportation projects. Ted Betts, Faithe Holder and Montréal-based Luc Lissoir jointly lead the practice group. Also recommended is Adam Lewinberg, whom clients value for his 'previous in-house experience and his understanding of the dynamic of the sector'. Named lawyers are based in Toronto unless stated otherwise.
‘The team did a great job, we were all positively impressed by their commitment to the result and their professional approach.‘
‘Adam Lewinberg is very competent and available. He is very committed to help his client to get the results they want. Given his previous in-house experience, his understanding of the dynamic of the sector, it is a definitely a plus.’
‘Very available, efficient and responsive throughout their entire firm, its a culture they’ve built into the team. Very resourceful with examples to help negotiate out of difficult matters.‘
‘Excellent communicators and very influential in getting their point across getting favourable results.‘
‘Gowling has exceptional depth of transactional expertise particularly in the Public, Private, Partnership market.’
Acciona Infrastructure & Concessions
Johnson Controls Canada LP/Johnson Controls, Inc.
Plenary Group (Canada) Ltd.
Infrastructure Ontario (IO)
Ministry of Transportation Ontario (MTO)
McMaster Innovation Park
ErinoakKids Centre for Treatment and Development
Signature sur le Saint-Laurent Construction
Société québécoise des infrastructures
Rosatom/AtomStroyExport (ASE) JSC
Nouvelle Autoroute 30
Horizon North (formerly Dexterra)
- Counsel to both Acciona and Aecon in relation to Fraser Crossing Partners’ financial close on the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project in British Columbia.
- Advised Johnson Controls, Inc., a subcontractor to the Plenary Justice Miami consortium, on the development agreement to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain the new Miami-Date Courthouse over a 34-year period.
- Retained by SQI to represent it and the Minister of Health of Quebéc in all legal aspects surrounding the public procurement of a greenfield new 410-bed hospital in Vaudreuil-Soulanges located South West from the Island of Montréal.
McMillan LLP's infrastructure industry group advises on a full range of projects matters, including procurement, construction, financing, environmental law and regulatory issues. Among the team's clients are project owners and developers, lenders and contractors. Peter Willis in Toronto jointly leads the group alongside Timothy Murphy.
Aird & Berlis LLP's Toronto-based infrastructure practice is rated for its track record in PPP projects and project finance, public procurement, and project construction and development. Areas of activity include energy and transportation projects, among other civil infrastructure projects. Headed by Douglas Younger, the team has acted for a variety of lenders and equity sponsors, subcontractors and government entities.
Rated by clients for its professionalism and client-focus, Dentons infrastructure team is most active in projects in the energy and transportation sectors, where is advises clients such as private sponsors and public authorities, lenders, contractors, and more. In addition to its domestic projects work, the firm also has a strong international focus, having recently been involved in several cross-border matters involving Europe and South America. The infrastructure and PPP practice is co-chaired by Jana Mansour in Vancouver and Ilan Dunsky in Montréal.
‘They work as a team and we know that when they give an opinion to the client they have consulted senior lawyers and have bounced ideas and strategies previously. Also, we know that have taken into consideration the client’s concerns.‘
‘The lawyers we work with are very professional and have done detailed research before providing an opinion.‘
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
- Advising the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority with respect to the complex procurement and all design build matters on the expansion of the container terminal in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown waterfront (Centerm Expansion Project/South Shore Access Project).
- Counsel to Enmax Corporation on ongoing construction law matters, including general procurement and construction law advice in relation to the Green Line LTR Project, the planned light rail transit line running between north-central and south-eastern Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Based in Vancouver, Farris LLP is a key player in British Columbia's infrastructure market, having been involved in prominent public infrastructure projects, including major transport, social infrastructure and power generation projects. A name to note is senior counsel Michael Allen, who has acted for lenders and borrowers in international project finance matters.
Other key lawyers:
Goodmans LLP stands out in particular for its public sector work, covering public sector procurement, privatizations, PPPs and alternative finance projects. The team has acted on behalf of federal and provincial governments, crown corporations and government services, though it also has experience acting for private sector developers and owners, contractors and subcontractors. The practice is jointly led from by PPP specialist Ira Berg and Richard Corley, both of whom are based in the firm's Toronto office.
‘Excellent expertise and availability. Reasonable re: time spent on files. Good communication. In depth knowledge of client’s organisation.‘
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Stikeman Elliott LLP has experience across the lifecycle of infrastructure projects, from initial permits through to financings, regulatory approvals and contract negotiations. Having acted for sponsors and lenders, the team has experience of projects in the transportation, energy, mining, and real estate sectors. Patrick Duffy co-chairs the practice alongside finance expert Jamie Templeton; Montréal-based Erik Richer La Flèche is also recommended.
Other key lawyers: