Real estate and construction in Canada

Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP

With remarkable national presence, Blake, Cassels & Graydon LLP fields a strong and sizeable real estate team that is rated for its experience acting for major domestic and international financial services clients, developers, institutional investors, REITs and governmental entities in the entire spectrum of matters. Of particular note, the team is routinely engaged in market-leading transactions, involving M&A, acquisition and disposition of commercial, industrial and residential asset classes, real estate financing, securitization and construction projects. The group is under the joint leadership of Chris Huband and Thomas Von Hahn in Toronto; Huband is recommended for commercial real estate transactions, joint ventures and development projects, while von Hahn is frequently retained by pension funds and investors in mandates involving mortgage portfolios. Also sitting in the Toronto office, Silvana D’Alimonte has significant experience in financing deals and security enforcement. Daniel Kofman, who is based in the same office, has a broad practice that encompasses leasing, development, financing and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Chris Huband; Thomas von Hahn

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP

Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP possesses an impressive track record in commercial real estate transactions, both in Canada and internationally, and is a go-to destination for major real estate institutional investors. The practice has outstanding capabilities in both transactional and development work, having been particularly active in mandates involving mixed-use developments, multi-residential towers, industrial projects and portfolio deals. Gregory Howard, who acts for prominent real estate investors and developers, is seen with regularity advising on industry-shaping transactions. The Toronto-based partner oversees the practice with Elias Benhamou in Montréal, who is the trusted advisor to many developers in relation to real estate and infrastructure projects. Other names to note in the Toronto office include Robert Bauer, who stands out for his cross-border experience, and David Reiner, who focuses on acquisitions and dispositions of commercial properties, joint ventures and investments. Anthony Arquin, who is based in Montréal, is seasoned in mixed-use complexes and commercial co-ownerships. 

Practice head(s):

Gregory Howard; Elias Benhamou

Testimonials

‘This is a full service team that provides excellent service, deep level of knowledge and a highly responsive team. ’

‘Bob Bauer is a standout – offering a wealth of knowledge, reasoning and practicality.’

‘DWPV has a strong team nationwide with international capabilities. They are practical, commercial and understand issues quickly.’

‘I would highlight David Reiner and Steven Martin for the excellent speed of service, concise articulation of the finer points to clients, and for being very effective when negotiating with other law firms.’

Key clients

Cadillac Fairview

SmartCentres REIT

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments)

City of Toronto

Ivanhoé Cambridge

The Blackstone Group

OPTrust

PSP Investments

RioCan Real Estate Investment Trust

Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA)

Woodbourne

Graywood Developments

Goodmans LLP

The real estate team at Goodmans LLP brings together expertise across capital markets, REITs, municipal and tax law to assist developers, financial institutions, pension funds and governments on the gamut of real estate transactions and construction matters. Predominantly based in Toronto, the practice is skilled at advising on acquisitions, sales, joint ventures and financing of single assets and portfolios of properties across the country and internationally, but is perhaps best-known for its expertise of REITs and the hospitality industry. Andrew Wiseman specialises in real estate finance, commercial transactions, and construction law, and jointly heads up the group with Ira Barkin, who is retained by private and public sector clients . Commercial real estate and credit lease transactions are among Juli Morrow's specialist areas of interest, while Bram Green focuses on mixed-use developments, joint ventures and acquisitions. Fred Rubinoff handles a high-value transactional workload, which includes financings, purchases and sales, commercial leasing and development projects.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Wiseman; Ira Barkin

Key clients

H&R REIT

RioCan REIT

Canadian Tire Real Estate Limited/CT Real Estate Investment Trust

Brookfield Asset Management and Brookfield Properties Limited

OMERS and Oxford Properties Group

Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation

Menkes Developments Ltd.

Welltower Inc.

Revera Inc.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB)

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Tricon Residential Inc.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Work highlights

  • Advised CMHC in connection with a $200m loan to facilitate the development and construction of Mirvish Village, Toronto.
  • Advised RioCan REIT on the acquisition of a 50% interest in 2323, 2345 and 2329 Yonge Street from three separate vendors, and the entrance into a joint venture with Minett Capital.
  • Advised Plazacorp on the development and construction of a mixed-use complex in downtown Toronto which will include Canada’s first Riu hotel.

McCarthy Tétrault

McCarthy Tétrault is home to a full-service real estate offering, and attracts instructions from private and publicly-traded investors, REITs, pension funds, governmental bodies and developers. In the acquisition and disposition space, the department is frequently engaged in high-value transactions, both of single assets and portfolios, spanning industrial, residential and commercial properties, hotels, office buildings and infrastructure projects. Furthermore, the team is also routinely called upon to advise on development-related joint ventures, financing deals, leasing matters and disputes. William McCullough in Toronto manages the department that also includes John Currie, who is noted for his proficiency in financing transactions involving the real estate sector, and Abraham Costin, who is counsel of choice for developers, pension funds and financial institutions. Also based in Toronto, Jamie Orzech balances a busy transactional workload that includes acquisitions and dispositions of all asset classes, implementation of real estate joint ventures and financings. In Vancouver, Keith Burrell advises on development and investment matters, and is often sought after by major developers of residential and mixed-use projects engaged in presale activity.

Practice head(s):

William McCullough

Key clients

QuadReal and bcIMC Realty

Landesbank Baden-Wurttemberg

Otera Capital

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce

LaSalle Investment Management

Stelco Inc.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce in relation to Starlight Investments and KingSett Capital’s C$4.9bn acquisition of Northview Apartment REIT.
  • Assisted Otera Capital in the C$220m construction financing of GTA East Industrial Park, Ajax, Ontario.
  • Advised Landesbank Baden-Wuttemberg in relation to the refinancing of the Historic Distillery District, Toronto and defeasance of maturing securitized loan on the property.

Bennett Jones LLP

With a great national footprint, Bennett Jones LLP represents a domestic and international client roster of owner, developers, investors and financiers in a broad variety of real estate transactions and projects. The team is jointly led by four partners based across Canada: Ron Barron in Calgary, Robert Bothwell in Edmonton, Jane Helmstadter  in Toronto and Larry Sandrin in Vancouver. Helmstadter's practice encompasses commercial real estate transactions and development mandates, which are also key areas of activity for fellow co-head Sandrin. Paul Mantini in Toronto regularly assists with the development and financing of large-scale projects, while Simon Crawford  in the same office is highly regarded for his wealth of experience in high-value transactions involving commercial and residential properties. John van Gent is another name to note for transactional work in Toronto. Based in Calgary, Alixe Cameron excels in commercial real estate matters, encompassing office towers, industrial and retail buildings, condo developments and farmlands.

Key clients

Aoyuan Property Group

ATCO Group

Brookfield Properties Corporation

Canadian Tire Real Estate Limited (including FGL Sports Ltd., Mark’s Work Wear House Ltd.)

Canderel Group of Companies

CREIT – Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust

Edgar Development Corporation

Gateway Casino’s & Entertainment

GWL Realty Advisors

Killam Apartment Real Estate Investment Trust

Oxford Properties Group Inc.

Work highlights

  • Acted as Canadian counsel to Stone Canyon Industries Holdings LLC and Kissner Group Holdings in their US$3.2bn agreement to acquire K+S Aktiengesellschaft’s North and South American salt business, which involved a complex array of issues concerning 181 individual pieces of property across Canada.
  • Acts for Calgary Exhibition and Stampede Limited, in a series of agreements with the City of Calgary and the Calgary Flames to develop a $550m arena in downtown Calgary.

Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP

Clients routinely seek Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP's advice in the context of large real estate portfolio transactions, joint ventures, REITs, investments and financing deals. The practice also features specialists in the areas of municipal law, land use planning and development, which enables it to act for key real estate players in the full-array of mandates. On the construction front, the department is well-versed in the energy and social infrastructure space, fielding the ability to assist with non-contentious issues and disputes. The commercial real estate department is managed by Paul Morassutti in Toronto, who is skilled in acquisitions and divestitures of all asset classes and leasing issues, and Richard Wong , who splits his time between Toronto and Montréal. Other noteworthy individuals in the Toronto office include Stella Di Cresce , who stands out for her experience in portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, and Rod Davidge , whose expertise covers transactions involving all real estate asset classes.

Practice head(s):

Paul MorassuttiRichard Wong

Stikeman Elliott LLP

Covering all major markets in Canada, Stikeman Elliott LLP supports clients with all aspects of their real estate portfolios, advising on the structuring of investments in the country and internationally. Mario Paura heads up the group in Toronto, but manages a cross-country workload featuring commercial transactions, leasing, financing and M&A. Melissa Schyven is another key contact in Toronto, whose areas of expertise include the hospitality sector, transactions involving real estate portfolios and REITs. Stefan Fews is a name to note in Montréal for secured financing transactions and joint ventures, while Greg Plater is a key contact in Vancouver for developers, pension funds, lenders and municipalities. Calgary-based Michael Dyck excels in real estate financings, where he acts for both lenders and borrowers. Eric Carmona is a key figure in the Toronto-based group, who is adept at handling the whole transactional process.

Torys

At Torys, the real estate team is well placed to advise across the entire spectrum of matters including acquisitions, dispositions and leasing transactions, large-scale development projects, financing and joint venture agreements. The practice, which acts for large real estate investors and developers across Canada, offers national coverage to a domestic and international client roster that also includes real estate companies, REITs and pension funds. Based in Toronto,  Sabrina Gherbaz, who focuses on real estate development, and Graham Rawlinson, who is noted for his transactional track record encompassing joint ventures, divestitures and financing in the retail, office and hospitality sectors, jointly lead the department. David Dell stands out for his experience of real estate joint ventures, REITs, lending and M&A involving commercial, office and mixed-use developments. Andy Gibbons, whose sectoral expertise covers real estate, infrastructure and energy projects, is noted for financing, development and transactional work.

Testimonials

‘Practical, comprehensive, thoughtful, forward-thinking advice.’

‘Thoroughness, thoughtfulness, practical advice and experience.’

Key clients

First Capital REIT

Singapore Press Holdings Limited

Automotive Properties Real Estate Investment Trust

Choice Properties REIT

Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corp.

Hawthorne Canada Limited

Garda World Security Corporation

Thomson Reuters Canada Limited

The Brookfield Group of Companies

Ontario Power Generation

Work highlights

  • Acted for Canada Enterprise Emergency Funding Corporation (CEEFC) as the lender in its C$200m bridge loan to Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited, a casino and entertainment company with facilities in Alberta and British Columbia, CEEFC’s first loan under the Large Employer Emergency Financing Facility (LEEFF) program.

Dentons

Dentons houses ‘a team of strong and technically proficient lawyers‘ that stretches across the country. The standalone real estate practice offers expertise on the entire spectrum of matters, with a particular emphasis on acquisition and disposition deals, financing transactions and all facets of construction projects. Based in Vancouver, Karen Martin and Jana Mansour oversee transactional and contentious work pertaining to cross-border infrastructure and construction projects. Clark Kassian is a key contact in Calgary, while Jillian E Shortt splits her time between Calgary and Toronto. In Montréal, Claude Morency has built a strong reputation in construction disputes.

Testimonials

‘Dentons has a team of strong and technically proficient lawyers that are very personable and understand what it takes to get across the finish line in the most efficient manner while achieving desired results.’

‘Karen Martin and John Haythorne are recommended.’

Key clients

Hopewell Development

Ontario Teachers Pensions Plan/The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Polygon Group of Companies

Fire & Flower Holdings Corp.

Foodora

H&R Block

Loblaws

ABC Management, Lafleur Restaurants Inc., Le Petit Quebec Management Inc.

Angus Inc. (operating as Hero Certified Burger)

BOX’D by Paramount

Work highlights

  • Acts as project counsel to Mizrahi Development Group (The One) Inc., Mizrahi Commercial (The One) GP Inc. and Mizrahi Commercial (The One) LP (the “Mizrahi Entities”), in the negotiation of a senior supplier credit facility in the amount of CA$565m from KEB Hana Bank Canada.
  • Representing National Bank of Canada (the lender) in the financing of the acquisition by Carterra of one of Canada’s landmark redevelopment sites, 1455 Rue de la Montagne in Montréal, Québec for the purpose of a residential development site.
  • Advising the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority with respect to the complex procurement and all design build matters for the expansion of the container terminal in the heart of Vancouver’s downtown waterfront.

Fasken

The real estate group at Fasken acts for a diverse roster of clients, comprising pension funds, REITS, financial institutions, public entities, developers and lenders. The team enjoys a strong presence in the Montréal, Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary markets, and is often retained to assist with construction-related matters, joint ventures, acquisitions, dispositions and financings of real estate projects across the country. Andrea Centa in Toronto heads up the Ontario real estate department, and advises domestic and foreign clients on transactions and development mandates. Mariella Lo Papa, who is particularly noted for her expertise of retail leasing, is the main point of contact in the Montréal office, while Sergio Custodio in Vancouver oversees the British Columbia real estate practice. Also sitting in Montréal, Nicolas Leblanc acts for institutional investors in a range of real estate transactions, including financing and joint ventures.

Testimonials

‘The team has a good combination of senior partners and associates with various capabilities and specialized sub-areas.’

‘The partner Allison MacInnis is outstanding. She is very experienced, thorough and technical, and always tries to find solutions for the client.’

‘The team is very responsive and very knowledgeable. Always thinking outside of the box.’

‘Great depth of industry knowledge and experience. We get very practical advice from Faskens which is appreciated.’

Key clients

Fengate Capital Management Ltd.

LaSalle Investment Management (Canada)

Canada Lands Company CLC Limited

Lafarge Canada Inc.

Broccolini Construction Inc.

Oxford Properties Group

Artis REIT

Bank of Montreal

The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company

Fiera Real Estate

Work highlights

  • Advised Lafarge Canada Inc. on the acquisition of Mixcor Aggregates Inc.’s Alberta-based assets.
  • Advised real estate investment funds sponsored by Broccolini with respect to their joint venture with RioCan REIT whereby Broccolini acquired an interest in RioCan’s Centre Kirkland (Quebec).
  • Advised Carttera Management Inc. on the acquisition of a majority ownership stake and controlling interest in 530 Front Street West, Toronto, currently known as Portland Commons, an innovative office building designed with a focus on technology, wellness and sustainability.

Gowling WLG

Working in close collaboration with the firm’s construction and P3 lawyers, Gowling WLG‘s real estate department is well-positioned to provide a one-stop-shop offering to a diverse client base composed of  major developers, pension funds, REITs, financial institutions and governmental entities, among others. Besides assisting with the acquisition and disposition of real estate assets and other transactional work (including financing deals), the practice particularly stands out for its significant experience in property development and leasing matters. Vancouver-based Joel Camley is skilled at leading multi-office teams in complex commercial real estate transactions and cross-border mandates. He oversees the national real estate practice group, while Ted Betts in Toronto heads up the infrastructure and construction law team.

Practice head(s):

Joel Camley; Ted Betts

Testimonials

‘Very experienced, responsive and consistently meet tight timelines for our transactions. ’

‘Personable and easy to work with.’

‘The attention to detail and thoroughness provided by Roberto Aburto is second to none.’

‘The Real Estate team that we deal with at Gowling WLG is excellent to work with. They are responsive, professional and detail-oriented, and do a great job in meeting the unique needs of their client.’

Key clients

Amazon

Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Canopy Growth Corporation

Concert Properties

Industrial Alliance

International Development Research Centre

InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Ledcor Group Inc.

Minto Group

Oxford Properties

SHAPE Properties

Work highlights

  • Advised SHAPE Properties Corp. on three master-planned communities with a combined value of over $3bn.
  • Advised InterRent Real Estate Investment Trust on its proposed $292.5m acquisition of a portfolio of 15 properties in Metro Vancouver.
  • Advised Ledcor on multiple construction projects, namely Project Zibi, a 34-acre master-planned community with over 5,000 residences, 1.7 million square feet of commercial space, 400,000 square feet of retail space and 7.7 acres of parks and plazas.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Offering coast-to-coast coverage, Norton Rose Fulbright is often seen involved in high profile acquisitions and dispositions spanning all major real estate asset classes, commercial leasing and financing transactions. In addition, the group also counts its development and construction law work as a defining trait, working on real estate projects ranging from hotels to office buildings, industrial plants, mixed-use developments and public infrastructure. Based in Montréal, Mario M. Caron  is a key contact for domestic and foreign corporations, pension funds and financial institutions seeking assistance with project financing and real estate development; he manages the national group. Neil Davie and John L Sampson left the firm in 2021.

Practice head(s):

Mario Caron

Testimonials

‘They go above and beyond to fully understand the business and the culture so they can better tailor their legal advice to our needs. ’

‘Strong team from most senior to junior lawyers, and well equipped to address any real estate assignment we’ve had for them.’

‘Nimble, proactive, can handle large workloads in timely fashion. Good depth of team. ’

‘The team was very responsive and knowledgeable. They worked diligently with us to figure out the best outcome and creative solutions.’

‘The real estate team are experts in their field and provide both practical and strategic advice. Their service is timely and the advice they provide always achieves the desired results for the client.’

Key clients

Brookfield Asset Management/NorthRiver Midstream

Otera Capital Inc.

Gestion Esplanade Cartier Inc.

Department of Justice

Condor Properties Ltd.

Main and Main Holdings Inc.

Aspac Developments Ltd.

Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP)

Dayhu Investments Ltd.

Chateau Bellevue

Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation

Vancouver Chinatown Foundation for Community Revitalization

Réseau Express Métropolitain Inc.

Work highlights

  • Represented Réseau Express Métropolitain Inc. in the negotiation of access rights and air rights over the Samuel-de-Champlain bridge crossing the St-Lawrence River connecting the REM light electric train from the South Shore of Montréal to downtown.
  • Acting for Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation regarding the development of the new arena and event centre intended to replace the Saddledome.
  • Represents Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) in connection with the construction financing of a large scale development project totally approximately C$1bn.

Borden Ladner Gervais LLP

With particular strength in the hospitality sector, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP fields a team of lawyers specialised in real estate transactions, financing, leasing portfolio management and construction law. Vancouver-based David Longcroft manages the national commercial real estate department, steering the team on a range of transactions and development matters on behalf of developers, publicly listed real estate companies and institutional investors. Patricia Morrison in Calgary, who has a wealth of experience in large-scale infrastructure, industrial and commercial projects, leads the nationwide construction group. Brennan Carroll is a key contact in Toronto for municipalities, commercial and retail players.

Other key lawyers:

Brennan Carroll

DLA Piper (Canada) LLP

At DLA Piper (Canada) LLP, the real estate and construction teams are well placed to act across the spectrum of matters including acquisitions, dispositions and leasing transactions as well as development projects and financings. Representing clients in construction disputes is a strength for the group, that usually acts in complex arbitrations involving large-scale infrastructure projects. Howard Krupat in Toronto leads on construction law-related work, while Mark Schmidt in Vancouver heads up the real estate group. Schmidt is routinely instructed in real estate financings, developments and leasing mandates.

Practice head(s):

Mark Schmidt; Howard Krupat

Other key lawyers:

Franco Trasolini

Key clients

MRDC Operations Corporation

Toronto Transit Commission

ACS Infrastructure Canada

Eastern Construction Company Limited

Starlight Investments

Warner Bros.

Mission Group Enterprises Ltd.

Netflix Studios, LLC

BC Parks Foundation

Nanaimo Port Authority

Starlight Investments

Lawson Lundell LLP

With a strong presence in British Columbia, Lawson Lundell LLP provides legal support to a diverse client roster in the array of transactional and development real estate matters. Practice head Peter Tolensky, who is based in Vancouver, is primarily active advising pension funds, energy companies and private entities in the structuring of real estate projects and leasing transactions. Shaun Partridge leads on real estate acquisitions, financing and development work coming out of Calgary.

Practice head(s):

Peter Tolensky

Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP

Focused on construction and infrastructure law, boutique firm Singleton Urquhart Reynolds Vogel LLP has a solid reputation in the market for its experience in construction disputes and procurement of large-scale infrastructure projects. Leading construction and infrastructure companies as well as public entities in Canada turn to the team for advice on the construction of major projects, high-value disputes and government reviews. Managing partner and preeminent construction lawyer John Singleton oversees the practice with Stuart Hankinson and Stephen Berezowskyj in Vancouver, while fellow co-heads Bruce Reynolds and Sharon Vogel are based in Toronto.

Practice head(s):

John Singleton; Bruce Reynolds; Sharon Vogel; Stuart Hankinson; Stephen Berezowskyj

Other key lawyers:

Helmut Johannsen; James Little