Stephen F Waqué

Stephen F. Waqué  

Senior Counsel

Executive Summary

Stephen Waqué is a senior partner at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP. He concentrates on real estate development and litigation, including expropriation, environmental, professional liability, planning and municipal law. Stephen acts regularly as legal counsel to regional governments, and cities including Vaughan, Brampton, Ottawa, York, Halton, Windsor and London and more than 20 other municipalities to resolve major real estate development issues. He is also retained as appeal counsel and consulted by other solicitors in Ontario, elsewhere in Canada, and in the US, for expert advice on real estate, expropriation, environmental, and other matters. As well, he is recognized for achievement in alternative dispute resolution. Stephen is appointed as an independent arbitrator to determine real estate values and rental rates by both government and the private sector.

Focused on finding cost-effective, creative solutions before trial, Stephen has also acted successfully as counsel in a variety of trial situations where credibility of expert and non-expert witnesses was in issue. List of reported decisions from 39 years of professional practice available on request.

Stephen is a former member of the Firm's Toronto Regional Management Committee, a founding member of the Partnership Board and National Focus Group Leader in Expropriation.

Representative Work

  • Acting as lead counsel on Growth Plan conformity official plan approvals for the Region of York and the Region of Halton, including representation at the Ontario Municipal Board.
  • Acting as counsel to major developers on key development sites including Yonge and Sheppard in North York, the former GE Canada lands in West Toronto and greenfield subdivisions in the 905 region.
  • Providing strategic advice and representation as experienced lead counsel on planning, environmental and expropriation issues on significant public projects, including:
    • Sheppard Subway, Windsor Casino and Richmond Landing assemblies;
    • Toronto Yonge-Dundas Square development, and Ataratiri, Toyota-Woodstock and the Waterfront Toronto assemblies;
    • transit-related development projects for the Yonge and Vaughan Subways; and
    • Right of Way projects for The Region of Halton, York, Peel, City of Brampton and others.
  • Prosecuting and defending substantive claims dealing with lease arbitration, expropriation, environmental and professional liability.
  • Acting as lead counsel in the successful prosecution of the largest expropriation claim brought in Ontario, and in the defence of the largest environmental case occurring in this province.
  • Acting as independent arbitrator to resolve issues arising from commercial lease disputes.

Publications & Presentations

  • Co-Author, "Province Introduces Bill 204, "Promoting Affordable Housing Act" to Permit Inclusionary Zoning," BLG Publication, June 2016.
  • Co-Author/Speaker, "Urban Renewal in a New Era of Provincial Policy and Infrastructure Investment: An Update on the Legal Tool Kit," Ontario Association of Municipal Real Estate Administrators (Ottawa), Spring 2013.
  • Author/Speaker, "Expropriations - A Primer on Injurious Affection, Highest and Best Use and Disturbance Damages," The Law Society of Upper Canada - "The Six-Minute Municipal Lawyer 2013," May 2013.
  • Author, New Law of Expropriation, Carswell, 1990-present (updated semi-annually providing up-to-date analysis).
  • Speaker, “The A, B, and C’s of Expropriation,” Presentation by SFW to Ontario Bar Association, November 2011.
  • Co-Speaker, “Waterfront Redevelopment,” American Bar Association Annual Meeting, August 2011.
  • Co-Author/Speaker, “Becoming Full Members of the Creative Class – The Expanded Role of the Appraisal Professional in the Future,” Sixth Annual Fee Appraisers’ Symposium, Appraisal Institute of Canada (Ontario), February 2011.
  • Speaker, “Expropriation: The Raw Edge of Conflict between the Public and Private Interests,” Private Property, Planning and the Public Interest Conference, Faculty of Law, University of Windsor, March 11-12, 2010.
  • Speaker, “Expropriation in a Time of Massive Infrastructure Spending,” International Right of Way Association Fall Education Seminar, October 2009.
  • Speaker, “Role of a Community Improvement Plan in Supporting Infrastructure Development,” BLG Construction Law Group, November 2007.
  • Author/Speaker, “Achieving a Win-Win or Mutual Value-Added Transaction,” Federated Press Conference for the 2nd Advanced Negotiating for Real Estate Transactions, June 2007.
  • Co-Author/Speaker, “Urban Renewal Land Assembly – Where Do We ‘Grow’ From Here?” International Right of Way Association, Chapter 29 and Ontario Association of Municipal Real Estate Administrators, October 2005.
  • Author, “Preventative Practice,” Guest Column of the Canadian Appraiser Magazine (Volume 49, Book 4), 2005.

Rankings & Recognitions

  • Recognized as "Expropriation Lawyer of the Year – Toronto" in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®.
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2018) of Chambers Canada – Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Ontario)).
  • Selected by peers for inclusion in the 2020 edition (and since 2006) of The Best Lawyers in Canada® (Real Estate Law, Expropriation Law).
  • Recognized in the 2019 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Property Development).
  • Recognized in the 2016 edition of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Property Development).
  • Martindale-Hubbell BV® Distinguished™ 4.4 out of 5 Peer Review Rated.
  • Honorary Member, AACI (awarded by Appraisal Institute of Canada).