Hon. Stephen F. Waqué

LLB, AACI

Partner

Toronto
SWaque@blg.com
416.367.6275

Stephen's practice is focused on real estate development and litigation, including issues related to expropriation, the environment, professional liability, planning and municipal law.

He regularly acts as legal counsel to regional governments and municipalities and is retained as appeal counsel by solicitors across North America.

Skilled in alternative dispute resolution, Stephen is also engaged as an independent arbitrator by both government and private-sector clients to determine real estate values and rental rates.

Focused on finding cost-effective, creative solutions before trial, Stephen also has a strong track record as counsel in a variety of court cases where the credibility of expert and non-expert witnesses was in question.

Stephen is a former member of BLG's Toronto Regional Management Committee, a founding member of the Partnership Board and a national focus group leader in expropriation.

Experience

  • 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 Toronto development sites including Yonge and Sheppard in North York, the former GE Canada lands in West Toronto and greenfield development areas in the 905 and 519 regions.
  • 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 regions of Halton, York and Peel, the 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 in the province.
  • Acting as independent arbitrator to resolve issues arising from commercial lease disputes.

Beyond our Walls

Professional Involvement

  • Member, Lambda Alpha International, Simcoe chapter (Toronto)
  • Member, ADR Institute of Ontario
  • Founding director and former president, Ontario Expropriation Association
  • Member, Canadian Bar Association
  • Member, The Advocates' Society

Community Involvement

  • Chair and president, The Rosalie Hall Foundation
  • Former chair of board, Rosalie Hall, a charitable social service organization serving young families

Awards & Recognitions

  • Honourary member, AACI (awarded by Appraisal Institute of Canada)
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2018) of Chambers Canada – Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Ontario))
  • Recognized in the 2020 edition (and since 2013) of The Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory (Property Development)
  • Recognized as "Expropriation Lawyer of the Year — Toronto" in the 2019 edition of The Best Lawyers in Canada®
  • 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 2016 edition of The Lexpert®/American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada (Property Development)

Bar Admission & Education

  • Ontario, 1979
  • LLB, University of Toronto, 1977