Signe Leisk

Signe Leisk
Telephone: 416 869 5411
Fax: 416 640 3218

Suite 2100, Scotia Plaza
40 King Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3C2

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“She's passionate, knowledgeable and knows how to communicate with a variety of different personalities." -
Client Testimonial, Chambers Canada

Signe Leisk's practice encompasses all aspects of municipal, land use planning and environmental law, with a particular focus on land development. She has extensive experience representing both private sector builders and developers as well as municipalities and public institutions. Signe appears regularly before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and the courts, with significant experience in mediation.

Signe has authored numerous articles on municipal and planning law and is a co-author of three leading texts: Municipal and Planning Law in Canada, 2nd edition, published by Thomson Carswell, Canadian Forms & Precedents-Municipal Law published by LexisNexis Butterworths, and Canadian Forms & Precedents – Land Development, also published by LexisNexis Butterworths. Signe is a sessional lecturer at the Ryerson University School of Urban and Regional Planning, Masters of Planning (Urban Development) program. She has also guest lectured at Western University Faculty of Law, University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Department of Geography and the Queen's University School of Urban and Regional Planning.

Her work experience includes:

  • Acting for developers in obtaining approvals for high rise condominium towers, residential plans of subdivision and common elements condominiums across Ontario
  • Providing strategic advice and guidance for large scale community developments, including approvals for secondary plans and block plans
  • Representing Infrastructure Ontario in the development of the West Don Lands in the Toronto waterfront, including preparations for the Pan/Parapan American Games
  • Obtaining approval for large scale, institutional and public facilities in the City of Toronto, including the development of the Toronto PanAm Sports Centre at the former Morningside Landfill in Toronto
  • Advising on the redevelopment of contaminated land, including former landfill sites, and assisting with obtaining all required approvals under the Environmental Protection Act and the Environmental Assessment Act, including class environmental assessments
  • Acting for a client in obtaining approvals for the development of a 325 hectare ‘energy park’ with renewable (wind and solar) and non-renewable (liquid fuels storage and transportation) components
  • Assisting municipalities with large scale expansions of infrastructure, such as roads, water and sewer lines, including expropriations as required
  • Acting for both public and private sector clients with respect to development charge matters, including negotiating and drafting front-ending and development charge credit agreements, and providing representation before the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal 
  • Acting for a national retail chain in obtaining development approvals across Ontario
  • Assisting clients with urban boundary expansions and employment land conversions

Client Commentary

  • “The best legal mind in the room.” - Chambers Canada (Real Estate: Zoning)
  • “She's passionate, knowledgeable and knows how to communicate with a variety of different personalities." – Chambers Canada (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use)

Connect with Signe Leisk on LinkedIn.

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University of Windsor, Certificate in Advanced Alternative Dispute Resolution, Faculty of Law, 2017

University of Toronto, LL.B., 2000

University of Toronto, B.Sc. (Hons) (with Distinction), 1996

Recent Work

Publications, Newsletters and Articles

Bill 108 and the New Planning and Development System: Regulations, Transition & Royal Assent

The Pendulum Swings Back: Ontario Announces Changes to Planning and Development System

Proposed Rules and Effective Date for the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal

Ontario Municipal Board Reform Update: Royal Assent Imminent, Proposed Regulations Summary Posted

Draft Ministry Guide to Cultural Heritage Resources Released: How It Impacts You

Conferences, Speaking Engagements, Events

Signe Leisk Speaking on "Land Use Planning and Zoning for Cannabis: Challenges and Opportunities"

Signe Leisk Looking at "Bill 139 and the One Year Anniversary of LPAT: Lessons Learned"

Signe Leisk and Christie Gibson Discussing "Cultural Heritage Protection in Land Use Planning"

Call to the bar

Ontario, 2002


  • Member, Lambda Alpha International Honorary Society for the Advancement of Land Economics, Simcoe Chapter
  • Member, Management Committee, Urban Land Institute Toronto
  • BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association)
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Ontario Expropriation Association


  • Chambers Canada (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use: Ontario)
  • The Best Lawyers in Canada 2019-2020 (Municipal)
  • Urban Land Institute 2014 WLI Championship Team
  • Lexpert Guide to the Leading US/Canada Cross-Border Corporate Lawyers in Canada 2014 ("Corporate Lawyer to Watch")
  • Lexpert's Rising Stars: Leading Lawyers Under 40 (2013)
  • Precedent Setter Award, Precedent Magazine (2010)

Pro Bono/Community Involvement

  • YWCA of Greater Toronto 2009-2017 (Member of the Board of Directors, Chair of Asset Management Committee)



Land Development
Municipal, Planning & Environmental
Real Estate & Development