Gregory J. Howard

Partner

Gregory J. Howard

Gregory J. Howard

Partner

Bar Admissions
  • Ontario, 1980

Greg brings a combination of legal expertise and business acumen to our clients’ complex matters. They consider Greg to be an “incredible lawyer” and value that “he’s not just a lawyer, he’s a great business advisor – he’s outstanding.”
Chambers Global 2015

Known for his strategic and insightful advice, Greg acts on many of the most notable commercial real estate transactions and development projects in Canada and internationally.

For more than 35 years, he has advised clients on a broad range of commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, development projects, project financing, commercial leasing, REITs, private equity funds, workouts, strategic planning and corporate matters.

Leading Canadian and international real estate owners, investors and developers turn to Greg for his “great business sense” and “responsive” manner, with one client saying, “I think he is the best real estate lawyer in Canada.” (Chambers Canada 2017)

Greg is on the board of trustees of SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust.

Gregory J. Howard

Partner

Greg brings a combination of legal expertise and business acumen to our clients’ complex matters. They consider Greg to be an “incredible lawyer” and value that “he’s not just a lawyer, he’s a great business advisor – he’s outstanding.”
Chambers Global 2015

Known for his strategic and insightful advice, Greg acts on many of the most notable commercial real estate transactions and development projects in Canada and internationally.

For more than 35 years, he has advised clients on a broad range of commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, development projects, project financing, commercial leasing, REITs, private equity funds, workouts, strategic planning and corporate matters.

Leading Canadian and international real estate owners, investors and developers turn to Greg for his “great business sense” and “responsive” manner, with one client saying, “I think he is the best real estate lawyer in Canada.” (Chambers Canada 2017)

Greg is on the board of trustees of SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acting for Frontside Developments L.P., a joint venture between Cadillac Fairview and Investment Management Corporation of Ontario, in the sale of a 30% interest in the development site located at 160 Front Street West, Toronto, to The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Also acting for Cadillac Fairview, as the manager and co-owner, in the joint venture and management arrangements for the development. As one of the most significant developments in Toronto, it will consist of a 46-storey office tower (with 1,200,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail space) in the heart of downtown Toronto. The office space has been fully leased to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acting for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in a joint venture with Shape Properties and another investor for the development of a multi-phase mixed-use project in Richmond, British Columbia, which is expected to include the single largest residential development in Richmond's history as well as substantial integrated commercial components.

20 VIC Management Inc.

Acted for the shareholders of 20 VIC Management Inc., one of Canada's leading commercial real estate management firms, in the sale of 20 VIC to Cushman & Wakefield.

SmartREIT

Acted for SmartREIT in its $1.1-billion acquisition with Strathallen Acquisitions Inc. of OneREIT.

Ivanhoé Cambridge

Acting for Ivanhoé Cambridge in connection with its development of an integrated multi-tower office complex/public transit hub development straddling both sides of Toronto's Union Station rail corridor. A highly visible pair of innovative office towers on a 3 million square foot downtown campus, Bay Park Centre is the result of a joint effort between global real estate leaders Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines, and the last remaining office development with a commercially renowned Bay Street address.

Penguin Investments Inc. (formerly SmartCentres Realty Inc.)

Acting for Penguin Investments Inc. (formerly SmartCentres Realty Inc.) in connection with the multi-billion dollar development of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre - a planned downtown for the City of Vaughan of almost 6 million square feet. This is one of the most important master planned communities in Canada - a transit-rich, high-density, fully urban, mixed-use community being built in the suburbs of Toronto.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Acted for Cadillac Fairview Corporation in the sale of a 50% non-managing interest in its Vancouver portfolio, including CF Pacific Centre and 12 office towers, to Ontario Pension Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Acted for a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Cambridge in connection with the sale of its majority interest in Bentall Centre, one of the largest office complexes in Canada, to Maple Red Financial Management Canada Inc. in what is reported to be the biggest commercial real estate transaction in Vancouver history.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in its $1.175-billion acquisition of a 50% interest in Canadian office portfolio from Oxford Properties Group (Oxford). Oxford will continue to manage the properties on behalf of the partnership. The transaction brings the total size of the jointly owned Oxford-CPPIB office portfolio to over 12 million square feet.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with the sale of a 30% non-managing interest in the Toronto-Dominion Centre and a concurrent sale of 30% interest in an office development site at 16 York Street to the Ontario Pension Board.

Mitchell Goldhar, SmartCentres and Walmart

Acted for Mitchell Goldhar, SmartCentres and Walmart in connection with the sale of the SmartCentres platform to Calloway REIT for $1.16 billion.

Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc.

Acted for Ivanhoé Cambridge in the sale of its 50% interest in two Ontario shopping centres, Quinte Mall in Belleville and Devonshire Mall in Windsor, to The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) for approximately $240 million.

Spear Street Capital, LLC

Acted for Spear Street Capital, LLC in connection with its $305-million purchase of the majority of BlackBerry Limited's real estate holdings in Canada, including its global headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. BlackBerry sold more than 3 million square feet of space as well as vacant lands, and leased back a portion of the space.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with its joint venture with WAM Development Group and Walton Group of Companies to develop a 250-acre industrial site in northwest Edmonton, Alberta. CPPIB's initial equity commitment is approximately $200 million for phase one of the development, representing an 85% interest in the joint venture.

The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with its $650-million purchase of the Hudson's Bay downtown Toronto flagship retail complex and the Simpson's Tower located at 401 Bay Street. HBC will lease the entire retail and office complex back for a base term of 25 years with renewal options for a term of just under 50 years.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with the full surrender by Sears Canada Inc. of its leases at four shopping centres, and the partial surrender by Sears of its lease at a fifth shopping centre, for a total consideration of $400 million.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc. in connection with the sale of one shopping centre located in Ontario and one shopping centre located in British Columbia to Retrocom Real Estate Investment Trust and its affiliates for approximately $61 million.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc. in connection with the sale of four shopping centres located in Ontario to Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust and its affiliates for approximately $232 million.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with the sale to Ivanhoé Cambridge of a 50% interest in Carrefour de l'Estrie shopping centre located in Sherbrooke, Québec, which is the largest shopping centre in Québec's Eastern Townships region, and the resulting joint venture.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with a 50/50 Canadian retail joint venture with Oxford Properties Group. As part of the transaction, CPPIB acquired a 50% interest in the approximately 1 million square foot Upper Canada Mall, in Ontario, from Oxford Properties Group, and Oxford Properties Group acquired a 50% interest in the 1.5 million square foot Les Galeries de la Capitale shopping centre, in Québec, from CPPIB.

The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with its US$150 million investment in Terranum Corporate Properties, a Colombian commercial property development business.

Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft Gmbh

Acted for Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft Gmbh, for the account of hausInvest, in connection with its extensive Canadian real estate portfolio, including the sale of Stampede Station (Phase I) to Artis Real Estate Investment Trust.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. on their most significant real estate transactions in Canada, including the formation of their real estate joint venture with SmartCentres and the sale of 62 retail centres across Canada in 10 transactions for sale proceeds in excess of $2.5 billion.

Cadillac Fairview Finance Trust

Acted in the private placement of Cadillac Fairview Finance Trust debentures in the aggregate amount of $2 billion and a subsequent private placement of debentures in the aggregate amount of $600 million.

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Real Estate: Nationwide (Band 1); Real Estate: Ontario (Band 1)

The Legal 500 Canada—Real Estate (Leading Lawyer)

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Property Development; Property Leasing

The Best Lawyers in Canada—Real Estate Law

Martindale-Hubbell—AV Preeminent Ranking

Who’s Who Legal: Canada—Real Estate; Who’s Who Legal: Real Estate

Expert Guides’ Best of the Best; Expert Guides—Real Estate

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1980

Education

University of Toronto, LLB (Honours), 1978

Board Memberships

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust, Board of Trustees

Teaching Engagements

Greg was a lecturer at the Ontario Bar Admission Course for several years.

Greg brings a combination of legal expertise and business acumen to our clients’ complex matters. They consider Greg to be an “incredible lawyer” and value that “he’s not just a lawyer, he’s a great business advisor – he’s outstanding.”
Chambers Global 2015

Known for his strategic and insightful advice, Greg acts on many of the most notable commercial real estate transactions and development projects in Canada and internationally.

For more than 35 years, he has advised clients on a broad range of commercial real estate acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, development projects, project financing, commercial leasing, REITs, private equity funds, workouts, strategic planning and corporate matters.

Leading Canadian and international real estate owners, investors and developers turn to Greg for his “great business sense” and “responsive” manner, with one client saying, “I think he is the best real estate lawyer in Canada.” (Chambers Canada 2017)

Greg is on the board of trustees of SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acting for Frontside Developments L.P., a joint venture between Cadillac Fairview and Investment Management Corporation of Ontario, in the sale of a 30% interest in the development site located at 160 Front Street West, Toronto, to The Toronto-Dominion Bank. Also acting for Cadillac Fairview, as the manager and co-owner, in the joint venture and management arrangements for the development. As one of the most significant developments in Toronto, it will consist of a 46-storey office tower (with 1,200,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail space) in the heart of downtown Toronto. The office space has been fully leased to Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan and The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acting for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in a joint venture with Shape Properties and another investor for the development of a multi-phase mixed-use project in Richmond, British Columbia, which is expected to include the single largest residential development in Richmond's history as well as substantial integrated commercial components.

20 VIC Management Inc.

Acted for the shareholders of 20 VIC Management Inc., one of Canada's leading commercial real estate management firms, in the sale of 20 VIC to Cushman & Wakefield.

SmartREIT

Acted for SmartREIT in its $1.1-billion acquisition with Strathallen Acquisitions Inc. of OneREIT.

Ivanhoé Cambridge

Acting for Ivanhoé Cambridge in connection with its development of an integrated multi-tower office complex/public transit hub development straddling both sides of Toronto's Union Station rail corridor. A highly visible pair of innovative office towers on a 3 million square foot downtown campus, Bay Park Centre is the result of a joint effort between global real estate leaders Ivanhoé Cambridge and Hines, and the last remaining office development with a commercially renowned Bay Street address.

Penguin Investments Inc. (formerly SmartCentres Realty Inc.)

Acting for Penguin Investments Inc. (formerly SmartCentres Realty Inc.) in connection with the multi-billion dollar development of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre - a planned downtown for the City of Vaughan of almost 6 million square feet. This is one of the most important master planned communities in Canada - a transit-rich, high-density, fully urban, mixed-use community being built in the suburbs of Toronto.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Acted for Cadillac Fairview Corporation in the sale of a 50% non-managing interest in its Vancouver portfolio, including CF Pacific Centre and 12 office towers, to Ontario Pension Board and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Acted for a subsidiary of Ivanhoe Cambridge in connection with the sale of its majority interest in Bentall Centre, one of the largest office complexes in Canada, to Maple Red Financial Management Canada Inc. in what is reported to be the biggest commercial real estate transaction in Vancouver history.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) in its $1.175-billion acquisition of a 50% interest in Canadian office portfolio from Oxford Properties Group (Oxford). Oxford will continue to manage the properties on behalf of the partnership. The transaction brings the total size of the jointly owned Oxford-CPPIB office portfolio to over 12 million square feet.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with the sale of a 30% non-managing interest in the Toronto-Dominion Centre and a concurrent sale of 30% interest in an office development site at 16 York Street to the Ontario Pension Board.

Mitchell Goldhar, SmartCentres and Walmart

Acted for Mitchell Goldhar, SmartCentres and Walmart in connection with the sale of the SmartCentres platform to Calloway REIT for $1.16 billion.

Ivanhoé Cambridge Inc.

Acted for Ivanhoé Cambridge in the sale of its 50% interest in two Ontario shopping centres, Quinte Mall in Belleville and Devonshire Mall in Windsor, to The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) for approximately $240 million.

Spear Street Capital, LLC

Acted for Spear Street Capital, LLC in connection with its $305-million purchase of the majority of BlackBerry Limited's real estate holdings in Canada, including its global headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario. BlackBerry sold more than 3 million square feet of space as well as vacant lands, and leased back a portion of the space.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with its joint venture with WAM Development Group and Walton Group of Companies to develop a 250-acre industrial site in northwest Edmonton, Alberta. CPPIB's initial equity commitment is approximately $200 million for phase one of the development, representing an 85% interest in the joint venture.

The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with its $650-million purchase of the Hudson's Bay downtown Toronto flagship retail complex and the Simpson's Tower located at 401 Bay Street. HBC will lease the entire retail and office complex back for a base term of 25 years with renewal options for a term of just under 50 years.

Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with the full surrender by Sears Canada Inc. of its leases at four shopping centres, and the partial surrender by Sears of its lease at a fifth shopping centre, for a total consideration of $400 million.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc. in connection with the sale of one shopping centre located in Ontario and one shopping centre located in British Columbia to Retrocom Real Estate Investment Trust and its affiliates for approximately $61 million.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. and SmartCentres Realty Inc. in connection with the sale of four shopping centres located in Ontario to Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust and its affiliates for approximately $232 million.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with the sale to Ivanhoé Cambridge of a 50% interest in Carrefour de l'Estrie shopping centre located in Sherbrooke, Québec, which is the largest shopping centre in Québec's Eastern Townships region, and the resulting joint venture.

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board

Acted for the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board in connection with a 50/50 Canadian retail joint venture with Oxford Properties Group. As part of the transaction, CPPIB acquired a 50% interest in the approximately 1 million square foot Upper Canada Mall, in Ontario, from Oxford Properties Group, and Oxford Properties Group acquired a 50% interest in the 1.5 million square foot Les Galeries de la Capitale shopping centre, in Québec, from CPPIB.

The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited

Acted for The Cadillac Fairview Corporation Limited in connection with its US$150 million investment in Terranum Corporate Properties, a Colombian commercial property development business.

Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft Gmbh

Acted for Commerz Real Investmentgesellschaft Gmbh, for the account of hausInvest, in connection with its extensive Canadian real estate portfolio, including the sale of Stampede Station (Phase I) to Artis Real Estate Investment Trust.

Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc.

Acted for Wal-Mart Canada Realty Inc. on their most significant real estate transactions in Canada, including the formation of their real estate joint venture with SmartCentres and the sale of 62 retail centres across Canada in 10 transactions for sale proceeds in excess of $2.5 billion.

Cadillac Fairview Finance Trust

Acted in the private placement of Cadillac Fairview Finance Trust debentures in the aggregate amount of $2 billion and a subsequent private placement of debentures in the aggregate amount of $600 million.

Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business—Real Estate: Nationwide (Band 1); Real Estate: Ontario (Band 1)

The Legal 500 Canada—Real Estate (Leading Lawyer)

The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory—Property Development; Property Leasing

The Best Lawyers in Canada—Real Estate Law

Martindale-Hubbell—AV Preeminent Ranking

Who’s Who Legal: Canada—Real Estate; Who’s Who Legal: Real Estate

Expert Guides’ Best of the Best; Expert Guides—Real Estate

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1980

Education

University of Toronto, LLB (Honours), 1978

Board Memberships

SmartCentres Real Estate Investment Trust, Board of Trustees

Teaching Engagements

Greg was a lecturer at the Ontario Bar Admission Course for several years.