Barnet has specialized experience in many areas of municipal law, litigation and administrative law, and has acted in matters at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His practice primarily consists of land use planning and development, including acting for municipalities on adoption and appeals of comprehensive Official Plans and Secondary Plans and for development interests on residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects. It also includes municipal licensing and regulation, municipal capital facilities and public-private ventures, enforcement of and challenges to municipal by-laws, constitutional litigation, sign regulation, liquor licence matters, and conflict of interest issues, among others.

Barnet frequently appears before Courts, the Ontario Municipal Board, municipal councils and Committees of Adjustment. His clients include municipalities and other public bodies, as well as development interests, entrepreneurs, individuals and advocacy groups.

Barnet has also gained extensive experience in litigation concerning constitutional issues, statutory interpretation, leasing disputes, liability of corporate officers and directors, professional negligence and contract matters, as well as alternative dispute resolution of such issues. Barnet's litigation practice also concentrates on appellate advocacy, particularly judicial review and appeals from statutory agencies.

Barnet is listed in Chambers Canada 2018 as one of the "Leaders in their Field" in Ontario (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use). He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of Municipal Law and Real Estate Law, and has been recognized as a "2017 Notable Attorney" in Martindale-Hubbell. He is a Past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association and he has also been a lecturer on development law at Ryerson University.

Barnet Kussner is a seasoned advocate with extensive experience acting for public and private sector clients, primarily on municipal, land use planning and property development matters.

Barnet has specialized experience in many areas of municipal law, litigation and administrative law, and has acted in matters at all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. His practice primarily consists of land use planning and development, including acting for municipalities on adoption and appeals of comprehensive Official Plans and Secondary Plans and for development interests on residential, commercial, industrial and mixed-use projects. It also includes municipal licensing and regulation, municipal capital facilities and public-private ventures, enforcement of and challenges to municipal by-laws, constitutional litigation, sign regulation, liquor licence matters, and conflict of interest issues, among others.

Barnet frequently appears before Courts, the Ontario Municipal Board, municipal councils and Committees of Adjustment. His clients include municipalities and other public bodies, as well as development interests, entrepreneurs, individuals and advocacy groups.

Barnet has also gained extensive experience in litigation concerning constitutional issues, statutory interpretation, leasing disputes, liability of corporate officers and directors, professional negligence and contract matters, as well as alternative dispute resolution of such issues. Barnet's litigation practice also concentrates on appellate advocacy, particularly judicial review and appeals from statutory agencies.

Barnet is listed in Chambers Canada 2018 as one of the "Leaders in their Field" in Ontario (Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use). He has also been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the areas of Municipal Law and Real Estate Law, and has been recognized as a "2017 Notable Attorney" in Martindale-Hubbell. He is a Past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association and he has also been a lecturer on development law at Ryerson University.

Notable Mandates

Barnet has appeared before the Supreme Court of Canada in several important municipal law cases dealing with judicial inquiries; constitutionality of billboard sign by-laws; and the legality of interim zoning by-laws. He has also acted for the City of Brampton, the Town of Richmond Hill and the Township of Springwater on appeals to the Ontario Municipal Board reporting comprehensive Official Plans and Secondary Plans.

Reported Cases

Hollydun Investments 86 Inc., Hollydun Investments 88 Inc., and 1030553 Ontario Limited v. Toronto (City), 2016 CanLII 22873 (OMB)

The Corporation of the Town of Richmond Hill v. Elginbay Corporation et al., 2016 ONSC 1673 (Div. Ct.)

 Worden v. Ontario Municipal Board, 2014 ONSC 7247 (CanLII) (Div. Ct.)

Southgate Public Interest Group v. Southgate (Township), 2014 ONSC 2935 (CanLII) (Div. Ct.)

Metro1 Development Corp. v. Toronto (City), 2014 ONSC 4225 (CanLII)

Durham (Regional Municipality) v. Oshawa (City), 2013 ONCA 573 (CanLII)

The Corporation of The Town of Richmond Hill v. Yonge Bayview Holdings Inc. et al., 2013 ONSC 2252 (CanLII) (Div. Ct.)

Black v. Owen, 2012 ONSC 400 (CanLII) (Div. Ct.)

1001411 Ontario Limited v. City Of Toronto Economic Development Corporation et al., 2012 CanLII 15227 (ON SC) 

Town of Orangeville v. County of Dufferin, 2010 ONCA 83

Aecon Construction and Materials Limited v. Brampton (City), 2009 CanLII 39988 (ON S.C.D.C.)

Summit Golf & Country Club v. York Region, 2008 CanLII 35930 (Ont. Div. Ct.)

Jaffary v. Greaves, 2008 CanLII 28055 (Ont. S.C.J.); additional reasons, 2008 CanLII 36159 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Vann Media Inc. v. Town of Oakville (2008), 89 O.R. (3d) 385 (S.C.J.); appeal allowed, 2008 ONCA 752 (CanLII)

1357202 Ontario Ltd. v. 1326046 Ontario Limited, 2007 CanLII 39361 (Ont. S.C.J.)

City of London v. RSJ Holdings Inc. (2007), 283 D.L.R. (4th) 257 (S.C.C.)

Oxbow Lake Cottagers Association v. Township of Lake of Bays (2006), 26 M.P.L.R. (4th) 137 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Hallstone Products Ltd. v. Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (2006), 271 D.L.R. (4th) 268 (Ont. S.C.J.); see also (2004), 71 O.R. (3d) 373 (S.C.J.) and (2004), 1 C.P.C. (6th) 324 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Homeland Oasis Corp. v. Town of Markham, [2005] O.J. No. 1558 (Div. Ct.); see also (2004), 6 M.P.L.R. (4th) 240 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Sobeys Capital Inc. v. City of Elliot Lake (2005), 13 M.P.L.R. (4th) 232 (Ont. S.C.J.)

Uukkivi v. Township of Lake of Bays (2004), 2 M.P.L.R. (4th) 240 (Ont. S.C.J.)

1497777 Ontario Inc. v. Leon's Furniture Inc. (2004), 238 D.L.R. (4th) 574 (Ont. C.A.)

Universal Worker's Union v. Labourers' International Union of North America (2004), 70 O.R. (3d) 435 (S.C.J.)

Burton v. Town of Oakville (2004), 69 O.R. (3d) 771 (S.C.J.)

Chen v. Town of Markham (2003), 179 O.A.C. 395 (Div. Ct.)

Vann Niagara Ltd. v. Town of Oakville (2001), 21 M.P.L.R. (3d) 183 (Ont. S.C.J.); appeal allowed (2002), 60 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A); appeal allowed, [2003] 3 S.C.R. 158 (S.C.C.)

Township of Dymond v. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2003), 68 O.R. (3d) 126 (Div. Ct.)

1217598 Ontario Ltd. v. Town of Richmond Hill, [2003] O.J. No. 3636 (Div. Ct.)

City of Ottawa v. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing (2003), 62 O.R. (3d) 503 (Div. Ct.); see also (2002), 62 O.R. (3d) 503 (Div.Ct.)

697578 Ontario Ltd. v. City of Niagara Falls (2002), 168 O.A.C. 228 (C.A.)

1356904 Ontario Inc. v. City of Burlington (2002), 164 O.A.C. 183 (Div. Ct.)

Cole v. City of Hamilton (2002), 58 O.R. (3d) 584 (S.C.J.); appeal dismissed (2003), 65 O.R. (3d) 156 (C.A.); leave to appeal refused, April 22, 2004 (S.C.C.)

City of Guelph v. Wyndham Street Investments Inc. (2001), 56 O.R. (3d) 490 (S.C.J.); appeal dismissed, February 28, 2003 (C.A.); leave to appeal refused, [2003] S.C.C.A. No. 187

Jafine v. Mortson, [2001] O.J. No. 1799 (S.C.J.)

Straka v. Humber River Regional Hospital (2001), 51 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A.)

City of Toronto v. 1291547 Ontario Inc. et al. (2000), 49 O.R. (3d) 709 (S.C.J.)

Toronto Taxi Alliance v. City of Toronto (2000), 49 O.R. (3d) 33 (Div. Ct.)

Treesann Management Inc. v. Town of Richmond Hill (2000), 47 O.R. (3d) 221 (C.A.); on appeal from (1998), 41 O.R. (3d) 625 (Gen. Div.)

Re Mel Lastman and The Queen in Right of Ontario (2000), 47 O.R. (3d) 177 (S.C.J.)

Heritage Custom Jewellers v. Metropolitan Toronto Police Services Board (2000), 46 O.R. (3d) 593 (S.C.J.)

Moscoe v. City of Toronto and Toronto Transit Commission et al. (1999), 4 M.P.L.R. (3d) 280 (Ont. Div. Ct.)

913719 Ontario Limited v. City of Mississauga (1998), 40 O.R. (3d) 413 (C.A.); application for leave to appeal dismissed, February 11, 1999 (S.C.C.)

Consortium Developments (Clearwater) Ltd. v. City of Sarnia et al., [1998] 3 S.C.R. 3; on appeal from (1996), 30 O.R. (3d) 1 (C.A.); on appeal from (1995), 23 O.R. (3d) 498 (Div. Ct.)

Erin Dancer Holding Corp. et al. v. Town of Richmond Hill (1998), 38 O.R. (3d) 452 (C.A.); application for leave to appeal dismissed, January 7, 1999 (S.C.C.)

Las Vegas Strip Ltd. v. City of Toronto (1997), 32 O.R. (3d) 651 (C.A.)

Albert Bloom Ltd. v. Township of Bentinck (1996), 31 O.R. (3d) 317 (C.A.)

Luxor Entertainment Corporation v. City of North York (1996), 27 O.R. (3d) 259 (Gen. Div.)

O'Neill Community Ratepayers Association v. City of Oshawa (1995), 22 O.R. (3d) 648 (Gen Div.)

Mosport Park Limited v. Municipality of Clarington (1994), 19 O.R. (3d) 233 (Div. Ct.)

Manchester v. City of North York et al. (1994), 18 O.R. (3d) 540; appeal from (1993), 15 O.R. (3d) 690 (Gen. Div.)

Town of Gravenhurst v. Information and Privacy Commissioner/Ontario et al. (1993), 13 O.R. (3d) 531 (Div. Ct.)

Rayside v. City of Toronto et al. (1992), 10 O.R. (3d) 287 (Div. Ct.)

Van Schyndel et al. v. Harrell et al. (1991), 6 O.R. (3d) 335 (Div. Ct.); appeal from (1991), 4 O.R. (3d) 474 (Gen. Div.)

Publications

"Panic in Wychwood Park?", WeirFoulds LLP, May 2017

"Bill 73 Planning Act Revisions: Major Changes to the Planning Process – But for Better or for Worse?", The Six-Minute Municipal Lawyer 2016, Law Society of Upper Canada, May 2016

"Intensification and the Alternative Parkland Rate: ‘Cash Grab' vs. ‘Cap Grab'"?", Ontario Bar Association – Municipal Law Section Program, October 2015

"Parkland Dedication: "How Low Can You Go?"", Ontario Bar Association, 2015 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law (Changing Landscapes in Municipal and Planning Law), February 2015

"Development Issues: Rail Corridor Setbacks and CN Guidelines", Ontario Real Estate Law Developments, CCH Canadian Limited, September 2011 (No. 322); British Columbia Real Estate Law Developments, CCH Canadian Limited, , October 2011

"Intensification and the Growth Plan: Lessons Learned", Ontario Bar Association, 2011 Annual Institute Program - Municipal and Planning Law (Hot Topics in Municipal and Planning Law: What Have You Been Missing?), February 2011

"Challenging Municipal By-laws and Decisions", Ontario Bar Association, 2011 Annual Institute - Municipal Law (Current Municipal and Planning Law Issues), February 2010

"Municipal Conflict of Interest Law: A Law in Conflict Based on Interest", Ontario Bar Association, December 2009

"Toronto's "Harmonized" Comprehensive Zoning By-Law: Update", WeirFoulds LLP Property Update, November 2009

"Getting Municipalities to Work, or Getting Work to Municipalities: Protection and Conversion of Employment Lands", AMO Conference, August 2009

"Toronto's "Harmonized" Comprehensive Zoning By-law: Closer to Approval", WeirFoulds LLP Property Update, July 2009

"OMB Variability", Novae Res Urbis, May 2009

"Renewable Energy Projects: PLanning Powers Reduced", Novae Res Urbis, April 2009 (with Robert Warren)

"Proposed Green Energy Act Places Limits on Municipal Land Use Planning Powers", WeirFoulds LLP Government Update - Energy Bulletin, March 2009 (with Robert Warren)

"Municipal Signage Control: Issues and Challenges", Ontario Bar Association, 2009 Institute of Continuing Legal Education, February 2009

"Signs of Trouble: Preventing Municipal Sign By-laws From Being Struck Down", The Canadian Institute, Continuing Legal Education Program, September 2008

"Less Onerous Employee Dismissal Process for Municipalities", WeirFoulds LLP Government Update, June 2008

"Proposed New Legislation Affects Owners of Rental Buildings in the City of Toronto", WeirFoulds LLP - Government Update, June 2007

"Recent Developments in Building Permit Appeals: Ten Things You Should Know", Ontario Bar Association, 2013 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law (All Things Municipal), February 2013

"Lawful Transaction or Unlawful Bonus: The Anti-Bonusing Provision of the Municipal Act in the Context of Complex Commercial Transactions", Ontario Bar Association, 2012 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law (Cool Topics in Municipal and Planning Law), February 2012

"Signs of the Times: Recent Developments in Municipal Regulation of Billboards and Other Signage", Canadian Bar Association Annual Convention, August 2011

Speaking Engagements

Panelist, "Financing or Funding the Project", WeirFoulds Municipal Infrastructure Forum, Etobicoke, ON, September, 2017 

Speaker, "The Six-Minute Municipal Lawyer 2016", Law Society of Upper Canada, May 4, 2016

Speaker,"Intensification and the Alternative Parkland Rate: ‘Cash Grab' vs. ‘Cap Grab'?" Ontario Bar Association – Municipal Law Section Program, October 27, 2015

Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, 2015 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law, February 2015

Co-Chair and Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, 2013 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law, February 2013

Co-Chair, Ontario Bar Association, "Planning and Building on Professionalism: Dos and Don'ts for the Municipal Law Specialist", December 2012

Co-Chair and Speaker, Ontario Bar Association, 2012 Annual Institute Program – Municipal and Planning Law, February 2012

Speaker, "Development Issues: Rail Corridor Setbacks and CN Guidelines" (co-authored with Tiffany Tsun), Rail Issues Forum, Halifax, August 17, 2011.

Co-Chair and Speaker, "Intensification and the Growth Plan: Lessons Learned", Ontario Bar Association, Annual Institute Program - Municipal and Planning Law, February 4, 2011.

Speaker, "Land Use Planning and Human Rights: When Can Municipal By-laws Run Afoul of the Charter and Ontario Human Rights Code?", Ontario Bar Association, Municipal Law Program, December 9, 2010.

Speaker, "Twenty-Eight Government Statutes That Have Implications For Most Leases: Do Yours Comply?", RealLeasing, Finding the Right Balance in Today's Leasing Market, September 23, 2010.

Speaker, "Judicial Review of Public Tendering Decisions", WeirFoulds LLP, Municipal Client Seminar, June 3, 2010.

Speaker, "Challenging Municipal By-laws and Decisions", Ontario Bar Association, Annual Institute Program - Municipal and Planning Law, February 16, 2010.

Speaker, "Counsel at Municipal Council", Ontario Bar Association, Municipal Law Program, December 10, 2009.

Co-Chair, The Canadian Institute, 14th Annual Provincial/Municipal Government Liability Conference, February 7–8, 2008.

Awards & Recognition

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2016 Lexpert® Directory Special Edition - Infrastructure

Recognized in the 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2016 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2015 Lexpert® Directory Special Edition - Infrastructure

Professional Activities

Past Chair, WeirFoulds Municipal and Planning Law Practice

Past Chair, Municipal Law Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association

Affiliations

Ontario Bar Association

Toronto Lawyers Association

The Advocates' Society

American Planning Association

Lambda Alpha International (Simcoe Chapter)

Partner*

Toronto
Direct 416.947.5079
Fax 416.365.1876
bkussner@weirfoulds.com
* Partner through a professional corporation

Practice Areas

Municipal and Land Use Planning

Litigation

Called to the Bar
Ontario (1991)
Education
University of Toronto
LL.B. 1989

McGill University
B.A. 1985

Languages
  • French
Awards & Recognition

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2018 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2017 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2017 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2016 Lexpert® Directory Special Edition - Infrastructure

Recognized in the 2016 Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory as a leading lawyer in Property Development

Recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada 2016 as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law and Real Estate Law

Recognized in the 2015 Lexpert® Directory Special Edition - Infrastructure

Professional Activities
Past Chair, WeirFoulds Municipal and Planning Law Practice

Past Chair, Municipal Law Section Executive of the Ontario Bar Association
Affiliations

Ontario Bar Association

Toronto Lawyers Association

The Advocates' Society

American Planning Association

Lambda Alpha International (Simcoe Chapter)

Called to the Bar

Ontario (1991)

Education

University of Toronto
LL.B. 1989

McGill University
B.A. 1985

Languages

  • French