Denise Baker is the Co-Managing Partner at WeirFoulds. Her practice focuses on municipal and land use planning issues and related litigation.

She has acted on behalf of municipalities, private landowners and resident groups. She predominantly advises landowners and municipalities with respect to land use planning and development matters including municipal finance matters, Planning Act applications and appeals and Heritage Act matters.

Denise appears regularly before municipal councils, Committees of Adjustment, the Conservation Review Board, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly the Ontario Municipal Board) as well as appearing before the Ontario Court of Justice and the Divisional Court. She is actively involved in using mediation and negotiation to effectively resolve disputes between parties.

Denise is the past Chair of the Municipal Law Section of the Ontario Bar Association and speaks at Law Society and Ontario Bar Association seminars. Denise is also a sessional professor at the University of Waterloo where she teaches Planning Law to both undergraduate and graduate students.

Denise is also a member of Lambda Alpha International (Simcoe Chapter) and has repeatedly been recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Municipal Law.

She has acted on:

Numerous land use planning matters on behalf of the Town of Oakville, including the resolution of numerous appeals and ultimately approval of the Town’s Livable Oakville Official Plan.

Numerous Heritage Act matters including negotiating and preparation of heritage easement agreements.

Appeals to municipal official plan “conformity exercises” in the Regions of Halton, Waterloo and Durham as well as several local municipalities in York and Halton

Reviews of Educations Development Charge By-laws and By-law amendments

Challenges to and approvals of interim control by-law matters in the City of Windsor and the Town of Oakville

Infill residential zoning and subdivision matters in Oakville, Toronto and other GTA municipalities

Employment and Commercial Development applications in Halton, Durham and Peel municipalities

Repeatedly recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada as a leading lawyer in Municipal Law

Repeatedly recognized in the Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory as a leading practitioner in Property Development

Past Chair, Ontario Bar Association, Municipal Law Executive

Sessional Professor, Planning Law, University of Waterloo

Called to the Bar
  • Ontario (2003)

  • LL.B., Queen's University, Faculty of Law, 2002
  • M. Pl., Queen's University, 2000
  • B.A., Mount Allison University, 1997
  • Ontario Bar Association
  • Canadian Bar Association
  • Lambda Alpha International (Simcoe Chapter)

Community Involvement

Oakville Hospital Foundation Board Member

Speaking Engagements

Speaker, “Making Sense of Changing Growth Funding Tools”, " ULI Toronto, Online, March 11, 2022
Speaker, "Amendments to the Planning Act and Development Charges Act, and updates on the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT)", Bill 189: The Coronavirus Support and Protection Act, 2020 and LPAT Update, OPPI, Webinar, April 24, 2020
Speaker, "Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019", OPPI19: Beyond25, OPPI, Conference, October 1, 2019
Speaker, "Bill 108 – More Homes, More Choice, 2019", OPPI & WeirFoulds LLP, Client Seminar, June 26, 2019
Speaker, "Planning to be a better Planner under Bill 139: the impact of LPAT and changes to the Planning Act", 2018 OPPI Symposium, Sudbury, ON, October 11, 2018
Speaker, "The Planning Justification Report and Municipal Staff Report: What Will They Look Like Under Bill 139", WeirFoulds LLP Municipal and Planning Law Practice 2018 Seminar, April 12, 2018
Speaker, "5 Minute Advocacy for Municipal & Planning Lawyers", Canadian Bar Association, Toronto, ON, March 6, 2018
Speaker, "What Would Thomas Adams Do*? An Interactive Discussion about OPPI's Professional Code of Practice and OPPI's Complaint Process", Ontario Professional Planning Institute Conference, Collingwood, ON, October 3, 2017
Speaker, "Review of Proposed Changes to the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe", WeirFoulds LLP Municipal and Planning Law Practice 2016 Private Sector Seminar, May 18, 2016
Speaker, "Site Plan Approval Process", WeirFoulds LLP Municipal and Planning Law Practice 2016 Private Sector Seminar, May 18, 2016

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment

Legend: GeneralLitigationPropertyCorporateGovernment