John McKellar CM QC has a broad practice area covering most commercial, corporate and non-profit matters.
John’s practice involves many commercial and international issues as advisor to lenders, borrowers, banks, financial institutions, project constructors, architects and engineers, and manufacturers obtaining work abroad. Transactions have ranged from those of modest size to those of over a billion dollars.
He advises small and large corporations on various business matters, including major acquisitions, financing, re-organizations and divestitures, and has advised the Canadian Tax Foundation on tax matters and the Law Society of Upper Canada on legal matters.
- 2016 recipient of the Ramon John Hnatyshyn Award for Voluntarism in the Performing Arts, an award given as part of the Governor General’s Awards for the Performing Arts
- Recognized as a leading practitioner in Commercial Leasing Law in Best Lawyers® in Canada
- 2015 Arts and Letters Club President’s Award
- 2014 University College Alumni of Influence Honouree
- 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal
- 2011 Edmund C. Bovey Award (presented by Business for the Arts for demonstrating a lifetime of significant support or leadership in arts and culture in Canada)
- 2002 Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal
- 1996 Member of the Order of Canada
- 1973 Queen’s Counsel
Called to the Bar
- Ontario (1959)
- J.D. (Hons), Osgoode Hall Law School, 1959
- B.A. (Hons.), University of Toronto, 1955
- Ontario Bar Association
- International Bar Association
John has acted as a director or advisor to numerous charities and community organizations.
He is a past president of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto and was a board member of the Canada Council for the Arts, briefly acted as chairman, and later served as an advisor to the Council.
An avid patron of the arts, he has provided pro bono advice to artists, arts groups and more than 50 non-profit organizations. John is also Vice-Chairman of the Ontario Arts Foundation and Chairman of the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, Chairman of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, an advisor to the Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts, and a board member of Tarragon Theatre, Off-Centre Music Salon, The Glenn Gould Foundation and Toronto Arts Foundation. He is also a former board member of the Toronto Arts Council, a role which was celebrated at the Mayor’s Evening for the Arts in October 2015 for serving eight years as Board Chair.
John is a director or former director of a considerable number of business corporations, including those with shareholders from countries such as Finland, United Kingdom, Italy and the United States. John has represented clients in many countries, including Canada, Europe, the United States and Hong Kong.
An editor of “Shopping Centre Leases”, volumes 1 and 2 and numerous articles on leasing, charities, governance and other matters.