S. Michael Brooks

Counsel* Admitted to the Ontario Bar: 1980
*Practising as a professional corporation

Michael has been a member of the firm since 1990. Michael’s commercial real estate experience goes back to 1978. He articled for and subsequently practiced at a small Toronto firm called Jarvis, Blott, Fejer, Pepino initially working on rezonings, official plan amendments, minor variances, consent applications and hearings before the Ontario Municipal Board. Subsequently, Michael was attracted to the commercial side of the business and became involved in many development projects including condominiums, office buildings, industrial buildings, hotels, and retail shopping centres. Michael has worked on some of the largest and most sophisticated deals in Canada and has particular expertise in development, acquisitions, green buildings, green leases, and strata title transactions. Michael’s general commercial real estate experience includes acquisitions, sales, leasing, development, structured finance, environmental, construction, joint ventures, partnerships and related corporate/commercial and banking law matters.

Michael has also been involved in government relations activities and has represented the Canadian real estate industry as former CEO of the Real Property Association of Canada (REALpac) (1997 - 2012) in a wide variety of public policy matters including Competition Act reform, property and income tax matters, capital market regulation, green leases, development charges, sustainable development, corporate social responsibility, housing and other urban development issues, affordable housing, REIT reform, and telecommunications.

Michael has been involved in numerous industry panels, has been a key note speaker at many events, and has led education efforts in real estate, including energy deregulation, real estate technology, and structuring real estate transactions.

Awards & Recognition

Special Designations

  • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in Canada in the field of Real Estate Law
  • Noted in The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory, Property Leasing
  • Noted in The Legal 500 Canada, Real Estate
  • Recipient of the NAIOP Directors Award, 2012
  • Recipient of The Canada Green Building Council's Industry Leadership Award, 2011
  • Honorary Member, Appraisal Institute of Canada
  • Honorary Member, BOMA Toronto

Professional Involvement

Professional Activities

  • Governance Committee, Canada Green Building Council, 2010 - 2014
  • Member of the Ontario Power Authority’s Advisory Committee on Conservation
  • Special Advisor to the United Nations Finance Initiative Property Working Group, 2013 - present


  • International Council of Shopping Centers 
  • National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (Toronto NAIOP), Past President
  • Urban Land Institute 
  • Institute of Corporate Directors
  • Canada Green Building Council
  • American Real Estate Society
  • Canadian Association of University Solicitors

Community Involvement

  • Board Member, Eva’s Initiatives, a charity for homeless youth in the City of Toronto, 2012 - present
  • Member, Advisory Board, The Salvation Army of Greater Toronto, 2006 to 2008

Teaching Engagements

  • Taught Real Estate Development/Real Estate Finance in the MBA program of the Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto
  • Member of the Real Estate Advisory Committee for the Ted Rogers School of Management, Toronto

Representative Matters

Acted on the acquisition of and partial leaseback of head office of AstraZeneca in Mississauga, Ontario.

Acted on the acquisition of a strata title interest in the building formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens and related cost sharing agreement, development management agreement, and reciprocal operating agreement.

Acted on the development and construction of the Ted Rogers School of Management Building at the north end of the Eaton Centre and related cost sharing agreement, development management agreement, option agreement and reciprocal operating agreement.

Acted on the acquisition of the Sam The Record Man and associated sites on Yonge Street.

Acted for Brookfield Properties Corp. in connection with the purchase, multiple financings, and ultimate sale of the Atrium on Bay retail and commercial property in downtown Toronto for C$250 million to Hines Real Estate Investment Trust Inc., a US-based property owner.

Acted on the purchase of, financing of, leasing of, and ultimate sale of Bell Trinity Square, Toronto for Union A.G., a German pension fund.

Acted on the sale of 415 Yonge Street from Anthem 415 Yonge Street Limited.

Acted on the lease by BTS Realty Limited Partnership to CIBC, 250,000 sq ft.

Selected Speaking Engagements

Moderator and Speaker, Real Leasing, October 2012.

Keynote Speaker, Green Real Estate Conference, “The Business Case for Green,” Toronto, April 2012.

Moderator, Closing Panel 2011 IPD REALpac Results Event, March 2012.

Moderator, 2011 GreenBuild, “What gets Measured Gets Managed,” Toronto, Ontario.

Co-Chair, Green Real Estate Conference, Toronto, 2011.

Moderator, Closing Panel BOMEX 2008, 2009, 2010.

Speaker, Georgetown Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute 2008, "Green Leases," March 2008.

Speaker, Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference, "Greening of Shopping Centres: Costs, Benefits and Challenges for Landlords and Tenants," March 2008.

Selected Publications

“Green Game Plan: Plotting Public and Private Paths to a Singular Goal”, published in Canadian Property Management Magazine, November 2012, co-authored with ex-City of Toronto Mayor David Miller. 

“Mixed Used Developments”, Aird & Berlis private client article – November 2012.

“Green Leases” video report, September 2012 at www.canadianpropertymanagement.ca.

“The Value of Green Buildings” in Property Biz Canada, Weds May 2nd, 2012, www.renx.ca

“Tracking the Trajectory of the Real Estate Asset Class”, video report dated March 2012 at www.canadianpropertymanagement.ca.

“Evidences Backs Green Business Case”, Canadian Property Management Magazine – November 2011 (with Robert Campanelli).

“50 Years of REITs” and “Construction Innovation” in Real Estate Forum Magazine, Winter 2010, Merchandise Mart Properties Inc., Toronto.

“Gaining Trust, Demonstrating Integrity: Standardized Indicators Measure Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability” in Canadian Property Management Magazine, Volume 25, No. 7, November 2010, MediaEdge Communications, Toronto.

Contributor/guest editor, "Green Office Guide: Integrating LEED Into Your Leasing Process," U. S. Green Building Council, August 2009, Washington, D.C., USA.

“Green Leases and Green Buildings”, Probate and Property Magazine, Volume 22, No. 6 – November - December 2008, American Bar Association, Chicago, Illinois.

“Green Leases Outlined Responsibilities for both Building Owners and Tenants”, Real Estate Forum, July 2008, Page 32, Real Estate Media, New York, New York.

“Green Leases Empower Environmental Action Plans”, in Canadian Property Management Magazine, Volume 23, No. 4, July 2008, MediaEdge Communications, Toronto, 2008.

“Green Lease Debuts in Commercial Real Estate”, The Law Times, Focus on Real Estate Law, June 16, 2008, Thomson Carswell, Toronto, 2008.

"Recent Developments of Importance”, The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory 2007, Property Development Section, Page B-787, Thomson Carswell, Toronto, 2007.

Editor of the Canadian REIT Handbook 2004-2010.

Editor of the Recommended Accounting Practice for Real Estate Companies (2004-2006) (REALpac, Toronto).


  • LEED Accredited Professional, 2009
  • Corporate Director Certification ICD.D, 2008
  • PhD, Doctoral Dissertation on Infrastructure Privatization, University of Waterloo, 1998
  • MBA, Real Property Development, York University, 1993
  • LLM, Osgoode Hall Law School, 1984
  • LLB, University of Western Ontario, 1978
  • BES (Hons.), Environmental Studies, University of Waterloo, 1975