Chris Barnett

Chris Barnett

Partner, Municipal, Land Use Planning and Development; Real Estate

Key Contact: Municipal, Land Use Planning & Development

Contact Information

tel: 416.862.6651



Bar Admission

Ontario, 1996


  • Osgoode Hall, York University, LL.B.
  • University of Toronto, B.A. (Political Science and History)



Chris Barnett is a partner in Osler's Real Estate Group and practices in the areas of administrative and regulatory law, with a focus on municipal and planning advice, environmental approvals and expropriations. He is recognized in the Lexpert/ALM 500 Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada in the area of Property Development.

He specializes in providing clients in both the public and private sectors with strategic advice on coordinating and addressing the various levels of approvals required for complex projects. Chris advises clients on a broad range of matters, including municipal governance, heritage issues, growth management issues, cultural heritage, parkland dedication/valuations, employment land and aggregate resource policies.  He also advises landowners and authorities on expropriations under both the federal and provincial statutes.

His clients include large landowner groups, governments and individual clients who he advises on development charges and cost sharing matters, environmental assessment processes and approvals and the implications of provincial policies and initiatives.

Chris appears regularly before the Ontario Land Tribunal and municipal councils. He advises clients on potential remedies in the courts, representing both the private sector and municipalities in bringing and responding to applications for judicial review of municipal and government decisions, and also acts as appellate counsel on appeals or reviews of OLT decisions. He is a regular speaker at continuing legal education events, and has provided annual case law updates to the Ontario Bar Association for over 15 years, and teaches Planning Law at the Toronto Metropolitan University School of Urban and Regional Planning.

  • Chambers Canada:Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business: Recognized in Real Estate Ontario: Zoning/Land Use
  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory: Recognized in Property Development; Toronto’s leading property development lawyers in 2021
  • Best Lawyers in Canada: Recognized in Municipal Law; Real Estate Law; "Lawyer of the Year", Municipal Law (2023)

  • Bill 23 Explained

    Speaker, February 23, 2023

  • Ontario Legal Conference: Municipal, Planning & Environmental Law

    Speaker, Case Law Update: Planning, February 10, 2023

  • More Homes for Everyone Act, 2022

    Speaker, May 26, 2022

  • Indigenous Law Insights: November 2021 Webinar

    Speaker, November 30, 2021

  • Ontario Bar Association's Institute Series: Building Communities

    Speaker, Planning Case Law Update, February 5, 2021

  • OHBA-BILD Session Series: Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and Planning Act updates

    Speaker, July 16, 2020

  • Chair, Board of Directors, Interprovincial Music Camp

  • Member, Advocates Society