Steve O’Melia focuses on municipal, planning/development, and expropriation law. Acting for both public and private sector clients, Steve frequently appears before municipal councils, committees, and administrative tribunals such as the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. He has successfully represented clients before all levels of the Ontario Court on municipal law matters.

Steve is an LSO Certified Specialist in Municipal Law (Local Government/Land Use Planning and Development) and was appointed to the Law Society’s Municipal Law Specialty Committee. He has been a course instructor in municipal law topics for Conestoga College and the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO). Steve contributes to municipal law publications and continuing legal education programs.

After beginning his legal career in the Toronto office of a large national law firm, Steve held increasingly senior in-house legal positions with local and regional municipalities in the Greater Toronto Area. Since his 2003 move to Waterloo Region to return to private practice, he has advised and represented numerous municipalities, school boards, conservation authorities, private companies, and individuals.

Steve was named to the 2014 through 2020 editions of The Best Lawyers in Canada for Municipal Law, and since 2014 has been ranked as “Consistently Recommended” for Property Development by Lexpert Canada.

Steve provides pragmatic advice and representation in a number of areas:

Municipal governance: Steve has provided counsel and representation to well over 30 municipalities over the course of his career and he has developed a keen appreciation for the larger public role of these clients.

School boards: Steve regularly acts for school boards on property, planning, education development charges, and other Education Act matters.

Land development: Steve has acted for private developers and property owners on a broad range of planning and development applications and issues.

Expropriations: Steve has acted for expropriating authorities, property owners, and tenants on numerous full and partial acquisition matters.