Tara Piurko has over 15 years of experience in planning and development, real property assessment and taxation, and municipal law matters. She is in the business of identifying issues and opportunities, managing risk, avoiding problems, identifying solutions, and creating value.
Tara regularly provides strategic advice, counsel and support to property owners, including public and private developers, on development approvals and land entitlement matters and real property assessment and taxation matters. She is an expert negotiator and has extensive experience securing development approvals, including settling official plan amendments, zoning bylaw amendments and a variety of development agreements. Tara positively impacts the balance sheet of her corporate and institutional clients through her assistance with their property assessment appeals and property tax matters. She is also experienced in the area of expropriations, Ontario’s Retail Business Holidays Act, payments-in-lieu of taxes and ground rent arbitration and property tax recharge disputes. She appears before various courts, tribunals, panels, boards and committees of adjustment and council on various municipal, assessment, taxation and land development matters.
In 2018, Tara became the first Canadian President of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network in and was recognized as the 67th CREW Foundation Visionary. She is the 2014 Past President of Toronto CREW, a chapter within CREW Network and a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Women’s Leadership Initiative Toronto Championship. She is also recognized as a leading lawyer in The Best Lawyers in Canada (Municipal Law).
Professional achievements & leadership
- The Best Lawyers in Canada – Municipal Law, 2018 – 2021; Real Estate Law, 2021
- Chambers Canada, Recognised Practitioner, Real Estate: Zoning/Land Use (Ontario), 2020
Secured planning and development approvals for the following notable matters:
- Art Gallery of Ontario – Frank Gehry Renovation
- Grange Park Renovation
- 100 Yorkville mixed-use development, including the adaptive reuse of the historic facade of Mt. Sinai hospital
- 582 Sherbourne mixed-use development, including the adaptive reuse of the James Cooper Mansion
- 188 University Avenue, Shangri-La hotel, including the adaptive reuse of the historic Butcher’s Block
- St. Michael’s Hospital 3.0 redevelopment, including work related to its heliport
- Canada Life Head Office Campus, including 330 University Avenue, 180a, 180b and 190 Simcoe Street and 160 Queen Street West.
- Four Seasons Yorkville
- 18 Yorkville
Notable Other Matters:
- Bank Towers assessment appeals, 2005 – 2016 involving the six bank towers locate in the downtown of the City of Toronto. The assessment appeals involved hearings before the Assessment Review Board, a series of motions, and attendance before both the Divisional Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal.
- Ground rent arbitration related to the lands under the Cumberland Terrace plaza located at the north-west corner of Yonge Street and Bloor Street West
- Co-author, Taxation (General) chapter of Halsbury’s Laws of Canada
- Presenter, CREW Network and Toronto CREW events on matters related to professional development and CREW Network’s research
- Board of Directors, Real Estate Roundtable, 2018 – 2019
- CREW Network Board of Directors, 2015 – 2019
- Toronto CREW Board of Directors, 2012 – 2015
- CREW Network
- Toronto CREW
- Canadian Bar Association, Municipal Law Section
- Urban Land Institute
- Canadian Property Tax Association
- International Council of Shopping Centres
Bar admissions & education
- Ontario Bar, 2002
- LL.B. Queen’s University, 2000
- Master of Urban and Regional Planning, Queen’s University, 1999
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Carleton University, 1994