Peter Pickfield

Peter Pickfield
Peter Pickfield


Location: Guelph, Ontario, Canada
Phone: 519-837-0500
Fax: 519-763-2204

PETER PICKFIELD has practised exclusively in the areas of environmental, municipal and planning law since being called to the Bar in 1986. He is certified as specialist in environmental law by the Law Society of Ontario, and has held this certification since 1996. In 1990, he obtained his Master of Law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School.

Mr. Pickfield appears regularly as lead counsel on hearings before the Ontario Land Tribunal (formerly the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and Environmental Review Tribunal) and Joint Boards. He holds the position of Adjunct Professor at both the University of Guelph and Waterloo, where he lectures on environmental and planning law.

Mr. Pickfield was a co-author of Environmental Approvals in Canada, a national reporting service on environmental law. Most recently, Peter co-authored a text book on environmental law and policy, An Introduction to Environmental Law and Policy in Canada, Third Edition (Emond-Montgomery Press, 2020).

Mr. Pickfield has extensive experience in assisting municipalities, private landowners, community groups and government agencies in addressing a range of municipal, planning and environmental matters including source water protection, land/groundwater contamination issues, environmental and land use approvals, and expropriations. He is an experienced negotiator and has successfully negotiated a number of major settlements and development/site plan agreements for clients on land development, servicing/utility projects.

Peter has also taken training as a mediator and is available to conduct mediations in Environmental, Planning and Municipal law cases.

Highlighted below are summaries of the environmental law cases and areas of environmental law study that Mr. Pickfield has been involved in over the past 35 years.

Land Development/Land Use Planning Issues/Expropriations

Mr. Pickfield has provided advice and representation before the Ontario Land Tribunal with respect to planning matters, including land use approvals (Official Plan and Zoning amendments) pertaining to the commercial residential and industrial development, protection of wetlands, aggregate resource operations, protection of environmentally sensitive areas and water courses, Brownfield redevelopment projects, and land expropriation/compensation issues under the Expropriations Act.

Renewable Energy Approvals

Mr. Pickfield has provided advice and representation to a number of municipalities facing challenges and approval issues related to wind energy projects.

Other Environmental Approvals

Mr. Pickfield has provided advice and representation before the Ontario Land Tribunal and in the Courts with respect to approvals required for a range of projects (energy projects, sewage treatment facilities, water supply systems, manufacturing plants etc.) under the Planning Act, Ontario Water Resources Act, the Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Protection Act.

Law and Policy Development

Mr. Pickfield advises municipalities and government agencies with respect to environmental law and policy issues, including source water protection nutrient management, environmental assessment, groundwater protection, including source protection, and environmental clean-up issues. He frequently writes and speaks on regulatory reform issues.

Municipal Law Issues

Mr. Pickfield has provided advice and the full range of legal services to municipal clients including drafting of agreements and by-laws, legal opinions on matters arising from municipal-related legislation including the Municipal Act. Peter has extensive experience in providing practical, knowledgeable advice to municipalities related to governance and operational issues.

Waste Management/Landfill Approvals

Mr. Pickfield has acted for municipalities, proponents and other stakeholders in the environmental approvals process for a large number of landfill and waste management proposals. He has appeared as lead counsel before the Environmental Assessment Board and Ontario Land Tribunal and provided advice to clients on many landfill and related cases.

Contaminated Sites and Environmental Orders (Provincial Officer’s and Director’s Orders)

Mr. Pickfield has advised many clients and provided representation before the Environmental Review Tribunal with respect to Orders issued by the Ministry of the Environment under the Environmental Protection Act and Ontario Water Resources Act with respect to a variety of issues including waste issues, clean up and/or investigate and environmental contamination. Peter has advised financial institutions and property owners with respect to environmental contamination and clean up.


Mr. Pickfield’s professional teaching experience includes 25 years as an adjunct professor at the University of Waterloo (1991-2016) as well as periodic participation in environmental law seminars, lectures and panel discussions. In addition, for the past twenty years (2001 to present), Peter has taught a graduate course in rural planning law and policy at the University of Guelph.

We use our decades of experience in these fields for the benefit of clients throughout Southwestern Ontario, and we are prepared to travel to meet with them. We offer a free 30-minute telephone consultation.
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