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e: mbull@woodbull.ca

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Special Designation:
Certified Specialist (Municipal Law: Land Use Planning and Development) 

Mary Wood Best Lawyer Award

Mary Bull | Counsel

Mary Bull’s practice centres on assisting clients in all aspects of the land use approvals process.  Mary has worked on a wide range of projects including; shopping centres, aggregate operations, industrial, residential and office developments.

Mary’s years of experience allow her to provide timely strategic advice to her clients whenever she is engaged, whether prior to the acquisition of land or during the approval process. She frequently works on complex approvals with multi-disciplinary teams, that include planners, traffic engineers, civil engineers, ecologists, business consultants or other, specialized, technical experts. Her understanding of the different areas of expertise in such teams means that she can provide the informed guidance required to considerably enhance the prospect of success. Mary also has the know-how to achieve cost effective approvals of smaller, less complex applications.

Mary regularly appears before various decision-making and regulatory authorities controlling land development, including municipal councils, committees of adjustment, the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (formerly the Ontario Municipal Board) and the Consolidated Hearings Board. In addition, she has appeared before courts in Ontario. Her client mix spans municipalities, individual landowners and developers through to the largest retailer in North America.

Representative Experience

Mary has represented a diverse group of private sector and governmental bodies.

  • As co-counsel for an aggregate producer throughout a lengthy hearing, Mary was successful in obtaining the Consolidated Hearings Board’s approval of a large quarry in Simcoe County.
  • As counsel for one of the largest retail developers in Canada, Mary has worked with interdisciplinary teams to successfully achieve approvals for over 40 shopping centre projects in Ontario, many of which are anchored by "big-box" format retail stores.
  • As counsel for a large food manufacturer, Mary has provided legal advice with respect to planning matters relating to the operation and protection of the client's facilities in various municipalities in Ontario.
  • As counsel for a municipality in the Greater Toronto Area, Ms. Bull defended council’s position at the Ontario Municipal Board and worked with the municipality and appellant to reach a settlement of outstanding issues.
  • As counsel for a school board in Northern Ontario, Mary worked with the local municipality to successfully achieve approvals from the Ontario Municipal Board to permit the development of a new school.
  • As counsel for a commercial developer, Mary successfully obtained approvals for a large-scale entertainment and commercial development in downtown Toronto.

See full curriculum vitae>>

  • Recent speaking engagements:
    • "What to Do About OMB & Planning Act Reform" at the Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (OSSGA) Conference, Feb 2018
    • "Mediations & Settlement Discussions - Confidentiality and Other Ethical Issues" at the Ontario Bar Association, Dec 2013
    • "Recent Trends and Issues in Aggregate Applications - Provincial Infrastructure Planning: Aggregates and Energy (Between Rocks & Other Hard Places)" at the Ontario Bar Association's Institute 2012, February 2012


Selected Cases

Awards and Honours

  • Recognized by the Canadian Legal LEXPERT Directory as a Consistently Recommended leading practitioner in the area of Property Development (2018)
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers of Canada™ in the practice areas of Real Estate Law (2006-2020)

Past Positions

Professional Affiliations

  • Member, Canadian Bar Association (Ontario) - Municipal Law Section
  • Member, Ontario Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

Areas of Expertise

Bar Admissions

Ontario, 1988


  • University of Toronto, LL.B. 1986
  • University of Waterloo,  Bachelor of Environmental Studies (Honours Urban and Regional Planning), 1978
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