CONWAY DAVIS GRYSKI (“CDG”) is one of the leading law firms practising in the area of municipal assessment and taxation. We act exclusively on behalf of assessing authorities and municipalities.
The members of the firm are:
Our Philosophy -
We believe that solicitor / client relationships develop over time and are based on mutual trust and understanding.
With our many years of experience in municipal assessment and taxation, our clients are assured that they will receive expert representation and advice from leaders in the field.
Our work is restricted to assessing authorities and municipalities, so we are aware of the unique role that public bodies play in municipal assessment and taxation. In addition, because our work is restricted, we are not conflicted in the advice that we provide.
We recognize that litigation is not the only or always the best solution. We believe that it is important to work with our clients to explore various options and solutions, while keeping in mind your long term interests and goals.
We understand the importance of keeping you informed of, and involved in, the work that we are doing on your behalf.
We ensure that you understand and learn from the advice we provide. We work with you, and your staff, in innovative ways to ensure that you understand your statutory obligations and relevant procedural requirements, and how these affect your day-to-day activities.
Your relationships with your clients and stakeholders are important to you. We understand. We'll work with you to maintain and improve these relationships.
We believe that it is important to give back to the profession. In that regard, we contribute our time as speakers and hosts of conferences, and contributors to journals and newsletters, to various organizations involved in municipal assessment and taxation.
Our Experience -
We have dealt with issues involving all properties types and classifications of property throughout the Province. Our expertise is based on knowledge of the law, assessment appraisal theory and practice, and the market for real property in the Province of Ontario.
We have acted, or are currently acting, in assessment litigation concerning the following issues:
- business enterprise value;
- environmental contamination;
- significant hotel properties in Ontario (including the impact of SARS and 9/11 on the hospitality industry);
- major shopping centres in the Province;
- large office towers;
- nuclear, fossil fuel and hydro-electric facilities;
- ‘trophy’ properties such amusement parks, sports stadiums, racetracks, and casinos;
- development land, including land in the Oak Ridges Moraine;
- automobile dealerships in the Province;
- international bridges; and
- many significant commercial, industrial, multi-residential and residential properties throughout Ontario.
CDG also has an extensive brief before the Courts in matters involving exemptions from taxation, eligibility for tax tools, and appeals.
We regularly appear before the:
- Assessment Review Board
- Information and Privacy Commissioner
- all levels of the Courts (Superior, Divisional, Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of Canada)
in proceedings arising under the Assessment Act, and related legislation including the Assessment Review Board Act, Municipal Act, 2001, Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, Statutory Powers Procedure Act and Judicial Review Procedure Act. We also have extensive experience before the Ontario Municipal Board.
Over the years, the firm has established strong professional relationships with the various stakeholders in the assessment field including other assessment lawyers, MPAC, property tax consultants, municipalities, the Assessment Review Board and professional organizations such as the Institute of Municipal Assessors and Association of Municipal Tax Collectors of Ontario. As a result, we can often get things done quickly and informally on the strength of our reputation.
In 2002, the firm participated in the Assessment Review Board’s Stakeholders’ Committee, which reported to the Chair on proposed reforms to the Board’s Rules of Practice and Procedure. These reforms were adopted by the Board effective October 1, 2003.
The partners are associate members and active supporters of the Institute of Municipal Assessors, receiving its President’s Medal in 2004. Members of the firm participated in the original drafting of the Institute's “Assessor and the Courts” course materials and recently worked with the Institute to update the materials.
In addition to the Institute of Municipal Assessors, the partners have memberships in the International Property Tax Institute, the Canadian Property Tax Association, the International Association of Assessing Officer, the Canadian Bar Association, and the Toronto Lawyer’s Association.
The firm co-hosts an annual Property Assessment Forum. The lawyers have written many papers and have been invited speakers on the topic of municipal assessment and taxation for various organizations including: Association of Municipal Tax Collectors of Ontario, Institute of Municipal Assessors, International Association of Assessing Officers, Law Society of Upper Canada, MPAC / OPAC / Ministry of Finance, Osgoode Hall Law School, and private continuing education providers.