• Land Use and Development
  • Public Policy
  • Expropriation / Land Valuation
  • Development Charge
  • Education Development Charge
  • Environmental and Natural Resource
  • Conservation / Heritage Designation
  • Development Cost-Sharing
  • Infrastructure and Building
  • Aggregate Resource
  • Community Benefits
  • Municipal Governance

To book James

  • 416-964-7497
  • 416-475-6750 (direct)

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James R. McKenzie

Business is too important and life too short for the tragedies of mishandled conflict.

So believes James McKenzie who, for over 25 years, has worked with corporate, community, and government leaders, helping them build consensus and sustainably settle disputes. Widely regarded for his professionalism and pragmatism, James specialises in mediating complex, multi-issue, multi-party matters.

As the former Associate Chair and a Vice-Chair of the Ontario Municipal Board, and the first and former Associate Chair of its descendant institution, the Ontario Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, James pioneered and expanded the use of mediation to address planning, expropriation, and other land use related conflict. Through his practice and leadership, mediation has evolved to become an integral element of the Ontario planning system and is now codified in its legislative framework. In recognition of his contributions in the fields of planning and development, James was honored with the 2021 Cambridge Award at the Cambridge Forum on Land Use Planning.

Working with active and next-gen professionals to sharpen skills for effectively managing conflict, James also teaches negotiation and mediation. Since 2005, he has been a course director in the Toronto Metropolitan University Chang School of Continuing Education, through which he works with students enrolled in the School of Urban and Regional Planning. Between 1995 and 2018, he was a course director in the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York University. Other activities include teaching in the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at Royal Roads University and in the Corporate Communications Program at Seneca College, and coaching in sessions convened by Osgoode Hall Law School, the Queens University Industrial Relations Centre, the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies, and the Province of Ontario.

James has spoken widely on negotiation and mediation in various sessions convened by the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, the Ontario Expropriation Association, and the Canadian Association of Planning Students.

James has an undergraduate degree in Urban and Regional Planning (Ryerson Polytechnical Institute) and a graduate degree in Environmental Studies (York University), and has completed PhD course work in adult learning (University of Toronto, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education).