Laurie J. Sanderson Partner


Speaks:  English

Year of Call: 1986 - Ontario


Primary office:  Ottawa



Laurie J. Sanderson

Laurie Sanderson is a partner in the Ottawa office of Gowling WLG. With more than 25 years of experience, Laurie is a recognized expert in the area of commercial leasing. She represents a wide variety of both private and public sector landlords and tenants.

Laurie has extensive experience in both P3 and the design build process, in addition to the unique requirements of Crown corporations. She is also well positioned to give strategic advice in insolvency proceedings.

Laurie takes a practical, results-oriented approach to all matters. Her clients can count on a level of service that is matched only by her expertise. She is passionate about her work and committed to delivering strategic results. She is a trusted adviser to her clients on issues unique to commercial leasing, including:

  • Cost recovery and realty tax allocations and reporting obligations.
  • The appropriate selection and application of measurement standards to achieve financial objectives.
  • Best practices for securing covenants given the unique treatment of commercial leases in bankruptcy.
  • Risk allocation and insurance matters.
  • Repair and restoration obligations.
  • Environmental due diligence both before and at the conclusion of the term of the lease.
  • Operating covenants and radius restrictions.

Laurie is consistently recognized for her real estate expertise in Chambers Global, The Best Lawyers in Canada and Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory.

Career & Recognition

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Memberships

  • Active member of ICSC
  • Member of the Executive Committee and Board of Directors of BOMA Ottawa
  • Presenter, “Letters of Credit in a Commercial Leasing Context,” Law Society of Ontario: The Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer 2022, March 2022.
  • Presenter, “Tenant Exit Strategies,” Law Society of Ontario: The Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer 2018, February 2018.
  • Presenter, “Lease Audit Rights,” CCLA’s 23rd Annual East Region Solicitors Conference, May 2017.
  • Presenter, “Relocation Provisions: Getting it Right. How Much Certainty is Too Much?” Law Society of Ontario: The Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer 2017, January 2017.
  • Moderator, “Indepth Workshop on Permitted Assignment and Transfer Provisions,” ICSC’s 2016 Canadian Law Conference, April 2016.
  • Presenter, “’I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date!’ Delay and Other Down the Rabbit Hole Adventures of Alice Surrounding Delayed Substantial Completion/Opening of the Leased Premises,” ICSC’s 2014 Canadian Law Conference, February 2014.
  • Presenter, “Uncommon Common Areas,” Law Society of Ontario: The Six-Minute Commercial Leasing Lawyer 2014, February 2014.
  • Presenter, “Good Things Come In Small Packages: 6R’s for Small Tenants,” CCLA’s 19th Annual East Region Solicitors Conference, May 2013.
  • Presenter, “Project Management and Leadership Skills: Working with Consultants and Experts,” ICSC’s 2013 Canadian Law Conference, February 2013.

Representative Work

  • In 2021, Ms. Sanderson acted as external counsel to Ford Motor Company of Canada Limited in the negotiation and completion of build-to-suit construction leases with two separate landlords for two parts distribution warehouses of 600,000 square feet each – one in Paris Ontario and the other in Casselman ON.  
  • In 2021, Ms. Sanderson represented International Development Research Centre (IDRC) in the negotiation and completion of a lease for three full floors of Class A office space (+65,000 square feet) at World Exchange Centre  located at 45 O’Connor Street in the central business district of Ottawa ON for an initial term of 15 years.
  • In 2021, Ms. Sanderson represented National Dental Examining Board of Canada in the negotiation and completion of a lease for one whole floor of Constitution Square Tower III located at 340 Albert Street in the central business district of Ottawa ON, including the right to fit out part of the premises as a mock dental clinic to be used in the examinations of dental candidates.
  • In 2020, the Ottawa Business Journal has named as the real estate deal of the year, the global headquarters 165,000 square foot building to be built and leased by Taggart to Kinaxis in the Kanata West Business Park. The lease includes an option to lease an additional 100,000 square feet in a building not yet built on the adjoining lands. Ms. Sanderson acted for Taggart.
  • U.S.-based outdoor specialty retailer L.L.Bean has announced its first brick-and-mortar location in Canada will open in 2019 in Oakville Place in Oakville Ontario.  L.L.Bean announced last fall that it had entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Canadian distributer, The Jaytex Group, for its expansion into Canada. Ms. Sanderson represented The Jaytex Group in negotiating this 14,205 square foot lease with RioCan. 
  • In 2018, Ms. Sanderson represented Amazon with respect to a lease from bcIMC Realty Corporation for +416,000 square feet of office space in downtown Vancouver. The transaction was fast tracked – just over 3 months from start to finish.  This was the largest office lease transaction in Vancouver to date.
  • In 2018, Ms. Sanderson represented Mitel Corporation in its relocation of its global headquarters to 4000 Innovation Drive in Kanata, Ontario. When Mitel moves in late 2019, it will occupy 156,000 square feet, the entirety of the three-storey building located in Canada’s largest technology park.
  • In 2018, Ms. Sanderson represented Red Bull to secure new Canadian head quarter offices in the trendy Trinity Bellwood area of Toronto Ontario.
  • In 2017, Ms. Sanderson represented Amazon.com, Inc. with respect to a lease from Oxford Properties of a 150,000 square foot office building to be constructed in downtown Vancouver and scheduled to open in 2020, allowing Amazon to double its workforce in the City of Vancouver
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Telesat Canada with respect to its request for proposal to relocate its office headquarters.  Ms. Sanderson assisted Telesat in completing a lease with H&R REIT for approximately  75,000 square feet at 160 Elgin Street in Ottawa ON.
  • In 2018, Ms. Sanderson represented the Ottawa Art Gallery with respect to a brand new state of the art municipal gallery space in the City of Ottawa newly developed site in downtown Ottawa
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Sport and Social Club in August 2017 with respect to the purchase of the Rideau Tennis Club including a transfer of the ground lease from the National Capital Commission to be revitalized into a multi-sport facility with wellness centre and restaurant.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation with respect to a long term lease of a casino and surrounding lands located on a First Nation Indian Reserve and subject to the First Nation Land Management Act.
  • Ms. Sanderson acted as lead Canadian counsel for a Fortune 500 global logistics company on a build-to-suit lease for a 450,000 square foot warehouse/distribution centre. This was a challenging transaction given the short time lines and the tenant’s significant operational requirements.
  • Ms. Sanderson was retained by Infrastructure Ontario to give strategic advice and opinions regarding  a possible default by MaRS Phase II under the $235,000,000 leasehold mortgage of the MaRS Phase II project held by Infrastructure Ontario.   The Project consists of 746,898 square feet of commercial office/laboratory space in a 20 storey building located at the southeast corner of University Avenue and College Street, Toronto. We also acted for Infrastructure Ontario in its representation of Her Majesty the Queen in right of Ontario to purchase the interests of the ground tenant, ARE-BJ Holdings No. 1, Inc., in the MaRS Phase II project and the assignment of its security to the Crown and the potential sale to MaRS Discovery District of the Crown’s interest acquired from ARE-BJ Holdings No. 1, Inc. Links to press coverage:
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the National Capital Commission in the negotiation of a long term ground lease of the National Equestrian Centre and municipal campground to Wesley Clover Foundation in order to establish a world class equestrian centre in the Nation’s capital.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Bank of Canada to secure a five-year lease for 300,000 square feet to accommodate the temporary relocation of its headquarters in Ottawa while the Bank of Canada building is being retrofit.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Canada Council for the Arts in its search to secure a new lease for its National headquarters in Ottawa. Canada Council will be relocating to Performance Court being built by Morguard Developments at 150 Elgin Street.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Global Centre for Pluralism in the negotiation of a 99 year ground lease of the site of the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa from the National Capital Commission for the establishment of their new international and educational research centre, a particularly challenging negotiation given the heritage nature of the property and its location on Confederation Boulevard.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Anglican Diocese with respect to its proposed ground leasing of two sites surrounding the Christ Church Cathedral to Windmill Developments for the construction of a residential condominium and office tower development.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Infrastructure Ontario with respect to its lease for 160,000 square feet of lab space in the MaRS Discovery District - Phase II in downtown Toronto.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Export Development Canada with respect to its request for proposals for its new national headquarters, resulting in a long term lease from Broccolini Construction (Ontario) Inc. and Canderel Management Inc., as co-developers, for the construction of an 18-storey LEED Gold building with a rentable area of 520,000 square feet, the largest new office construction project in downtown Ottawa in the past 25 years. 
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Federal Crown with respect Her Majesty’s lease from Minto Developments of 3000 Merivale Road, Ottawa, the prior headquarters of JDS Uniphase. This will become the new National Headquarters for the RCMP.  The Ottawa Business Journal identified this as Ottawa's largest lease transaction for 2006. The transaction involved a 25 year securitized lease to the Crown. The leased property is a 50 acre site on which JDSU had built a massive 910,000 square feet campus. It is expected that the Crown will build a further 350,000 of office space on this property. The lease includes a bargain transfer of ownership of the lands to the Crown at the end of the 25 year term. The transaction also included a construction management contract under which Minto will undertake what is anticipated to be a two-year renovation of the property to ready the site for the RCMP, and a 25 year property management contract between the Crown and Minto.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Ontario Realty Corp. (now Infrastructure Ontario) with respect to Her Majesty in right of Ontario's lease from Sakto Development of an office building in Ottawa Ontario. The new building will house a number of Ontario Ministries.  This was a pre-construction lease and was completed on a very short time line of a few weeks from the receipt of the retainer.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority in the preparation of all of its standard lease documentation for the Ottawa Airport to ensure that they accord with the ground lease for the airport and the Airport Authority’s business objectives.
  • Ms. Sanderson represented Arnon Corporation in its leasing to Nortel Networks Limited, of the office towers known as the Skyline and Woodline campuses on Baseline Road in the City of Ottawa, involving a rentable area of approximately 1 million square feet.  After the sale of the Skyline project to Her Majesty the Queen in right of Canada, Ms. Sanderson again represented Arnon with respect to the negotiation of the property management agreement between Her Majesty and Arnon. She also represented Arnon in the re-leasing of the Woodline campus to the City of Ottawa.
  • Ms. Sanderson was lead legal counsel in a major transaction for the Canadian Museum of Nature as a result of which the Museum obtained Treasury Board approval to enter into a capital lease for the construction of the Museum's world class collection and research facility in Aylmer, Quebec. Ms. Sanderson continues to act a lead counsel to the Museum with respect to various sensitive opinion matters.
  • Gowling WLG was retained by Nav Canada to represent Nav Canada in its acquisition Canada's air navigation system from Transport Canada - a One Billion Dollar transaction. Ms. Sanderson was the legal counsel responsible for all leasing matters, including the leasing by Nav Canada of several thousand navigational aids and for all of the air traffic control towers and Nav Canada's office and warehouse space requirements.
  • Ms. Sanderson acts for a number of Crown Corporations, most recently including, Bank of Canada, Export Development Canada, Canadian Museum of Nature, National Museum of Science and Technology, Canada Council for the Arts, National Gallery of Canada.