skip to main content

Environment • Aboriginal • Energy

Matthew Gardner


T: 416-862-4825  E:


Matthew Gardner is a partner practicing environmental law and environmental litigation, with a focus on defending regulatory prosecutions, appealing environmental orders and litigating environmental claims. Matthew is called to the Bar in Ontario and Alberta.

Environmental Litigation

Matthew regularly appears before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, the Ontario Court of Justice, the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal and the Ontario Energy Board.

  • Environmental civil litigation
  • Defence of environmental regulatory prosecutions
  • Environmental administrative appeals and hearings

Matthew represents plaintiffs and defendants involved in environmental disputes and negotiates settlements before and in the early stages of litigation, where possible. Matthew also assists clients under inspection or investigation by federal and provincial environmental regulatory authorities, and defends charges brought by these authorities.

Environmental Law

Matthew provides advice and solutions to clients about environmental due diligence and compliance.

Energy and Natural Resources Law

Matthew represents intervenors before the Ontario Energy Board in natural gas and electricity matters.

Prior Environmental Experience

Matthew has a B.Sc. degree in marine and freshwater biology. Matthew also volunteered with the University of Calgary’s Environmental Law Society, coordinating field studies and organizing presentations to municipal councils in Alberta regarding the environmental impact of free trade agreements.


  • Industrial companies
  • Municipalities
  • Insurers and financial institutions
  • Land developers, property owners, landlords and tenants
  • Energy and renewable energy companies
  • Construction companies
  • Non-governmental associations
  • Individuals  

Representative Work

Environmental Law

  • Environmental Due Diligence and Contaminated Site Advice to Property Owner/Developer— Assisted an owner and developer of residential, commercial and light industrial properties with a due diligence review of over 50 properties. Advised about options for properties with soil and/or groundwater contamination. Guided the client through the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s Risk Assessment process.
  • Environmental Coverage Opinion for Insurer—Drafted insurance coverage opinion for and represented an insurer in responding to a fuel loss at a service station that migrated into subsurface soils and groundwater.

Environmental Litigation

  • Release of Ammonia Gas by Food Processing Company—Defended a national food processing company against a charge laid by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change under Ontario’s Environmental Protection Act following the release of ammonia gas. The release occurred in an industrial/commercial setting, adjacent to a residential area and led to complaints from nearby businesses and residents.
  • Corporate Directors and Officers Ordered to Clean-Up Waste—Representing former directors and officers of a company ordered by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change to clean up waste stored at a property that is no longer owned by the company.
  • Settlement of Civil Action About Contaminated Land—Assisted a commercial business to negotiate a complex settlement early in the litigation process relating to contamination of a nearby property.

Energy Advocacy

  • Represented a number of Intervenors before the Ontario Energy Board in natural gas and electricity matters, including electricity transmission and distribution projects, natural gas pipeline projects, electricity and natural gas policy reviews, and proceedings for both electricity conservation and demand management and natural gas demand side management programs.








  • Canadian Bar Association—member
  • Ontario Bar Association—member and editor of Environews
  • Hamilton-Halton Construction Association—Education Committee member
  • Hamilton Law Association—member
  • Canadian Oil Heat Association—member
  • Burlington Chamber of Commerce—member
  • Law Society Ontario—member
  • Law Society of Ontario Foundation—Lawyers Feed the Hungry Program—volunteer

Speaking Engagements

May 14, 2020

CANECT 2020 - Due Diligence in Environmental Prosecutions: A Mock Trial

June 10, 2020

RPIC Federal Contaminated Sites National Workshop

April 29, 2020

EnviroTech 2020

March 11, 2020

London and District Construction Association - The Dirt on Ontario's New Excess Soil Laws

February 04, 2020

OBA Institute - Evolving Liability in the Environmental and Natural Resources Regulatory Landscape

November 26, 2019

Bureau Veritas Laboratories - National Science Summit

October 16, 2019

RemTech 2019

September 17, 2019

CBA Law Series Webinar - Enforcement of Federal Environmental Laws

June 26, 2019

A&WMA's ACE Panel - How Does It Work? Environmental Regulations in the United States and Canada

June 25, 2019

A&WMA's 112th Annual Conference & Exhibition

May 09, 2019

CANECT 2019 - Water & Wastewater Regulation and Compliance

March 18, 2019

Hamilton Law Association: Development of Brownfields

March 20, 2019

SMART Remediation Seminar Series 2019 - Edmonton Conference

February 28, 2019

AGAT Laboratories - TechTalks 2019 Science and Technology Seminar

October 17, 2018

Niagara Construction Association - Managing Excess Soil

September 17, 2018

Environmental Risk and Liability Transfer Seminar

October 10, 2018

RemTech 2018

October 03, 2018

The Law Society of Ontario: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2018

June 21, 2018

Hamilton-Halton Construction Association: Managing Excess Soil

May 10, 2018

CANECT 2018 - Managing Water & Wastewater Issues

April 03, 2018 to April 05, 2018

EnviroTech 2018

September 28, 2017

OBA - Young Lawyers Division: Mastering Due Diligence

October 04, 2017

The Law Society of Upper Canada: The Six-Minute Environmental Lawyer 2017

March 21, 2017

Environmental Law: How Are You Impacted? (St. Catharines Session)

March 28, 2017

Environmental Law: How Are You Impacted? (Kitchener Session)

April 27, 2017 to April 28, 2017

CBA Environmental, Energy & Resources Law Summit

February 08, 2017

Ontario Bar Association's Institute - New Developments in Environmental Law

November 22, 2016

Hamilton-Halton Construction Association: Managing Excess Soils

October 13, 2016

Connecting Climate Change to Brownfield Redevelopment, RemTech 2016

June 09, 2016

Cleaner Heat / COHA Annual Conference: Cleaner Heat Light Up The Future

April 21, 2016 to April 22, 2016

ICSC 2016 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables

November 18, 2015

University of Toronto Environmental Law Club Career Panel

November 05, 2015

OBA Passport Series: Best Practices for Environmental Management Systems

October 14, 2015

Managing Environmental Liabilities: Brownfields Case Law Update, RemTech 2015

September 30, 2015

Canadian Oil Heat Association - Ontario Chapter - Annual General Meeting

September 28, 2015

LSAC Toronto Forum: "What Do Lawyers Do?"

June 18, 2015

Cleaner Heat / COHA Annual Conference: Fuel Oil Industry Environmental Liability - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

March 27, 2014

ICSC 2014 Canadian Shopping Centre Law Conference: Breakfast Roundtables

February 12, 2014

Toronto Construction Association: Environmental Law - Pitfalls, Perils & Risk Management

January 22, 2014

ALS Environmental Education Seminar: Reducing Risks - Improving Your Bottom Line

April 10, 2013

AON Property Owners' Roundtable - Environmental Risk Management

  • Gas and Service Station Law for Environmental Lawyers: Filling Up with Premium Information, Ontario Bar Association, October 6, 2011
  • Articles

    December 12, 2019

    Time to Dish the Dirt – Ontario’s Excess Soil Regime Becomes Law

    March 29, 2019

    Case Law Update: Alberta Court of Appeal Confirms that a Plaintiff May Lose the Right to Sue for Historic Contamination Because of the Passage of Time and Procedural Requirements

    May 08, 2018

    Key Developments in Environmental Law 2017 Edition

    December 22, 2017

    Alberta Update: When Does a Plaintiff Lose the Right to Sue for Historic Contamination?

    May 03, 2017

    Tips for Homeowners – What to do if you Find an Underground Fuel Oil Tank in Your Backyard

    December 06, 2016

    Rubin v MOECC: Balancing Environmental Protection and Financial Hardship

    October 21, 2016

    Robust Environmental Management System Serves to Fully Absolve Defendant: R v Control Chem Canada Ltd.

    July 26, 2016

    Alberta Provides Guidance on Use of Exposure Control to Manage Risks at Contaminated Sites

    April 27, 2016

    Alberta’s New Remediation Requirements In Effect On May 1, 2016

    April 27, 2016

    Alberta’s Environmental Site Assessment Standard – New Guidance For Consultants and Property Owners

    February 23, 2016

    Insurer off-the-hook for Release of Pollutants Caused by Fire

    August 20, 2014

    Thornhill v Highland Fuels Reinforces Need for Tank Installers and Fuel Suppliers to Follow Statutory Requirements and Fuel Oil Code

    April 02, 2014

    Ontario’s Proposed Invasive Species Act, 2014

    January 13, 2012

    Turbine opponents whistling in the wind?

    Last summer, the Environmental Review Tribunal dismissed the first appeal of a renewable energy approval (REA) for a wind turbine project in its decision Erickson v. Director, Ministry of the Environment. The tribunal acknowledged the appellants presented evidence about the risk of wind turbines in general, but did not provide enough evidence about the risks posed by the project in question.