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John D. van Gent


Canadian and International Commercial Real Estate and Investor Lawyer at Bennett Jones Toronto

T: 416.777.6522

John van Gent has over 13 years of experience in Canadian commercial real estate. He has acted on some of the country's largest commercial real estate transactions including acting as lead counsel to a consortium in connection with the $186.5 million acquisition and financing of Toronto's Royal York Hotel, as co-counsel to a consortium in connection with acquisition financing for 17 shopping centre properties as part of a larger $5-billion transaction and as co-counsel to the purchaser group in connection with the acquisition and financing of ING's $2-billion industrial real estate portfolio comprised of more than 400 properties.

John has a breadth of experience with traditional real estate investment structures, including joint ventures, limited partnerships, mortgage investment funds, real estate and other private equity investment funds, and other co-ownership arrangements. Canadian and international real estate investors benefit from John's considerable experience with respect to the trading and financing of commercial real property, including office buildings, retail properties, industrial properties, multi-family residential developments, seniors housing, and hotel and resort properties. His advice to clients concerning real estate investment structures and land transfer tax planning results in transaction efficiencies and long term savings.

Since January, 2014 John has represented borrower clients in connection with revolving, term loan and construction credit facilities totalling in excess of $1.5 billion including a $450 million unsecured senior credit facility for Oxford Properties, the $287-million term loan and revolving loan credit facility secured by 17 shopping centre properties acquired by a consortium of purchasers from Primaris Retail REIT, and in connection with a $164.3 million construction facility for a condominium development at 454 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario. In addition, John acts for a number of private non-bank commercial mortgage lenders with respect to first and second mortgage financing, construction loans, and mezzanine debt.

John regularly acts for both landlords and tenants on commercial leasing, sub-leasing, and land leasing arrangements. He has acted for government or quasi-government interest such as Waterfront Toronto with respect to the development of Toronto's waterfront lands and the Toronto Port Authority in connection with the development of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, including providing real estate support in connection with the $82.5 million P3 project for the development and construction of the pedestrian tunnel.

John has authored and presented a number of articles at industry conferences and is a regular presenter at the Bennett Jones Academy.

Select Experience

  • KingSett Real Estate Growth LP No.5 with the $99 million acquisition and financing of the Courtyard Marriot Hotel in downtown Toronto.
  • Oxford Properties in connection with a $450 million unsecured senior credit facility from The Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
  • Royal York Acquisition LP and Royal York Operations LP (a joint venture between KingSett Capital, InnVest REIT and Ivanhoé Cambridge) in connection with the purchase of the Royal York Hotel, Toronto, Ontario, for a purchase price of $186.5 million.

News & Speaking Engagements