Home Toronto Mediators

Hilary works hard to understand what each client needs to reach a workable settlement.

Hilary A. Linton

FDRP. Med & Arb., Acc. FM., Cert. F. Med., CP. Med., J.D., LL.M.

Hilary practised civil and family law for almost 15 years, and was a partner at a Toronto boutique family law firm when she started her dispute resolution career. She established Riverdale Mediation Ltd. in 2001, where the Riverdale team provides affordable family mediation, arbitration, parenting coordination and arbitration screening services, working with lawyers and with unrepresented parties.

Cliff has worked with and for families in Ontario for decades, and brings wisdom and knowledge of the law to the table for our clients.

Clifford S. Nelson


After practicing family law in Toronto for 28 years, Clifford Nelson was appointed to the Superior Court of Justice (Ontario) where he specialized in family law. For nineteen years, Clifford dealt with all manner of family law disputes from cases involving children to cases about property and support.

Avagene promotes the resolution of family law issues including decision-making responsibility, parenting time, support and property, through a variety of alternate dispute resolution processes.

Avagene Skervin


Avagene is a family law lawyer, certified family mediator and notary public. She has practised exclusively in family law since her 2005 call to the Bar.

Borzou is a skilled, compassionate and patient mediator whose clients not only reach agreements, but are satisfied with the experience as well.

Borzou Tabrizi

B.A., J.D., FDRP Med., Acc. FM

Borzou is a family lawyer and experienced family mediator. He has worked for many years as a court-based mediator with families in the Toronto family courts, gaining valuable experience with challenging cases. He also has a growing parenting coordination practice.

Lindsay helps families find peaceful and durable solutions to difficult and contracted conflicts.

Lindsay Kertland


Lindsay Kertland is an accredited mediator with the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) and the principal of Summerhill Family Mediation. She is also a member of the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario’s Parenting Coordination section.

Riverdale Mediation began at a shared law office space in Riverdale in 2001. Our founder, Hilary Linton, wanted to offer separating couples something more than adversarial approaches and outcomes that rarely left anyone happy. She focused on designing a dispute resolution process that would achieve the values of respectful self-determination, client empowerment, safety for clients and children, including the voice and the views of the children, confidentiality and legally-informed outcomes.

We worked hard in those early days to promote family mediation as a natural, practical and affordable way for separating couples to work out their differences themselves.

Our first print ad, circa 2002.

Our focus from the start was on respecting the fundamental principles of family mediation: a fair, safe, balanced process of self-determination that does no harm. Hilary’s years of family law experience was very helpful in both helping parties to understand the costs and benefits of mediation compared to court, and also in providing separating couples without lawyers with useful legal information and guiding them through the negotiation process, together.

As the practice became busier, family mediation interns joined, followed by our first associate, family mediator Catherine Davison.


Hilary Linton, 2001

Our first three-panel brochure, promoting our services, 2002.


Our first business card, 2002.

Over the years, the practice grew. Some of our associates over the years have included:

And as our practices grew, so did the demand for new services (arbitration and parenting coordination).

Our mediation training practice also grew each year and we became one of the province’s busiest family mediation training practices, equipping many family mediators each year to become accredited by the Ontario Association of Family Mediation (OAFM) and the ADR Institute of Ontario, and, more recently, the Family Dispute Resolution Institute of Ontario.

With the 2007 amendments to the Family Law Act and Arbitration Act, we started offering family arbitration and, later, parenting coordination services, offering families in conflict even more options for resolving their family law matters out of court.

We have worked with leading professionals in the development of our mediation training program. Our current training and coaching team can be found here.

When we outgrew our Riverdale space, we moved downtown to Law Chambers 393 University Avenue.

And with the pandemic arriving in 2020, our business changed again, moving all our services and training online. Through it all, our outstanding support and administrative group has kept us going:

In 2011, Hilary was awarded a contract with the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General to provide family information and family mediation services in Toronto’s Superior Court of Justice (and later also the Ontario Court of Justice) and our sister company, mediate393 inc. (Toronto Family Mediation Services), was born.

Today, Riverdale Mediation offers a full range of Family Dispute Resolution Services including:

1.  Family mediation of all issues on separation and divorce, including:

  • financial disclosure, review of financial statements and supporting documents, and joint preparation of net family property statements
  • income determination including review of income tax returns, and working with financial professionals to determine income, child support, including guidelines, section 7, shared custody, and including creating Divorcemate Calculations for legal review
  • spousal support, including review of the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines and creating Divorcemate Calculations for legal review
  • child custody, child access complex parenting plans including working with family professionals for voice of the child reports or legal counsel for children

2.  Mediation of co-habitation and marriage agreements

3.  Mediation and drafting of separation agreements (for legal review)

4.  Family arbitration, and mediation-arbitration of all issues

5.  Mediation of marriage and cohabitation agreements

6.  Drafting of agreements and documents for legal review

7.  Parenting coordination for parents who seek assistance with implementing their parenting plans

Photo by Anete Lusina from Pexels

When called on, we work with very high conflict couples and situations involving domestic violence. We work closely with legal and other support teams our clients may have—and we also mediate and arbitrate matters where one or both parties are self- represented. We are knowledgeable about agencies and resources that support families going through the challenges of separation and divorce. We work with clients from all cultures and communities, including the LGBTQ community.

And we have a great team supporting our work and our clients.

Our philosophy is that family mediation can often be a better and safer place for both former spouses or partners to have difficult conversations and work out settlements that are good for them and their children.