Advisors & Panelists

Descriptions have been edited for length. For complete versions, go here.

Panelists

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam

Councillor Wong-Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public and private sectors. Her contributions have led to the development and support of numerous social planning programs, business ventures, art endeavours and successful community initiatives. She is Chair of the Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, which provides advice to City Council on the elimination of barriers faced by people with disabilities.

Mark Garner

Mark has been a successful business and community leader for more than 30 years, and is now focusing his expertise and vision on the transformation of one of Toronto’s most vital tourism and business hubs. As Executive Director and Chief of Staff for the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area, Mark is an active champion for building a thriving, vibrant city centre. Mark’s business acumen and social conscience were forged during his years as a senior executive at major Canadian companies, including Bank of Montreal, AT&T and NCR Canada, where he was responsible for international sales, franchise operations and global business development.

James Parakh, OAA

James is a Licensed Architect and the Manager of Urban Design for Toronto and East York District, City of Toronto Planning Division. During the last decade, James has led the urban design studio that has helped guide the review of all development in Downtown Toronto and surrounding urban areas, a portfolio that includes well over 250 tall buildings ranging in height from 20 stories to over 92 stories. James frequently gives presentations to community groups and the City Council, and teaches at local area universities. He is the Vice-Chair of the design review panel for Canada's capital city of Ottawa Ontario and chairs that city's Tall Building Design Sub-Committee Panel.

Bryce Miranda
OALA, CSLA, BLA, BA

Bryce is an experienced landscape architect project manager, and urban designer, who became partner at DTAH in 2012. He is currently project director for the Bayside development in the East Bayfront lands on Toronto’s waterfront as well as for overall planning efforts for the East Bayfront Precinct. Bryce was the project manager for the Dockside Public Realm and Lower Sherbourne Street projects on Toronto`s waterfront and was the landscape architect for the recently completed Portland Slip.

Daniel Comerford
M.Arch. UD, B. Arch-Sci.

Daniel is an Associate who draws on a rich foundation of international experience in both urban design and architecture. Since completing graduate studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, he has worked on numerous master planning and regeneration projects throughout the United Kingdom, Canada, USA, the MiddleEast, and South-East Asia. Daniel’s work focuses on strategic design solutions that achieve socio-economic objectives and promote transformative city-building.

David Sajecki
BA, MA, Dip. (Urbanization and Environment), LEED AP, MCIP, RPP

David is an Associate, Urban and Transportation Planner and Engineer at Brook McIlroy with experience in project management, transportation planning and design, policy analysis, consultation, stakeholder managment and transit system implementation. David holds a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and a Bachelor of Applied Science (Civil Engineering) from Queen’s University as well as a diploma from Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

Ryan O’Connor
BAH, MAP

Ryan is an urban planner with a special focus on public space and active transportation. At 8 80 Cities, Ryan leads inclusive and creative community engagement strategies and works with local partners to launch low-cost, high-impact urban projects. Through this work, Ryan is committed to ensuring everyone has the opportunity to shape their public realm and mobility networks. He holds a MA in community and regional planning from the University of British Columbia. Ryan began serving as Interim Executive Director of 8 80 Cities in October 2016.

Joanne Lam
 B.ES, M.Arch, LEED AP, OAA

is a registered architect with over 12 years of experience in architecture and urban planning in both the public and the private sectors. Having immigrated from the dense metropolis of Hong Kong to a relatively flat Toronto, she became interested in shaping the built environment. She has worked extensively in Canada but her interests have also taken her to United States, South Africa, Ghana and Jordan. She is adept at conceptualizing on a vast variety of scales and surroundings.


Team Advisors

Anthony Smith
M.Pl., B.A. (Hons.), RPP (Candidate)

Anthony is a Transportation Planner in the WSP | MMM Group Active Transportation Team. His career goal is to help create and connect healthy, sustainable and prosperous places for people to live, work, learn and play. Anthony specializes in the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to conduct advanced spatial analysis and visualization to support meaningful community engagement and evidence-based decision-making.

Armando J. Lopes
B.U.R.Pl, MCIP, RPP

Armando is an Associate and Urban Designer with MHBC, joining the firm in 2007. Armando graduated from Ryerson University with a Bachelors Degree in Urban and Regional Planning (BURPl). Armando provides a variety of planning analysis, research, and urban design roles with a focus on project management for a variety of aggregate, commercial, residential and industrial clients throughout Ontario.

Eldon Theodore
MUDS, MCIP, RPP, LEED AP

Eldon is a Partner with MHBC specializing in urban design and sustainability. Eldon holds an Honours Bachelor Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Urban Design Studies from the University of Toronto. Eldon’s experience includes a broad range of projects related to urban design, intensification, master planning, community design and architectural control guidelines, community planning policy preparation, design concept development, visioning exercises, community engagement and public consultation.

Kiran Chhiba
BES (Planning), MUD, MCIP, RPP

Kiran is an urban designer and registered planner with a diverse range of experiences in both the public and private sector. Throughout his career, he has focused on the progressive change in physical planning and design on a variety of scales. This includes the design interface between built form and the public realm. Through these exercises Kiran has actively engaged in architectural, landscape architectural, planning, infrastructural and consultation led projects, under a wider variety of contexts. These complex assignments are commonly multi-disciplinary and showcase a number of diverse opportunities and challenges.

Melissa Kosterman
MCIP, RPP, LEED AP

Melissa is a planner and urban designer with over seven years of professional experience. She has technical knowledge of planning policy frameworks and implementation mechanisms and has assisted in a variety of urban design, landscape architecture, planning, and environmental design projects, both private and public. Her experience includes coordinating day-to-day project tasks, creating visual simulations and renderings (both 2-D and 3-D) of design concepts, qualitative research, policy analysis, reporting and public consultation. Some areas of expertise include streetscapes, plazas, urban design and main street design.

Raj Mohabeer
OALA, RPP, MCIP, CSLA, AICP, ASLA, LEED AP

Raj is a strategic lead for urban design and city solutions for WSP | MMM. His inclusive and engaging approach to design focuses on creating places of enduring value from main street streetscapes to regional corridors and transit nodes. He has been responsible for the planning through detail design of $100M of streetscapes throughout Canada and the US as well as numerous small scale downtown plans. Mr. Mohabeer is skilled in developing implementable urban solutions for hard and soft infrastructure assets that shape intensification based on community values and goals.