Awards & Honours
Six Points Interchange
2018: RAIC National Urban Design Awards, Certificate of Merit, Urban Design Plans
2018: Consulting Engineers of Ontario Award of Merit
2017: Toronto Urban Design Award of Merit
2015: Toronto Urban Design Award of Merit
2015: Canadian Institute of Planners Award for Planning Excellence
2013: Institute of Transportation Engineers for the Toronto Section Project of the Year Award
Thompson Economic Diversification Plan
2014: Award of Planning Excellence. Canadian Institute of Planners
2014: Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Award for Community Engagement and Environmental Excellence, Finalist. Mining Association of Canada (2014)
Lawrence-Allen Revitalization Plan
2011: Award for Excellence in Planning. Ontario Professional Planners Institute
Greater Amman Municipality Zoning Regime
2010: Award for Planning Excellence – International Development. Canadian Institute of Planners
“Shaping the Toronto Region”
2009: Award for Planning Excellence – Planning Publication. Canadian Institute of Planners
40R Shaftesbury Avenue
2009: Award of Excellence. Ontario Association of Architects
Amman Master Plan Project
2008: Award for Planning Excellence (Honorable Mention) – International Development. Canadian Institute of Planners
Drew Sinclair, Principal
2008: Canada Council Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners
The Amman Plan
2007: World Leadership Award for Town Planning. World Leadership Forum
Places to Grow: The Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe
2007: Daniel Burnham Award. American Planning Association
2007: Award for Planning Excellence – Re-urbanization. Canadian Institute of Planners
Evergreen at the Brick Works Master Plan
2007: Award of Excellence, Urban and Community Design. Ontario Professional Planners Institute
2006: “Brownie” Award for Brownfields Redevelopment – Best Project, Heritage/Adaptive Reuse. Canadian Urban Institute
John van Nostrand, Principal – for Contributions to the City’s Vitality
2004: Jane Jacobs Award. Ideas That Matter
Ashbridges Bay Treatment Plant
2004: National Citation – Site Design. Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
2004: Planning Honor Award – Site Design. The Waterfront Centre (Washington DC)
2002: Award of Excellence – Site Design. Canadian Architect
Making Waves: Principles for Building Toronto’s Waterfront
2002: Peter Bloodoff Award of Excellence. Canadian Institute of Planners
York University Computer Science Building
Governor General’s Medal. Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
Evergreen at the Brick Works Master Plan
2004: Award of Excellence, Urban and Community Design. Ontario Professional Planners Institute
Fort Erie Gateway Master Plan
2001: Award of Excellence (Hon. Mention). Ontario Association of Architects
Pro-Home: A Planned, Progressive Approach to Affordable Housing
2001: Award of Excellence. Ontario Professional Planners Institute
St. George St Revitalization
1997: Urban Design Award. City of Toronto
West Bank Development Project – East London, South Africa
1995: Association Award for International Excellence. CIDA/Canadian Exporters
Queen/Sackville Non-Profit Housing
1994: Design Award. City of Toronto
Seaton Community Plan
1994: First Place – International Competition. Province of Ontario
Salvation Army Scarborough Citadel
1993: Award of Excellence. Canadian Architect
Bill White Cooperative Housing
1992: Design Award. Ontario Association of Architects
Lesotho Urban Upgrading Project
1991: World Habitat Award. Building & Social Housing Foundation
1991: Award of Excellence. Canadian Institute of Planners
SvN is one of Canada’s premier integrated planning and design firms with a multidisciplinary team of over 80 architects, planners, urban designers and landscape architects engaged with the dynamic social, economic and environmental forces that define and govern where we live and work.
Since our original inception over 40 years ago, we continue to shape the built environment in regions, cities, and towns across Canada and worldwide. We’ve revitalized industrial waterfronts, developed many new forms of affordable housing, designed resilient neighbourhoods, and promoted rural and urban economic development.
As an integrated full-service firm, we guide public- and private-sector projects from conception to implementation. We are unique in providing design-intensive services that resolve complex issues such as land-use regulations, regional infrastructure requirements, or community development.
SvN is an architecture and planning firm.
We can anticipate all the challenges that come with complex projects and develop robust, context-specific, flexible, and resilient solutions. We tackle challenging city-building projects where there are no ready-made solutions.
SvN are market leaders in housing and mobility.
As a design-focused practice, SvN believes transit corridors and mobility hubs should require the same kind of attention to design thinking as iconic cultural buildings, celebrated public parks and grand boulevards. We work with public-sector development agencies and private developers, leading them through the complexities of designing, building and owning housing projects. Our knowledge of the marketplace allows us to maximize public and private investments, unlock the development potential of underutilized sites, and minimize risk. SvN has worked in almost all the significant transit-corridors across Toronto and the GTA. Our mobility practice team supports transit-oriented development by unlocking growth opportunities influenced by housing, community amenities, complete streets and designing for a public realm that encourages future growth and livability.
SvN’s approach is people-focused.
We start by talking to people, listening to them and connecting with their concerns. A people-focused approach creates people-focused design solutions. Our process helps clients understand and appreciate the social context for every project, thereby increasing its success. The most challenging design issues are resolved through effective dialogue.
SvN builds relationships.
SvN builds successful relationships between communities, landowners, developers and the government to create a better city for all. We design meaningful community engagement processes that respect residents, providing them with a sense of agency and connection to their community. Building relationships includes helping clients forge creative partnerships that generate opportunities for projects and neighbourhoods.
Our team is motivated to positively impact the built environment and take creative risks when necessary, as we work together. We operate as a team that chooses its members for what they bring to the table: every person plays a critical role in achieving our collective success. As a collective, we are energized by competition. We love to win, learn from each other, and continuously improve and prepare. It's the spirit that underpins everything we do.
Our Shared Purpose
Our shared purpose is a belief system that clients trust, partners appreciate, and talent recognizes. At SvN, we endeavour to tackle the most pressing issues of our time. We think beyond our disciplines' bounds and infuse our work with research and innovation to achieve meaningful, catalytic results. Every project has ripples and the ability to positively impact communities at a social, physical and economic level. Our motivation to transform big ideas into better housing, better mobility and better communities guides everything we do, including our work and the people we hire. By focusing on opportunities that reimagine how people live, we foster value-driven relationships with partners, clients and staff who share a similar optimism and vision for the future.
Our Values Drive Our Purpose.
To achieve a meaningful impact, the following values comprise the unique characteristics that embody our team when we are at our best:
1. Listen First. We listen without dogma because any idea could form part of a great solution. We seek to understand the context as a starting place.
2. Consider Everything. Meaningful spaces can be derived from even the most seemingly banal of places.
3. Do Your Best. Give everything you have.
4. Finish Strong. We believe the last minute is as important as the first.
5. Be Human. We're in the business of people, after all. Respect is universal. Remain thoughtful and connected to each other at all times.
SvN offers a range of full-scope architecture, interior design, retrofit, programming and construction management services for public and private projects, especially within mixed-use developments. Our approach focuses on user experience and the creation of environments that reflect the culture and identity of our clients. Our flexible designs for housing, mixed-use communities, schools, churches, community-based institutions and public spaces allow for incremental changes in program and building use to be realized over time. We have a history of initiating and realizing projects that fill critical gaps in the market, and that are sensitive and adaptable to evolving cultures and contexts to ensure the immediate and long-term health of communities.
Conceptual & Schematic Designs
Our team prepares concept design and schematics for our clients that illustrate the scale and character of a proposed development, including site plans, rendered massing models, basic floor plans, sections, elevations, and project statistics.
Using the client-approved Concept Design, we prepare all application material necessary for government approvals and building permits, including building design drawings, renderings, rendered elevations, shadow impact studies and project statistics.
Construction Drawings & Tendering Packages
We revise and update permit drawings based on feedback from government agencies as well as specific client requirements. We coordinate with technical consultants to prepare supporting documentation and reports as necessary and, we integrate additional requirements, such as storm water management, site servicing and landscape strategies, into a comprehensive construction and tender package. We support our clients throughout the bidding process.
We manage the project, including change orders, throughout the construction process. We attend off- and on-site meetings with the client and the contractor team to ensure the project remains on budget and on schedule.
Renderings & Visualizations
Our in-house technical team prepares conceptual design and visualizations including plans, elevations / cross-sections, and perspective renderings.
SvN offers comprehensive planning, approvals and development management to governments, landowners and non-governmental organizations. Our experience working from concept through to construction allows us to guide our clients at each stage of a project, anticipating the challenges that come with complex development. We take an integrated approach to planning that strengthens and improves the relationships between buildings, landscape and infrastructure.
Application Peer Review
SvN applies our comprehensive expertise of planning and design processes to review and evaluate private development applications on behalf of public sector clients.
Policy & Regulation Review
We apply our thorough understanding of the governmental and regulatory context to develop studies and public policy instruments.
SvN undertakes site analysis studies, from site scale up to secondary plan scale. We work with developers and public agencies to complete due diligence and Highest and Best Use Studies for their lands.
Highest & Best Use
We work with developers, governmental agencies and non-profit organizations to complete due diligence and Highest and Best Use Studies for their lands, based on a comprehensive analysis of the policy and regulatory framework, site conditions and contextual considerations, and recent and ongoing developments while acknowledging the desired development program.
We leverage our knowledge and expertise in policy interpretation to assist clients in the acquisition, due diligence, planning, design and development of strategic properties. We also are experts in neighbourhood design and are able to help clients understand the potential of properties in stable areas where more modest growth is anticipated.
We provide feasibility planning, development advisory and approvals risk management for our clients. As an interdisciplinary team that contributes to the design and architecture of a project, we are able to identify risks in early design development and conceptual site layout stages. We help to shape and form the thinking on the site layout and building design in a way that reduces and minimizes the amount of approvals required. We give our clients a comprehensive view of planning approval milestones within the project’s life cycle, so they can anticipate the timing and resources required to support various approvals within the overall construction schedule.
Public & Stakeholder Engagement
We lead innovative and engaging public and stakeholder consultation sessions that are tailored to meet project-specific requirements. SvN understands that engagement requires a compelling narrative, graphics, and presentation materials to improve understanding and achieve buy-in. We have the experience required to work through what might be sensitive and complex discussions with multi-stakeholder groups.
We provide our clients with comprehensive support for approvals, includes the creation of clear, high quality documentation for amendments to Official Plans, Zoning By-laws and Building Codes; preparing planning and urban design rationales; and coordinating and managing development applications at the Site, Subdivision and Condominium scales.
Negotiation & Dispute Resolution
We provide mediation services to assist municipal clients throughout the negotiation and dispute resolution process.
Evidence & Expert Testimony
We have a proven track-record of using sound, rational arguments to prepare witness statements, visual exhibits and other evidence, and providing expert testimony services to support the vision of municipal clients throughout the development application appeals process.
We help our municipal clients manage risks associated with P3 projects. Our expertise in managing complex development processes means that we can help avoid delays in project approvals and regulatory processes, which can undermine project feasibility and increase project costs.
Urban Design Overview
SvN offers a range of urban design and landscape architecture services related to placemaking, master planning and public realm improvement. We work with governments, institutions, developers and community-based organizations to create complete and compact neighbourhoods, active and public transit infrastructure, and vibrant public spaces. Our designs are sensitive to local history, environments and cultures—allowing people to maintain an ongoing sense of connection to their community as it grows and evolves.
Urban Design Briefs & Guidelines
We prepare detailed design guidelines to advance policy goals and objectives, specifically those related to the design of streetscapes, public spaces, neighbourhoods, nodes, corridors, centres and employment districts. We apply our combined technical and design expertise to create effective and comprehensive guidelines for projects in areas subject to intensification through to greenfield development.
Streetscape and Public Realm Designs
We have a long history of planning, designing and building streetscapes, building facades, public spaces, the spaces between buildings, open spaces, and active transportation. SvN’s complete streets projects such as the Bloor Street Revitalization, St George Street Revitalization, and Six Points Interchange demonstrate the firm’s leadership and understanding of urban and transportation design issues and potential.
We plan and design for transit at all scales – regions, corridors, multi-modal hubs, stations, streets and plazas. We take a systems approach to the planning and design of infrastructure, integrating multiple development priorities while preserving and enhancing the quality of the overall landscape. Key projects include Eglinton Connects; Dundas Connects; Metrolinx Hurontario LRT and Kipling Mobility Hub Study.
We prepare comprehensive plans for communities, ranging from high-density urban infill projects in areas subject to intensification, through to greenfield development resulting in sustainable, complete communities.
Park and Open Space Designs
We plan and design for a range of parks and open spaces that vary in typology in scale (from small to large), character (from naturalized to urban), and programming (from passive to active). Our designs are strongly rooted in the connection between people and places and create destinations that serve local, city-wide and regional needs. We account for all technical aspects of a site and employ the highest standards for stormwater management, including thorough use of Low Impact Development Stormwater Management Planning and Design Guide.
Renderings and Visualizations
Our in-house technical team prepares conceptual design and visualizations including plans, elevations / cross-sections, and perspective renderings.
- Birchmount Green
- Bird Construction
- Brenyon Way Charitable Foundation
- C Squared Properties
- Campus Living Centres
- Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)
- Castlepoint Numa
- Chartwell Retirement Residences
- City of Guelph
- City of Hamilton
- City of Markham
- City of Mississauga
- City of Pickering
- City of Toronto
- City of Vaughan
Cochrane District Social Services Board (CDSSAB)
- Conservatory Group
- Crown Realty
- Cushman and Wakefield
- Discovery Homes
- Durham College
- Habitat for Humanity
- Halloway Holdings
- Halton Region Community Housing Corporation
- Hamilton Community Foundation
- Impressions Group
- Infrastructure Ontario
- Main and Main
- Manitoba Centennial Centre Corporation
- Niagara Region
- North York General Hospital
- ONE Properties
- Ontario Ministry of Health
- Ontario Ministry of Infrastructure
- Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
- Ontario Realty Corporation
- Options for Homes
- Pemberton Group
- Petro MaxX
- Ports Toronto
- RioCan REIT
- River Oaks Group
- Saint Elizabeth Healthcare
- Slate Communications
- SmartCentres REIT
- TAS Design Build
- Toronto Community Housing Corporation
- Toronto Region Conservation Authority
- Toronto Transit Commission
- Town of Halton Hills
- Town of Newmarket
- Town of Whitby
- Trent University
- Trillium Housing
- Triple Group of Companies
- Trolleybus Urban Development
- Turner Construction
- University of Toronto
- Valentine Coleman
- Vandyk Group
- Waterfront Toronto
- Western Asset Management
For all positions and career inquiries, please send your resume and portfolio to
Join our Team!
SvN is a dynamic multidisciplinary culture-driven practice comprised of over 80 talented individuals. We are diverse team of architects, urban planners, urban designers and landscape architects. SvN is always interested in meeting exceptional design professionals eager to work in areas of housing, mobility and community. If you enjoy working in a dynamic environment and are looking for an opportunity to become part of a stellar team of professionals, we invite you to apply today.
The role of the Senior Planner is to work with the SvN team to deliver pragmatic and forward-thinking plans, reports and strategies, with a goal to re-setting the relationship between residential and non-residential buildings, mixed-use communities, landscape and infrastructure. The Planner will run innovative, amazing and profitable development and planning files and assist with procuring a mix of public and private sector projects in order to evolve the Planning and Design Practices.
Seamlessly marry the practices of planning and design;
Lead a range of development studies and planning approvals projects for both public and private sector clients;
Work with the Architecture team to analyse the development potential of various sites and incorporate good planning principles into SvN’s designs;
Collaborate with the Planning and Urban Design teams to pursue, execute and deliver strategic plans and dynamic policy documents rooted in a deep understanding of the implications on the built environment;
Mentor and supervise the work of planners with less work experience, to facilitate their continued growth within the planning profession;
Work with colleagues to broaden the area of practice to tackle critical urban issues;
Increase SvN’s visibility through articles and publications; awards submissions; presentations; networking; and participation in the broader community of planning + design professionals.
Qualifications / Core Areas of Expertise
Master's Degree in Planning;
Minimum six years of experience in urban planning in North America; development planning and approvals experience in Toronto and the GTA an asset;
Ability to naturally marry the practice of planning + design;
Fluent and deep experience with Provincial, Regional and Municipal Policy (Growth Planning, Supportive ‘Infrastructure’ Planning (e.g. Transportation and Movement, Housing), secondary plans, framework plans, hub/ corridor studies, etc.);
Development Planning and Planning Approvals Management expertise, including the authorship or coordination of planning rationales, design justifications, and other planning reports required for municipal approvals;
Community Design experience (Area Specific Design Framework + Policy Development + Parameters for the Built and Public Realm Environments);
Solid understanding of the range of Housing issues and priorities in the City of Toronto including the delivery of affordable housing, seniors housing, and neighbourhood infill;
Experience in the following areas is an asset: Public-Private Partnerships/ Third-Party Delivery Mechanisms; Development Management; Social and Environmental Sustainability Planning + Design.
SvN Architects + Planners is a studio based in Downtown Toronto that has intentionally assembled a preeminent team of over 55 planners, urban designers, landscape architects and architects to develop design solutions for the critical urban issues of our time. Our practice is growing and we are seeking a Senior Planner to work in deep collaboration with the Management and Studio to advance planning as a spatial practice - with a core purpose of developing a sustainable model for city-building.
SvN was formed in 2015 through the amalgamation of the work (and brands) of planningAlliance and regionalArchitects, assuring continuity of an ‘integrated’ planning and design practice founded in 1978. Since its inception, SvN’s primary foci have remained policy and design around the primary issues facing our rapidly changing urban and regional environments- in our present day milieu, our work is uniquely focused on housing and mobility.
SvN offers comprehensive planning, approvals and development management to governments, landowners, transit authorities and non-governmental organizations. We work in towns, cities and regions experiencing rapid growth, transitioning social structures and changing economies, at home and internationally.
Our experience working from the gathering of constraint information and formation of vision, to the formation of concept, development of “framework” (policy or design), through to construction, allows us to provide a unique suite of services. We work at nearly every scale and from project conception through completion, anticipating at all stages the challenges that come with complex development.
We take an integrated approach to planning that is not limited to managing a good, policy-oriented process, but one that is rigorous, creative, respectful and comprehensive. We deliver work that results in pragmatic and forward-thinking community design with a goal to re-set the relationship between buildings, landscape and infrastructure.
Compensation and Benefits
SvN offers a competitive salary, full health benefits, a generous professional development allowance and a group retirement savings plan. Our airy, bright suite of offices is at 110 Adelaide Street East, near the St. Lawrence market in downtown Toronto, although working from home would be required at this point.
An Inclusive Environment
As an employer committed to employment equity, SvN encourages applications from members of equity-seeking communities including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions. We encourage members of equity-seeking groups to self-identify within their cover letter in their application.
How to Apply
Interested candidates are invited to apply through LinkedIn or by sending a cover letter, CV and examples of planning rationales you have written to email@example.com with subject line Senior Planner Sept 2020. While we thank all applicants for their interest, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted. No telephone calls please.