Rick Merrill BArch MSc, OAA, MCIP, RPP

Rick is a Partner and urban designer at The Planning Partnership.  Rick is trained and has practiced as both an architect and a planner over the past 40 years. In addition to his Canadian Memberships, he is a registered architect in the United States. Rick develops feasibility studies, urban design guidelines, community design plans and architectural controls as well as regularly assisting with workshops and charrettes.

Rick is ideally suited to projects that combine design and planning experience. Rick has worked on projects ranging from the design of office, residential and mixed-use buildings to the planning and design new communities to infill housing. He has the unique background of implementing large scale building projects as well as large urban and suburban master plans.

Rick’s experience includes:
• Corridor Studies such as the Houston Transit Corridor Studies, Aurora Promenade and the Richmond Hill Downtown Study.
• Transit oriented development studies including Shaker Heights in Cleveland Ohio, the Houston LRT system and studies for the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) in Toronto.
• Urban Design Guidelines such as those for Cornell South, Greensborough, Berczy Village in Markham, Ontario, Main Gerrard Community in the City of Toronto, Riverview Heights in Brampton, and Goderich Downtown Master Plan.
• Avenue Studies and Segment studies for Queen Street, Dundas Street, Danforth Avenue and Dufferin Street in Toronto.

Dan Leeming BA, Dip CP, MES, FCIP, RPP

Dan is a founding partner of The Planning Partnership and has worked on the design and development of new towns and various sizes of planned communities for private and public agencies throughout Ontario and the United States over his 35 years of experience. His areas of expertise include community planning, from regional to neighbourhood scale with the application of urban design, sustainable initiatives and facilitation to create meaningful and complete communities while satisfying the needs of the marketplace. Dan is currently working on the sustainability and urban design programs for three major communities in Ontario. Many of his projects have received awards, not only from Provincial and National Planning Associations, but from private sector building and development organizations.

Dan also works with various universities, is an adjunct professor at the University of Guelph, and teaches Urban Design at the University of Toronto. He has authored several articles for the Ontario Planning Journal on topics such as changing energy needs, public health and urban design, our aging society and innovation in community design.

As an active and founding member of the Urban Design Working Group within the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, as well as the new national organization on Canadian Urbanism (CanU), he is currently the Vice Chair of the Toronto Urban Design Review Board, and member of the Mississauga Urban Design Advisory Panel. Dan also co-chairs the Canadian LEED-ND review committee which will introduce a new credit rating system in 2010.

Donna Hinde BES, MLA, FCSLA

Donna is a partner with The Planning Partnership. She is recognized for her skills in designing a sound approach to consultation that ensures a well-managed study process and, most important, meaningful input for the design team. The Planning Partnership uses an intensely collaborative process for all of their physical design projects.  Donna has facilitated hundreds of public consultation programs over the past 15 years when she adopted a more intensely collaborative approach. Donna now regularly provides expertise in public consultation and mediation to other firms for their complex design projects.

Donna is a member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and a fellow with the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. She is the past President of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. She is also a member of the International Association of Public Participation Practitioners and has recently been designated as a certified charrette planner by the National Charrette Institute in Portland, Oregon. She has taught in the landscape architecture schools at the University of Toronto and University of Guelph.

David Leinster BLA, FCSLA, RPP

David is a planner and landscape architect. He is a graduate of the Architecture Landscape and Design Faculty at the University of Toronto.  He has worked on urban revitalization projects in communities across North American, focusing on place making in the public realm and on developing pedestrian priority strategies such as providing access to transit, recreational facilities, and other community amenities.  David has prepared public realm master plans for both the Regent Park and Lawrence Heights revitalization projects in Toronto.  Currently, he is leading a team of consultants on the West Don Lands public realm master plan for Waterfront Toronto, the site for the 2015 Pan Am Village.  He is also leading the design for the ‘Big Park’ Park at Regent Park and working with Harold Madi on the Union Station Plaza and John Street Transformation.

David is Past President of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and currently sits on the City of Toronto’s Public Art Advisory Committee, the City of Ottawa’s Urban Design Review Panel and the Regent Park Design Review Panel.  In 2005 he served as a juror for both the City of Ottawa and the City of Vaughan’s Urban Design Awards and in 2007 on the City of Toronto’s Urban Design Awards Jury.

Ron Palmer BES, MCIP, RPP

Ron has been a planning consultant in Ontario for over 25 years.  He specializes in innovative and award winning planning policy documents, implementing the firm’s community design and urban design strategies.  Ron has been instrumental in most of the firm’s award winning projects.  Recently he was a key team member in the preparation of new Official Plans in Orillia, Aurora, Ajax and Grimsby.  Ron has also been involved in the preparation of numerous Secondary Plans in Markham, Richmond Hill, Georgina, Vaughan, Aurora, Ajax, Ottawa, Oakville, Burlington, Niagara Falls and Pelham.

For the past 10 years, Ron has been focused on the important link between land use planning and the development of transit.  His work in the City of Houston, Texas will result in that City’s first ever Zoning By-law applicable to the 6 new LRT Lines that transect Houston’s City Centre.  Transit Oriented Development projects in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and in Toronto, as well as new Town Centre’s in Oakville, Vaughan and Nepean have allowed him to explore an array of leading edge planning tools and techniques.  In addition, Ron has tremendous experience in Downtown Revitalization and Waterfront Planning.  He has successfully defended his work at numerous Ontario Municipal Board hearings over the past 15 years.

Ron has been a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph.  He is currently a member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Planning Preservation and Urban Design Committee of the Bloor-Yorkville Business Improvement Area.

Wai Ying Di Giorgio BLA, OALA

Wai Ying has over 18 years of combined experience in landscape architecture and urban design, ranging in scale from high-level community planning to detailed site plan design. She has extensive experience preparing urban design guidelines, development plans, park designs, and streetscape strategies for both private and public sector clients. Wai Ying has a strong understanding of the policy framework and municipal processes by way of which planning, design and development occur. She regularly works on projects and studies that involve multidisciplinary teams and has a demonstrated ability to bring together diverse groups to work collaboratively, assuming various roles from project management to design and coordination.

Bruce Hall BES, MCIP, RPP

Over his 20 years of experience as a land use planner and development consultant, Bruce has worked extensively with both public- and private-sector clients, lending him a uniquely balanced approach to planning and development. He has been involved in the preparation of major planning research, policy studies, and land use and zoning regulations for municipalities and other government agencies across the province. Bruce has also provided strategic advice and consulting services to developers, investors, and landowners and has coordinated multidisciplinary teams in the development of residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects

Planners and Designers