Alumni Stories

Caroline McKeemckee2

MCIP, RPP Senior Planner

Municipal Services Office, Central Region

Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Written by Caroline McKee

After graduating from the MES, Planning Program at York University, I immediately applied my environmental planning background at the Region of Peel where I worked on rural, environmental and agricultural planning policy.  My time at Peel included working with an advisory committee of council to create the Grown in Peel initiative (http://www.peelregion.ca/planning/gip/) as well as balancing private and public land interests in the Town of Caledon.  Wanting a larger perspective on planning issues and trends, I took my Regional Planning experience and applied it at the Provincial level as a Planner at the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.  While at Municipal Affairs and Housing, I broadened my planning policy experience by working on affordable housing, urban design and planning reform policy.

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Alexandra McDonough

Planner & Researcher, Connector, The Canadian Urban Institute

Interviewed by George Pantazis

At FES, Alexandra pursued her interest in cultural studies but applied it to planning. Her plan of study focused on cultural planning, urban/neighbourhood planning and gentrification. For her cultural planning component, she took courses at York University’s Schulich School of Business in arts and cultural management and cultural policy. Her field experiences consisted of internships and volunteer and work positions at the City of Toronto’s Planning and Economic Development Divisions and the Toronto Environment Office. Her major research paper, entitled “Cultural Planning in Toronto: The Challenges to Implementation and Possibilities for the Future,” looked at how well the relationships between the city departments of culture, economic development, and planning worked, and what the future of cultural planning looks like for Toronto.

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Eric Gallant

Planner, Urban Strategies, Toronto

Interviewed by George Pantazis

Though Eric Gallant graduated from the Planning Program in 2010, planning hadn’t occurred to him during his undergraduate degree in Geography at the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC). A professor at UNBC who had taken into consideration Eric’s interest in urban geography and the environment, recommended York’s Faculty of Environmental Studies. It wasn’t until he’d researched FES that Eric realized planning suited his interests.

“At first,” Eric said, “my plan of study at FES looked broadly at cataloguing the barriers and solutions to achieving environmentally sustainable cities.” As his studies progressed, he focused more closely on food planning and near-urban agriculture, trying to understand why land was continually being converted to suburban development despite seemingly sound policies to protect farm land and encourage compact development. This line of inquiry led him to an investigation of Ontario’s Places to Grow legislation and Canada’s housing industry. His Major Research Paper analyzed the implications of omitting housing policy from growth control policy in the Greater Toronto Area.

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Evelyn Gereegere

Planner Environment and Land Tribunals Ontario

Interviewed by George Pantazis

After completing an Honours Degree in International Development Studies and a Masters of Sociology, Evelyn was looking for a program that would allow her to gain practical yet interdisciplinary skills to further her career as an international development professional. The MES Planning program proved to be just that. Evelyn describes FES’ approach to planning as “planning outside-the-box,” which for her meant taking on emerging, interdisciplinary issues such as environmental planning, social justice, and food planning. During her degree she completed a three-month field placement in Jamaica through York’s International Internship Program in partnership with the Canadian Urban Institute (CUI).  Evelyn regards this as a most valuable career-building opportunity as it gave her hands-on international planning experience, as well as the opportunity to work on an active planning project managed by the CUI.  Evelyn engaged with CUI’s partners Jamaica, and worked as a planner on developing a local sustainable development plan for the region of Manchester, which followed the United Nation’s framework of Local Agenda 21. Her field placement motivated Evelyn to write her Major Research Paper on Local Agenda 21, and the relevance of this relevantly dated planning framework to contemporary urban issues – especially as they relate to food security.

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Alumni Career Paths

Below is a list of where our alumni are employed, illustrating the vastly different and diverse career paths our planning alumni have undertaken:

MUNICIPALITIES

  • City of Abbotsford
  • City of Brampton
  • City of Hamilton
  • City of Mississauga
  • City of Oshawa
  • City of Prince Albert
  • City of St. Catharines
  • City of Toronto
  • City of Vaughan
  • City of Yellowknife
  • Regional Municipality of York
  • Region of Peel
  • Region of Waterloo
  • Town of Ajax
  • Town of Markham
  • Town of Oliver
  • Town of Richmond Hill

PROVINCIAL MINISTRIES

  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care
  • Ontario Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing
  • Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
  • Ontario Ministry of the Environment

GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS

  • Health Canada
  • Metrolinx
  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authorities
  • Toronto Botanical Garden
  • Toronto Community Housing
  • Waterfront Toronto

ACADEMIC

  • Department of Geography, University of Toronto
  • Department of Planning, Queen’s University
  • Environmental Studies, University of Toronto
  • School of Social Work, University of Toronto
  • The City Institute, York University
  • Urban Studies Program, York University

OTHER ORGANIZATIONS

  • Alexander Planning Inc.
  • Armstrong Hunter & Associates
  • Assembly of First Nations
  • B.E.S.T. Recruiting Consultants Ltd.
  • Bluewater Power
  • Brownfields Revitalization, City of Toronto Economic Development Corporation
  • Canadian Urban Institute
  • CB Richard Ellis Group Inc.
  • Community Power Fund
  • Corporation of Delta
  • Delcan Corporation
  • Dillon Consulting
  • Energy Alternatives Ltd.
  • Environmental Defence Canada
  • Fieldgate
  • Friends of Second Marsh
  • Hardy Stevenson and Associates Ltd.
  • Hemson Consulting Inc.
  • IBI Group
  • Lakeview Homes Inc.
  • Malone Given Parsons Ltd.
  • Marcia Chandra Photography
  • McCarthy Tetrault LLP
  • Meloshe and Associates Ltd.
  • MMM Group
  • Morrison Hershfield Consulting
  • Ontario Health Communities Coalition
  • Ontario Realty Corporation
  • planningAlliance
  • Red Pavilion Design
  • RWA Inc.
  • Schneider Power Inc.
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Sometrik Contracting Ltd.
  • SPH Consulting
  • The Planning Partnership
  • Tunnock Consulting Ltd.
  • Urban Strategies Inc.
  • WeirFoulds
  • Weston Consulting
  • Young + Wright Architects Inc.