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2019 OALA Awards

Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence

This award recognizes an OALA member and his or her professional work. It singles out specific projects to draw attention to a body of work which demonstrates outstanding professional accomplishment.

Carolyn Woodland

Carolyn Woodland has accomplished a mighty lot in her 43 years of practice. Her time as a landscape architect includes 26 years as a private practitioner with the firm Hough Woodland, Naylor, Dance, Leinster.

She left this practice to carry on her work for another 17 years at the Toronto Region Conservation Authority. These years of work, in private and public practice, demonstrates a remarkable career and body of outstanding work. A career that makes Carolyn very deserving of this award.

Carolyn Woodland was a Partner of the awarding winning firm – Hough Woodland Naylor Dance Leinster – with over 26 years of private sector consulting experience. From 1992 to 2002 she was the President of the firm and responsible for, or contributed significantly to most of the firm’s ground breaking assignments.

As both a landscape architect and registered planner she conducted a broadly based practice in development feasibility, urban design, and conservation management. She was the Chair of the Advisory Committee for Planning, Design and Realty for the National Capital Commission and was an adjunct professor at the University of Toronto in the joint architecture/landscape architecture program in the 1990s.

During her presidency of Hough Woodland Naylor Dance Leinster, the firm demonstrated how ecology can be elegantly integrated into urban projects. These principles were adopted by City of Toronto and other agencies such as the Royal Commission on the Future of the Toronto Waterfront, the Waterfront Regeneration Trust and the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation. She worked in partnership with the late Michael Hough as they developed early strategies to rejuvenate the Don River and the Toronto Portlands – including the Ecological Restoration for the Lake Ontario Greenway Study.

She also co-authored ‘Restoring Natural Habitat’s for the Waterfront Regeneration Trust, and demonstrated the restoration techniques through the firm’s in the design of Humber Bay Shores Waterfront Park.

She was the partner responsible for significant environmental planning and design initiatives in other areas of the GTA including the Arsenal Lands Park in Mississauga, Rouge Valley Park Management Plan, and the Redhill Valley Project Visual Assessment and Landscape Management Plan.

Carolyn’s professional awards and accolades are on screen for you to appreciate the magnitude of her accomplishments and respect by the profession nationally.

Carolyn started her public practice career in 2002, when she joined the TRCA working with governments, businesses, and individuals to build a greener, cleaner, healthier place to live, as well as protecting and restoring the health of the 9 watersheds that form the Toronto region, the Oak Ridges Moraine, and the Lake Ontario waterfront along its southern boundary.

Although she recently left TRCA and looks forward to new life adventures, her tenure surely has left meaningful contribution. As Senior Director, Planning and Development she has overseen the environmental planning, nature based recreation planning and management, archaeology and cultural heritage protection, development review, policy and environmental assessment functions within 18 municipalities in our jurisdiction.

She and her team prepared the award winning “The Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of TRCA”, setting new design and technical standards for green infrastructure and most recently completed the Toronto Ravine strategy

She was also significantly involved in the 2015 Coordinated Land Use Planning Review, which was led by David Crombie. This work was critical to enhancing the protection of the Greenbelt.

Carolyn was also instrumental in leading the Albion Hills Conservation Area Master Plan. She also directed the recently completed TRCA Trail Strategy for the Toronto Region, advocating a fully integrated trail network system in Greenspace that connects the Lake Ontario shoreline to the Oak Ridges Moraine and Niagara Escarpment.

Carolyn Woodland has made a profound difference towards the environment, her community, and the profession of Landscape Architecture over a long professional life. She has always promoted the profession of Landscape Architecture in both public and private practice, as well as working for an improved understanding and appreciation of the work landscape architects can provide to improving the public realm and protecting the environment.


Public Practice Award

This award recognizes the outstanding leadership of a member of the profession in public practice who promotes and enhances landscape architecture by working for improved understanding and appreciation of the work of landscape architects in both public and private practice.

Barbara Magee Turner

City of Waterloo

In 1991 Barb left private practice with Moorehead Fleming Corban and Partners (for those of you not aware this was a predecessor firm of Forrec) to start her career at the City of Waterloo in a management role in Engineering Services. She was one of the first landscape architects hired by the City of Waterloo.

Barb is credited with forging the valuable Landscape Architectural component of Waterloo’s municipal operations and capital programs. With her influential, quiet leadership and great perseverance, she has built the City of Waterloo landscape architecture staff to ten.

During the course of Barb’s 28 years at the City of Waterloo her city planning and policy contributions have been integral to Waterloo’s transition to a metropolis with height and density targets that focuses and directs future growth.

A sample of projects that she has either led or has made significant contributions to that have helped lay this groundwork include:

  • Rim Park Recreation Centre
  • Barrel Warehouse Park
  • Implementation of Wonders of Winter
  • University of Waterloo Research and Technology Park.
  • The Redevelopment of Waterloo Town Square
  • Uptown Public Square
  • King Street Streetscape
  • Waterloo’s Parkland Strategy

Barb led the way with the establishment of Waterloo’s “Spruce Up Your City” program encouraging the installation of native plant materials by homeowners, and the development of a process to ensure parks and open spaces across Waterloo are constructed to a consistent standard

Barb you have certainly illustrated over the years through your municipal work the value of a geographer, a Manitoba grad and most of all a conscientious landscape architect can accomplish.

Steve Bodrug

City of Brampton

After several years in private practice, Steve in the early 1990’s switched to a career in public practice, progressively moving up to his current position of Manager of Parks Projects & Central Operations at the City of Brampton.

As a landscape architect with 30-years of public service, Steve constantly strives for the improvement of city-building and quality of life for Bramptonians, by working to improve design standards, and seeking to elevate the discussion of landscape architecture. By advocating for its use in the realm of Planning, Engineering and the Political Arena, he is pushes the boundaries beyond “WHAT CAN BE” to “WHAT SHOULD BE” done, including advocacy for cutting edge technologies to promote environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles to reflect changing public needs.

A most recent example of those efforts to push the realms of possibilities is found in Brampton’s Creditview Park Activity Hub. This 8,000 square metre themed outdoor recreational facility is the first of its kind to be fully AODA compliant for persons with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. The Hub also uses many new environmental approaches for capturing and reusing on-site water runoff and incorporating virtual technology to encourage healthy lifestyle choices.

Steve’s efforts and influences are often subtle. Though Steve’s passion is immense and his work tireless, he never takes credit, and regularly focuses the attention toward others, particularly his staff and the public which he ardently serves.


The David Erb Memorial Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service

David Erb was an outstanding volunteer in furthering the goals of OALA. The David Erb Memorial Award for Exemplary Volunteer Service is the best way to acknowledge the one outstanding OALA member each year whose volunteer contributions over a number of years have made a real difference.

Todd Smith

Todd has been a tireless volunteer within the OALA for many years. He has engaged with our profession in various volunteer capacities, mainly focusing on marketing and communications. Some of Todd’s contributions to the OALA are detailed, as follows:

  • Todd has long sustained involvement with the OALA’s GROUND magazine since graduating in 2011. While an Associate, he became a member of the Editorial Board and in 2014, Todd took on the role of Chair (2014-2016).
  • In 2014, Todd led a LARE Workshop to assist candidate landscape architects along their career path.
  • In 2017, when OALA Council initiated the Legacy Task Force to commemorate 50-years of landscape architecture in Ontario, Todd once again stepped forward
  • Todd engaged with the Legacy Task Force and compiled video interviews with notable Ontario-based landscape architects. Published in GROUND Issue 43: Legacy, Todd’s work help to ensure the success of this milestone issue
  • The OALA’s 50th AGM & Conference was combined with the 2018 CSLA Congress and Todd participated in the Organizing Committee.

For all of his significant contributions to the OALA over a sustained period of time the OALA is pleased to present Todd Smith with the David Erb Memorial Award.


The Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution

Jack Copeland was an enthusiastic advocate for Associate members.

The Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution recognizes the outstanding leadership, and contribution of an associate for going above and beyond to assist fellow associates including being an associate representative on OALA Council.

Mark Hillmer

Mark has contributed significantly to the OALA through his volunteer efforts as the Junior Associate Representative on Council, a member and council liaison on the Marketing Committee and as an associate member of the Honours, awards and Protocol Committee. As part of his duties as Associate Representative, Mark has also given his time towards LARE exam information sessions to prepare fellow Associates for exam writing. Mark also volunteers his time providing guest reviews for students in Planning and Landscape Architecture school, and attending the OALA and industry events.

We are pleased to note that a cheque for $500 also accompanies this award to help offset the cost of a LARE exam.


The Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment

The Carl Borgstrom Award for Service to the Environment is given to an individual landscape architect, or landscape architectural group, organization, or agency (as recognized by the OALA) to recognize and encourage a special or remarkable contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment.

Linda Laflamme

Linda joined the Niagara Escarpment Commission as the only Landscape Architect and through her dedicated, consistent and creative input, has had a lasting impact on the direction of the many policies, planning and design decisions of the organization. Linda has developed processes and procedures to make development and planning applications environmentally sound, sustainable, and equitable.

The commitment, persistence and dedication Linda has shown over her years of active involvement within the Niagara Escarpment Commission is truly remarkable, and extremely exemplary within our profession. True unassuming and effective leadership!

Linda has been integral in the creation of visual assessment guidelines that the NEC uses to assist in identifying and evaluating change in the landscape is in keeping with the Niagara Escarpment Planning and Development Act and Niagara Escarpment Plan. Through her involvement in the creation of visual assessment guidelines as well as her day to day environmental stewardship practices it is very apparent that Linda has a deep connection to the environment which she works to protect.

We also congratulate Linda on her fruitful career, as she will be retiring after 35 years as a landscape architect in August 2019.

For all of us here we simply have to look outside at the landscape surrounding the Blue Mountain section of The Escapement to truly appreciate Linda’s work.

Stefan Bolliger

Influenced by Emil Van der Meulen and later Walter Kehm, Stefan became an advocate for cooperative environmental design as the foundation for landscape architecture. It is the concept that ecological, natural resource-based planning and design forms are the very basis for our sustained survival in our rapidly changing natural, rural and urban environments. In 1975 The Open Space Plan for Townsend became the successful test subject for his environmental philosophy.

Additional to a 40-year practice in Landscape Architecture, Stefan’s eagerness to teach evolved into an adjunct professorship at Guelph – imparting aspiring landscape architects with ethics for innovative and sustainable design solutions to integrate social, cultural and ecological values for a sustainable future.

Stefan is also recognized as a pioneer in raising the awareness of environmental design, and promoting the practice of Landscape Architecture to smaller municipalities outside of the GTA. When it comes down to it, Stefan has always acted as a steward of the environment. He has advocated for the preservation of natural spaces even when it may have been controversial to do so.


OALA Service to the Environment Award

The OALA Service to the Environment Award is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario, The award is intended as a public outreach and encouragement, in recognition of a special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment by non-members of the OALA.

There are two levels of recognition in this Award Category that may be given at the discretion of the Honours, Awards and Protocol Committee:

  • OALA Service to the Environment Award – recognizing project excellence
  • A Certificate of Merit for Service to the Environment – recognizing a notable project

OALA Service to the Environment Award – Certificate of Merit

Friends of West Toronto Railpath Project

Scott Dobson, a founder of Friends of West Toronto Railpath Project

Established in 2001 as a non-profit community based citizen-led group, founded by Scott Dobson, with the goal of assisting the City of Toronto in the creation and stewardship of a 6.5 km automobile–free, multipurpose linear corridor, characterized by dynamic natural landscape – running along an abandoned railway line from Toronto’s west end Junction Neighbourhood into the heart of the city.

The 2.4 km first phase was officially opened in October 2009, included native plantings and a 3M wide hard-surface path extending from Cariboo Avenue at the north end to Dundas Street West/Sterling Road at the south.

Aside from the improved unique urban environment, the Friends also provide activities such as “talks and walks”, furthering public awareness and understanding of wild urban landscapes and green infrastructure, the important role that landscape architects provide in such projects.

Phase Two is currently in development and once completed, the West Toronto Railpath will give more than quarter million Torontonians a sustainable and ecological transportation link with the downtown core, providing habitat for urban wildlife, public safety and community enhancements, all values supported by the OALA.


OALA Service to the Environment Award

Michael Harrison

A strong advocate of Toronto area rivers and watersheds, Michael Harrison has dedicated over two decades researching, communicating, and advancing the cultural and environmental history of the GTA’s lost rivers and associated landscapes.

Raised in Etobicoke, Michael took a strong interest in the protection and preservation of waterfront areas of Humber Bay, Mimico, New Toronto and Long Branch as well as Etobicoke and Mimico Creeks.

Michael’s research and writings includes:

  • Toward the Ecological Restoration of South Etobicoke, 1996, which documented the environmental history of the area and proposed a number of restoration projects – with support from the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • “The Vanishing Creeks of Southern Etobicoke” for the 2008 book HTO: Toronto’s Water from Lake Iroquois to Lost Rivers to Low-flow Toilets, 2008.

Michael’s efforts have led to many positive environmental and landscape changes along the waterfront and watersheds. Michael is persistent, hands on, strong but respectful in his approach following appropriate channels to advocate for change – submitting applications to designate historical properties under the Ontario Heritage Act, writing letters to councillors, contacting developers, deputing at council meetings and TRCA Watershed Committees and leading walking tours to advocate for daylighting and restoration of lost creeks in the Etobicoke area.

Michael has also served on several local NGO’s and heritage committees and was a founding member and President of the Citizens Concerned About the Future Of The Etobicoke Waterfront for over 10 years.

Thank-you Michael for your contribution to the environment, historical and cultural awareness and support of the environment.


OALA Research and Innovation Award

The OALA Research & Innovation Award recognizes the outstanding leadership, research and/or academic achievements of a member(s), or non-member(s), who, through scholarly activities, including academic papers, research, publications, books, e-applications or public presentations, contributes to the knowledge base that furthers the advancement of the art, the science and the practice of landscape architecture.

Dr. Nadia Amoroso

Dr. Amoroso achievements have reached international acclaim as a current-day pioneer with her research that focuses on methodologies in landscape architecture specifically related to creative and analytical modes of visual communication in landscape architecture and education.

Her scholarly publications profile innovative landscape architects, researchers and artists who are challenged by traditional landscape design and seek digital and hybrid applications in response to design communication complexities have been translated into numerous languages for student education programs in landscape architecture. Her work on datascapes, has also been endorsed by Richard Saul Wurman, founder of the TED talks, and Mark Aubin, co-founder of Google Earth; making her sought after worldwide to speak at various universities, and academic and industry conferences – a testimony to her work’s scholarly value.


OALA Honourary Member

The Honorary category of membership is for non-landscape architects for whom Council wishes to recognize for outstanding contributions in their own fields to improving the quality of natural and human environments.

Nate Perkins

Nate Perkins has been hiding out at the University of Guelph for over 25 Years. He’s been a solid contributor to the OALA and his accomplishments as an instructor are best represented by his graduates. Nate’s nomination had no fewer than 10 full members and 2 associate members endorsing this nomination. Nate is a landscape architect – just not in Ontario.

Nate is a fellow of the ASLA. In these student review sessions, you can feel Nate’s empathy with the students he has mentored in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. Nate is also a strong advocate for students moving through the LARE process to become full members of the profession.

In 2018, Nate worked with CLARB to increase the number of students graduating from accredited programs through professional licensure with a pilot project where OALA students were permitted to complete LARE exam(s) while completing their degree requirements. A major streamlining of the process assisting students and the profession.

Nate is renowned for his studies and designs of therapeutic care facilities for hospitals – like Homewood Health Centre in Guelph, and many playgrounds and school environments. His real love though is his genuine respect and dedication to the students he has taught.

His work hasn’t all been at the University. Nate has contributed directly to the OALA. This includes substantial work on ushering in a continuing education policy and program in 2007 and implementing the first digital membership survey. Nate has also been an ongoing supporter and prolific contributor to Ground Magazine’s content.

Nate is now retiring after 18 years as Program Coordinator at Guelph.