Canadian Institue Of Planners

Shaping our Communities
Sustaining Canada's Future.

Our History

Presidents from 1919 - Present

Over the years, the following members have served as President of the national Institute:


Over the Years

May 1919

The Town Planning Institute of Canada is founded with an inaugural meeting of 18 members at Ottawa's Chateau Laurier Hotel, with Thomas Adams elected as the first President. The Institute’s main focus is to promote the discipline of planning amid Canada’s hectic post-WWI growth. By 1930, its 367 members include engineers, surveyors, and architects. The bi-monthly Town Planning Journal is established in 1920 to inspire civic leaders to engage in planning, despite little existing statutory requirement to do so.


Lack of growth during the Depression, and then the turbulence of WWII, lead to suspension of the Institute's operations.


A post-war boom and the support of the federal Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation create a demand for planning that leads to the Institute's revival. With many Canadian planners lacking formal training, the Institute formally recognizes planning education programs at four Canadian universities. 


The volunteer-run National Council of the Institute focuses on establishing a solid organization and raising membership standards. Local city-based chapters evolve into regional or provincial chapters. The Plan Canada journal resumes publishing in 1959, and by 1970, national membership reaches 800.


A national office with staff is established in Ottawa in 1970, and a federated national/chapter structure is soon formalized. Renamed the Canadian Institute of Planners in 1974, the association saw membership growing rapidly and several new university degree programs recognized. In 1986, the chapters become Affiliates, recognized as equal partners, assuming most direct membership services.


CIP develops its programs, products services and activities, with a professional Executive Director now in place. The Plan Canada journal is transferred to a professional publisher in 1992, as the national office grows and increases French-language service.


Reciprocity with planning associations in the US and Australia enables Canadian planners to carry their experience to other countries. Since 2006, the Global Planners Network has further extended professional relationships.


CIP celebrates its centenary anniversary and marks the occassion with a number of initiatives to consider the future of the profession and reflect on the past. One initiative, a visual timeline, highlights key people, places, plans, and policies in Canadian planning history. In Plan Canada's Spring 2019 issue, a special section is created for the centenary entitled Our Common Past?: A re-interpretation of Canadian planning histories.


With more than 7,500 members across Canada, CIP conducts professional activities nationally and internationally, with a growing strategic focus on topics that will advance planning practice or that impact the profession.