OTTAWA, Ontario – May 31, 2018 – The Canadian Institute of Planners has honoured eight projects through its annual Awards for Planning Excellence. The awards represent the highest level of recognition the Institute bestows for professional planning, which recognize innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential, and overall presentation. The Institute also bestowed an Award of Merit to nine planning projects.
“On behalf of the Canadian planning community, I congratulate the recipients for their remarkable work,” said Eleanor Mohammed, President of the Canadian Institute of Planners. “Their projects are exciting, forward-thinking, community-oriented, and embody the finest principles of the planning profession.”
In 2018, 48 submissions were received for consideration across 13 categories, inclusive of planning initiatives from across Canada and around the world. Projects were rigorously evaluated over three months by the Award for Planning Excellence Jury, comprised of planning professionals from across the country.
“This year marks the 35th anniversary of our Awards for Planning Excellence,” commented Beth McMahon, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Institute of Planners. “Over this time, we have recognized 213 outstanding professional planning projects and today, we enthusiastically welcome these seventeen new projects to our esteemed roster. We congratulate the individuals and organizations that have led in the development of these planning achievements.”  
Recipients of the 2018 Awards for Planning Excellence and Merit will be formally recognized at the joint Canadian Institute of Planners and Manitoba Professional Planners Institute National Conference in Winnipeg, July 19-22, 2018. For complete event details and registration, please visit
The 2018 Award for Planning Excellence Winners:
City and Regional Planning
Schéma d’aménagement et de développement révisé de la Ville de Laval
Awarded to: Ville de Laval avec la collaboration de Lemay
The jury was excited by the comprehensive approach to land use planning taken by the City of Laval. Many of today’s major planning issues were addressed, resulting in an integrated approach to resolving climate change, food self-sufficiency, affordable housing, heritage protection, and infrastructure challenges.
International Development
Barbados Physical Development Plan Amendment
Awarded to: Urban Strategies Inc.
The Barbados Physical Development Plan Amendment is a bold plan for sustainable growth and development, setting out policies to guide relationships among land uses, built form, natural heritage, cultural heritage, mobility, and national infrastructure. The jury was excited by the comprehensiveness of the analysis and policy direction in the planning process that aims to ensure sustainable growth and development in Barbados.
New and Emerging Planning Initiatives
Love My Hood: Kitchener’s Guide to Great Neighbourhoods
Awarded to: City of Kitchener
In creating Love My Hood, the City of Kitchener took an unprecedented approach to traditional municipal planning. A new vision embraced a simple, yet innovative principle: residents take the lead, and the City supports them along the way. The jury was impressed by the unique methodology for this project; using a passionate group of residents and giving them the tools and permission to engage the community, make decisions, and formulate the action items.
Planning Publications
Comprehensive Community Planning Toolkit: Finding Bimadizowin
Awarded to: NADF in collaboration with CCP Advisory Committee and EcoPlan International Inc.
The Comprehensive Community Planning Toolkit: Finding Bimadizowin is a guide and kit of resources to support better planning in Indigenous communities. The Toolkit was well presented, educational, and visually appealing. It has considerable value as a tool for stakeholder engagement, and for educating non-Indigenous planners about Indigenous traditional knowledge, culture, consensus building traditions, and environmental, cultural, and economic values.
Recreation Planning
Breathe: Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy
Awarded to: City of Edmonton and O2 Planning + Design
Moving beyond simple standards for open space, Breathe: Edmonton’s Green Network Strategy, calls for a robust and comprehensive approach to managing, programming, and promoting the use of a well-connected, multi-functional system of open spaces, which benefits residents and visitors with a wide range of amenities and activities. The jury was impressed by the plan’s support of environmental sustainability and resilience by ensuring ecosystems are protected, and build community by encouraging stewardship of the lands.
Rural/Small Town Planning
Destination Borden-Carleton: Designing a Lasting Impression
Awarded to: Ekistics Plan & Design, Form: Media, Mary Tulle Consulting, Borden Area Development Corporation, Town of Borden-Carleton
The Destination Borden Carleton project is a community building and economic development initiative designed to address the effects of unemployment and the decline of smaller communities, due to changes in resource-related industries and populations moving to larger urban centres. The emphasis on practical and achievable incremental steps to implementing the renewal vision made this document a good model for other rural and small community projects.
Social Planning
Storeys Project – Innovative Affordable Housing Policies in Practice
Awarded to: City of Richmond, Coast Mental Health, Pathways Clubhouse, S.U.C.C.E.S.S., Tikva Housing Society, Turning Point Recovery Society
The Storeys Project (Storeys) exemplifies a unique partnership between all three levels of government and five non-profit housing providers to create 129-units of supportive and affordable housing units and a social service hub for Richmond’s vulnerable residents. The jury was excited about the collaborative commitment to making this project a reality.
Urban Design
The Bonaventure Project
Awarded to: Ville de Montréal
The Bonaventure Project emphasizes the fundamental importance of urban design and symbolizes how its principles can help transform public spaces. The project’s tangible characteristics and commitment to urban design was exemplary and worthy of an award.
The 2018 Award of Merit Winners:
Aboriginal Community and Development Planning
Rainy River First Nations Land Use Plan
Awarded to: Rainy River First Nations
In light of development pressures posed by resource development, the Rainy River First Nations Land Use Plan finds the delicate balance of planning for traditional and non-traditional uses. It interweaves land use, economic development, infrastructure, and cultural planning into one document. The jury members commend this project for its comprehensive and community-focused approach to planning for extensive land holdings and variety of tenure types, including fee simple and Reserve lands.
City and Regional Planning
Strathcona County Municipal Development Plan
Awarded to: Strathcona County
The jury members commended this project for its emphasis on creating a user-friendly, accessible, and contextually sensitive Municipal Development Plan (MDP) for an area with very diverse land uses, densities, and intensifications, including urban, hamlet, heavy industrial, rural and agricultural areas, and a UNESCO Biosphere.
New and Emerging Initiatives
Capital Illumination Plan 2017-2027
Awarded to: National Capital Commission
The Capital Illumination Plan’s overall goal is the development of a high level, accessible document that will serve as a tool for a coherent approach to lighting. The Capital Illumination Plan serves as an example of how a nighttime landscape can be used to enrich resident and visitor experiences, while promoting active living, responsible environmental management, safety, and strengthening collaboration between public and private stakeholders.
Planning Publications
An Enduring Wilderness: Toronto’s Natural Parklands
Awarded to: Toronto City Planning and Parks, Forestry & Recreation Divisions in collaboration with Robert Burley
The thoughtfully curated collection documents and celebrates the variety and ecologically diverse natural areas found within Toronto’s parkland system. It examines important and sometimes complex relationship between Toronto’s natural parklands and civic life. The publication had an innovative approach to making urban greenspace and tree conservation policy relatable and meaningful to citizens.
Recreation Planning
FOAG Refresh
Awarded to: ERA Architects
The FOAG Refresh plan lays the groundwork for a holistic revitalization of Toronto’s Allan Gardens, bringing new programming and design excellence to the park. It reimagines this park and facility, which in itself a unique site of regional historical and architectural significance, and aims to balance community and citywide needs. The jury appreciated the work around the conscious inclusion of Indigenous and homeless populations in the process, the connection of traditional park programming, as well as the recognition for art and culture, all in support of park sustainability.
Rural/Small Town Planning
High River Land Use By-law
Awarded to: Town of High River
The Town of High River has adopted a new Land Use By-law which takes the New Urbanist transect-based model and applies it to a local land use regulatory code in a small community context by creating six new land use districts based on common transect characteristics. The jury members commended this project as one of the first applications of transect planning to a regulatory code in a small town context in Canada.
Social Planning
Growing Up: Planning for Children in New Vertical Communities
Awarded to: City of Toronto, Urban Strategies Inc., Hariri Pontarini Architects, MBTW Group, Department of Words & Deeds, Housing Lab Toronto, N. Barry Lyon Consultants
The purpose of these guidelines is to encourage all city-builders to plan from the perspective of a child, consider the unique needs of families with children, and instigate a culture-shift in the design of vertical communities as complete communities. The jury was excited that the focus was adapting an urban lifestyle to meet the needs of children. 
Sustainability Mobility Transportation and Infrastructure
City of Ottawa Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines
Awarded to: City of Ottawa
The new City of Ottawa Transportation Impact Assessment Guidelines implements the City’s complete streets policies and confirms its commitment to encouraging integrated and sustainable modes of transportation. The comprehensiveness of the Guidelines, including consideration for the several modal options, is a unique and innovative approach to transportation planning.
Urban Design
Edmonton’s Winter Design Guidelines
Awarded to: City of Edmonton and the WinterCity Advisory Council
Recognizing that good design can increase outside days by 30%, Edmonton created a simple, succinct, and visually appealing document to achieve just that. The jury appreciated the City of Edmonton embracing its winter climate and felt that this document has wide applicability in the Canadian planning context, given that in many municipalities, winter is a vital part of their DNA.
Click here for all project descriptions. Images can be provided upon request.
About the Canadian Institute of Planners
The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) works on behalf of over 6,900 planning professionals nationally, and has served as the voice of Canada’s planning community since 1919. Planners safeguard the health and well-being of urban and rural communities, by addressing the use of land, resources, facilities and services with consideration to physical, economic, and social efficiency. Our members work in both the public service and the private sector, across fields such as land use planning, environmental resource management, land development, heritage conservation, social planning, transportation planning, and economic development. Learn more about CIP and the role of planners at
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About the Awards for Planning Excellence
The Canadian Institute of Planners recognizes planning projects for their excellence, innovation, impact on the profession, implementation potential and overall presentation. This program began in 1983 and has grown to include thirteen award categories. A jury of upwards to ten planning professionals from the public and private sector, representing every region, evaluate submissions against strict criteria. Click here to see past Award recipient.

Categories include Aboriginal Community Planning and Development; City and Regional Planning; International Planning; Natural Systems Planning; Neighbourhood Planning; New and Emerging Planning Initiatives; Planning Practice, Planning Publications and Media; Recreation Planning; Rural / Small Town Planning; Social Planning; Sustainable Mobility, Transportation, and Infrastructure; and Urban Design.
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