Transforming your generosity into community projects with a real impact and no nonsense.
Making complex issues approachable through word, photo, audio, and video.
Creating spaces that people connect to using quick, frugal, and beautiful installations.
Building neighbourhood capacity, connection, and enthusiasm with custom engagement experiences.
I came of age at exactly the right time to be appropriately freaked out about climate change. So in my undergrad years at the University of Guelph, I took action by leading a national rally and organizing flash campaigns with the help and encouragement of my friends. I had to learn a lot on the fly, including online mobilizing, working with volunteers, PR, and basic web development. This is also when I discovered that I love making videos.
After years of activism, I was curious about positive citizenship in the for-profit world. I had the chance to learn by doing with The Next 36 entrepreneurship accelerator in Toronto. For a summer, I joined three co-founders to launch a startup while studying business. The experience taught me a lot about myself, about working on a team, about living in a big city, about power and responsibility, and about the challenges of starting a business.
Despite all this excitement and newness, my mind was still locked on cities. After all, cities can either be a major problem or solution when it comes to a liveable planet. So I left the business in the hands of my co-founders and got back to the books. I interned at an urban studies think tank while researching and writing about the ways suburbs can reimagine themselves. I graduated from the University of Guelph as the 2012 Winegard Medalist and went on to the University of Cambridge to study policies and programs for places in decline. I wrote my thesis on commercial farming within cities and suburbs and graduated with distinction (MPhil Planning, Growth, and Regeneration).
Then I moved to a small city on the East Coast of Canada called Fredericton with a head full of questions. Much of the urban planning world is fixated on managing problems of success (think transit, height-limits, rent inflation). I'm most interested in problems of abandonment or stagnation that affect a ton of otherwise nice places across this continent. I've been learning through action and observation how homebuddies (good neighbours) transform a place. Writing about that process has connected me with city builders across North America, who I now consider my colleauges. Lately, I've been supporting small scale development projects that are rooted in community and strengthen a place. I help people who love their neighbourhoods to create new value, life, and connection through property development. Hence, "projects for places we love."