Transforming your generosity into community projects with a real impact and story worth sharing.
Making complex issues approachable through word, photo, audio, and video.
Creating spaces that people connect to using quick, frugal, and beautiful installations.
Helping neighbours build the capacity, connection, and enthusiasm to shape their city.
I came of age knowing that climate change threatens that which we take for granted. So in my undergrad years at the University of Guelph, I took action by leading a national climate 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. Organizing taught me the skills to complement all I learned in theory.
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. In 2011, I joined three co-founders to create a mobile app 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 company.
Throughout it all, I found my mind locked on the economies, design, and political impact of cities. I saw that cities have the power to take action that would be untenable at a national or international level. So I left the business in the hands of my co-founders and got back to the books. I interned at a 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 Fredericton, New Brunswick because I wanted to better understand the realities and strengths of small cities in a global economy. I committed myself to learning through action and observation how homebuddies (good neighbours) transform a place. Writing about that process introduced me to city builders across North America, who I'm now lucky to call my colleagues.
Living in the Maritimes clarified what I value most in life - a bittersweet realization because it meant I needed to leave a place I love and be closer to family. So my husband and I found another place to love in Kitchener, close to home. I now collaborate with the US-based Incremental Development Alliance to support small scale development projects rooted in community. I help people who love their neighbourhoods to create new value, life, and connection through property development. Hence, "projects for places we love."