Excellence in Planning Awards

Recognizing excellence in all its forms, OPPI celebrates professional planners and outstanding projects annually through Excellence in Planning Awards. These are widely regarded as among the most prestigious awards given for planning achievement in Ontario. We celebrate the role of Registered Professional Planners (RPPs) as integrator and visionary in the space between government planning policies, the public, and other regulated professionals.

Interested in Submitting?

The submissions form will be available February 1st. Complete submissions must be received online by 5:00 p.m. on April 18th. Please note: Only complete submissions in compliance with the Awards Criteria below will be eligible for consideration.

Please read the Awards Criteria and then fill out the Submission Form by clicking on the links below:

2016 - Winners' Profiles

Excellence in Planning Award winners-2016.jpgPhoto of 2016 award winners and guests in front row (from left to right): OPPI President Andrea Bourrie, Nick McDonald, Eric Turcotte, Aaron Baxter, Tim Moerman, MPP Peter Milczyn. Back row (from left to right): Sirous Ghanbarzadeh, Marie Casista, Alan Smith, Nancy Reid, Eldon Theodore.

City of Ottawa, Planning and Growth Management Department
Minimum Parking Review: The Movie

city of ottawa

The City of Ottawa's zoning by-law sets out requirements for parking to be included with all new development. By 2015 it was clear that these rules were in need of updating. The urgency was all the greater given the City's huge investments in its new Light Rail Transit system. Their goal was to eliminate parking requirements in many places, with dramatic reductions in the rest of the inner city.

As part of their public engagement strategy, they needed a way to introduce the project in an accessible and catchy format. More importantly, they had to quickly communicate why the parking rules had to change significantly. The result was a ninety-second cartoon movie that was produced in-house by City staff, with a budget of zero dollars.

The video focuses on broadly-accepted and popular planning goals such as affordable housing, small business, compatible infill and pedestrian-friendly urban neighbourhoods, and then explains how minimum parking rules prevent all of them.

The video went live on the City's Youtube channel in October 2015 and drew several thousand views in the first few weeks. It has since drawn attention from cities and transportation groups across North America and around the world. More importantly, it demonstrates that any planning topic can be discussed in a fun, engaging and productive way.


Meridian Panning Consultants
Elgincentives Community Improvement Program

Meridian Planning Consultants

In October 2014, Elgin County initiated Elgincentives and retained Meridian Planning Consultants and TCI Management Consultants to assist. The goal was to develop a County led framework that would allow Elgin to coordinate community improvement efforts across its seven local municipalities, and to generally align community improvement tools with the County’s economic goals and priorities. More specifically, the intent of Elgincentives was to diversify the economic base and support the creative rural economy with a focus on agricultural areas, tourism and downtowns/mainstreets.

Early and on-going consultation with local municipalities was integral to the process. A County committee of both County and local municipal staff was established. The countywide framework has already received overwhelming uptake from private landowners across all seven local municipalities. The implementation period for the program is 10 years. On the basis of the success of the program to-date, it is anticipated that the program will continue to have a significant positive impact on the physical and economic environment across Elgin County.


Urban Strategies
University of Ottawa Master Plan

Urban Strategies

The University of Ottawa holds a prominent place nationally and internationally as one of Canada’s leading universities. The Campus Master Plan re-imagines the University of Ottawa’s network of open spaces, buildings and infrastructure. It promotes efficient land use through compact yet context-sensitive design within an integrated mobility network punctuated by iconic open spaces. It calls for re-establishment of a grid of streets, some car-free, others shared, to provide more seamless connections within the campus and with the wider community. Hubs containing amenities and recreational space, together with enhanced landscaping, are intended to make the campus more inviting and memorable for students, staff and visitors.

A key goal of the plan is to promote a stronger sense of attachment to the campus as a place not only to attend classes, but to stay and socialize, eat, sleep, study, attend a sporting event, or enjoy art and culture. General Campus Design Guidelines cover a range of topics, including sustainability, public art, lighting, signage and street furniture.

The impact of the Campus Master Plan has been recognized not only by OPPI with an Award of Excellence for the Guidelines and Precinct Plans but also with awards from the City of Ottawa, the Canadian Association of Landscape Architects, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Canadian Institute of Planners.


Feasibility Study for the Expansion of Bike Share Toronto


Recognizing the growing demand for cycling and multi-modal travel choices, the Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) plans to expand the Bike Share Toronto network by 5,000 bikes and 500 stations over the next five years. To assist Bike Share Toronto, and its funding partners, the TPA retained MMM Group Limited to develop a feasibility framework for system expansion.

The framework is designed to assist Bike Share Toronto to identify areas of higher ridership potential as well as provide contextual information to facilitate system optimization and efficiencies.

It formalizes the current understanding of the contributing factors that impede or promote bike share ridership based on the study team’s research into bikeability theory and lessons from bike share systems around the world.

Bike share ridership is influenced by a wide range of factors. This study considers the relative value of some of the most prominent factors raised in professional and academic literature on the topic. The Toronto Parking Authority was able to use the expansion phases to plan their network expansion and allocate resources for new station locations.


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