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October 01, 2018

October 2018 Issue


OPPI would like to thank members and Twitter followers for participating in our Twitter chat with OPPI President Jason Ferrigan on September 20th. The focus of the discussion was on the impact of technology on planning and the roles of RPPs and we received a lot of questions and generated great discussion and feedback.

For members who may have missed this chat, or submitted questions that weren't answered, OPPI has posted a Q&A on our website for you to read. Please visit our website for information on this chat and answers to the questions you asked. Stay tuned for our next Twitter chat in the new year with OPPI President Jason Ferrigan for OPPI Student Members about planning for a career in the planning profession and as an RPP.

In the upcoming October Council meeting, the 2017-2018 OPPI Council will hold their last meeting to
discuss a variety of strategic issues. Some of the topics that will be discussed at this meeting include:
  • Council discussion on Climate Change
  • 2018 Symposium
  • OPPI By-Law Member Vote Results
  • 2019 Financial and Business Plan
  • Discussion on enhancing the Professional Code of Practice
In addition to these discussion items, OPPI Council will be meeting with District Leadership Team Chairs to create the 2019 District program. Stay tuned for more information about the activities and events in your District.

OPPI Council meets four times a year. Council approved agendas and minutes are available upon request to the OPPI office.

The goal is to engage members in shaping the direction and initiatives of OPPI, and continue to deliver on our INSPIRE OPPI Strategic Plan 2020. Members are encouraged to speak up and get involved, and stay in touch throughout the year through OPPI's many communication channels.

On October 3rd OPPI will launch its updated website!

The most significant change members will see on our new website is that it will speak to a wider audience beyond the planning profession to tell easily identifiable and relatable stories
through the introduction of case studies.

OPPI will present an issue and a solution (if available) to generate discussion, elevate the importance and understanding of the RPP designation and the role Ontario's planners have in community development. Through these examples, OPPI will take this opportunity to educate and position RPPs as thought leaders and voices to listen to within the larger discussions taking place in communities across Ontario.

The first case study we're featuring is about the Town of Innisfil's creative solution to provide a public transit solution for residents by partnering with car-sharing provider Uber and using the Uber app. Take a moment to read through the case study and see how RPPs used technology to provide a transit solution for their local community.

In addition to the case study, our new website has reorganized content and is much more responsive so it's easier for members and visitors to view the website on your phones, tablets and laptops.
If you have any questions about our new website, please email

Your Professional Journey

OPPI is seeking an update to its By-Law, specifically to its complaints and discipline process that will:
  • Enhance our Complaints and Discipline process by splitting them into separate committees and aligning them with the current practices of other regulated professions
  • Clarify OPPI's ability to initiate a complaint
  • Allow OPPI to take on the responsibility for any complaint, not the person submitting a complaint
  • Improve transparency by making decisions and information public
Full, Retired and Practicing Candidate Members received an electronic ballot from Simply Voting on September 6th. Voting closes on Thursday, October 4 at 5:00 p.m.

For more information on OPPI's proposed By-Law changes and to view our Frequently Asked Questions, please visit OPPI's website. The results of this By-Law vote will be announced at OPPI's Annual General Meeting on October 11, 2018.

Twice a year OPPI welcomes many new RPPs as members from a variety of backgrounds and levels of experience. Back in our May issue we notified members of the first batch of new RPPs for 2018, and now we're please to notify members of our second batch of new RPPs.

Only Full Members of OPPI are authorized to use the RPP designation in Ontario. Our newest RPPs followed and completed the certification process administered by the Professional Standards Board and will be receiving their certificates allowing them to practice as RPPs in Ontario.

We applaud your achievement, dedication and commitment to informing choices and guiding the public, decision makers and stakeholders on the journey to creating inspired communities. Learn more about our newest RPPs by visiting the OPPI website.

OPPI would like to reminder members that if you can't make it to Sudbury for #OPPI18, we have you
covered with livestream sessions. Stream #OPPI18 from the comfort of your office, workspace or home!

The variety of livestream sessions means there's something for everyone. Learn more about what is being done to ensure Ontario's communities are ready for the opportunities and challenges that are already here and on the horizon. Hear from the planning profession about how they are informing choices and inspiring communities across Ontario.

Livestream sessions may be counted as Learning Units under OPPI's Continuous Professional Learning (CPL) program. The sessions available to members include:
Day 1 Day 2
Keynote Panel
Discussion: Sudbury's Community Readiness
in Focus
Keynote Address by Jesse Wente: Inclusion
for Success
Planning to be a Better
Planner Under Bill 139
Assessing Community Readiness: Implement
Ag System in GGH & Beyond
Why Location Matters:
Towards an Integrated
Approach to Service Planning
Community Wellbeing - a framework for
planning and design
Resilient Communities
in Northern Ontario
The LaSalle Boulevard Corridor Plan and
Climate Change,
Traditional Knowledge
& Planning for
Community Resiliency
Planning around the ION
Preserving What You
Have: Protecting Rental
Housing for the Future
Zoning for the Future
Community Readiness
for a Strong Tourism Sector
Planning for First Nation Communities - Why
is it different?
Registrants get exclusive access to the video archive; if you miss a session, you can watch it on demand for up to seven days after our Symposium. Choose between a 1-day or 2-day livestream registration package. Please see details below for each package:
Day 1 Registration Day 2 Registration
$20 for Student Members $30 for Student Members
$40 for Members $65 for Members
$70 for Non-Members $124 for Non-Member
$150 for Group Rate Thursday $225 for 2-Day Group Rate
$150 for Group Rate

Building RPP

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway, with his creation of the six-word story: "For sale: baby shoes, never worn," OPPI wants to know your six-word story. The unique experience and background of our membership is a story worth telling.

As part of OPPI's Hub at the 2018 Symposium, we will be engaging members by asking them to provide their six-word stories answering several questions. In six words or less:
  • What one thing would improve your hometown?
  • What would happen if RPPs disappeared?
  • What hobby helps you as an RPP?
  • What advice would you give to a new RPP?
  • What planning issues keep you awake at night?
Whether you plan to attend OPPI's 2018 Symposium or not, share your advice and stories with us in
response to these questions by emailing Your answers will be collected and shared by OPPI throughout 2019.

OPPI is working to raise awareness of the role of planners, the RPP designation and the understanding of the role planners play in informing choices and inspiring communities across Ontario. It's important to remember there are many ways to brand yourself as an RPP!

If you are a Full Member of OPPI in good standing, you may use your RPP designation after your last name, on academic degrees and professional licenses, but before other memberships and affiliations.

One of the most obvious and noticeable ways to show your RPP designation is through social media. Your social media accounts are key platforms to build your personal and professional brand. They also help build the RPP brand throughout Ontario.

In raising the profile of the RPP designation and understanding of your roles, what you say matters. It
matters to your local community, your followers and in setting a tone to inform, educate and inspire. Other noticeable ways to brand yourself as an RPP is to include your designation and seal on your website, white papers, signature blocks, business cards and official documents.

Members are encouraged to use and promote their RPP designation. With your help, OPPI will be able to promote the good work our members do and raise the profile and understanding of the RPP designation and the jobs you do!

As the summer turns into fall, and the weather gets cooler, don't forget to wear your RPP toques and socks and show your pride! Have fun with your RPP gear and take photos this fall and winter and OPPI will share them on social media. Bring your RPP gear along with you on trips and events, and everywhere else!

Members attending this year's Symposium will be treated to more OPPI swag and socks to increase your RPP gear collection, so please don't forget to visit the OPPI Hub at the Symposium!

To share your photos, please email and we will share them on
social media!

Knowledge Exchange

In this month's Planning Exchange blog, Susan Robertson, RPP from People Plan Community offers her thoughts on how reconciliation has placed planning in Ontario and Canada in a paradigm shift, and how the intent of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission: Calls to Action is to guide us in ushering in a new beginning for Non-Indigenous and Indigenous Nations, based on healing, trust and respect. The planning profession has the opportunity to work alongside nations that have been planning communities in Canada for over 10,000 years; to listen, connect and apply their ways of knowing to our land use planning processes.

York Region is expected to grow to approximately 1.8 million people and 900,000 jobs by 2041. To plan for and accommodate this growth, York Region is conducting its municipal comprehensive review of its Official Plan.

Looking to engage with residents and stakeholders on this review, OPPI's Oak Ridges District partnered with York Region to offer a walking tour to members and the public of one of the four regional growth centres in York Region - Vaughan Metropolitan Centre (VMC) - led by Chief Planner Paul Freeman.

"The walking tour provides a unique opportunity for residents and planners to see how plans for an urban centre are evolving in York Region context," said York Region's Chief Planner in conversation with OPPI. "The planning for VMC as part of the Region's Centres and Corridors program started in 1994 and creates a new downtown in the City of Vaughan that will become a dense, walkable community. We want to make this a destination with our regional transit hub connecting the rest of York Region, a good mix and balance of residents and jobs, walkable public areas and cultural facilities."

Transit square in front of the KPMG buildingWith over 40 people in attendance, a mix of OPPI members, planning students and the general public, the walking tour started at the newly-built KPMG building, including a visit up to the eighth floor where more information was provided by York Region and City of Vaughan staff and SmartCentres about their contribution to the project.

Moving through transit square and on to the VMC subway station, York Region Transit (YRT) and York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) provided context on transit infrastructure in the area, including the VIVA Rapidway on Highway 7 and link to VMC station, and the SmartCentres Place Bus Terminal on the north side of the site where construction continues.

Since the opening of the subway extension in December, development applications have taken off that will surpass the target of 25,000 residents and 11,500 jobs by 2031. With this success, there remain challenges and other opportunities. "Planners by nature create visions for areas long into the future and the challenge is to ensure we are meeting infrastructure needs, like transit, water and sewage, for forecasted growth," said Freeman. "We're fortunate in York Region that we maintain strong partnerships with our nine local cities and towns who work with us to support our goals, and we look forward to hearing from residents during our Municipal Comprehensive Review process to continue developing the vision of their community."

A secondary plan has been created for the area by the City of Vaughan. This includes attracting corporations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Green For Life and Harley-Davidson to occupy office space. This also includes attracting community recreation spaces. The City of Vaughan, working with the YMCA, designated space for municipal use within the PWC building and provided funds to ensure a home for a new public library on site, and a recreation centre for the entire neighbourhood.

For some of the planners in attendance, who get to work on the VMC project, this walking tour  provided the opportunity to see their work come to life. Because planning for this area started back in 1994, it can be hard to envision the outcome many years in the future, but Mr. Freeman has some advice for young RPPs. "It takes time to create change. I would tell young planners to have a vision; envision the kinds of places we want to create for people," said Freeman. "Get outside and walk in areas like the VMC, see how places work and how they can change over time."

What You Need to Know

Download the #OPPI18 App today!
Members coming to #OPPI18 are encouraged to download our mobile app to enhance this year's
experience. Use the app on your smartphone, desktop or tablet and don't miss a session or an opportunity to post your thoughts or join a conversation during #OPPI18. Don't delay, download the #OPPI18 app today by visiting

World Town Planning Day
November 8th is the annual celebration of World Town Planning Day. Every year, planners around the world engage in activities on or around this date to raise awareness of the importance of planning in their communities. Planners in countries around the world mark this day by talking to community or student groups, or sponsoring activities that highlight the importance of planning. The Canadian Institute of Planners is holding week-long celebrations to mark this day. Members seeking information and materials to conduct presentations can visit OPPI's website.

The Role of Planners in Public-Private Partnership (P3) Projects
OPPI recently took part in the Mediaplanet Public-Private Partnerships campaign, which published in the National Post and digitally. The campaign features Minister Champagne, the federal Minister of
Infrastructure and Communities, Jennifer Keesmaat, Richard Florida and Mark Romoff, among others. It focuses on major infrastructure and other public projects across Canada, and the role of the P3 model in delivering these. Our contribution, made by Nathan Hyde, CAO of the Town of Erin and OPPI Public Interest Representative and Joe Berridge, RPP, Partner, Urban Strategies Inc., focuses on the role planners play in P3 projects, and the role of infrastructure in facilitating prosperity and growth. The full campaign is available here, and copies will be available at the OPPI Hub at our upcoming Symposium.

CIP Pre-Symposium Municipal Asset Management Workshop
OPPI and the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) is offering a free pre-Symposium workshop entitled Managing Assets for Sustainable Communities for members. This workshop identifies the importance of asset management to planners and elected officials, and will provide you with a crash-course in asset management concepts. Participants will be enabled to engage proactively in one of the hottest local government topics of the next decade. Register today and help prepare your community.

Algonquin College Heritage Planning for Practitioners Course
Interested in the theoretical and practical aspects of heritage conservation planning in Ontario? This is the introductory course for you! Study a variety of topics including the history, legal aspects, and evaluation processes of heritage planning, how to integrate concepts of sustainability and accessibility, and practical management challenges of the field. Learn through lectures, readings, in-class and online activities, discussions, group work, walking tours, and a short paper. Suitable for all knowledge and experience levels. Attendance to all classes is required. For more information, please visit OPPI's event listings webpage.

London Middlesex Housing Corporation Housing Policy Research Award
London Community Foundation (LCF) and London and Middlesex Housing Corporation (LMHC) are
pleased to partner on the 2018-19 LMHC Housing Policy Research Award. The goal of this scholarship competition is to support students undertaking graduate-level research on social housing in Canada. Applications are being excepted until October 15. For more information, please visit LMHC's website.

2018 Brownie Awards
The Brownie Awards, presented annually by the Canadian Brownfields Network and Actual Media, honour excellence in brownfields redevelopment. They recognize the builders, innovators and visionaries who are dedicated to the rehabilitation of brownfield sites that were once contaminated, under-utilized and undeveloped into productive residential and commercial projects that contribute to the growth of healthy communities across Canada. Nominations close Friday, October 5. For more information, please visit the Canadian Brownfields Network website.

Career Opportunities

Are you listed in OPPI's Consultant's Directory? If you're not in,
it's time to get in! If you're looking to do some consulting on the
side or looking for RPPs to work with for that big project you're
leading, and everything in between, OPPI's Consultant's
Directory is for you. Sign up today and get listed!

Advertise your available planning positions with OPPI's Job Postings. There is no better way to reach qualified planning professionals.


Targeted to planners, search the OPPI Job Ads to save you time and effort when looking for a new position.

Please see the current active postings below:
  • Senior Planner, Policy - Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (full time)
  • Senior Land Use Planner - Township of Plummer Additional (contract)
  • Senior Planner, Development - Town of Aurora (full time)
  • Senior Policy Planner - Town of Aurora (full time)
  • Planner - Town of Aurora (full time)
  • Senior Planner - T. Johns Consulting Group (full time)
  • Planner I - Policy - The City of Guelph (full time)
  • Current Development Planner - City of Brantford (full time)
  • General Manager of Infrastructure & Growth Management - City of Barrie (full time)
  • Senior Heritage Planner - City of Vaughan (full time)
  • Project Manager, Land Development - Phelps Homes Ltd. (full time)
  • Community Planner - Urban Systems (full time)
  • Heritage Planner II - Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville (full time)
  • Principal Urban Designer/Planner - SGL Planning & Design Inc. (full time)
  • Principal Planner - Regional Municipality of Waterloo (one full time & one temporary full time)
  • Supervisor, Regional Official Plan Review - Regional Municipality of Waterloo (contract)
  • Parks & Open Space Planner - City of Vaughan (full time)
  • Planning Clerk - The Corporation of the Town of Amherstburg (contract - up to 18 months)
  • Senior Planner, Development Planning and Regulation - Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (full time)
  • Environmental Planner - Gannett Fleming (full time)
  • Director, Development Services - Town of Essex (full time)
  • ...and many more!

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