We are proud to announce staff promotions

April 5, 2017

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Urban Strategies is proud to announce a number of new staff promotions, further strengthening and expanding our dynamic leadership in urban planning, design excellence and public engagement across Canada and around the world.



Mary Castel
Mary manages Urban Strategies’ business development, engagement toolkit and marketing team. She collaborates on social media strategies for public and stakeholder engagement, and leads the Urban Strategies Academy, an employee education program that acts as a knowledge accelerator and living laboratory. As Principal, Mary’s managerial role continues to expand as the firm grows. Read more.

Senior Associates

Andrea Friedman
Andrea is a key contributor to the firm’s master planning, policy development, and development approvals work. A Project Management Professional, she is currently managing Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences’ master planning process on Whitby’s waterfront, the Villiers Island Precinct Plan in Toronto’s Port Lands, and recently completed a growth management plan for the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. She is also a part-time instructor at Ryerson University. Read more.

Christine Fang-Denissov
Drawing from her broad base of experience in urban design, architecture, and planning, Christine contributes strategic thinking on a range of large-scaled residential, commercial and institutional projects and master plans. Her work is recognized for addressing design and strategic planning simultaneously. She teaches planning and urban design at Ryerson University. Read more.

Daniel Comerford
Daniel’s decade of international experience in urban design and architecture involves successful leadership on numerous master plans, waterfront, campus, regeneration and transit projects. His recent work includes regeneration projects throughout the United Kingdom, the Toronto Waterfront, a Multimodal Transportation Study for the Greater Golden Horseshoe, and the Princeton University 2026 Campus Plan. Read more.

Geoff Whittaker
Geoff, our chief model maker, has over three decades of experience testing and manipulating designs through the construction and analysis of insightful physical and computer models. Geoff has a wealth of experience that includes the revitalization of London’s Docklands and the firm’s master planning work in Singapore, as well a long list of major sites in Toronto and the GTA that have resulted in a detailed CAD model for a large portion of the city. Read more.


Alexander Elgin
Alex’s rich foundation of master planning and architectural projects spans France, Canada, Russia, the Middle East and China. His work focuses on formulating design strategies that achieve socio-economic objectives and optimize the public benefits of redevelopment. Read more.

Inger Squires
Inger is a specialist in Ontario planning policy, focused on large-scale redevelopment and complex planning approvals. Her portfolio includes the approvals for the Toronto GM Mobility Campus and Choice Properties REIT, a highly regarded report for the RPCO on reforming the OMB, and the multi-award-winning University of Ottawa Campus Master Plan. Read more.

Danny Brown
Danny leads our urban resiliency knowledge group. He skillfully manages complex policy and design challenges, with projects including the University of Toronto St. George Campus Secondary Plan, the LeBreton Flats plan, and advising the Henvey Inlet First Nation. Read more.

Eva Pianezzola
Eva is a talented Urban Designer with a background in architecture. Her expertise includes transit oriented development projects in the UK, Waterloo and Kitchener, as well as waterfront regeneration projects and development applications in downtown Toronto. Read more.

Josh Kohler
Josh’s planning work involves managing municipal planning approvals for some of our most complex, sites, including Mirvish Village (Bathurst and Bloor), the former Christie site, as well as ION LRT station area planning in Kitchener and a Public Realm Master Plan for Downtown Buffalo. Read more.

Mirej Vasic
Mirej is a skilled planner whose work focuses on innovative, multimedia public conversations as part of the engagement process. Her recent work includes a 25-year plan for sustainable growth in Fredericton, NB and planning analysis for the state of the art Waterworks Building in Toronto. Read more.

Mihaly Szabo
With over a decade of leadership in using BIM software, Mihaly continually explores innovative ways to create detailed digital massing diagrams, shadow studies, CAD drawings and renderings, and animated fly-throughs for major projects, including work for Metrolinx, TTC, and private developments across the GTA. Read more.

Sirous Ghanbar Zadeh
Sirous is a skilled Urban Designer who has played an essential role in many award-winning master planning projects in Canada, Wales and Singapore. He has also made key contributions to the office’s Ottawa portfolio as one of the lead designers in the development of the University of Ottawa Campus Master Plan, which has won numerous awards of excellence. Read more.

Tony De Franco
A strategic thinker and strong project manager, Tony has expertly and independently managed a number of complex development projects and master planning initiatives across the Greater Toronto Area. He also plays an important role in the firm’s transit-oriented planning practice. Read more.

Yiwen Zhu
Yiwen specializes and urban design in large-scale complex mixed-use developments and campus plans across Canada, Europe and Asia. She was the project manager of the award winning community master plan in Bidadari Singapore and contributes to various campus planning projects. Yiwen is currently helping the firm to expand its presence in Mainland China. Read more.