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our studio

As a small creative studio, our goal is to provide each project with the focus, attention and resources it deserves. Our model allows us to react quickly to our client’s needs, remain accessible, and be intimately involved in every step of the process. We enjoy working as a team with our clients, stakeholders and other consultants to make every project the best it can be.

the thinc tank

Mike Tocher

Partner, Landscape Architect/ Planner

Mike is both a registered professional planner and full member with seal of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. His portfolio of experience is balanced between large scale master planning, site planning, parks design, detailed design, and construction management. He has professional degrees in landscape architecture, urban planning and environmental science from the Universities of Guelph and Calgary.

As a planner, Mike has been involved in a number of main street and downtown studies looking at the development potential of sites, urban form, and opportunities for pedestrian linkages/public realm improvements.

As a landscape architect, Mike’s experience includes a wide range of urban, suburban and rural public spaces from open space master planning and environmental management plans to detailed design, tender drawing preparation and contract administration. This includes a variety of streetscape projects taking projects from concept through to construction.

Since April 2008 Mike has been an instructor at the Chang School at Ryerson University teaching landscape construction materials and techniques to students enrolled in the School’s Landscape Certificate Program both in the classroom and online. As a result Mike is well versed in the latest materials and construction trends in the industry.

Peter Heyblom

Partner, Landscape Architect

Peter Heyblom is a leading practitioner in the field of landscape architecture. Throughout his over 25 year career, he has worked on a diverse selection of key and acclaimed projects in association with highly respected firms. Peter has studied industrial design, resource management, and has a professional degree in landscape architecture. Since establishing thinc design, he is committed to bringing this level of dedication and skill to both this new venture and his clients.

Although Peter approaches design from a landscape architectural vein, his interest lies in all facets of the design process. His weaving of different disciplines creates a unique and rich solution. While the results provide a strong design solution, he insists the design must stand up to the rigours of modern constraints. The solution must be creative, but implementable. Resilient but flexible. His solutions also promote the intertwining of vibrant public open spaces with healthy ecosystems, creating whole interactive systems.

Peter thrives on exploration. Whether it is walking in new parts of Toronto, or camping in the wilds of Northern Ontario, his sense of discovery provides a clear vantage point to his design of spaces. He believes in creating intricate spaces, ones which can be discovered and enjoyed, not for only the immediate experience, but also for their return value - an investment that increases with time and experience.

Misha Franta

Landscape Architect

Misha is a landscape architect at thinc design, and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Arts Degree with Specialization in Urban Planning from Concordia University in Montreal.

Since joining thinc design in early 2016, Misha has worked on detailed design and masterplanning for a variety of public realm projects including parks, playgrounds, schools, trails and streetscapes throughout Ontario. In addition, he has worked on a number of mixed-use and residential developments in the private realm. Misha is proficient in producing concept sketches, working drawings, construction drawings, presentation/marketing images, report writing and design.

He has been the lead staff on various projects, collaborated on multidisciplinary design teams, and has been engaged in the facilitation of public consultation. Misha has lead and participated in all stages of a given project - small, medium and large scale - from conceptual design, through to contract administration.

Leandra Correale Ferguson

Planner

Leandra is a Registered Professional Planner (RPP) at thinc design. She has a Master in Environmental Studies, Planning from York University, and a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, Geography and Ecology from the University of Guelph. Her Masters research focused on green space retrofits and park planning, lending her an expertise in the policy and implementation aspects of park, trail, recreation, and environmental planning.
Prior to joining thinc design, Leandra worked in policy development in the municipal sector, and has project management experience from the public and private sectors.

As a planner, Leandra participates in all aspects of master plan development including conceptualization, community engagement, research, policy analysis and plan writing.

Photo of Nick Taylor

Nick Taylor

Landscape Architect, ISA

Nick graduated from the University of Guelph in 2015 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. He is a full member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architecture, as well as an ISA Certified Arborist.

Prior to joining Thinc, Nick worked with Baker Turner Inc. in Brampton, where he managed projects from concept through to implementation, and was exposed to a variety of project types and scales. With over four years working for a profession firm, he has developed confidence in site inventory, design, and communication with clients and consultants.

Kara smiling

Kara Singbeil

Landscape Designer

Kara is a landscape designer at thinc design and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies in Honours Planning, with a specialization in Urban Design from the University of Waterloo.

Upon graduation she worked in Vancouver for 5 years on a variety of projects throughout the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. Kara has led projects through all phases of design and is recognized for her ability to understand how sites function three-dimensionally prior to construction. As a project manager she has worked on the design and implementation of revitalization projects, parks, greenways and many projects at UBC.

An avid athlete, Kara spends a lot of her time on the basketball court. When not playing basketball, you can find her playing softball or enjoying a spin class. Her active background has led her on a journey exploring ways to better integrate sports and the natural environment through design.

Danielle Lenarcic Biss

Planner

Danielle is a Planner at thinc design. She holds a Master of Planning from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Arts with First-Class Honours from Mount Allison University. Her graduate research explored Canadian communities' plans for using digital and smart technologies in the public realm.

Prior to joining thinc design, Danielle served municipal clients at a planning consultancy, conducted research projects at a provincial government agency, reviewed policies at a national membership organization and prepared economic development strategies at a BIA. She also has extensive experience delivering comprehensive public consultation programs.

As a planner and project manager at thinc, Danielle harnesses her creativity, conscientiousness and nimbleness to develop municipal parks and recreation master plans with thorough writing, policy analysis, trends research, needs assessments, team coordination and community engagement.

Stacey Zonneveld

Landscape Architect

Stacey is a landscape architect at thinc design, and holds a Master of Landscape Architecture Degree from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies Degree with Specialization in Urban and Regional Environments from York University in Toronto.

She joined thinc design after spending a year working abroad in Amsterdam at Lodewijk Baljon Landscape Architects. Decidedly familiar with the influences and voices that define Toronto, Stacey is excited to be back working in her hometown and the landscape of southern Ontario that she grew up in.

As a landscape architect, Stacey has worked on the detailed design and master planning of public parks, playgrounds, schools, streetscapes and private mixed-use and residential developments. She has collaborated on multidisciplinary design teams, and has been engaged in the facilitation of public consultation. Stacey has participated in all stages of a given project - from conceptual design, to public consultation through to contract administration.

Photo of Lauren Dickson

Lauren Dickson

Landscape Designer

Lauren is a graduate of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program from the University of Guelph. In her final year, she focused on how to design urban contemplative spaces to improve health and social well-being by using natural landscape archetypes and noise reduction design. With complementary studies in social psychology and studio art, Lauren incorporates both her analytical and creative side into her design projects.

Prior to working at thinc, Lauren worked as a landscape designer and subconsultant for several residential properties throughout Southern Ontario.

Lauren brings both her hands on and technical knowledge of landscape design into her role as a landscape designer at thinc. Working as part of the team, she is involved in preparing preliminary concepts, detailed design and contract administration documents for the range of projects undertaken by the studio.

Jillian Albert

Landscape Designer, Eco-Restoration, ISA

Jillian is a Landscape Designer at thinc design. She has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and a Graduate Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration from Niagara College. She is an ISA Certified Arborist with experience in urban forestry.

For her honours thesis Jillian reviewed conservation psychology research in order to make recommendations on how to design urban environments to better foster environmental stewardship. For her studies in ecosystem restoration, Jillian developed a restoration report for the Bruce Trail Conservancy to guide the management of a conservation easement.

Prior to joining thinc design, Jillian’s experience included designing residential planting plans, building custom landscape features and conducting ecological fieldwork. Having held positions with the TRCA and City of Toronto Urban Forestry Jillian has excellent plant identification skills and is knowledgeable about native and invasive plant ecology.

Emil Kovacevic

Emil Kovacevic

Landscape Designer

Emil is a recent graduate of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program from the University of Guelph. During his final year he focused on utilizing various flood prevention and mitigation methods in combination with landscape design to create a functional and aesthetic solution for coastal flooding in flood prone areas. With complementary studies in communications and design problem solving skills acquired through his undergraduate degree and design competition experience, Emil brings analytical, creative, and collaborative skills with him.

Prior to graduation, Emil interned for an 8 month period with thinc design in 2019 during his third year internship semester. During this time Emil worked on various projects such as rendering masterplans for both Belle Park and Cornwall’s waterfront for the City of Kingston. He also assembled and submitted multiple design proposals and helped with multiple Master Plan documents as well.

Emil brings his hands on, creative problem solving skills and technical knowledge of landscape design into his new roll as landscape designer.

Meghan

Meghan Kirkup

Landscape Designer

Meghan is a Landscape Designer with two and a half years of experience in landscape architecture, urban design and generative and computational design in the landscape. She holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph.
Her diverse portfolio is comprised of institutional, large scale public realm, streetscape typologies, park, and condominium design. She has acquired a dynamic range of skills including detail design, graphic visualization and communication, conceptual / schematic design, large scale planting plans, algorithmic / 3-D modelling and contract administration.

Emerson Blue

Landscape Designer

Emerson is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph’s Bachelors of Landscape Architecture program. In his final year, Emerson wrote an undergraduate thesis on the ability of abandoned industrial spaces in the Rust Belt to act as nature reserves. He also completed a Capstone project that proposed a site and action plan for a former freeway loop road in a Rust Belt city in Ohio. Emerson’s Capstone featured elements of community design, social justice, large scale design, detail design, and placemaking.

From January to August 2021 Emerson was a student intern at thinc. During this time, he worked on a range of projects including the Leamington Waterfront Destination Plan, 46-48 Laing Avenue, and various Parks and Recreation Plans. These projects gave Emerson a broad scope of experience and helped him refine his professionalism in design. As an intern, Emerson contributed to thinc’s positive work culture and provided his thoughtful input on a variety of diverse projects. We are very excited to have him back to start his career with us.

Gelila Mekonnen

Planner

Gelila Mekonnen (she/her) is a planner with a diverse background in public space research and planning, community engagement, and active transportation. She holds a Master of Planning from Toronto Metropolitan University and a Bachelor of Arts with honours from York University, Glendon College. Her graduate research focused on cycling equity and micromobility systems in the City of Toronto.

Through her experience in the non-profit and municipal sector, Gelila has worked on various projects ranging from public realm plans, public art design development, and active transportation expansion projects. Using an intersectional approach and guided by her keen interest in community placekeeping, Gelila is interested in how community co-creation and intercultural collaboration can enhance public space and city-building practices.

As a planner at thinc design, Gelila supports the advancement of parks and recreation master plans by conducting trends and demographic research, policy analysis, community engagement, and needs assessments.

Picture of Hayley So

Hayley So

Planner

Hayley So is a planner at thinc design. She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies (BES) in Honours Planning from the University of Waterloo with a specialization in Land Development, a minor in Geography and Environmental Management, and a minor in Legal Studies.

Prior to joining thinc design, Hayley gained land use and development planning experience at a planning consultancy. She has a strong knowledge of planning systems and the ability to interpret and apply related legislation and policy. Hayley is passionate about improving the quality of communities while celebrating the diverse identities that they are comprised of.

As a planner at thinc, Hayley supports the advancement of municipal parks and recreation master plans by conducting trends and demographic research, policy analysis, needs assessments, and community engagement.

Marcia B&W

Marcia Garnes

Marketing and Communications Manager

Marcia is the communications and marketing manager at thinc design. She holds a Master of Environmental Studies- Planning from York University and a Bachelor of Arts- Political Science Major from Western University. Her graduate research explored the challenges that small island states face with competing demands of economic reliance on the typical environmentally harmful tourism industry while implementing more enhanced sustainable master planning. Marcia was the recipient of The Barbados Canadian Friendship Graduate Scholarship from York University. As a result, she was able to fund local interviews in Bridgetown, Barbados, with planners, environmentalists and high-profile activists to capture a deeper analysis of a contentious hotel development approved without adequate public consultation and environmental due diligence.

In 2019, Marcia had the privilege to present at OPPI19: Beyond 25- Annual Conference. She and the co-director discussed findings from evolving a simple children's program into a youth public engagement tool by animating city planning through building large-scale dioramas with recyclable goods and storytelling.

Before joining thinc design, Marcia has developed a robust skillset over the past 14 years of hybrid experience in both creative/academic and private/public environments. Marcia thrives from an interdisciplinary background, from business development experience at a Canadian eco-conscious luxe-loungewear start-up to delivering briefing notes for the United Nations General Assembly 2019 at Global Affairs Canada. She has grown as a modern and strategic thought leader who provides exceptional insight from related and complementary industry perspectives to reach thoughtful yet capital-driven marketing solutions.

As a marketing and communications manager, Marcia delivers elevated proposals, marketing materials, media strategy, branding assets, and nurtures collaborative opportunities with innovative stakeholders.

With her mindfulness regarding the realities of living through a global pandemic, Marcia's work requires purpose. She has a deep passion for amplifying dynamic projects and connecting communities to the outdoors to promote a balanced and enriching life for all.