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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.

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Misha Franta

Senior Associate, 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.

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Leandra Correale Ferguson

Associate, Planner, RPP, MCIP

Leandra is an Associate at thinc design. She has a Master’s in Environmental Studies, Planning from York University, where her Masters research focused on green space retrofits and park planning. She also has a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences, Geography and Ecology, from the University of Guelph.

As an Associate, Leandra acts as a senior Planner and Project Manager, coordinating team members, conceptualizing key priorities in the plans, advising and providing quality control, conducting needs assessments, and ensuring the project remains on schedule. She also participates in community consultations and acts as the main contact for clients.

Nick Taylor

Associate, 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.

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Danielle Lenarcic Biss

Associate, Planner, RPP, MCIP

Danielle is an Associate at thinc design and a Registered Professional Planner. She holds a Master of Planning from Toronto Metropolitan (formerly Ryerson) University and a Bachelor of Arts with First-Class Honours from Mount Allison University.

As an Associate, Danielle leads projects and teams to advance the firm. She leverages her nimbleness, proven work ethic, conscientiousness, and strong interpersonal skills to gain the trust of clients, collaborators, and community members.

Working as a senior planner and project manager, Danielle develops parks and recreation master plans for municipalities of all sizes that are grounded in thorough writing, research, needs assessments, and community engagement.

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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.

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Lauren Dickson

Landscape Architect

Lauren is a graduate of the Bachelor of Landscape Architecture program from the University of Guelph and is a full member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.

Lauren has worked as a landscape designer and subconsultant for several residential properties throughout Southern Ontario.
As a landscape architect at thinc design, Lauren is involved in a range of projects undertaken by the studio, including public park design, schoolground design, mid to high rise development, streetscape design, waterfront design, and parks master planning. Her responsibilities include conceptual and detailed design drawings, tender and construction documents, contract administration and public consultation. She also uses 3D modelling software to bring the studio’s drawings to life for client and agency approval.

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.

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.

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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.

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Paul Bukowiec

Landscape Designer

Paul is a graduate of Landscape Architecture with a minor in Business at the University of Guelph. Previously he was a landscape architectural student intern with thinc, but decided to return upon graduation. Over his past few years, he has developed a strong graphic design skill set and an intuition for functional and aesthetic design.

From a young age, he has been passionate about drawing and creating. Expressing his creativity through landscape design is something he is enthusiastic about. Living in Toronto for most of his life has enabled him to develop a strong aspiration for urban landscape design, aimed at creating lively and viable spaces for all to enjoy. During his downtime, you can find him outdoors. He has an appetite for maintaining a healthy vigorous lifestyle, whether it be through cycling, backpacking or gardening.

At thinc, Paul assists with a wide range of project tasks. He has worked on several park and recreation Master Plan proposals along with designing layouts for a handful of reports. He has also worked closely with senior landscape architects at thinc to develop conceptual designs and presentation graphics for clients such throughout Southern Ontario.

Madison

Madison Busby

Landscape Designer

Madison is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph's Landscape Architecture Program with a certification in Environmental Citizenship. With a strong passion for environmental health and conservation and a keen interest in art and biology, she found landscape design to be the ideal career path.

During her studies, Madison undertook an honours thesis exploring ecosystem integration within urban landscapes. Her research aimed to address the challenges of climate issues and biodiversity loss through the implementation of integrative nature-based solutions, allowing for their coexistence. This research stood at the forefront of her final Capstone project, where she proposed a shopping centre redesign of Mississauga's Sheridan Centre. This project includes facets of New Urbanism, including urban and streetscape design, community design, sustainable design, and mixed-use development.

Her previous experience in her seasonal positions, including landscape maintenance and garden center sales and design, granted her extensive knowledge in plant identification and care and an understanding of the importance of native planting and maintenance in the landscape for ecosystem health and natural heritage awareness.

Franco Chan

Franco Chan

Landscape Designer

Franco is a Landscape Designer at thinc design and graduated from Fanshawe College in 2020 with an Advanced Diploma in Landscape Design. He continued his studies at the University of Guelph and graduated in 2022 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Landscape Architecture. Currently he is working towards obtaining his full membership with the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.

When not at work, Franco is a passionate rock climber who has competed at the provincial level. His love for outdoor rock climbing and its “leave no trace” movement drives him to be as ecologically and environmentally responsible wherever and whenever possible. When coupled with his interest in modern architecture and urban design, Franco is inspired to create more sustainable designs while constantly advocating for more environmentally focused approaches.

Before joining thinc, Franco’s experiences in landscape construction and garden maintenance provided him with a practical foundation and understanding for his work and designs. Franco has been applying his knowledge as a landscape designer for the past few years with a focus on installing native and responsible plantings to promote healthier and more sustainable urban ecosystems.