Retrospective and future-oriented perspectives on Canadian urban green spaces designed by Frederick Todd.

Frederick Todd was the first resident landscape architect in Canada. At the beginning of the 20th century, he left an indelible mark on many Canadian cities, with his designs for picturesque parks in Montréal, Winnipeg, Vancouver, St. John’s, and Québec City. In 1903, he also created a report on the expansion of the national capital for the Ottawa Improvement Commission, a predecessor to the NCC.

The urban green spaces he left us, which we still enjoy to this day, are a gift. But how do we plan these spaces within a 21st century context? This event will feature discussions with planners and landscape architects who are today working in parks originally designed by Todd.

Featured speakers

John E. Zvonar, OALA, FCSLA
Landscape Architect working in Heritage Conservation

John Zvonar is a recently retired conservation landscape architect. He completed a 30-year run at the federal government’s Centre of Expertise in Heritage Conservation, employing a values-based approach in protecting nationally significant cultural landscapes. John was honoured with his election to the Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture’s College of Fellows in 2014. He continues to exercise his vocation as the next in a continuum of stewards at Maplelawn Garden in Ottawa. He graduated with a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Manitoba.

Matt A. Williams
Urban Planner and Designer
City of Detroit, Planning and Development Department

Matt Williams is an urban planner, landscape designer, and drone photographer based in Detroit, Michigan. Matt currently serves as the project manager in the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department. Matt's passion for community, culture, and gardens has led him to explore large parks, greenways, urban agriculture, and environmental justice projects across the nation. Amongst many interesting and important projects, Matt produced a gallery exhibition entitled “What Could We Do Here? Urban Design Strategies for Vacant Land in Detroit” and a symposium on “Race, Space, and the Unifying Power of Design.” He holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton’s School of Business, and a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University.

David Spector

David Spector is an historian and retired research manager with the Realty Division of Parks Canada in Ottawa. He has published numerous articles and reports throughout his career in the fields of Canadian urban, agricultural, architectural, and labour history. His interest in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Park results from fond childhood memories of that green space. One of his latest publications was a retirement project entitled Assiniboine Park: Designing and Developing a People’s Playground. He also leads hikes and historical walks for Nature Manitoba.


Thursday, April 27, 2023, 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm (EDT)


40 Elgin St., 2nd floor, Ottawa, Ontario


In-person events and the live webcast on YouTube are bilingual with simultaneous interpretation and closed captioning in both official languages. Interpretation of the floor audio is only available during the event.

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