Former Chief Planner, City of Toronto | Renowned Urbanist
Jennifer Keesmaat is passionate about creating places where people flourish. Named one of the “most powerful people in Canada” by Maclean’s, and one of the “most influential” by Toronto Life, she spent five years as Toronto’s Chief City Planner, where she was celebrated for her innovative and collaborative approach to city-building. Now a Distinguished Visitor in Residence at the University of Toronto, Keesmaat shares her vision for cities of the future, and her belief in inspired leadership.
Over the past fifteen years, Keesmaat has worked in municipalities across Canada on urban design guidelines, official plan reviews, culture strategies, and university campus master plans. Her planning practice has been characterized by an emphasis on collaborations across sectors, and broad engagement with municipal staff, councils, developers, business leaders, NGO’s, and residents associations.
Keesmaat is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, and has a Master in Environmental Studies from York University. She is a Registered Professional Planner, and her innovative work has been repeatedly recognized by the professional associations, including the Canadian Institute of Planners, OPPI, the Design Exchange, and + EDRA.