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Building Iconic Communities: Exploring the Vision of Landmark Urban Condominiums

Building Iconic Communities: Exploring the Vision of Landmark Urban Condominiums

Above: Attendees at the Walking Tour hosted by the MES York Planning Alumni Committee (MYPAC)

Students and alumni from York University's Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change (EUC) engaged in a hands-on educational experience, exploring Toronto's Dr. Lillian McGregor Park. During the visit, they delved into the park's historical development and gained insights into the role played by the adjacent condominiums in shaping its environment.

On August 30th, the MES York Planning Alumni Committee (MYPAC), organized a walking tour for MES planning students, alumni, and urban development enthusiasts that was led by Lanterra Developments Ltd. Participants explored the park's fascinating history, crafted through parkland dedication from nearby condo developments: The Britt, 11 Wellesley, and Tea House Condominiums.

The tour was led by Orli Schwartz (MES ’18  ), and Daniel Mumlek, of Lanterra Developments, who was joined by her colleagues Danya Tugg, and Josh Slan. The steps that Lanterra Developments took in creating the park and further insights in viewing urbanism through a sustainable lens.

Above: Orli provides insights to attendees about Lanterra’s history behind the development of Dr. Lillian McGregor Park.

After the tour, participants convened for a networking social where they exchanged their perspectives and experiences. Laura Taylor, the coordinator of planning programs at EUC, emphasized the significance of actively participating in such gatherings.

“I had a wonderful experience during the tour because I have a fascination with understanding the origins of things and a deep appreciation for the presence of a newly developed park in the heart of the city. With a keen interest in urban planning, I wholeheartedly recommend that students attend such tours. Engaging in conversations with the individuals responsible for the meticulous planning provides invaluable insights into the intricate nature of these projects and the ultimate satisfaction they bring.”

Another participant, Ada Maciejewsk (MES’ 19), a MES alumni, enjoys the gatherings with students and former MES graduates. She found the walking tour particularly insightful as it revealed hidden facets of the city that they explored together and learned about, thus enhancing her experience as a planner. Being outdoors and discovering unique elements of places they explored made it enjoyable and interesting for her.

Founded in 2004, MYPAC was created to help cultivate connections among planning students, alumni, and professionals within the EUC community. Beyond the engaging walking tour, the committee offers various initiatives, including the PLAN Connector program—an invaluable mentorship initiative that bridges current students with alumni—and fundraising efforts to support student initiatives and events. Led by alumni volunteers, MYPAC presents an opportunity for students to establish networks and build relationships in a relaxed and informal setting. It provides students with a platform to tap into the wisdom of our alumni and showcase the achievements of MES graduates, shedding light on their post-program endeavours.

This fall, MYPAC is gearing up to host its annual Alumni Social taking place on Sept. 28 at Enoch Turner Schoolhouse, which provides students, alumni, and professionals an opportunity to socialize and network in a vibrant Toronto space. The event usually attracts more than 200 York grads and professionals from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.  Register to attend here.

All proceeds from sponsorship and ticket sales go towards MYPAC’s planning fund, which supports students through the MYPAC Prize, sponsorship of field trips, and speaking programs. 

For more information on this event or any other MYPAC initiatives, visit the MYPAC website or contact Joanne Huy, EUC alumni engagement officer, at