Join Canadian Club Toronto on September 26 when Jennifer Keesmaat will present her plan to build a better Toronto with strong, decisive leadership. Keesmaat will discuss her bold but realistic plan to build 100,000 new affordable homes, create a better transit network and safer streets for everyone.
Jennifer Keesmaat is a passionate and outspoken advocate of city building efforts that enhance the livability, affordability, and sustainability of the City of Toronto. As Toronto's Chief Planner, Jennifer's priorities included the implementation of the Planning Division's new Strategic Plan; the promotion of mid-rise development along the city's Avenues as part of a strategy to develop more complete communities; providing residents with more access to city-building conversations through an improved consultation process; a renewed focus on evidence-based transit planning; and overseeing development review for the City's 5000+ annual development applications.
Jennifer's expertise was honed through her extensive work in the private sector, characterized by an emphasis on the creation of complete communities, the facilitation of collaborations across sectors, and broad engagement with residents, municipal staff, Council, developers, business leaders, NGOs, and other stakeholders. She was a founding partner of DIALOG, an award-winning urban planning firm that today employs more than 600 people in offices across Canada and the U.S, and she served as the CEO of Creative Housing Society, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the creation of affordable rental housing in Canada’s major cities.
Over the past decade, Jennifer has been recognized by the Canadian Institute of Planners, the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, the Design Exchange and +EDRA for her work in municipalities across Canada, having earned a variety of awards for planning excellence. She has also served as Chair of the Urban Land Institute and a Distinguished Visitor in Residence at the University of Toronto.
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from Western University and Masters of Environmental Studies, Planning from York University, and lives in Toronto with her husband, Tom, and children, Alexandra and Luis.