What We Do

Planning

Responsible planning understands and respects the relationship between people, buildings and spaces.

GSP Group Planners offer extensive experience and take a comprehensive and supportive approach to understanding and preparing for responsible land use and community design, whether that is creating an entirely new place or revitalizing existing ones.

Our Planners foster relationships with clients and communities to help both understand common goals and consider all points of view. A sound planning process provides the basis for managing change.

The planning we do today is based on understanding our past and charting an appropriate course for the future to make communities strong and successful.

Urban Design

Art meets science to sculpt outdoor space and strike a balance between built and natural forms. GSP Group Urban Designers add character and charm to urban areas by shaping buildings, streets, villages and cities into memorable places.

Our Urban Designers offer a multidisciplinary team of experts who achieve success by identifying issues early, understanding projects in the context of their communities and effective design to enhance quality of life.

Extensive knowledge about communities. Ability to understand trends. Experience to lead successful public consultations to build support. Our Urban Designers provide this expertise to meet the needs of clients and community by shaping neighbourhoods that are functional, attractive and sustainable places.

Landscape Architecture

Knowing the elements needed to achieve outstanding solutions. Striking the essential balance between form and function, efficiency and pleasure, built and natural environments.

GSP Group Landscape Architects see possibilities in landscape management and realize beauty through design to create better spaces.

Our Landscape Architects are progressive and practical as they apply the right elements to achieve outstanding solutions in parks, streetscapes and private spaces. They do this by working closely with clients, communities and project teams to realize exciting and sustainable designs, from large public spaces to private roof top gardens.

The results are valued by our clients and most importantly, enjoyed by communities.

Cemetery Planning and Design

GSP Group acquired Hilton Landmarks, specializing in cemetery planning and design, to expand our role supporting municipalities as they prepare for long-term cemetery sustainability.

Municipalities across Canada and the United States have trusted Hilton Landmarks with over 750 projects involving business analysis and feasibility studies, master plans, conceptual and detailed design, green burials, land needs analysis, perpetual care funding analysis, reserve fund analysis, pricing and marketing plans, capital cost estimates and comparative pricing reviews.

Hilton Landmarks has also developed a unique cemetery evaluation model to facilitate the analysis and forecasting for operations.

Our Services


PLANNING

Official Plan and Zoning By-law Reviews
Master Plans
Community and Secondary Plans
Municipal Planning Advisory Services
Site Planning
Subdivision and Condominium Plans
Urban and Rural Development Approvals
Development Feasibility and Optimal Use Studies
CPTED Analysis and Design
LEED Neighbourhood Design
Community Improvement Plans
Project Management
Public Consultation and Facilitation
Expert Testimony
Expropriation and Compensation Studies
Planning Justification Reports
Recreational Master Planning

URBAN DESIGN

Design Guidelines
Master Plans
Heritage Conservation Plans
Height and Massing Studies
Community Improvement Studies
Streetscape and Public Realm Plans

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

Parks, Recreation and Trails Planning and Design
Cemetery Planning and Design
Streetscape
Residential, Commercial, Industrial and Campus Outdoor Spaces
Site Plan Approval
Vegetation and Tree Management Plans
Contract Administration
Construction Administration
Site Inspection

CEMETERY PLANNING AND DESIGN

Land Needs Analysis
Business Analysis
Feasibility Studies
Master Plans
Detailed Design
Perpetual Care Fund Analysis
Ground Penetrating Radar

Client Testimonials


Guelph Correctional Centre

It has been my experience that GSP Group is always very thorough and logical, attentive to detail, knowledgeable, responsive and very professional. In addition, I would note GSP Group has been our planning consultant for almost three years and that experience has been only positive.

Waterloo Region District School Board building.

As a school board, we have little experience in developing lands on this scale (18 acres) and have depended upon the professional advice and planning services of GSP to guide and support us in this complicated project.

Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan

The consultants listened to the community and recorded their input accurately and in detail. The consultants incorporated in detail the views of the community in their (Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan) report. The concept drawings which were displayed are excellent.

John Picard, owner of Picard's Peanuts.

We were running into problems with our planning applications, so we contacted GSP Group. With their experience and guidance, they were able to put together the right team to address issues and successfully attain the necessary approvals. GSP Group won me over with their knowledge and resolution of issues in the complexities of approvals so that I could get on with my passion for making beer and kettle chips from farm products grown locally.

 

Awards

GSP Group Senior Designer Steve Loughran receives a Canadian Association of Certified Professional Planners Award for his work on the Hunt Club Estates Neighbourhood in Cambridge.

Community Design Award for Hunt Club Estates

The Canadian Association of Certified Planning Technicians presented GSP Group Senior Designer Steve Loughran, CPT, with a Community Design Award for his work on the Hunt Club Estates Neighbourhood mixed-use community in Cambridge. Based on input from stakeholders and the public, Steve prepared a draft plan of subdivision, zoning schedules, severance sketches, trail plans, detailed concept plans, and 3D models. His 3D visualizations helped resolve issues and reach consensus toward changing land use policy and zoning. Details are available here.... Read More

Members of the Barton-Tiffany Design team led by GSP Group during the Hamilton Urban Design Awards.

Barton-Tiffany Earns Urban Design Award for Excellence

GSP Group and its design team received a Hamilton Urban Design Award for Excellence in Community Planning for a study of the Barton-Tiffany downtown neighbourhood. The study involved consultation looking at opportunities for ways to regenerate the West Harbour area. The jury noted the innovative approach knits the former industrial area into the fabric of the surrounding community through streets and public spaces. “The jury praises the balanced approach of promoting a modest scale of development that will not siphon up density within one area. The study envisions a low-rise and mid-rise form of mixed use, transit oriented development planned around a network of high... Read More

GSP Group prepared a streetscape master plan and urban design guidelines for Downtown Thorold. The project received an honourable mention at the 2014 Niagara Community Design Awards.

Distinction for Downtown Thorold Design

The Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan led by GSP Group received a Niagara Community Design Awards honourable mention. The plan recommends improvements to accessibility, pedestrian infrastructure and consideration of a new linear open space through the downtown. The Review Committee described this project as an inspiration for other communities. The plan builds on recent private developments and considers how public space can support further investment, re-investment and intensification within the core.... Read More

Sustainability

GSP Group supports sustainable development through our designs, land use and policy work, and community engagement. Whenever possible, we incorporate low impact design into landscape projects, support alternative energy generation initiatives, promote transit-oriented development, and encourage sustainable policy directives.

We also have to do our part.

In November 2016, GSP Group joined the Regional Sustainability Initiative. This is the flagship program of Sustainable Waterloo Region. It helps businesses establish and maintain sustainable practices to lower greenhouse gas emissions.

GSP Group is at the “building” stage of the program. We are researching and recording current practices to understand how we impact our carbon footprint. To do this, we established a Green Team which meets regularly to promote and implement sustainable actions in the office. We no longer buy single-use water bottles. We encourage litterless lunches. We are printing less. And, we are walking, cycling and using public transit to commute.

We have more work to do, and look forward to moving ahead in the program.

Professional Associations

Affiliations

Careers

Urban Design Practice Lead and Urban Designer

 

GSP Group is celebrating 25 years of practice providing community planning, urban design and landscape architecture services throughout southwestern Ontario. From our offices in downtown Kitchener and Hamilton, GSP Group serves the private and public sectors on a wide range of projects.

GSP Group has big plans for the future and we need the best talent to make it happen.  As a multi-discipline land use planning, urban design and landscape architecture firm, the business is always evolving.  Our team needs to be agile, ambitious and creative in pursuit of our shared goals. This is an amazing and unique opportunity for an experienced and high-performing professional to join our well-established, award-winning multi-disciplinary team in a primary leadership role.

At GSP Group, collaboration is a key part of our identity and success. With so many talented professionals, you’ll find cross-discipline support for projects is always within reach.  Our team is made up of the industry’s best land use planners and landscape architects, and we want to bolster our burgeoning urban design team.  Together, we are “shaping great communities” with smart, influential design.

We are seeking an Urban Design Practice Lead in the Kitchener office where you will:

  • Lead and continue to elevate the firm’s multi-disciplinary urban design practice within a collaborative team structure including business development, identification of new work opportunities and coordination of proposals, project management and overall assignment and distribution of work among the urban design team, recruitment, mentorship, professional learning and training, performance review, and other key leadership roles.
  • Coordinate, direct and oversee project design efforts and the development of concepts, design briefs, reports, guidelines and other deliverables for planning and urban design projects of a wide range of types and scales, by:
    • Providing conceptual design direction at early stages of project development, and continued design leadership throughout project progression.
    • Identifying and organizing required project resources, developing work plans, budgets, timelines and strategies, and obtaining client approvals.
    • Assigning staff to selected projects and tasks by providing direction, monitoring, and ongoing guidance.
    • Maintaining and enhancing client relations as the key liaison for urban design projects and assignments.
    • Participating in project design and delivering on project requirements.
    • Communicating design proposals and solutions through effective and compelling presentations to a range of audiences and approval authorities.
    • Fostering an environment of teamwork, collaboration and creativity to achieve design excellence.
  • Join the firm’s management team contributing to a range of business decisions and support the continued growth and success of the firm, providing updates, advice and direction to continue to grow and advance the urban design team.
  • Pursuing and securing municipal urban design projects including review of requests for proposals, coordinating and developing work plans, budgets, schedules and proposal submissions, and leading/managing these projects.
  • Demonstrate and exemplify the firm’s high standards of design and quality in projects and deliverables and identify and coordinate submissions for urban design awards.
  • Be recognized both internally and externally as a leader in the field of urban design including participation in industry events, speaking engagements, articles, and key liaison for this area of the firm’s practice.
  • Ideally will have a design-based degree, such as Architecture, Landscape Architecture or Urban Design, although a Planning degree with significant Urban Design experience will also be considered, and all candidates will a minimum of ten (10) years of relevant work experience;
  • Demonstrate effective leadership, management, communication and organizational skills, such as the ability to set and achieve team goals, inspire and motivate staff including individual goal-setting and personal and professional development, and building a positive and productive team environment and culture;
  • Have diverse visualization abilities including both hand-drawn and digital (such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, Sketchup, or similar, AutoCAD proficiency preferred but not required);
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Microsoft Office including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as online meeting applications such as Teams and Zoom.

We are also seeking an Urban Designer in the Kitchener office where you will:

  • Prepare concepts, design briefs, reports, guidelines and other deliverables for a wide range of planning and urban design projects;
  • Complete site review and analysis and determine and illustrate opportunities and constraints;
  • Create conceptual and detailed designs and related graphics and visual representations, including hand-drawn and digital drawings, sketches or models for a variety of development proposals and to demonstrate and visualize key concepts and strategies;
  • Develop materials for consultation events and assist with community and stakeholder engagement activities;
  • Apply a range of visualization and communication techniques including hand-drawing skills and digital visualization tools with proficiency in design and graphics software such as Adobe Illustrator and InDesign, Sketchup, or similar, with AutoCAD proficiency preferred but not required.
  • Be proficient with Microsoft Office including Word, PowerPoint and Excel, as well as online meeting applications such as Teams and Zoom.

GSP Group is a great place to work. We have a dynamic team of professionals committed to creating great places, and doing so in a collegial, professional environment. We are an employee-owned firm and offer competitive salaries and benefits.

Qualified applicants are invited to send a cover letter, resume and portfolio in confidence to gsp@gspgroup.ca, or to GSP Group Inc., 72 Victoria Street South, Suite 201, Kitchener, ON N2G 4Y9. We would like to hear from you as soon as possible and no later than October 30, 2020. We thank all those who submit applications however only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.