Peter Halsall

Peter Halsall, President & CEO, Canadian Urban Institute

Peter_HalsallPeter Halsall was appointed President and CEO of the Canadian Urban Institute in July 2013.

Peter is an award-winning engineer and entrepreneurial businessman who has led the growth of 3 innovative companies, beginning with expansion of employee-owned Halsall Associates to a firm of more than 350 people located in eight offices across Canada. Halsall was rated as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces for the last 7 years by the Great Places to Work Institute. As part of the Halsall group, Peter also launched Pivotal Projects Ltd., a national project management firm, and Loop Initiatives Ltd, a management consulting firm for sustainability. The group was purchased by Parsons Brinckerhoff in 2010, for which he served as the Global Sustainability Lead.

Peter is committed to motivating change in urban development to incorporate evidence based decision-making towards more balanced outcomes. He is often called upon to present his opinions about urban sustainability. He sat on the Design Review Panels for the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto for 5 years each as the sustainability representative.


Chairman, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall  2010 – 2013

Upon sale of the employee-owned businesses below to Parson Brinckerhoff, PBHalsall became the Canadian operating company. Responsible for management oversight of the operating companies, which included Halsall Associates (building engineering), Pivotal Projects (development advisors and project management); Loop Initiatives (sustainability consulting), and expansion of the business into services aligned with the global operations. He was also the Global Sustainability Market Lead and initiated the global Building Engineering strategy initiatives. He maintained his Project Principal role on a range of projects, with a particular specialty in researching and resolving design and construction failures.

Founder and President, Loop Initiatives  2007- 2013

Sustainability Management consulting – designing programs for integrating sustainability into organizational culture. A core focus was in benchmarking best practices and implementing the IRIS, a proprietary engagement tool for tracking and communicating progress.

Founder and Chairman, Pivotal Projects  2003 – 2013

Construction project management and development advisors – founded this company in Toronto to provide project management services to Halsall clients who had grown to trust Halsall for engineering and wanted the same attention to service in managing their new development or building renovation projects. The company grew to a national operation with over 50 employees managing commercial, institutional, residential, industrial and transportation projects.

Chairman/CEO, Halsall Associates 1995 – 2013

Led this employee owned Building Engineering firm founded in 1956 through growth from 70 to over 300 employees and from 3 to 8 offices. Services included Structural Engineering; Facility Evaluation, Restoration and Capital Planning; Green planning and design; and Forensic Engineering. Champion for the company’s sustainability initiative started in 1998 and for developing the Green Building services started in 2002. Established the Vancouver and Calgary offices. Company recognized as one of Canada’s Best Workplaces from the Great Places to Work Institute since 2007, and the Macleans Magazine Top Employers list from 2003 to 2006.


  • Member, Chairman’s Advisory Board, University of Toronto Department of Civil Engineering, 2004 to present – Contact: Brenda McCabe, Past Chair; Brent Sleep, Chair
  • Member, Advisory Board, GMC Centre for Engineering Design, McMaster University, 2008 – present – Contact: Vladimir Mahalec, Professor of Chemical Engineering, Director of GMC Centre
  • Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel, 2005 – 2010 – Contact: Chris Glaisek, Vice President, Planning and Design, and John Campbell, President and CEO
  • City of Toronto Design Review Panel, 2007 – 2011 – Contact: Robert Freedman, Director, Urban Design
  • NAIOP REX Awards Reviewer – 2008 – 2012 – Contact: Nancy Cohen, VP Strategic Planning, Cushman & Wakefield Ltd.


  • Recipient, Sustainable Buildings Canada, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012
  • Fellow, The Canadian Academy of Engineering, 2011
  • Anthony A. Woods Award of Excellence, Ontario Building Envelope Council, 2010
  • Inductee, Alumni Hall of Distinction, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 2009
  • Arbour Award, University of Toronto, 2005
  • Mid-Career Award “In Recognition of Meritorious Service in and for the Profession”, Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering, University of Toronto, 2002


  • Member, Professional Engineers of Ontario
  • Member, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia
  • Member, Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta


  • M.A.Sc., Civil Engineering (Structural, Biomedical), University of Toronto, 1980
  • B.A.Sc. Civil Engineering (Structures), University of Toronto, 1977



Natalia Ortiz Moreno

Natalia Ortiz, student of Project Management Environmental (PME) program in Seneca Polytechnic, has an Environmental Engineering background completed at Universidad El Bosque in Colombia. She has always been involved in sustainability roles and projects that included Environmental Management Systems implementation, Water Treatment Systems’ design and operation, Hazardous and Conventional Waste management and minimization practices, as well as Ecosystem’s Conservation and Energy
Efficiency programs.

For the PME – Applied Project Management Course, Natalia developed a Green Roof Assessment Tool for Seneca Polytechnic’s Office of Sustainability, with the aim to provide green roof technology recommendations best suited to a particular scenario, taking into consideration multiple aspects of green roofs and buildings; infrastructure, design, materials, environmental factors, and costs, as well as the Toronto Municipal Code – Green Roof bylaw. Natalia also has a scientific journal publication as the main author of the project “Selection and sizing of industrial wastewater treatment units required at the
new maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) aircraft facility owned by Avianca S.A. in Rionegro Antioquia” in the El Bosque University Journal of Technology.

Natalia strongly believes there are several research topics left to be developed, and the importance of
working towards Sustainability from different backgrounds, knowledge, and cultures to build strong, productive, and resilient communities.
With the vision of growing cities and infrastructure along with nature, always preserving and respecting the ecosystems’ attributes and services, Natalia would like to keep researching and acquiring more experience in Sustainability roles.

Emily Smit

Emily is a second-year PhD student in Geography at the University of Toronto, and a co-operator of a small home renovation company, Magnus Home Improvements. Her research seeks to determine how single-family homes can quickly and best be retrofit to achieve Toronto’s emissions reductions targets – including net-zero by 2040 – as part of the TransformTO climate action plan. Specifically, she will assess the impact of municipal home energy reporting and disclosure programs, as well as produce recommendations for growing the retrofit labour force in ways that attend to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Further, her research seeks to understand how home retrofit activities can be regenerative and produce net-positive impacts for humans and the environment towards transformative, place-based sustainability. When not at her computer, Emily can be found cycling with her kids to and from school or making funky sounds on her analog synthesizer.

Bofa Udisi

Bofa is a sustainability professional with over seven years in the energy and environment industry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Energy and Petroleum Studies from Novena University in Nigeria and graduate certificates in Energy Management and Environmental Project Management from Seneca College in Toronto. In 2020, he graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Master of Environment and Business degree. He is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Building Science program at Toronto Metropolitan University, researching whole-life carbon reduction in new construction and building renovations.

Bofa‘s work experience is primarily in the built environment, working in the private and public sectors in roles that involve structural and environmental assessment of building structures, HVAC engineering design and sales, and facilities management. Bofa is a member of several industry associations, such as the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE), the American Society for Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), and the Project Management Institute (PMI). SBC’s bursary will go a long way in supporting Bofa‘s research and his desire to learn.