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Advisory Board

To implement a high calibre program, Open Streets TO has secured a board of advisors with diverse expertise to ensure that our program will be a success. 

Gil Penalosa│International Open Streets & Recreation Advisor

Gil Penalosa is passionate about cities for all people. Gil advises decision makers and communities on how to create vibrant cities and healthy communities for everyone regardless of social, economic, or ethnic background. His focus is the design and use of parks and streets as great public places, as well as sustainable mobility: walking, cycling and use of public transit.


Because of Gil’s unique blend of pragmatism and passion, his leadership

and advice is sought out by many cities and organizations. As Executive

Director of the Canadian non-profit organization 8-80 Cities for the past 8 years, Gil has worked in over 150 different cities on all continents.


As former Commissioner of Parks, Sport and Recreation for the City of Bogota, Colombia, Gil successfully led the design and development of over 200 parks of which Simon Bolivar, a 360 hectare park in the heart of the city, is the best known; here he created the Summer Festival, with over 100 events in 10 days and more than 3 million people attending, making it the main annual recreational and cultural event in the country. Gil’s team also initiated the “new Ciclovia” – a program that sees over 1 million people walk, run, skate and bike along 121 kilometers of Bogotá’s city roads every Sunday, and today it’s internationally recognized and emulated.


Gil also works as Urban Expert on Mobility and Citizen Engagement for the renowned Danish firm Gehl Architects. He serves on the Board of Directors of City Parks Alliance, USA, and is a Senior Advisor to StreetFilms in NYC, American Trails and America Walks. Gil holds an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, where he recently was selected as one of the “100 Most Inspirational Alumni” in the school’s history. Last year he received the Queen Elizabeth II - Diamond Jubilee Medal, given by the Governor General of Canada, and was named one of the “Top 10 Most Influential Hispanic – Canadians”. Lately Gil also contributed chapters to three books: Enabling Cycling Cities: Ingredients for Success – CIVITAS, Europe; Facilities for Cyclists – Copenhagen, Denmark; Resilient Sustainable Cities, Melbourne, Australia.

Mark Garner│Business Advisor

Mark Garner is the Executive Director and Chief of Staff for the Downtown

Yonge Business Improvement Area in downtown Toronto.


Mark has over 30 years experience as a senior executive in corporate development, customer management and operations, with a focus on economics and company profitability – for many of North America’s Top 50 companies.  


Over the past decade he has increasingly focused on the revitalization and development of urban downtowns, playing an integral role in catalyzing on economics, neighbourhoods, social innovation and incubators.


His goal is always to build inclusive and healthy communities. Mark is a city-builder, an advocate for change and a key influencer in the evolution of downtown environments. He believes that collaboration and partnership are pivotal to change, as are consensus-building and a shared vision.


As an advocate and implementer of Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), Mark’s vision for Toronto is that of a city that is: inclusive; focused on public realm uses; founded on healthy and vibrant communities; engaged in arts and culture; and committed to active lifestyle projects.


A passion for music, arts and culture through proactive programming of parks, laneways and other unique assets has driven Mark to play a key role in activating urban neighbourhoods. His ideas and approach have been acknowledged by numerous awards and by being emulated in other communities.

Nancy Smith Lea│Active Transportation Advisor

Nancy Smith Lea is the Director of the Toronto Centre for Active

Transportation (TCAT). Nancy has decades of experience in research and

project management and has been actively involved in working toward

improving conditions for active transportation in Toronto since 1993. She

has published several articles on barriers and incentives to cycling and

has been invited to speak on a regular basis at conferences and other

public forums about her active transportation work. In 2010, Nancy was

awarded the Toronto Community Foundation’s prestigious Vital People

grant for “Putting Active Transportation on the map.”


Her articles include Colliding Modes of Transportation: Issues of Inequity and Unsustainability, published in the peer-reviewed Environments Journal (2000), Toronto Cyclists Fight for Respect in the Planners Network Journal (2002), Urban Cycling Safety: Individual or Social Responsibility? published in the National Center for Bicycling and Walking Forum (2003), Bike Lanes – Good for Us, Our City, and the Bottom Line in Harvey Kalles Collections Magazine Volume 5, Issue 3 (2009), Converting On-Street Parking to Active Transportation in Toronto: Two Studies of Merchant and Patron Preferences in the Walk21 conference proceedings (2010), and A (Transportation) Tale of Three Cities in Collections Magazine (2011).

Ken Greenberg│City Planning Advisor

Ken Greenberg, Principal, Greenberg Consultants Inc., is an urban designer, teacher, writer, former Director of Urban Design and Architecture for the City of Toronto.


For over 30 years he has played a pivotal role on public and private assignments in urban settings throughout North America and Europe, focusing on the rejuvenation of downtowns, waterfronts, neighbourhoods and on campus master planning, regional growth management and new community planning.


Cities as diverse as Toronto, Hartford, Amsterdam, New York, Boston, Montréal, Ottawa, Edmonton, Calgary, St. Louis, Washington DC, Paris, Detroit, Saint Paul and San Juan, Puerto Rico have benefited from his advocacy and passion for restoring the vitality, relevance and sustainability of the public realm in urban life. In each city, with each project, his strategic, consensus-building approach has led to coordinated planning and a renewed focus on urban design. He is the recipient of the 2010 American Institute of Architects Thomas Jefferson Award for public design excellence and the author of “Walking Home: The Life and Lessons of a City Builder” published by Random House.

Mark Patterson│Research and Community Outcomes Advisor

Mark Patterson, Director, Research Partnership Development, Office of the Vice President, Research & Innovation at Ryerson University, is an expert in the career development and placement of young professionals from diverse educational backgrounds.


He currently provides leadership in the strategic direction of the Office of Research and Innovation to develop new sources of research funding from industrial, government and community partners to advance Ryerson’s research strategy with a focus on large grants, donations and contract research. In his current role Mark also leads the implementation of a revolutionary new social media platform for connecting the Ryerson community to both internal and external opportunities.


Mark also speaks at conferences and webcasts about career leadership and development for young professionals who are transitioning into the workforce. Mark was the Director of Progress at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone where he worked to ensure the effective progression of over 30 companies that were being incubated within the Digital Media Zone.

Alan Brookes│Operations Advisor

Alan Brookes is the Founder and Race Director for the Canada Running Series. The CRS is Canada's premier running series, composed currently of eight races from Quebec to British Columbia.  The most notable races in the CRS stable are the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon and Toronto Yonge Street 10k.


Some of Alan’s accomplishments include:

  • Started organizing races ~1983

  • 1984 founded TIMEX Race Series (that eventually became a national program)

  •  1986-88 Co-Race Director of Toronto Marathon

  •  1990 – onwards founded Coors Light Running Series that evolved into Canada Running

          Series, Canada’s premier running circuit

  •  2000 added Toronto Waterfront Marathon

  •  2009, 2011, worked with Athletics Canada to support National Teams for World

          Championships Marathons

  • 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Award for Community Service

  • 2012 received Get Out There Magazine Leadership Award

  • 2013 received Canadian Running Magazine “Gold Shoe Award” for Community


Denise Pinto│Public Realm Advisor

Denise is the Global Director at Jane’s Walk, Design Lead at Galumph and Chair of the Editorial Board at GROUND Magazine.


Denise is fond of saying: “I’m one part industrial designer, one part landscape architect and one part crayons.” She is committed to ideas around walkability, the design of beautiful and accessible public spaces, the engagement of a community with its own urban environment and the exploration of the city by foot and bicycle.


Denise also uses her skills in illustration and web design as the Chair of the Editorial Board for GROUND Magazine, a publication dedicated to all things Landscape Architecture.

Hugo Alves│Legal Advisor

Hugo Alves is a corporate and commercial lawyer who specializes in complex domestic and international commercial transactions. Hugo has advised industry-leading Canadian and foreign clients in connection with public procurements of goods and services, outsourcing transactions, information technology transactions, private mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financings and the structuring and implementation of tailored joint venture and strategic alliance arrangements. Hugo also has experience in private equity and venture capital transactions including significant domestic and cross-border search fund formation and structuring. 


Hugo is also one of Canada’s most active sustainability lawyers with a focus on clean technology, renewable energy, climate change and carbon emissions transactions. He is a trusted advisor to some of the world’s leading renewable energy developers and carbon market participants. His clients rely on his understanding of carbon markets and regulatory frameworks to help them capitalize on climate change opportunities around the globe.


Hugo is fluent in Portuguese and is a member of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce, where he acts as a Co-Chair of the BCCC’s Sustainability Committee. Hugo is also an active member of the International Emissions Trading Association.

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