Planner-in-Residence 2020-2021

Rob Horne headshotEach year, the School of Planning hosts a Planner-in-Residence, an expert who teaches and conducts seminars. The program gives students and professors the opportunity to interact with professionals who are leaders in their field. The Planner-in-Residence program is funded by the University of Waterloo Planning Alumni of Toronto.

The School of Planning is proud to announce the 2020-2021 Planner-in-Residence, Rob Horne.

Rob is a seasoned planning leader with over 30 years of municipal experience. He was the Commissioner of Planning, Development and Legislative Services for over a decade with the Region of Waterloo until 2016, followed by a three year role as Chief Administrative Officer with the City of Stratford. He has also worked at the Federal and Provincial government levels, and comes from a family-owned small business.

Rob's planning work has been wide-ranging, from assisting senior government levels with policy and program development, to the preparation and implementation of Strategic Plans, as well as major development planning, financing and construction. Some of the initiatives Rob has led include the preparation and implementation of the Community Building Strategy to support and guide investment in the Waterloo Region ION rapid transit corridor, the creation of over 1000 new units of affordable housing throughout Waterloo Region, the construction of the Ken Seiling Regional Museum, and the approval of a new Regional Official Plan by Council in 2016. More recently, Rob has worked to further guide expansion plans for the successful and growing University of Waterloo Stratford Campus, including a proposed new Student Life/Community Hub, and the redevelopment of the Stratford Festival's Tom Patterson Theatre, now built and scheduled to open in 2021.

Rob has held a variety of leadership positions, including his role as the Chair of the Regional Planning Commissioners of Ontario, Chair of the South Waterloo Housing Authority, and various Board memberships, including the Cambridge Memorial Hospital, the Woolwich Community Health Centre, the Ontario Non-Profit Housing Association, and the University of Waterloo Accelerator Centre.

Rob holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Waterloo, a diploma in Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario, and is a Registered Professional Planner.

Currently, Rob is a Senior Advisor with Overlap Associates, a firm that practices Human Centred Design with public and private sector clients. He is also active in supporting mental health, and is a member of the Ontario Provincial Police's Southwestern Ontario Mental Health Advisory Committee. In addition, Rob advocates for better mental health supports for first responders through his work with the Homewood Research Institute, headquartered in Guelph, Ontario.

Active and authentic collaboration, excellence in communications, and a balanced approach to economic, social and environmental issues are long standing hallmarks of Rob's planning practice.

To view Rob Horne's most recent public lecture, "Excellence Through Humanity: Planning’s Wobbly Paradigm Shift", click here.

 Previous Planners-in-Residence

  • Ann Joyner, Strategic Planning Advisor, Dillon Consulting
  • Dana Anderson, Partner, MHBC Planning, Burlington Office
  • Lee Anne Doyle, former Executive Director & Chief Building Official, City of Windsor
  • Bill Green, GSP Group
  • Paul E. Johnston, Johnston Litavski Ltd.
  • Dan Leeming - The Planning Partnership
  • Aristotle Christou - The Christou Group
  • Lori Martin - Senior Cultural Affairs Officer, City of Toronto
  • Glenn R. Miller - Vice President, Canadian Urban Institute
  • Paul Puopolo - Associate, IBI Group
  • Ian MacNaughton - President MHBC Planning
  • Paula Dill - Commissioner of Urban Development Services - City of Toronto
  • Bob Lehman - President of Meridian Planning Consultants
  • Brian Tuckey - Commissioner of Planning and Development Services - Region of York
  • Daniel Burns - Public Policy Consultant - Government of Ontario
  • Ray Simpson - Senior Consultant - Hemson Consulting Ltd.
  • Antony G. Marcil - Senior Policy Advisor
  • Marilou McPhedran - Director, International Women's Rights Project
  • Cameron Kitchen - Senior Consultant
  • John Farrow - Consultant
  • Helen Cooper - Municipal Consultant
  • Ron Farrow - Former Special Advisor for Policy Development
  • Henry Stewart - Planning Consultant
  • Gardner Church - Consultant
  • John Sweeney - Former Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

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