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It is with a very heavy heart that we share the tragic news that Roger Farwell, a long-time member of our team and former Partner, has passed away.


Roger was instrumental in positioning WalterFedy as a strong architectural partner within the Waterloo Region and beyond. As an avid community supporter, he was a huge driver of WalterFedy’s commitment to community building for many years. Roger was passionate about everything he touched and was always looking for ways to make the Waterloo Region the best place to live and work.



Roger’s many awards and accolades speak to the quality of man he was and the important role he played in not only shaping WalterFedy, but the world around him. In 2015, he received the Waterloo Award, which is Waterloo’s highest civic honour given to community members who have helped enhance the quality of life for all in Waterloo. Also in 2015, Roger was inducted into the GVCA Hall of Fame for the incredible mark he made on the construction industry in the Waterloo Region.


In September 2014, he was the recipient of the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award. This award honours individuals who volunteer their time to help others, creating a smarter and more caring nation. That same year, he received the Michael R. Follett Community Leader Award, which recognizes an individual’s commitment to the community in which they live and work. In 2010, he received the second annual Waterloo Region Record Barnraiser Award in recognition of his significant volunteer involvement with organizations such as Participation House, Junior Achievement, and KW Counselling.


His project work at WalterFedy was just as extensive as his community work. He was responsible for the direction of some of our most successful projects including the KidsAbility Centre for Child Development, the John McGivney Children’s Centre in Windsor, numerous Police Headquarters and Divisions, and YMCAs across the province.


He was also meticulous in his commitment to understanding and capturing client’s visions, which is why he was so greatly respected and appreciated by his team members and his clients. When leading a pursuit, he was always inclusive of the whole pursuit team and showed that highlighting the strengths of everyone is what makes WalterFedy shine.


Roger’s commitment to building lasting relationships – even as he spent more time with his family and less time at work over the last few years – set him apart. He was an insightful and patient mentor for many people across the company, especially in the Architecture group. His passion for developing people into strong professionals and community advocates will be his legacy at WalterFedy.


Roger will be greatly missed, and our thoughts are with his family at this time.


Garth Cressman, CEO, and Jamie Van Dyk, Board Chair


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Leveraging inspiration from our new strategic plan, last October I sat down with our Sustainability Advisory Committee to discuss what bold steps we could take to reaffirm our commitment to sustainability and enhancing the world around us. We had just purchased carbon offsets for 2019 and for the first time in WalterFedy’s almost 70-year history, we could say that we were a carbon-neutral company. While we were excited about this big step we wondered where we could go from here.


One of our core values at WalterFedy is Integrity. Integrity means that we “do the right thing,” and not just when it’s convenient. We had set strong carbon reduction goals with Sustainable Waterloo Region and we felt we had done a good thing in purchasing carbon offsets, but we also knew we needed to do more. A true commitment to the environment comes through real organizational and operational change and not just strategic giving.


We used this as a springboard to propel our firm toward more substantive changes and set to work in building an ambitious plan to present to our board. Our proposal included a commitment to aggressively cut our greenhouse gas emissions from our 2017 levels by 60% by 2030, all while purchasing enough carbon offsets annually to offset our remaining emissions - and pull us 10% below zero emissions. The board overwhelmingly supported our initiative.


Our largest carbon footprint is linked to transportation-related emissions – more specifically in Employee Commute and Business Travel. Our Sustainable Advisory Committee is currently working to develop strategies to help us achieve our reduction goals, but we know that we will all have to work together to realize this ambitious vision. 


Beyond the carbon emissions directly linked to our employee’s daily activities, we know that our team can make an even greater impact on the world around us through our design and construction activities. As a firm, we are committed to improving the materials and methods used in our projects so that the spaces we design and construct have minimal impact on the environment.


Our Sustainability Advisory Committee is actively developing an implementation plan to integrate The Canada Green Building Council’s (CaGBC) Zero Carbon Building Standard and additional sustainable design measures in all our work.


Learn more about our corporate sustainability goals.

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