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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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Exterior photo of Cooksville Go Station track and transit hub.


The International Parking and Mobility Institute recently honoured Metrolinx’s Cooksville Go Station with an Excellence in Architectural Design award in their June publication of Parking & Mobility Magazine. The project, conducted in partnership with Infrastructure Ontario, includes a new station with upgraded pedestrian tunnels, platforms, and an overhead pedestrian bridge; a civic plaza; a bus loop; and a six-storey parking structure with 1,900 spaces for commuters. 


Servicing a corridor with the third-highest ridership of the seven rail corridors in Ontario, the Cooksville GO Station is an important node in the Province’s transit system. Metrolinx’s goal was for Cooksville to evolve into a major mobility hub connecting users to larger transportation networks. 


As Project Architect on the station, WalterFedy’s architectural team worked closely with the Design Architects, NORR Architects & Engineers, to ensure the facility anchored the Cooksville GO Station with iconic architecture to create a sense of placemaking at the urban and human scale. The facility’s most notable feature is the geometric mesh façade abstracted with long, slotted cut-outs. The cladding adds texture and movement to the building and has the unique characteristic of transfiguring the façade with the changing position of sun and shadow.  


The system was designed to maximize natural light and airflow while minimizing light disruption in the surrounding neighbourhoods. The design team also employed Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED) principles and accessibility standards to ensure passive supervision of the parking structure. The design is meant to increase the user experience and ease of use for all, regardless of ability or need.  


Congratulations to everyone who had a hand in making this project a grand success!


You can view the full project profile in the IPMI Parking & Mobility e-magazine on pages 60-61. 

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WalterFedy was honoured today with a Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Outstanding Business Achievement Award in the category of Large Business. This award celebrates the achievements of a local business with over 50 employees in the areas of entrepreneurship, employee relations, promotion of Hamilton, community relations, and product innovation over the past year.


WalterFedy has called Hamilton home since 2015, when we opened our second Ontario office in the Hamilton Port Authority building. Just four years later we moved into a new home in the heart of downtown Hamilton, where we are surrounded by big-thinkers, entrepreneurs, and industry trailblazers. The culture of innovation and artistic expression in this city inspires the work that we do. We are excited to be part of Hamilton’s transformation from an industrial haven, into a vibrant business and cultural hub in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). We look forward to being a part of this community and bolstering its success for many years to come.


Congratulations to this year’s winners and all those nominated who continue to make Hamilton a great place to live and work.


Small Business: Laser Spa Group

Mid-Sized Business: Eccles Auto Service

Not-for-Profit: Amity Goodwill Industries

Young Entrepreneur & Professional: Lohifa Pogoson Acker

Accessibility Award: TownePlace Suites Hamilton

COVID Champion: Good Shepherd

Century Award: YWCA Hamilton and YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford and

Citizen of the Year: Paul Johnson and Dr. Elizabeth Richardson

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This past year has been a whirlwind of activity for our firm, from transitioning to fully remote work, to celebrating our 70th year in business, to welcoming a new CEO. One of our most significant achievements came at the beginning of 2021 with the launch of a new committee, dedicated to ensuring our organization is diverse, equitable, and inclusive. It was a significant step for our firm, which up until this point opted for a more neutral stance toward DEI-related topics. So, what changed?  


This time last year, with Pride month on the horizon and the recent news surrounding the death of George Floyd, two of our employees had the courage to say, “we can do better.” 


Allegra Friesen, an Intern Architect at WalterFedy, had been discussing equity with her friends and family for ages, but these most recent events, coupled with her own ADHD diagnosis, prompted her to rethink her allyship. When Allegra reflected on what this might mean for her workplace, she had some big ideas but didn’t quite know how to begin enacting change.  


Allegra broached the subject of diversity and inclusion with her mentor, Russ Parnell, a senior structural engineer and partner at WalterFedy. A father of two, Russ was also learning to introduce and navigate conversations about inclusion at home.  


“Now is the time to demonstrate our leadership and integrity to inspire others to action and to work to build truly equitable communities by acknowledging and addressing our own systemic biases,” Allegra recalls telling Russ. Allegra’s passion was met with enthusiasm and, with a leadership meeting on the horizon, they decided to have Russ put the topic in front of some of the business’ most influential decision makers.  


In tandem, Shelby Johnson, an Asset Management Specialist/Building Science EIT, was also moved to action, and scribed a letter to management asking the company to join in on the conversation:  


“I cannot speak for the people of [other communities], but I can speak as a person of the LGBTQ+ community. I notice. When I walk down the street, and I see a rainbow flag in the window of a shop or restaurant, I notice. I think it’s important for WalterFedy to show support for these communities and the staff members who are a part of them. We are a community of roughly 200 people that are individually unique, inspirational, and important. To me, the voice of each and every staff member is important and should be heard.” 


Shelby proposed the initiation of a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) committee with the goal of providing awareness to staff and liaising between other committees and departments regarding matters of equity in our company and community. 


The feedback from Shelby and Allegra was a catalyst for management to think critically about our operations and the implications of choosing neutrality over vocality. “Our ambition is to enhance the world around us, and we can only achieve that if our best changemakers, our people, feel safe, seen, heard, and supported in our office and the world outside of it,” said Garth Cressman, CEO and Partner.  


Acknowledging the intricacies that would come with launching conscientious discussions around DEI,  WalterFedy hired an external consultant to guide us through the process. Over the course of many months, Stacey Alderwick, of Alderwick and Associates, supported our team through the process of thinking critically about DEI, and helped us map out terms of reference that would guide the formation of a new employee-led DEI committee.  


"We knew there were things we wanted and needed to change, but we wanted to do it with intention," said Victoria Campbell, Director of Human Resources. “Stacey has been instrumental in helping us practice corporate introspection.” 


The creation of the DEI committee has been the first step in a journey toward responsible and equitable business practices. We acknowledge that to make meaningful change we need a collaborative and iterative process, and we will continue to work with our committee and employees to move forward toward positive change. 

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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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Just as schools, small businesses, and public services, like transit, needed to rethink what it meant to serve the public amidst a global pandemic, so too have our healthcare facilities—and perhaps in more radical ways. Today on World Health Day, we reflect on and celebrate some of the transformative work that took place over the past year in healthcare.


Bettering their best to prepare for the worst

In the early days of COVID, Hamilton Health Sciences (HSS) conducted a review of their oxygen system to assess their ability to support additional ventilators throughout their facilities. The study determined the systems in place at Hamilton General, a main COVID response site in the city, may experience some strain should a high volume of people require ventilators. WalterFedy’s team is actively supporting the hospital as they integrate a brand-new oxygen system complete with tanks and piping infrastructure to give them increased capacity and provide redundancy for their existing system. The implementation of the new system is a carefully coordinated and intricate dance.


“Running new systems within an existing hospital is always challenging,” explained project manager and mechanical engineer Dave Thompson. “There’s infection control issues to manage, finding the physical space and path to implement the infrastructure, and coordinating with existing operations on site to minimize disruptions.”


“Our integrated team has a strong level of experience and expertise having worked on healthcare projects on multiple sites across Ontario. So, when hospitals call and ask what they need to do, we are able to address those questions and mobilize quickly.”


The WalterFedy team was also brought on to design five new isolation rooms for Hamilton General’s Intensive Care Unit. This meant revamping existing private rooms within the ICU that were not yet set up for full isolation, so they could achieve negative pressure. A negative pressure room helps to contain airborne pathogens from moving to other areas of the hospital and reduces the likelihood of contamination.


“Having a relationship with industry partners and contractors has been essential to getting things up and running fast,” said Dave. Fast-tracked construction meant strategically and responsibly deviating from specifying exact materials as we would in normal circumstances. “We were working closely with local contractors and asking questions like what can you get today, and being flexible with how we designed in order to build quickly with what was readily available.”


Offsite opportunities

In early 2020, it was hard to predict how aggressively the pandemic would hit and whether the healthcare system would be able to handle a surge of patients. As the infection rates climbed upward in April, it became apparent our hospitals needed to plan for a sizable influx. Hamilton Health Sciences was quick to engage the WalterFedy team to develop early-stage plans for offsite facilities at a local Hamilton hotel and a convention centre.


“On Easter weekend in 2020, we were meeting with clinical people from HHS and their planners to go through these facilities and figure out how to best implement temporary washrooms, hand washing stations, and access food,” said Dave. It also meant investigating infection control measures and temporary power solutions for facilities that weren’t designed with healthcare in mind. The intent was to develop an action plan so HHS could accommodate three to four hundred people should the spread of the virus overwhelm the existing healthcare facilities. Fortunately, as numbers began tracking downward, the exercise was shelved.


Sanitization innovation

When personal protective equipment (PPE) demand exceeded supply in the early days of COVID, hospitals were faced with the challenge of keeping their frontline workers well equipped to safely treat patients. As a temporary measure to address the shortage, two hospitals in Hamilton developed special PPE cleaning rooms. Equipment originally designed to sanitize fruits and vegetables was identified as an interim solution. With the right configuration, the machine was able to apply ozone and peroxide in a manner that effectively killed the virus, allowing the hospital to recycle equipment.


Working alongside local contractors, the WalterFedy team built out rooms complete with modified HVAC systems that would allow someone wearing full PPE to enter a negative pressure environment to unbag all the used masks. The masks would then be loaded into the machine and come out on the other side clean, sanitized, and ready for reuse.


From vacancy to vaccine

The former RONA on Pinebush Drive in Cambridge sat empty for over a year, waiting for its next commercial big-box giant to breathe new life into the facility. In 2019, the thought of using this prime warehouse space in a bustling Smart Centre for anything but commercial purposes would have been laughable—now it’s the Region’s largest mass vaccination clinic administering over 1,000 doses a day with plans to quadruple that number as more vaccines come available.


Transforming this space was not as simple as turning on the lights and setting up tables. The Region engaged WalterFedy architects and engineers to support a fast-tracked revitalization to get the building back up and running to support its temporary function as a clinic. With the building services sitting dormant for over a year, basic infrastructure, like sprinkler lines, required rework to bring the life safety systems back up to standard. A remodelling of existing spaces was also necessary to support the refrigeration units guarding the vaccines. This meant retrofitting the electrical systems to support the fridges and adding hospital-grade receptacles. Under the emergency response order O.Reg. 141/20, a traditional building permit was not required to conduct the work of converting this space into a temporary health facility. This allowed our team, supported by an incredible group of contractors, City staff and Region staff to turn this project over in record time – a mere three weeks from start to finish.


“There was great cooperation with the City of Cambridge on this project,” said project manager and architect Michael Winters. “The building department was involved all the way through and always just a phone call away. The chief building official and fire marshal were there with us almost every walk-through which made the entire process transparent. We knew exactly what everyone was expecting, and this open line of communication laid the groundwork for the success of this project.”


“It’s amazing that a problem like a global pandemic presents itself and within a year we can establish a vaccine, and have people working collaboratively to bring facilities like these online in a matter of weeks to start helping people in our communities,” states Michael.


While the pandemic is most likely to be remembered as a time of distancing, it has fostered a remarkable coming together of community and industry to combat the spread and navigate a “new normal.” We would like to thank everyone who has had a hand in making these projects a success, from the hospital healthcare teams, regional building officials, and planners who helped conceptualize these projects to the contractors, architects, engineers, technicians, and vendors who helped realize them.

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WalterFedy is pleased to announce we have achieved Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer (SME) status for the third consecutive year. Administered by Mediacorp Canada Inc., the annual awards program recognizes employers across Canada for their exceptional workplace practices and policies. This includes consideration of physical workplace; work atmosphere & social; health, financial & family benefits; vacation & time off; employee communications; performance management; training & skills development; and community Involvement.


“These companies have proven to be extremely agile,” says Richard Yerema, Managing Editor of the Canada’s Top 100 Employers project. “Not only were they able to transition employees to working from home right out of the gate, but many already had policies in place that allowed for flexible work. It was simply a matter of extending existing benefits, such as home office allowances and internet subsidies, to make the full transition.”


This year, WalterFedy’s RSP contribution matching program, profit-sharing model, and personal development opportunities were among the top reasons behind being selected for this prestigious award.


“It is an honour to be recognized as a Canada’s Top SME for another year, especially in the middle of a pandemic,” said Victoria Campbell, Human Resources Director for WalterFedy. “Our leadership and employees continually make a positive impact on our work, clients, and community and this award is a great way to celebrate the efforts of our incredible team here at WalterFedy!”


“In professional services, our people are our most valuable asset,” said Garth Cressman, CEO, WalterFedy. “Among other things, this award recognizes our firm for the programs that we put in place to support and develop our teams.  This award reinforces that we are doing the right things to build our business and attract and retain talent."


WalterFedy was also recognized by Mediacorp Canada Inc at the end of 2020 as a Waterloo Region Top Employer for 2021.


View our 2021 Waterloo Region Top Employer and Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employer award profiles.


View our active career opportunities.


Read Mediacorp Canada’s official release.

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WalterFedy is hosting its second virtual rotating art show. Since 2019, WalterFedy has partnered with Art$Pay to display artwork in our office, made by local talent. The initiative's original goal was to brighten the shared spaces in our office with rotating artwork for clients and staff to enjoy. 


When the pandemic hit and our office was closed, the scheduled art installation went ahead as planned. But with very few people in the office, it wasn’t getting the attention it deserved. We were also unable to host a gallery launch to celebrate the artists and enjoy their work with family and friends. Naturally, like so many other things during the pandemic, we took the new art installation online and made it virtual to ensure our local artists, and their creations, could get the attention they deserve.


Art$Pay is a local program that provides an opportunity for local artists to showcase their artwork while making a profit regardless of if their work sells while on display or not. Often, when artists publicly display their work, they receive nothing unless a piece is sold. The Art$Pay model is much fairer for these creators as they receive exposure and remuneration for their work.


The latest installation from Art$Pay, which runs until August 31, 2021, is named "Lifting Spirits." All pieces were selected for their feeling of inspiration and optimism; a little something to help lift all our spirits during these challenging times. 


Our Office Coordinator, Tori Coles, helps facilitate the program and believes the program is a meaningful way to contribute and give back to our community. 


"Paying artists for the use of their displayed artwork helps to address the sustainability challenges faced by the local visual arts sector, and this program is an amazing community role model, where too often free exposure is the offer."  We are proud to support the arts within our local community.


Please enjoy the following video and feel free to reach out to Art$Pay directly to purchase any of the pieces. You can also visit their website to see what other artists are working on in the community. All proceeds go back to the artists in our Region who help keep the arts thriving.  


Thank you to Art$Pay, Cathy Farwell, and all of the incredibly talented artists whose work is featured in this video. Check out for more information.




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On the north end of the University of Waterloo’s main campus, a four-storey tall Warrior emblazoned on a golden background looks out across the football stadium. A symbol of university spirit and pride, the emblem is a bold focal point on the newly erected Columbia Icefield Field House. We are pleased to announce this project has received an Outstanding Project Award from LEARNING BY DESIGN magazine. This publication recognizes educational facility design projects from K-12 and post-secondary institutions that excel in the areas of innovation, sustainability, interior design, next-generation learning, planning and functional design, and community needs.

Designed by our architecture and engineering team at WalterFedy, the 65,000 SF facility offers an expansive and divisible turf field and ancillary spaces developed to increase the capacity for drop-in recreation, intramurals, and varsity training.

The Field House is constructed of durable pre-cast concrete, giving the appearance of strength, stability, and permanence. The façade is decorated by texturized concrete to break down the scale, add visual interest, and support a more contemporary look. Large windows jet across the top of the building, allowing natural light to flood the playing field inside. The south side of the building incorporates special light-diffusing glass that scatters rays and casts an even glow across the field below.

The soaring ceilings were deliberately designed to allow varsity athletes to practice indoors with relatively few obstructions. The height also allows for the integration of a second-level running track, viewing gallery, and change room facilities, as mapped out in the Recreation Master Plan our team completed for the University in 2017.

Beyond its functional purpose, the Field House represents the University’s ongoing commitment to creating a memorable student experience and prioritizing physical and mental wellbeing.


View the LEARNING BY DESIGN Spring 2021 publication here.

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Without a doubt, working from home comes with just as many opportunities as challenges. For some, it’s afforded the opportunity to spend more time with family and furry friends and less time spent in the car commuting to and from work.

For others, it has meant juggling work while also checking in with a child as they learn virtually. Or more hours than normal spent in front of your computer because you simply can’t seem to log off at the end of the day.


Over the past year, we connected with our employees to see how they’ve managed to balance everything life has to offer while working from home. We gathered some helpful tips for staying connected and managing your workload while balancing your mental health. Here’s what our employees had to say:

Maria Valderrama, Structural EIT, suggests breaking up your day with some time outdoors. Take a pause and disconnect from work for a bit mid-day. Whether you are walking your dog, taking a jog, or sitting on your front porch with a coffee, it is important to take a break from your workspace. The fresh air and natural light leave you refreshed and ready to take on the rest of your day.


Maria Melo, Architect, says over communicate. "Working remotely requires you to over communicate. Inform your team about your schedule and availability. When you finish a project or important task, say so. When you have a vacation planned, let clients and coworkers know about it. Over-communicating doesn't mean writing a novel on your day, but it does mean repeating yourself. Clear communication via the correct channels can be very effective."


Architectural Technologist Matthew Fraboni has found to-do lists to be a helpful tip to manage his day. Creating a to-do list with goals for the next day allows him to prepare. It gives opportunity to structure the day and focus on a task.


Project Administrator, Sheri East says to make your space your own. Keep it clean, functional, and add items that bring you happiness. It might be a plant, a photo of something or someone you love, a piece of art that speaks to you, or a favourite mug. A joyful space equals a joyful attitude!


Katie McQuaid, Team Leader of our Marketing and Business Development team, shares a tip on how to handle your work with two small kids at home. Katie’s advice is to embrace the distractions! Whether the phone rings, the washing machine breaks, or your kids need a bit of TLC (or just want more snacks), distractions are inevitable. Allow them to happen and go with the flow. Chances are, your team will understand that you wear multiple hats when working from home and that you’re doing your best to balance everything.


Jacob Gibbs, Team Leader of our Enterprise technology team had this to share: "Stay Connected. With technology, working from home does not equal working in isolation. It is important to keep your team’s spirit fueled by scheduling calls and meetings as normal. Be sure to check in with colleagues to see if they are managing. Schedule a virtual coffee break with coworkers to stay linked!"


At the end of the day, we’re all human, and we’re all in this together!

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