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WDC Online Program Spring/Summer 2020

May 21, 2020 @ 12:00 pm August 12, 2020 @ 1:00 pm

While we regret not spending time together in Toronto, we’re excited to launch “WDC online.” We look forward to your participation and feedback as we will evolve future programs based on your input. As going online is new to us, apologies in advance for our “construction dust” as we learn how to build our online collaborative, and please keep your eyes out for future emails.

Please join our LinkedIn group as we will continue to post updates on WDC’s upcoming programs, and WDC members are posting opportunities for other WDC members.  As we move forward, WDC needs volunteers and new members to build our capacity to support women and build our online community. If you’re interested in volunteering, please email wdc@seifel.com.


A special thanks to Avison Young for hosting our Zoom program on WDC Online.

August 12 at Noon ET- WDC Room of Our Own – Four Ways COVID May Change Design with designing women – Katie Faulkner and Rebecca Martinez. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR THIS EVENT ON EVENTBRITE.

The COVID pandemic is disrupting how we think about design and all of the physical spaces where we live, work and gather. How do we efficiently retrofit and create healthy buildings that not only meet public health requirements but enhance our feeling of well-being? How are we reimagining the use of interior and exterior spaces while increasing their interconnectedness? What innovations are being accelerated in real time, like the rapid deployment of lightweight architecture and modular construction? This 1-hour episode of WDC Online will present four possible impacts of the CoronaVirus, some that are already unfolding, and others that may be futuristic, as considered by this provocative video by IIDA CEO Cheryl Durst. To leverage the varied experiences, perspectives, and geographies of our members, the presentation will include real-time surveys, anecdotes and questions posed to the group. Please join this insightful conversation about design disruptions on both coasts and across the continent with Katie Faulkner (Boston) and Rebecca Martinez (Los Angeles). 

WDC Online Program – August 2020

This summer, we are focusing on building WDC’s capacity to offer online programs and advancing our goal to advise women developers and explore strategies to help them raise capital: 

  • Summer programs will be held on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday between 11 AM ET to 1 PM ET. 
  • August programs will be held during the weeks of August 10, August 24

Many thanks again to everyone who made WDC’s Inaugural Online Program so wonderful over the past few weeks:

  • On July 29, we had a wonderful conversation with developer Charmaine Curtis who discussed how she sources, structures and develops complex urban infill projects that have transformed the Bay Area’s urban landscape. Charmaine has developed pioneering sites to enhance livability, build community and provide thousands of beautifully designed homes for a broad spectrum of Bay Area residents. We will discuss her strategies for managing development risk at each stage of the development process and how to work effectively with a broad range of stakeholders to achieve a development vision.
  • On July 16, we held our third Interactive salon on creative placemaking to promote equity and build community with Juanita Hardy of Tiger Management Consulting. Creative placemaking—combining art and culture in tandem with good design– not only creates a unique sense of place but fosters healthy, culturally rich, and economically thriving places for all of us.
  • On June 25, we held our second Project Forum where developer Pegy Brimhall received expert advice from our experienced panel on her San Antonio development– Paige Meuller of Eigen10 Advisors, Sarah Barnat of Barnat Development and Mary Hager of Thackeray Partners.
  • On June 18, we held our second interactive Room of Our Own on healthcare, and many thanks to Mary Beth Kuzmanovich of Lillibridge and WDC Member Emma Littlejohn for their insights. 
  • On June 11, we heard first hand how an all-woman Toronto development team has collaborated in unique ways to thoughtfully design the Reina condominium development. Taya Cook (Urban Capital), who spearheads this project, Emily Reisman (Urban Strategies), Fung Lee (PMA Landscape Architects), and Heather Rolleston (Quadrangle Architects) discussed their journey to create this family-friendly project with moderator Renée Gomes of First Gulf. Hats off to the Reina team!
  • On June 4, we had a wonderful conversation with Eve Picker about how she started and has grown her development company, how her crowd funding platform, Small Change, has funded woman-led developments like hers across the US, and how her latest development venture is transforming design thinking in Melbourne, Australia. 
  • On May 27, we held our inaugural Dreams of Our Own program on the silver lining of COVID-19 for climate change with an insightful presentation by Amy Erixon of Avison Young on global trends for a greener world and economy. 
  • On May 21, we held our inaugural Room of Our Own program where we discussed how COVID-19 is affecting our communities and each of us, what we are each doing to make a difference, and how WDC can help us and our communities to successfully navigate through these challenging times.


Below is a brief summary of future WDC program content related to Toronto with additional information to follow in the near future.

The Well (TBD)  –   We are working to arrange an online tour and presentation about The Well, a new mixed-use community on the former Globe and Mail site in downtown Toronto. We will tour the future location of “the spine,” a 35,000 SF glass canopy running through a grand space with over 400,000 SF of retail including a 90,000 SF market hall, surrounded by over 1 million SF of office space and 2,000 residential condos and apartments. We will also learn about the Deep Lake water distribution networks and underground thermal energy storage tanks that will provide low carbon cooling and heating services to the 7-acre site and nearby properties. 

Canadian Stage and City Builders (TBD)   –   This program will feature Canadian Stage, Canada’s largest contemporary theater based in Toronto, and its talented woman playwright, Susanna Fournier, who is launching her inspiring play, Always Still the Dawn, with an all-female cast this Spring. We will hear first hand from Alexandra Baillie, Canadian Stage Board Chair, how women in the Toronto design + real estate community have come together to form City Builders to support the theater and how her investment fund, Good & Well, is unlocking opportunities for start-ups with a social purpose to scale their businesses across the globe. 

WDC Project Forum (TBD) –  Our WDC Project Forum will feature Toronto-based, non-profit developer Hadley Nelles of New Commons Development and a bi-national panel of experienced housing developers and funders.  Moderated by Susan Connelly of Massachusetts Housing Partnership, the Project Forum will explore proven strategies, policies and local delivery systems to support the development and long term protection of affordable and mixed-income housing in the US and Canada.