WELCOME TO URBAN SOLUTIONS
UrbanSolutions Planning & Land Development Consultants Inc. is a team of professionals specializing in securing development approvals for a broad range of residential, commercial, mixed use, institutional and industrial uses. Having proven success with urban infills and public consultation, our firm has over 50 years of combined experience providing planning services to the public and private sectors throughout the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and Southwestern Ontario.
As the premier planning consulting firm operating from Hamilton, Ontario, UrbanSolutions understands development within the municipal approvals context. We are well positioned to assist at the early onset of conceptual ideas and carry projects through the municipal review process to secure final approval. We take a comprehensive and supportive approach to the planning process that is unique to our client’s needs. Our planners cultivate strong relationships with clients, community members and municipal staff, working cooperatively to achieve development results.
- Sergio ManchiaMCIP, RPPPrincipal
- Matt JohnstonMCIP, RPPPrincipal
- Chris MihailovichMBAVice President Finance and Operations
- Sacha AideCPA, CAController
- Spencer McKayBA, CPTProject Manager
- Amber LindsayMES, RPPPlanner
- Morgan GowansPlanning Technician
- Laura DrennanBAPlanning Technician
- Ava BarnettBA (Hons)Planning Technician
- Allison BinnsBAAccounts Receivable Clerk & Office Administrator
Sergio Manchia, MCIP, RPP
As a planner and member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute since 1996, Mr. Manchia is responsible for representing the interests of developer clients, both public and private, through the planning and development process. He works closely with senior planners and engineers in coordinating all aspects of the development process starting at the initial design through Municipal approval to engineering design, registration, construction and budget analysis. Mr. Manchia is responsible for negotiations and liaison with the various levels of Government and technical review agencies including coordinating the efforts of other professionals, which include surveyors, engineers, landscape architects and lawyers. Mr. Manchia has been before many Municipal and Regional Councils including Municipal Planning and Development Committees and the Ontario Municipal Board.
Mr. Manchia holds nearly 30 years of development planning experience along with a solid business background and knowledge associated with the growth of his previous and existing firm. He directly manages large development portfolios on behalf of a variety of clientele, oversees a staff at UrbanSolutions, and is a very active member within the Hamilton community taking part in numerous volunteer projects and associations.
Matt Johnston, MCIP, RPP
As a Principal, Mr. Johnston is independently responsible for representing the interest of development clients, both public and private, through the planning and development process. In addition to consulting, Mr. Johnston utilizes experience gained working for development corporations and in public sector municipal planning departments to assist clients in achieving their development objectives. With his varied experience, Mr. Johnston leads teams of consultants and coordinates all aspects of the development process starting at the initial conceptual design through to the final Municipal approval stages. In addition to the planning and development process, Mr. Johnston is responsible for conducting a wide range of land use planning studies for public and private sector clients.
Mr. Johnston is responsible for negotiations and liaison with various levels of Government and technical review agencies as well as leading and coordinating consulting teams comprised of other professionals such as lawyers, engineers and surveyors. This area of practice has brought Mr. Johnston before many municipal and regional committees and councils, conservation authorities and the Ontario Municipal Board as an expert witness.
Mr. Johnston was the 2018 President of the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association where he continues to dedicate his knowledge, time and energy
In his spare time, Matt enjoys spending time with his family and cheering on the Toronto Blue Jays!
Chris Mihailovich, MBA
Vice President Finance and OperationsMr. Mihailovich is Vice President Finance and Operations at UrbanSolutions. He is involved in various facets of the business, with a focus on operations, execution, and value creation on behalf of the interests of development clients, both public and private.Since 2007 when Mr. Mihailovich began his career in real estate, he has gained valuable experience in variety of areas including financing, acquisition and asset management, and development. Mr. Mihailovich holds an Honours B.A. in Economics, and Master of Business Administration, from McMaster University.In his free time, Chris enjoys spending time with his family, as well as getting on the ice to play hockey.
Sacha Aide, CPA, CA
Ms. Aide is the Controller and Office Manager at UrbanSolutions. She has significant experience in land development, project management and financing, including overseeing client files.
Ms. Aide qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2000 after graduating from Brock University with an Honours Bachelor or Accounting degree and provides a wide range of accounting and management services with over 15 years of professional experience.
Spencer McKay, BA, CPT
Project ManagerAs a Project Manager at UrbanSolutions, Mr. McKay is responsible for managing key client projects including the coordination and completion of projects on time within budget and within scope. In addition, he plays an important role with creating and revising concept plans, preparing development applications and overseeing the advancement of projects from inception through to completion.Mr. McKay graduated with honors from the Urban & Regional Planning, GIS Technician program at Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology. During his time at Mohawk, Mr. Mckay was honoured to receive the Nova Core Computer Graphics Award as well as the Harold P. Langer Urban Design Award. He has since returned to his alma mater to instruct Advanced AutoCAD courses in the same program. Mr. McKay also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from McMaster University.As a Hamilton native, Mr. McKay is thrilled to be working in his hometown here at UrbanSolutions. When away from the office, he enjoys hitting the slopes and teeing it up at local golf courses.
Amber Lindsay, MES, RPP
Ms. Lindsay is a Registered Professional Planner with an academic background in planning and health. At UrbanSolutions, Ms. Lindsay’s work includes writing planning justification reports for development applications, project management, policy research, and guiding complex projects through the Planning Act process.
Ms. Lindsay received her Master of Environmental Studies in Planning in 2017, Master of Arts in Health, Aging and Society in 2015, and Bachelor of Arts in Health Studies in 2013. She has a keen interest in the relationship between urban planning and health, and has shown a dedicated interest in creating healthy urban environments.
Outside of planning, Ms. Lindsay enjoys attending arts and music events, traveling, and frequenting Hamilton’s many coffee shops and restaurants.
Ms. Gowans is responsible for assisting with the preparation of site plans, plans of subdivision and various concept plans as well as coordinating all aspects of an application process. She graduated from the Urban & Regional Planning, GIS Technician program at Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology in 2018. During her time at Mohawk College, she learned land use planning principles, planning law, process and documentation necessary to create active and sustainable communities. Ms. Gowans is proficient in AutoCAD, and possesses graphics and visualization skills needed to turn ideas into plans.
Ms. Gowans is passionate about creating sustainable communities through effective planning techniques and principles. She has a longstanding interest in urban issues and the impact of the urban environment on human behaviours and quality of neighbourhoods. Her goal is to make cities sustainable through effective planning, environmental design, efficient transportation systems, complete streets, and walkable communities.
In her free time, Ms. Gowans enjoys watching CFL games, travelling, and supporting local restaurants and coffee shops.
Laura Drennan, BA
Planning TechnicianMs. Drennan is responsible for performing design and drafting assignments regarding site plans, conceptual drawings, draft plans of subdivision and zoning bylaw schedules. She is involved in conducting research and investigations into sites to develop proposals through the municipal planning application process.Ms. Drennan graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Geography from Brock University in 2017. At Brock University she was concerned with understanding the human world and its interaction with physical, built, and symbolic landscapes at a local, regional, and global scale. She graduated from the Urban & Regional Planning, GIS Technician program at Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology in 2019. During her time at Mohawk College she learned land use planning principles, planning law and GIS technologies.Ms. Drennan has interests in solving cities land use and transportation infrastructure problems through innovative methods of environmentally equitable development. In her spare time she enjoys travelling, gardening, and exploring Hamilton’s many waterfalls.
Ava Barnett, BA (Hons)
Planning TechnicianMs. Barnett is a Planning Technician with an academic background in planning and development. At UrbanSolutions Ms. Barnett’s work includes conducting research and investigations into sites to develop proposals through the municipal planning application process, designing and drafting site plans, conceptual drawings, draft plans of subdivision and zoning by-law schedules, and project management.Ms. Barnett graduated from Western University with an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Urban Development, and from Mohawk College of Applied Arts & Technology in the Urban and Regional Planning, GIS Technician program.In her spare time she enjoys spending time with family, travelling to far-off destinations, cottaging, and hiking with her dog.
Allison Binns, BA
Accounts Receivable Clerk & Office Administrator
Ms. Binns is the Accounts Receivable Clerk & Office Administrator for UrbanSolutions. She is responsible for all aspects of Accounts Receivable as well as providing support to the Financial Controller. Allison coordinates the office operations to ensure that staff and clients are well taken care of.
Ms. Binns’s background features a considerable depth of corporate financial expertise with more than fifteen years of experience specializing in Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Accounting Administration and Project Management. Allison’s education consists of a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from Brock University and a Diploma in Advertising from Sheridan College.
In her leisure time, Allison enjoys world travel, interior design, discovering new musical groups and training cats to play fetch. Yes, anything is possible.