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James Parakh

City Planning Division City of Toronto & Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats

James Parakh is a Licensed Architect and the Manager of Urban Design for Toronto and East York District, City of Toronto Planning Division and current chair of the CTBUH (Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitats)Urban Habitat / Urban Design committee

During the last decade, James has led the urban design studio that has helped guide the review of all development in Downtown Toronto and surrounding urban areas, a portfolio that includes well over 250 tall buildings ranging in height from 20 stories to over 92 stories.

James frequently gives presentations to community groups and the City Council, and teaches at local area universities. He is the Vice-Chair of the design review panel for Canada's capital city of Ottawa Ontario and chairs that city's Tall Building Design Sub-Committee Panel. He also serves on the Design Sub-Committee for the National Capital Commission of Canada (N.C.C.); and has received an O.A.A. Award in 2008 for introducing the 1:50 program on behalf of the City of Toronto which focuses on securing larger scale (1:50) drawings for the first five floors of any tall building.

With interests in how tall buildings fit within their urban context, affect the public realm, and affect the quality of life of people that live or work within them, James recently led the initiative to launch Toronto's POPS branding. This initiative speaks to Privately Owned Public Spaces at the base of tall buildings and provides design guidelines for them. A link to this initiative can be found at here.

Prior to joining the City of Toronto, James was a lead designer with WZMH Architects, Toronto, where he led projects in Canada, China and the United Arab Emirates, which included the ING Bank headquarters in Toronto, Parc Island in the Dubai Marina, U.A.E., Etisalat Headquarters in Sharjah and Fujairah, U.A.E and The Shanghai Pudong Development Bank Tower in Pudong, P.R.C. 

James holds a Bachelor of Technology in Architecture Degree from Ryerson University in Toronto, a Masters of Architecture Degree from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Urban Design Degree from Columbia University in New York.

Tall Buildings  2017

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