Design Review Panel

The Design Review Panel is an advisory body comprised of private sector design professionals who provide independent, objective advice to City staff aimed at improving matters of design that affect the public realm. This includes matters such as preserving the uniqueness of place, maintaining vitality, ensuring comfort and safety, and making new development compatible with its surroundings.

Mandate of the Panel

The Design Review Panel's mandate is to provide objective, professional advice to City Planning staff about proposed public and private development, and new urban design policy. The role of the Panel is to advocate for the highest quality design outcomes for the citizens of Toronto. Established in 2007, the Panel has become a significant forum for achieving design excellence within our City.

Term of office

The term of office for public members is approximately 3 years.


The Design Review Panel currently consists of 15 public professionals with 2 more members to be added. At present, the Panel has:

  • 10 Architects (1 Heritage Expert, 1 Urban Designers)
  • 5 Landscape Architects (1 Urban Designers)


Applicants must have considerable expertise in providing sustainable and environmentally progressive All applicants must satisfy the following general requirements:

  • Minimum 15 years relevant professional experience, and membership in a related professional association.
  • Design excellence demonstrated in built projects and urban design.
  • Ability to provide independent advice to City staff with objectivity and integrity.
  • Ability to provide constructive comments and communicate complex design issues to a variety of audiences including city staff, design professionals, and developers.
  • Understanding of the municipal planning system and development economics.
  • Ability to attend the majority of Panel meetings.
  • In order to have the ability to provide sound advice to City staff and Council in this public forum, Panel members should avoid participating as OMB witnesses in litigation against the City. Panel members will avoid reviewing projects with conflicts-of-interest with financial or other benefits, as per policies.

Time Commitment

The Panel meets at City Hall during regular business hours usually 12 times per year, and up to 15 times per year. Each meeting is approximately 5.5 hours long with an average of 3-4 projects reviewed. In seeking appointment to the Panel, applicants acknowledge that they will be able to attend the majority of Panel meetings.


Panel members serve on an unpaid, voluntary basis, but may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred while conducting Panel-related activities (e.g. parking expenses).

Related links


The current and historical Appointments for this body.