Alexander J. Topps

Year of Investiture:
Category(ies) of Investiture:
Executed Works of Landscape Architecture
Direct Service to the Society

Alexander Topps graduated from the University of Toronto with a B. Comm degree in 1970 followed by a B.L.A. in 1974. After graduation he joined the emerging practice of Frank Milus and Associates as the firm's third full-time employee and in 1976 became a founding partner of the firm known today as the MBTW Group — an award-winning multi-disciplinary practice located in Toronto.

His early career focussed on environmental planning but rapidly evolved to become more design-focussed, building an award-winning portfolio of built works in the fields of open space, community planning, and urban design. In the late 1970’s he was one of the first Landscape Architects in Ontario to establish a practice as an expert witness. His successful testimony across a broad spectrum of issues, including urban design; recreation and environmental planning; site planning; and construction litigation, helped build the profession’s credibility before various regulatory tribunals. 

Alexander was an active OALA volunteer, serving on the Examining Board; Finance, Discipline, and Practice Act Committees; Competition Guidelines Task Force; and acted as the Association’s delegate to the Daniels School of Design Faculty Council. As an appointed member of a legislative delegation in 2002 he helped achieve important amendments to the provincial Limitation of Liability Act. 

After retirement Alexander devoted much of his volunteer activity to the CSLA Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council, acting as Chair from 2013 – 2016, during which time he led an important initiative to revitalize the Council and align the CSLA and ASLA accreditation standards.

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