Our community lost a bright and powerful presence with the passing of Don Wuori on September 18th, 2018. It is fitting that his immense talents are now being recognized as we acknowledge the positive influence he has had on the profession of Landscape Architecture in Canada for the past four decades.
Don graduated from the University of Guelph in 1978, an institution that years later named him as a “notable-alumnus”, recognizing his significant professional accomplishments. During his career in private practice, he gained the respect of his many colleagues, clients and team mates. In recent years, Don shifted his focus to mentoring students and new practitioners as they launched their own careers.
Don’s talent was rare and multi-faceted. The influence of his Finnish heritage was evident in his approach to design. His ability to effortlessly capture compelling design solutions, then to express them in his unique graphic style, was impressive and inspiring. Don’s approach was to reveal the story of the site through a narrative. His designs were contextual, meaningful and magical.
As a Principal at Philips Wuori Long in Vancouver, he worked on many high-profile projects and played a major role in shaping the new downtown waterfront neighborhoods of False Creek and Coal Harbour. With his unique skill set, Don was perfectly suited to the challenges of charrettes. He was in great demand as he worked on numerous significant projects across the globe.
His big laugh was legendary. He truly had the ability to light up a room with his creative energy. Don’s legacy will carry on through the work of those who were fortunate to have worked with him. We are lucky to have had him as part of our community of landscape architects. He will be missed.