James (Jim) Thomas holds a degrees in planning (B.E.S. Hons. University of Waterloo, 1977) and landscape architecture (M.L.A. University of Manitoba, 1983). He was accepted as a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners in 1985 and as a member of MALA and CSLA in 1990.
Jim is a former Principal, and now Senior Advisor with HTFC Planning & Design based in Winnipeg. He first began work for the firm, then called Hilderman Feir Witty and Associates, as a summer student in 1980. He joined Hilderman Witty Crosby Hanna and Associates, as a permanent employee in 1982. Jim was appointed Associate in 1985 and Principal in 1988.
Jim has been leading regional, community and environmental planning projects for more than 35 years. Over this period, Jim has worked closely with First Nations, earning long term respect and trust, to negotiate and implement groundbreaking land claims and land settlements in Manitoba and Ontario. In 2012, Jim accepted a National Honour Award from the CSLA for HTFC’s work on aboriginal claims. HTFC and the York Factory First Nation received a CSLA National Merit Award of Excellence in 2015 for Kipekiskwaywinan : Our Voices – York Factory First Nation’s Evaluation and Assessment of the Keeyask Generation Project.
Jim is helping the CSLA in developing actions to respond to the calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission through his involvement with the CSLA Indigenous Issues Task Force and Reconciliation Advisory Committee. Jim is also working with the CSLA Committee on Climate Adaptation to develop tools for landscape architects to respond and adapt to the effects of climate change.
His specialized practice and unique grasp of the “big picture landscape” has made him an industry leader in regional planning, socio-economic and environmental impact assessment.
For many years, Jim has volunteered his time to teach site analysis and site planning to students in the Landscape Architecture program at the University of Manitoba. Jim is truly passionate about the relationship between nature and landscape architecture. He brings this passion to the classroom by contributing meaningful and relevant examples of natural processes and their influence on built form and social structures.