Our Instructors

Sam Benvie
Sam Benvie
holds a Master in Environmental Studies in Ecological Economics from York University and is a PhD candidate at the University of Manitoba, in the Ecological Conservation Lab; his thesis working title is Adaptive Management of Urban Vegetation. His areas of specialization include adaptive management of urban green space and vegetation, population and community level urban plant ecology, and ecology of green roof vegetation.

Sam’s areas of interest include the following: environmental literacy, adaptive learning, and strategies for enhancing genetic and population level diversity of urban plant species.

His published credentials include: 2007 (pending) – Urban plant community dynamics: A study of community-level changes over eight years in urban plant communities; 2005 – A case for using adaptive platforms in the development and implementation of urban-centred adaptive management plans, Urban Ecosystems, 8: 285-311; and 1999 – Encyclopedia of Trees of North America, Key Porter Books Inc.
Shawn Gallaugher
Shawn Gallaugher
: With a background in Fine Art and a BLA and a MLA, Shawn offers a creative approach in teaching Project Studio and Residential Landscape Design. As principal of the firm Shawn Gallaugher Design, Shawn is current in the design field. Shawn is an associate member in the Ontario Association of Landscape Design Architects and a 2008 Feature Garden Award Winner at Canada Blooms, “Outstanding Use of Artistic Elements in Garden.” Shawn fosters individual growth and creativity.
Michelle Reid
Michelle Reid
has been a working landscape horticulturist since 1998. She has extensive experience rehabilitating and rejuvenating gardens and landscapes in high profile Toronto parks that include Yorkville – Cumberland Park, The Music Garden, and special Clean & Beautiful sites such as the University Avenue and Front Street Boulevards.

Her work involves high intensity horticulture, horticultural improvements, and landscape construction, while her personal time has been directed toward environmental initiatives with the Task Force to bring back the Don River. This work has also involved her in the design of displays at Canada Blooms, Landscape Ontario, Toronto Doors Open, Toronto Botanical Garden, and the Royal Winter Fair.
Enza Schembre
Enza Schembre
has been practising the profession of landscape architecture for over 20 years. Her career and abilities have enabled her to work in some of the province's most respected consulting firms, including Acme Environmentals Landscape Design. She has worked in varied capacities including traditional landscape architecture and urban design firms, a multi-disciplinary engineering/planning consulting firm, and design/build companies. Enza is a graduate of Ryerson's Landscape Architecture program. She brings professional experience and infectious enthusiasm to her graphic design classrooms. Her teaching methodology encourages all students to develop their own individual strengths and drawing styles. Enza is a firm believer that “everyone can draw!”
Jonas Spring
Jonas Spring
’s areas of interest include urban ecology, degraded urban landscapes, and urban food production.

He has taught online for the University of British Columbia for the past four years at the department of Agricultural Sciences (recently renamed Land and Food Systems), and been a guest lecturer at Ryerson and Humber College.
Michael Tocher
Michael Tocher
(BLA, MEDes, OALA, ASLA, RPP) has over 12 years of professional experience in site planning, streetscape design, and parks and open space planning. With professional degrees in landscape architecture, urban planning, and environmental science from the Universities of Guelph and Calgary, Mike has considerable experience at all stages of the design process from initial feasibility studies, site analysis, and concept development through to construction document preparation, tender administration, construction site supervision, and contract administration. Most recently Mike directed the development of the tender drawings for the Veterans’ Memorial at Queen’s Park, and he was the Clerk of the Works for the project coordinating construction on site and overseeing fabrication of the various aspects of the $1.2 million memorial. Mike is currently overseeing the construction of the Wychwood Car Barns Park and the detailed design for various components of the public realm in the West Don Lands.
Dennis A. Winters
Dennis A. Winters
(OALA, ASLA) is a landscape architect with a background in architecture, environmental analysis, and regional land use planning, with professional degrees in both landscape architecture (MLA, Cornell) and architecture (BArch, Florida). He has been principal of the landscape architecture firm, Tales of the Earth, since 1984.

His experience in conducting natural resource inventories, freshwater wetland inventories, stream management plans, environmental assessments, and comprehensive land-use planning strengthens his understanding of the interaction between natural systems and the built environment. Having practised in architecture, he approaches the interaction between landscapes and buildings as a symbiotic relationship, a cohesive environment for his clients.

Dennis has devoted a major part of his independent research activities to an investigation of designed sacred landscapes, particularly the evolution of meditation gardens in the Buddhist traditions, the transmission of its design techniques, and the features of the landscapes in which these artistic expressions developed.

He has made presentations, given talks, and organized events in venues such as UNESCO, USAID, University of Toronto, Cornell University, Design Exchange, Harbourfront Centre, Civic Garden Centre, and various conferences and symposiums on the Foundations of Designing Sacred Landscapes, Journeys to Sacred Buddhist Landscapes, Lessons from the Japanese Garden, and Designing Gardens for Meditation.