Our Team | John MacDonald



John MacDonald     

Principal | OAA | RAIC | B. Arch, B. E. S.



John is the founder and principal of John MacDonald Architect (JMA). The firm’s expertise includes 20 years of projects involving urban design of varying scales, with a focus on adaptive re-use projects requiring interdisciplinary approaches and collaborative associations through their early planning and approvals stages. John’s thirty years of urban design activity and expertise has been largely focused on the urban context of downtown Kitchener, Ontario. He brings leadership value and the understanding necessary to co-ordinate and navigate the complexities prevalent when designing within our urban environment. He has represented clients through hearings and approvals for committees of adjustment, heritage, and the formal municipal site plan approval processes. This includes the preparation of Urban Design Briefs, and support for zoning changes and official plan (OP) amendments.

Born in Northern Ontario, John recognizes the importance of community and is a longtime advocate for the quality of the public realm and stewardship of our environment. He is the co-founder of Kitchener’s Festival of Neighbourhoods' a community capacity-building initiative since 1994.



“A good city is like a good party - people stay longer than really necessary, because they are enjoying themselves.”


— Jan Gehl




Education & Awards:

1985 | University of Waterloo


1985 | Lieutenant Governor of Ontario,   Medal for Architecture


1985 | American Institute of Architects Gold Medal


2005 | OAA Good Design is Good Business Award


Ontario Association of Architects


Royal Architectural Institute of Canada


Building Commissioning Association

Community Involvement:

Since 1994 | Festival of Neighbourhoods, Kitchener, ON


1995 | Mayor's Blue Ribbon Task Force, Revitalization & Renewal City of Kitchener

Selected Project Experience

Waterloo Public Library, Eastside Branch, Waterloo, ON 


Huron University College Campus Renewal, London, ON 


University of Guelph, Creelman Dining Hall, Guelph, ON


2G Robotic New Office Renovation, Waterloo, ON


Delhi Community Health Centre Expansion, Delhi, ON     


Downtown Kitchener EMS Station, Kitchener, ON


City of Kitchener, Harry Class Pool, Ktchener, ON


Waterloo International Airport Terminal and Expansions, Breslau, ON


Mannheim Water Operations Centre, LEED Silver, Waterloo, ON


Region of Niagara Recycling Centre Green Retro Fit, Niagara, ON


City of St. Thomas, Community Recycling Centre, St. Thomas, ON