Our Firm

Better neighbourhoods works to maximize value by building compact, walkable, and diverse developments—where people love to live.

We don’t do suburban sprawl.

At Better Neighbourhoods Inc., we believe the development of diverse, mixed-use, walkable, neighbourhoods is essential to increasing property value and fostering sustainability. This design approach provides landowners maximum return on investment, while benefitting the neighbourhood and local municipality. We assist our clients throughout the development process, working to develop neighbourhoods that are built for people—and not just their cars.

In short? Our focus is on designing places that people love.

And with over 45 years of experience in land development consulting, Better Neighbourhoods Inc.—formerly Barr Associates—has established excellent working relationships with local municipalities, architects, builders, and consulting firms in the Niagara Region and beyond.

Just don’t ask us to do sprawl.

Mission, Vision, Values

Mission

A new way to develop.

To get to a place where Traditional Neighbourhood Development (TND), or New Urbanism, is the default way of development in Ontario.

Vision

Leading the development community.

To lead the development community in building successful New Urbanist projects that demonstrate and outperform their suburban counterparts.

Values

Improve the built environment.

We want to make a positive improvement in the built environment to enhance the lives of those who experience it. Walkability and placemaking are key components to improving the world we live in. The details matter!

Work on projects we believe in.

We are urbanists who believe there is a way to build communities that is better than the default suburban standard. We only participate in projects that incorporate good urban design and improve neighbourhoods.

Enjoy what we do.

Loving what we do is important for our souls—and so is being part of something bigger than ourselves. We love the process of developing design solutions that can solve complex urban issues. We aim to have fun along the way, and celebrate the successes as they come.

Foster positive economic relationships.

Good urban design adds value to neighbourhoods, and this in turn offers a better return on investment for developers, neighbours, and municipalities. We are willing to finance good projects for mutual benefit through contingency contracts.

Act as an owner; design for the end-user.

We consider our work to be more than facilitating approvals; we care about the end product and the end user. We design buildings and places to improve peoples’ lives—along with our clients’ bottom line.

Support team growth.

We believe happiness comes from growth and effort; therefore, we support professional and personal growth opportunities.

Our partners

Better Neighbourhoods has put together a team that is experienced and versatile, and whose members know their way around the development process. Our award-winning team is always learning—and that means clients can be assured we’re using the latest and best practices in development and new urbanism.

GLENN E. BARR

P.Eng, CNU-A

Glenn Barr is a Consulting Engineer practicing urban design, municipal engineering and neighbourhood development in Ontario. A native of Toronto, Glenn received his academic engineering education from University of Western Ontario. Upon graduation in 1967, he moved to the Niagara area and received his practical engineering education as an employee of two local consulting firms; initially Proctor & Redfern Limited and thereafter, Kerry T. Howe Limited.

In 1975, Glenn opened his own practice as Glenn E. Barr Associates Limited cob “Barr Associates”. In 1979, Glenn, together with partners, opened Upper Canada Consultants Limited as a sister company to Barr Associates. … Read More

DANIEL ROMANKO

MCIP, RPP, CNU-A

Dan Romanko is a consulting Professional Planner practicing urban design, and neighbourhood development in Ontario with over 25 years’ experience. Growing up in Mississauga in the ’80s, his childhood years were spent in a categorically suburban environment. This experience sparked an interest in land-use patterns and ultimately the Urban Planning profession. Dan began his academic career at Sheridan College, graduating as a Civil Engineering Technician in 1992; he then went on to complete the Honours Urban and Regional Planning program at the University of Waterloo, graduating in 1997. … Read More

Our team

Sydney
Ditomasso

Planner & Development Consultant, BES, CNU-A

I accidentally fell into this career, not really knowing what I was getting myself into. But to say that I’m passionate about housing, urban design, and infrastructure is an understatement. Nothing gets me quite excited like a well design road, or a beautiful 20th century red brick apartment building or knowing that my work is addressing this very troubling housing crisis. These are the things that ultimately impact everyone. No matter where you live in this world, the built environment affects you. And it feels special to dedicate my career to making that lived experienced better. Or at least I’m trying to.

Shelwin 
Mathew

Urban Design Technician

I am originally from India, Gujarat, Ahmedabad. I completed my education as an international student at Sheridan College HMC, Mississauga in Urban Design. I also have a Bachelors of Interior Design and worked as an Interior Designer for 5 years. I am really interested serving the community through my work with Better Neighbourhoods.

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