Assistant Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University
Shelagh McCartney is an architect, urban designer and urban and regional planner. She teaches at Ryerson University in the School of Urban and Regional Planning and is the Director of +city lab and the together design lab.
Through the together design lab, she works in partnership with First Nations communities in Northern Ontario to improve housing and advocate for changing the metrics of housing. “For too long top down approaches have removed the agency of First Nations to create their own dwelling spaces,” says Shelagh, “We aim to bring change to housing by working together and bringing wellness through housing to First Nations communities.”
She is currently partnering with Eabametoong First Nation and Nibinamik First Nation to better their housing by constructing new housing units with extensive community consultation and to initiate an innovative community process to housing policy creation. Further partnerships with Nishnabe Aski Nation, Windigo First Nations Council and Matawa First Nation Management will expand this housing policy process to more communities. “My partners are my motivation,” says Shelagh, “Real people with real lives, who are seeing community members suffer and struggle because of social problems caused by poor and culturally inappropriate housing.”
Proud that she has not taking the easy path but the right path, Shelagh finds escape in downhill skiing, canoeing, make pasta from scratch and swimming with her kids.