E.M. Blake Hutcheson, President & CEO, Oxford Properties Group
Blake Hutcheson is the President & CEO of Oxford Properties Group and is responsible for overseeing the global business, consisting of approximately $21 billion of assets under management and 1,400 employees in Canada, Europe and the USA. Prior to taking this appointment, Mr. Hutcheson was based in New York as the Head of Global Real Estate Investing for a multi-strategy private equity firm, with offices in New York, London, Hong Kong and Mumbai. Prior to that, Mr. Hutcheson was the Chairman & President of CB Richard Ellis Canada (1999 – 2008) & Latin America (2001 – 2008) overseeing all operations in multiple countries with over 2,500 employees. Mr. Hutcheson has also served on several boards and committees including: Director of Algoma Central Corporation; Chair of Build Toronto; Chair of the Mayor of Toronto’s Fiscal Advisory Committee; President of the University Club of Toronto; Director of RealNet Canada; Director of REALpac and Chair of the Canadian Real Estate Forum. Mr. Hutcheson is a long time member of YPO and WPO and was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario, the London school of Economics, England and Columbia University, New York.
Stephen Diamond, President & CEO, Diamond Corp
Stephen Diamond is President and CEO of Diamond Corp, a Toronto-based land development company actively engaged in the acquisition, approval and development of real estate. Diamondcorp manages the Whitecastle New Urban Fund and the recently launched Whitecastle New Urban Fund 2.
Prior to the creation of Diamondcorp, Stephen served as partner at the law firm McCarthy Tétrault where he was head of the Municipal Law and Planning Group and also served on the Board of Directors.
Stephen sits on the board of directors of Sunnybrook Hospital, and is Director of Whitecastle Investments Ltd. He is also actively involved in a number of community organizations including the Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE), a City of Toronto initiative with a mandate to increase economic opportunities for youth. More recently he was named Co-Chair of the United Jewish Appeal (UJA) for the Greater Toronto Area and sits on the Board of Trade Advisory Council.
Paul J. Bedford RPP, FCIP, Principal, Paul Bedford & Associates
Paul Bedford is a Member and Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners with over 40 years of experience in urban planning. As Toronto’s Chief City Planner for eight years, he championed numerous innovative planning strategies including the “Kings”, a new City wide Official Plan and a principles plan for the Central Waterfront called “Making Waves”.
Since his retirement in 2004, he has been appointed Adjunct Professor of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University. He serves on the National Capital Commission’s Planning Advisory Committee, the Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health Property Committee to help guide the long term redevelopment of Canada’s largest Mental Health campus. During 2006-2011, he served on the Metrolinx Board of Directors along with Mayors and Regional Chairs of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area and developed a $50 Billion regional transit plan called the Big Move. He is also a Senior Associate of the Canadian Urban Institute, a frequent public speaker, writer and passionate advocate of city life.
Christopher Hume, Toronto Star Columnist
Christopher Hume is the architecture critic and urban issues columnist of the Toronto Star. In 2009, he won a National Newspaper Award, Canada’s highest award in print journalism, for his columns about architecture and urban affairs. Since the 1980s, when he began working for the Star, he has received five NNA nominations. In 2009, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada gave Hume its President’s Award for Architectural Journalism. He has also received a certificate of appreciation from the Ontario Association of Architects. His book, William James’ Toronto Views, won a Toronto Heritage Award in 2000 and in 2004 he received a Landscape Ontario award. Hume was named Toronto’s best newspaper columnist by NOW magazine in 2005 and Eye magazine in 2006. In 2009, Hume hosted and wrote a one-hour special about Canadian cities for CBC TV’s flagship series, The Nature of Things. He appears frequently on radio and television as a commentator on city issues. Born in England in 1951, he came to Canada as a child. He was educated at the University of Toronto and Glendon College. Known as a champion of cities and the arts, Hume lives in downtown Toronto.