MP Planning - a step above the crowd.

Marie Poirier Planning and Associates Inc. offers clients a high level of professionalism. Services are delivered with the utmost attention to decorum in attending before Councils, Committees and tribunals including the Ontario Land Tribunal.

From office environs to deliverables to presentation in person and in materials, Marie Poirier Planning and Associates Inc. will represent you and your interest with clearly, concisely and with well-appointed detail.

The firm associates itself with a like-minded set of professionals, namely surveyors, engineers and biologists, to compliment and support planning services when they are required. Together we represent our clients with a professional face backed by an experienced, knowledgeable, and practical approach to achieving the success they expect.

Professional Planning in Lake of Bays, Muskoka

Why We're Different...

Our firm's approach to land use planning and development follows the "conservation planning" principle. This principle is based on balance and recognizes the need to maintain the integrity of the natural environment with sustaining economic growth which in some part, relies on physical development.

We recognize the distinct needs of local permanent residents and our neighbours that call Muskoka their second home as well as the businesses and services that rely on both. Climate, terrain, the economy and social needs all influence land use planning decisions and in Muskoka these are complex and diverse. An understanding of the complexity and diversity is what this firm brings to the needs of each of its clients.

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Marie Poirier, B.Sc., MCIP, RPP

Marie holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Brock University and is a member of the Ontario Professional Planners Institute and the Canadian Institute of Planners. Prior to establishing a consulting practice almost 20 years ago, she spent over 15 years as a Planner with the provincial and municipal governments in policy and current planning.

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Melissa Markham, MCIP, RPP

Melissa Markham has 20 years of planning experience overseeing a wide range of development projects. Her land use planning experience…

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Melissa Markham

Melissa Markham has 20 years of planning experience overseeing a wide range of development projects. Her land use planning experience includes a broad range of residential, commercial, mixed use and industrial projects in Muskoka and the GTA. Over her career she has acquired expertise in the application, and writing, of official plans and zoning by-laws.

In her most recent position Melissa was the Director of Planning for the Township of Lake of Bays for the past 5 years, where she was responsible for the adoption of the first Community Planning Permit By-law for an entire municipality in all of Ontario. She is seen as an expert in this field and is frequently asked to attend webinars to speak about her knowledge of this specialized planning tool.

Melissa is a passionate land use planner who has many year of managerial experience, where she has developed strong relationships with municipal staff and community members to work cooperatively to achieve development results. She understands development within the municipal approvals context and she is well suited to assist at the early onset of a conceptual idea and carry the project though the municipal review process to secure final approval.

Melissa is a Registered Professional Planner and full member of the Canadian Institute of Planning. She has been before many Municipal Councils and has provided evidence as an expert witness at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal.

She moved to Muskoka 5 years ago with her husband and 2 daughters after many years as a cottager. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her family, reading and running.

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Emily Thaler

Emily Thaler was raised in Muskoka and attended the University of Guelph where she studied Geography and Geographic Information Systems…

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Emily Thaler

Emily Thaler was raised in Muskoka and attended the University of Guelph where she studied Geography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Her initial introduction into the world of planning came with the District of Muskoka, where she gained experience with upper-tier planning and policy, and more specifically with the subdivision and condominium approval process. After almost seven years, Emily made the move to the Township-level, diving into local planning where she spent close to four years reviewing and approving planning applications and providing recommendations to Council for rezoning, consent and minor variance proposals. Her decade of experience within the upper and lower-tier municipal planning systems has provided her with a unique perspective and depth of knowledge in land use planning throughout Muskoka.

Outside of work, Emily can usually be found spending time with her family and close friends, puttering in her woodshop, or dreaming up a new writing project.

Eva Kerzel

Eva Kerzel

An Office Manager with over 12 years experience in purchasing for a large scale Jewellery manufacturer in Toronto. Subsequently working…

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Eva Kerzel

An Office Manager with over 12 years experience in purchasing for a large scale Jewellery manufacturer in Toronto. Subsequently working as a Licenced realtor in Muskoka for 8 years, assisting in well over 150 purchases and sales. A background in business lead to the current position of Office Manager. The proud Mother of two girls and a lifelong Cottager to the area, Eva is well suited to meet all the needs of the job.

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Peter B Hungerford, MCIP, RPP

A land-use planner with over 47 years of professional experience in both the public and private sectors, applying his education,…

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Peter B Hungerford, MCIP, RPP

A land-use planner with over 47 years of professional experience in both the public and private sectors, applying his education, experience and knowledge in the fields of land use planning and development, economic development and corporate strategic planning. After earning a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Urban Planning from Ryerson University as a member of the inaugural graduating class, and as a Registered Professional Planner and career-long member of both the Canadian Institute of Planners and the Ontario Professional Planners Institute, he worked for over 44 years in the public sector for Brampton, Lambton County and the City of Sarnia and it’s legacy entities. Positions held during this tenure included the Director of Planning and Development, the Director of Policy Planning, retiring after 21 years as the Director of Economic Development and Corporate Planning. Following retirement from public service, He has practiced in the private sector, both as a project and planning consultant, and as the Senior Planner with Marie Poirier and Associates. During my career he has acquired an expertise in the application of planning legislation, official plans, zoning bylaws, and a full range of agreements (e.g. Development Charges, Development, Site Plan and Subdivision) associated with the acquisition, servicing and development of lands.

Peter has been married to his lovely wife Katherine for over 47 years and the have 2 sons and three grandchildren with whom they enjoy spending their time on Raven Lake.

April Best Sararas

April Best Sararas, B.E.S., MCIP, RPP

April was raised in Muskoka and graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honours in…

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April Best-Sararas, B.E.S., MCIP, RPP

April was raised in Muskoka and graduated from the University of Waterloo with a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, Honours in Planning with a Specialization in Environmental Management Planning. Her land use planning experience includes both private and municipal planning in Muskoka, Parry Sound, Haliburton and surrounding municipalities. In her most recent position, April was the Director of Planning for the Township of Lake of Bays and Planner for the Township prior to the promotion, where she practiced her exceptional project management skills being responsible for leading multiple planning-related projects including comprehensive public consultation and presentations at Council and Committee meetings, community events and stakeholder meetings.

April has a passion for land use planning, with exceptional organization, presentation, research and report writing skills. She has extensive experience researching, analyzing and providing her professional planning opinion on a variety of planning applications. April’s experience has allowed her to develop effective relationships with municipal staff, stakeholders and members of the public, and April is a natural team leader who prioritizes timely and effective communication at all levels of a project.

April is a Registered Professional Planner and full member of the Canadian Institute of Planners. In her spare time, April enjoys spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, or working on a DIY project.