Choosing a architect to work with is one of the most important steps in the land development process. In his latest blog post, Davies Smith co-owner Ian Smith explains the whole process behind designing a building.


Once we have found the site that we want to develop, and after we have completed our due diligence of the land, we start the search for an architect. It’s important to search early in the construction process because the architect helps to determine the saleable square footage and parking on the allotted footprint of the proposed site.

The key things we look for in an architect is a good portfolio, outstanding design work and a great reputation. This is the reason why we’ve worked with RAW Design on several of our projects including Eleven Superior and Ironstone. We have a good relationship with them, their designs are aesthetically pleasing and they are always conscious of current neighbourhood design integrity

The design of a building usually takes about 4-5 months and the entire process involves a lot of collaboration between us and the architect. We like to give the architect a lot of space throughout the design process but we are also closely involved in the project and in the end, we have final say on the design.

Eleven Superior

We work closely with the City throughout the design process. They determine the density of the building and the gross floor area and the set backs for the municipal way. We also have to pay close attention to the City’s accessibility/building code requirements, their zoning laws and their density and height restrictions.

We also like to involve the local residents from the neighbourhoods we want to build in and we have public consultation meetings where residents are able to provide their feedback and opinions to city representatives, the builder and the architect.


Initially trained as a Quantity Surveyor in England, Ian Smith crossed borders to provide his expertise to established companies such as George Wimpey Canada Limited and Bramalea Limited before founding Davies Smith Developments.