About Citylab

Be equitable. Be light. Be magic.

Citylab is a collaboration of smart, sensitive minds. Working with landscape architects, structural engineers, architects and interior designs, Citylab brings fresh, inclusive insights to architecture and meaningful place making. Using her unique knowledge base as architecture critic and cultural commentator for The Globe and Mail, CBC Radio, Canadian Art, Architectural Record, and Metropolis Magazine, Lisa Rochon brings an expertise for architecture and knowledge of the best, most innovative players to any conversation with her clients. A team player with experience working in creative collaborations, she also leads peer reviews with respected colleagues to advance and refine design - as in the Design Committee organized for the Canadian Canoe Museum with thought leaders she appointed and manages on behalf of her client. As a professional writer, she brings an effortless ability to synthesize complex and creative ideas and articulate design visions in an exciting, accessible way. 


About the Founder 

Lisa Rochon is a city builder, architectural advisor and Founder of Citylab. Through public space initiatives, she works to revitalize neglected parts of the city and empower communities through amazing, equitable design. As design director for the $65-million Canadian Canoe Museum, she  engages design leaders from both the indigenous and non-indigenous communities in Canada to advance and refine the museum's programming and design.

For more than a decade, as the award-winning architecture critic for The Globe and Mail newspaper, she defended and championed the cause of inspired, innovative architecture from Toronto to Medellin to Copenhagen to New York.  A public speaker and commentator on media, Lisa is the author of UP NORTH: Where Canada’s Architecture Meets the Land (2005).She has contributed numerous essays and articles for books and journals such as Alphabet CityCanadian Architect and Architectural Record (NYC). She is the two-time winner of the National Newspaper Awards and the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada's Award for Journalism.

In 2018, she joined the McEwen International Advisory Board for Laurentian University's McEwen School of Architecture. She serves as a Nominator for the International Aga Khan Award in Architecture for the 14th cycle (2017 - 2019). As design jury chair for the international competition, Winter Stations, she helped to organize the temporary pop-up reinventions of the lifeguard stands along the eastern beaches from 2015 - 2018. Lisa serves on the Fort York Precinct Advisory Committee, and previously served as a board member on the Fort York Foundation, advocating for the 43-acre urban oasis and birthplace of Toronto. In 2012, she co-founded The Friends of the Beach Parks to enhance and animate the parks along the eastern beaches in Toronto.   For years she has worked to advocate for the community of Regent Park, coordinating corporate social responsibility partnerships, and coordinating a yoga and wellness program for women who have settled there from around the world.

Lisa holds an M.A. in Urban Design Studies from the University of Toronto.  Before that, she studied international relations at Sciences Po in Paris.  Her honours degree in journalism and French was completed at Carleton University, Ottawa.   Since 2010, her achievements have been chronicled in the Canadian WHO'S WHO.


Photography Credits (From top to bottom): Agnes Wywrot, Khristel Studios