Founded in 1996, Virginia Burt Designs is a full service landscape architecture firm specializing in residential, estate, and therapeutic landscapes. With offices in Ohio and Ontario, the firm has been involved in a wide range of projects including therapeutic gardens for hospitals and institutions, estate master plans, and native landscape restoration in both the United States and Canada. Virginia Burt leads a team of landscape architects whose inspirations include travel, photography, collaboration with artists, fabricators & nurserymen, art, history, and the beauty of the natural world. Clients include healthcare organizations, governmental agencies, private individuals, and academic institutions.

The firm has received acclaim both nationally and internationally with awards garnered from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Ohio Chapter ASLA, Landscape Nova Scotia, and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and has been featured in professional magazines, shelter publications, newspapers, and journals.

Virginia Burt

Landscape Architect

FCSLA, FASLA

Since founding Virginia Burt Designs in 1996, Virginia has designed and directed healing landscapes for private residential, educational and public clients. VBD has established a reputation for creating gardens and landscapes of meaning. Virginia’s work has achieved international recognition receiving multiple awards from the American Society of Landscape Architects, Palladio, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects. She is one of seven women in the world with Fellowships from both societies for outstanding contribution to the profession. Clients appreciate and value her deep respect for place and for the human dimensions of each project. Virginia gets things built — beautifully. 

Paul Carabott

Landscape Architect

CSLA

Paul Carabott has been practicing landscape architecture, urban design, and city planning for more than 35 years. During this time, he has undertaken projects across North America in 27 states and 4 provinces, as well as in the United Arab Emirates. As lead designer/project manager, Paul has been instrumental and a key team member on more than 40 award-winning planning and design projects. 

Paul’s passion for creating engaging places grounded in the principles of sustainability and social equity underlies the work he has completed throughout his career. His expertise ranges from the development of long-range planning strategies for community revitalization to undertaking detailed design studies to implement a wide range of built projects, including large-scale public places and unique private gardens.  This diversity of experience allows Paul to take complex assignments from initial programming and concept development through to construction. Understanding that all places possess intrinsic qualities that make them distinct, Paul approaches each project with a fresh outlook without pre-conceived solutions. By combining innovative thinking with creative problem-solving skills, Paul’s commitment to each project ensures the goals of our clients are met, their vision realized and their expectations exceeded.   

Michele Gunn

Office Director, Licensed Interior Designer

BID, ARIDO, FIDA, Licensed Interior Designer, AAA

Michele is a Registered Interior Designer and has been practicing interior design for 42 years. Her experience spans many sectors, including corporate and government offices, and residential and retail design. Michele spent eight years as a sessional instructor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, where she worked for 33 years, and two years as an online instructor at Yorkville University in Toronto. She has also been an advocate for the profession for most of her career. Michele is a Fellow member of the Interior Designers of Alberta, a Registered Member of the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario, and a Licensed Interior Designer member of The Alberta Association of Architects. 

Michele is proficient in both the design and technical aspects of her profession. She has extensive years of Project Management experience. She was also the Operations Lead at her last firm in Calgary, overseeing admin staff, IT systems and processes, and office processes. Now in semi-retirement from the profession of interior design, Michele is the Office Director for VBD while keeping her hand in the design process on client projects as required.

Greg Johnstone

Landscape Architect, Certified Arborist

OALA, CSLA, ISA, ISAO

Greg has been practicing in the field of landscape architecture for more than 25 years and as a Certified Arborist for over 20 years. Greg has been a team member for many award-winning designs from small-scale residential projects to subdivisions and commercial spaces. He is proficient in both hand and computer rendering giving him the ability to effectively show the client their design through all stages of the design process. 

As an arborist, Greg understands the delicate balance between the built and the natural environment and the importance of maintaining or enhancing the link between the two in his designs. Greg has a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph and a Diploma in Graphic Communications from Canadore College. 

Emily R. Thorpe

Architectural Designer

BA, BEDS, M.ARCH

Emily was born in Burlington, Ontario, and raised as a 5th generation vegetable farmer.  Questioning conventional methods of farming, dichotomies between urban and rural, consumption and production, Emily received an undergraduate degree in Environmental Design Studies and Master of Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Emily distinctly explores and researches agricultural self-sufficiency and critical care for the earth through farming and building practices at individual, community, and global scales. Her experience includes residential, institutional, and health care projects that focus on accessibility and healing with nature. Emily has a passion for creating impactful local and bricolage architecture that resonates within communities while pushing boundaries on design solutions that are considered both modern and ancient. 

Upon graduation, Emily joined the VBD team, where she is working towards completing her internship in landscape architecture which reaffirms her origins as in, of, and for, the Earth.

Timothy Edwards

Landscape Architecture Intern

BLA Candidate

Raised in Yellowknife, NWT, Timothy Edwards carries his connection to the northern bush into his career in landscape architecture with the belief that design should be dynamic, hardy, informed and highly functional — but, above all, beautiful. Prior to beginning his studies at the University of Guelph, Tim worked as a journalist for 10 years in the Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon. Issues he reported on — warming climate, contaminated sites, declining species, reconciliation — call out for design solutions. Splitting his time between the Far North and urban Ontario, Tim is passionate about bringing nature into the city and people into nature. 

Wilson

Landscape Lover