Menu Close

Shelagh McCartney

Associate Professor, Urban and Regional Planning, Toronto Metropolitan University

Dr. Shelagh McCartney is a licenced architect and urbanist using collaborative methods to create solutions to housing issues for marginalized communities globally. She received her Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Bachelor of Professional Architecture from the University of Waterloo, and as a Fulbright scholar, her Master of Design Studies and Doctorate of Design from Harvard Graduate School of Design. She is an Associate Professor at the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has taught at Harvard University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, and Carleton University. Dr. McCartney has practiced privately globally, leading teams in projects requiring extensive community consultation, and securing wins in four international competitions and over twenty Canadian design awards in ten years. Dr. McCartney is committed to innovative teaching, developing within students a sense of responsibility and social-awareness, encouraging students to explore creative design solutions to the problems facing their world.

She is Director of Together Design Lab, an innovative research and design lab exploring platforms that focus on contemporary, interdisciplinary approaches to community and open territory design. She was named a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for her professional excellence and distinctive service to the profession and community at large.


  • 2019–present
    Associate Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • 2013–2019
    Assistant Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University
  • 2010–2013
    Assistant Professor, Carleton University
  • 2007–2010
    Teaching Fellow, Harvard University
  • 2009–2010
    Instructor, University of Toronto
  • 2008–2009
    Adjunct assistant professor, University of Waterloo
  • 2004–2006
    Adjunct assistant professor, University of Waterloo


  • 2012 
    Harvard University, Doctor of Design
  • 2007 
    Harvard University , Master of Design Studies - Urbanization and Housing
  • 2000 
    University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Professional Architecture
  • 1997 
    University of Waterloo, Bachelor of Environmental Studies - Pre-Professional Architecture


  • 2023
    Affordability is king–with private bedroom: Exploring the mismatch of students’ housing preferences in constrained housing markets, Housing Studies
  • 2023
    Not your parents’ dorm room: Changes in universities’ residential housing privacy levels and impacts on student success, SAGE Open
  • 2022
    New Student Residence Unit Typologies: Introducing Housing Unit Classification (HUC), a tool for understanding student housing facilities and privacy, Journal of Housing and the Built Environment
  • 2022
    Privacy Territories in Student University Housing Design: Introduction of the Hierarchy of Isolation and Privacy in Architecture Tool (HIPAT, SAGE Open
  • 2022
    When students are house-poor: Universities, student marginality and housing struggles in an aspiring global city, Cities

Professional Memberships

  • Royal Architectural Institute of Canada
  • Ontario Association of Architects
  • Canadian Green Building Council


Fellow Royal Architectural Institute of Canada