Liat Margolis

Associate Professor
T 647-525-3394

Liat Margolis is an Associate Professor at the Univesity of Toronto's John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. She served as the Associate Dean of Research and the Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program from 2017-2022. Her teaching and research interests focus on the intersections between landscape architecture, green infrastructure, and Indigenous studies.

Since 2010, Liat has been leading the GRIT Lab / Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory, an internationally renowned research facility at U of T dedicated to research and training on living green infrastructure. The lab includes two rooftop facilities with over 6,000 sq. ft. of experimental green roofs equipped with hundreds of sensors that collect data in real time. She has been an advocate of interdisciplinary and hands-on research and education with long-standing collaborations with Biology, Forestry and Civil Engineering researchers, as well as with industry, government, and institutional partners. For establishing this unique facility and initiative, she received the 2013 American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Excellence Award in Research.

Liat has served on several advisory committees for the City of Toronto, providing guidance on a range of programs, including the Green Streets Technical Guidelines, Pollinator Protection Strategy, Toronto Green Standard, and Eco-Incentive Program. She has collaborated with over 80 researchers across Canada, as a member of Sustainable Canada Dialogues, an initiative on climate change policy solutions. Together with the SCD scholars, she co-authored several reports for the Federal government on transitioning to a low-carbon energy future. She currently serves on the University of Toronto Presidential Committee on Environment, Climate Change, and Sustainability and co-leads the Community of Practice on Sustainability Teaching, both of which seek to integrate academic and operational sustainability activities to advance learning and teaching and transform the physical campus.

Since 2017, Liat has also been taking a leadership role on the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action within MLA program, the Daniels Faculty, U of T and the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. In 2018, Liat co-founded the Nikibii Dawadinna Giigwag / Flooded Valley Healing – an Indigenous youth access program at the Daniels Faculty that provides employment, mentorship and pathways to post-secondary education. Co-led with Anishinaabe Elder Whabagoon (Lac Seul First Nation), the program weaves together cultural teachings with landscape architecture and environmental conservation field work. It brings together Elders, Knowledge Keepers, language speakers, designers, artists, activists, ecologists, and gardeners, all of whom share their knowledge and give a platform for the voices of the youth on environmental protection and community building. She was the 2023 recipient of the Minister’s Awards of Excellence 2021-2022, Ontario Colleges and Universities for her work on Equality of Opportunity, creating opportunities in postsecondary education for marginalized and underrepresented groups.

Liat holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD). She is the co-author of two books Living Systems: Innovative Materials and Technologies for Landscape Architecture (2007) and Out of Water: Design Solutions for Arid Regions (2014).