About Us

Excellence in contemporary and sustainable design. Building upon a shared cultural heritage.

In 1974, Karl Stevens established a sole practice specializing in large-scale urban design and commercial projects. Jane Burgess founded her practice in 1978 and focused on smaller heritage, residential and interior design projects where she could always be involved in a very hands-on manner throughout the construction phase. In 1984, Karl and Jane combined their resources to create a firm that would offer expertise in projects spanning a broad spectrum of scale, use and complexity.

As the firm expanded, Kelly Gilbride, and Sheldon Kennedy became partners, thus ensuring the continuance of a partner’s personal care and attention throughout each project. Today SBA specializes in institutional buildings, heritage conservation projects and interior space planning and design.

In addition to a skilled core staff, our firm relies on proven relationships with associated professionals: mechanical, electrical and structural engineers; cost, building code, lighting, acoustic, security, and heritage consultants; landscape architects; and the myriad of other specialized individuals required by today's complex and exacting building industry. 

SBA undertakes its architectural projects as the prime consultant. As part of our service we contract for and closely co-ordinate and review all the work of these proven sub-consultants. The knowledgeable, positive and co-operative teamwork generates value-added efficiencies for all our client’s projects.


Jane Burgess

B. Arch. (University of Toronto)
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Toronto Society of Architects (TSA)
Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP)  

Jane Burgess was fortunate enough to attend the University of Toronto's School of Architecture during the radical early seventies when it was the leading design school in the country.  

After graduating in 1974, she quickly developed hands-on construction experience by working for engineers, architects and contractors in some of the more remote regions of Canada where opportunities were greater for taking on more design and construction administration responsibilities. In 1978 she returned to Toronto and founded a small design/build firm specializing in residential conservation work and freelanced for other architects. She joined Karl Stevens Associates in 1984 to form Stevens Burgess Architects.

Jane taught design at Ryerson’s Department of Architectural Sciences. She has held many volunteer positions in the heritage community including president of CAHP and vice-chair of the Toronto Preservation Board. She has lectured extensively on conservation ‘best practices’ and her projects have received both Toronto Heritage Board and CAHP design awards. Her sensitivity to historical precedents results in a design sensibility respectful of both urban context and environmental issues.

Karl Stevens

B. Arch. (University of Manitoba)

M. Arch. (Urban Design, Harvard)

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)


In 1964, Karl graduated from the University of Manitoba's School of Architecture with the Gold Medal for Highest Academic Achievement and the Thesis prize for Excellence in Design as well as a scholarship to Harvard. In 1966 Karl joined ARCOP as Project Designer on the Canadian Centre for the Performing Arts in Ottawa. In 1972 the Shimizu Fellowship took him to Japan where he lectured at Wareda University and was a designer on the the award winning Kemigawa New Town Competition.


In 1973 Karl came to Toronto to teach at the University of Toronto which he continued to do for fourteen years. During this time, Karl pursued post-graduate studies in Planning and Economics at London University and founded Karl Stevens Associates. 1984 he joined with Jane Burgess to found Stevens Burgess Architects.


As an architect, planner, and urban designer Karl is both a problem solver and a skilled communicator of solutions to corporate clients and governmental agencies. Karl’s architectural career is southern Ontario centered; carrying projects through land assembly, planning and building application, construction and fit-out. Karl’s Urban Design and Planning career has taken him right across the Canadian arctic and throughout Asia.

Kelly Gilbride

B. Arch. (McGill University)
B. Eng. (Concordia University)
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP)Association of Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEng)


Kelly’s architectural training is complemented by her engineering degree in Building Science from the Centre of Building Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. While at university Kelly was the recipient of the Dunlop Architectural Travelling Scholarship, the McGill University Wilfred T. Shaver Scholarship, four times AIA Scholarships, and the Concordia Building Studies Medal.

Upon graduating in 1991 Kelly worked for Greer Galloway Architects and Engineers before starting her own practice in Deep River in 1996. From 1998 to 2001 she amalgamated her practice to become White and Gilbride Architects. In 2001 she joined SBA, becoming a partner in 2002. Since joining SBA Kelly has actively pursued an earlier interest in conservation earning full membership in CAHP in 2008. As both an architect and engineer Kelly is a natural ‘Integrated Design Approach’ team leader.

Sheldon Kennedy

M. Arch (University of Toronto)
B.E.D. ( University of Manitoba)
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)
Canadian Association of Heritage Professionals (CAHP)


Sheldon joined Stevens Burgess Architects in 2004 and has been involved in a wide range of heritage, commercial, residential, hospitality and institutional projects in Ontario and across western Canada.

Sheldon has developed a specialty in heritage conservation through his work on award winning projects including the conservation work at Macdonald Institute (University of Guelph), the heritage conservation plan for the Whitney Block and Tower (Queen’s Park, Toronto), the Scott Hall Restoration (Ontario Fire College, Gravenhurst) and many others.

Sheldon’s heritage experience has been balanced by new-build and interior renovation projects ranging from corporate interior fit-outs at Toronto City Hall, courthouse renovations in Brampton and Toronto, theatre and cinema projects, and the design of new interior and exterior firing ranges for the Ontario Police College. Prior to joining SBA, Sheldon was also involved in numerous projects for Canadian Tire, Giant Tiger and Loblaws Properties West.

Core Staff

Ashley Stewart

Intermediate Architect


Masters of Architecture (Ryerson University)

B.Arch.Sc. (Ryerson University)

Association of Architects (OAA)


Ashley joined Stevens Burgess Architects in 2013. Ashley works in all service areas of SBA’s portfolio. Since then her projects have included work at CBC Headquarters, Toronto City Hall, the Alumnae Theatre, the Theatre Passe Muraille, and many more. She was also the Lead Designer for a multi-phase / multi-floor interior renovation for the Moneris Solutions offices in Toronto where she worked closely with the client to address their on-going fit-out needs.


Ashley has worked closely with the SBA Partners on institutional spaces, offices, and libraries. She has a special interest in heritage conservation and adaptive reuse. Prior to her time at SBA, Ashley worked at the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), in the position of Architectural Graduate, gaining a valuable perspective of the administrative/advocacy viewpoint on the profession of architecture in Ontario.


Ashley has recently been the project manager for the new Event Centre constructed at the Ravine Estate Winery in the Niagara region, where she was integral in the development of the design and working drawings, coordination of sub-consultants, and in contract administration during construction.

Ivy Lai

Senior Architect


B.A. Architecture, Landscape and Design (University of Toronto)

Ontario Association of Architects (OAA)


Since joining SBA in 2004 Ivy has been involved in the full range of architectural services, and has become SBA’s in-house Interior Design and Space-Planning resource. Ivy has experience managing projects, especially those with complex scopes, large consultant teams, and tight timelines.


Ivy has worked extensively on several sensitive heritage and built heritage projects including the inventory and documentation for the ORC Class EA Assessment for the Leslie Frost Centre. Ivy has been an integral part of the team for many projects with the City of Toronto on their Vendor or Record including work at Stanley Barracks Gates, the Guild Inn Cabins, interior renovations at St. Lawrence Market Hall, and the award-winning restoration of the Ward’s Landing Stage.


Ivy is sensitive to the need for environmental sustainability in the built heritage context. Through her work for the collections at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), Ivy is familiar with the process of inventorying collections and the preparation of recommendations for the proper storage of collection types, a process parallel to the detailed on site inventory and documentation required for heritage work. She has an attention to detail and an understanding of three dimensional space that is invaluable to the design process.

Julia Rady

Historian / Cultural Resource Specialist


PhD – History (University of Toronto)

MA (University of Toronto)


Julia joined SBA in 2017 and has since become the firm’s in-house cultural resource specialist. She defended her doctoral thesis in Canadian History at the University of Toronto in 2017, and has provided historical consulting to the Osgoode Society for Canadian Legal History, the CBC, and Heritage Toronto. In 2019 she was appointed to the Toronto Preservation Board. She also sits on the board of the Multicultural History Society of Ontario.


Julia has a special interest in heritage conservation and historical preservation, and the interpretation of Canadian sites of heritage significance. Since starting with SBA, Julia has provided assistance, research, and historical interpretations for the Town of Aurora, Toronto Water, Havergal College, Fort York Officers’ Mess, the Guelph Correctional Centre, the St. Thomas Psychiatric Hospital Site, and the City of Cambridge Farmer’s Market. She has experience with qualitative and quantitative analysis of history, specialized research skills, and the ability to communicate historical ideas and facts in an accessible way to a variety of audiences. She has worked on cultural heritage evaluations, heritage impact assessments, historical briefs, and provided background research and analysis for the range of heritage projects completed at SBA.