Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. upholds a reputation of professional excellence, while meeting design challenges with creative and effective solutions.
Principals Jim Sheffield and Gerald Gallacher lead the firm. Founding Principal, John Nicholson has retired as a shareholder and remains a member of the leadership team and advisor to the firm.
Our staff is made up of a talented group of architects and technologists with diverse skills. They take pride in the work of the firm and strive for constant improvement of their own technical, administrative and design skills. As a result, the firm is able to produce award-winning designs for projects of varying size, budget and complexity.
OAA, FRAIC, IAIA, LEED AP
Jim has successfully led a broad range of our firm’s most recognizable projects. He works throughout all phases of project development; coordinating project teams throughout design, document production, and contract administration. Jim is President of the firm.
Jim takes a collaborative approach to design, working closely with clients to ensure that their projects are tailored to suit their needs. This approach involves developing a comprehensive understanding of how a finished project will be used, and how its design may be refined and improved throughout the course of the work.
Jim graduated from the Architectural Technology Program at Fanshawe College in 1991. He worked with our firm before attending the University of Toronto for his Bachelor of Architecture. After graduating and working for a number of award-winning firms in Toronto, Jim returned to the firm in 2000, becoming an associate in 2004, and partner in 2007.
Jim is active in the community, committing time to a variety of not-for-profit organizations and committees. He is a past chair of the City of London Urban Design Peer Review Panel and the Past President on the Board of Directors for the London District Construction Association. Jim offers a background in sustainable design. He is a LEED Accredited Professional, and taught the LEED NC course at Fanshawe College in 2009.
Gerald Gallacher is a Principal at Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. Since joining the firm in 2008, he has been instrumental to our work with a range of clients – covering all aspects of project development, and leading many projects from inception through to completion.
Gerald’s experience enables clients and project teams to generate successful outcomes through a collaborative process, gathering input from all project stakeholders, other members of the design team, and the contractor. The goal of this process is to generate the best possible design solutions and realize the potential of the project for the client.
Gerald graduated from the RAIC’s syllabus program in 2009, after more than two decades of professional experience as a Project Manager. His experience allows him to offer clients a comprehensive technical background working on projects of varying size and complexity. His experience includes health care, commercial projects, work for school boards, and a number of other project types.
Gerald is active in the community, coaching hockey and soccer, volunteering his time to various not-for-profit organizations. He is a past member of the City of London Urban Design Peer Review Panel, regional coordinator for the RAIC syllabus program. He is also Chair of the Board for London Downtown Business Association.
OAA FRAIC LEED AP
John is a Founding Principal at Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. He has acted as the firm’s Principal-in-Charge of Design since 1987. His projects have won awards at the local, provincial, and national levels. He has acted as President and Vice President of the firm. John retired as a shareholder of the firm in 2017. He remains on the leadership team, acting as an advisor to the firm, particularly on matters of design.
John’s designs include a number of landmark projects in London and the surrounding area. He has worked on a broad range of project types, for many different clients and has been recognized for his ability to interpret client input into effective design.
John maintains an active role in the community. He sits on the London Community Foundation Board. He has been Chair of the LCF Board of Directors and of its Grants Committee. He has also been Chair of the London Arts Council and its Community Arts Investment Program. He founded the City of London’s Urban Design Awards program, and helped draft the City’s Public Arts Policy. He has sat on city advisory panels related to design, downtown, arts, heritage, housing, the millennium & creative cities, on the City's Urban Design Peer Review Panel, and on LSA delegations to the city. John was named a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2001. John was named to the City of London Mayor's List in 2014, and was awarded the Sovereign's Medal for Volunteerism in 2017.
Walter Derhak is an Associate of Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. He acts as a team lead and client-liaison for many of our projects, bringing a collaborative approach to working with clients and an aptitude for resolving complicated design considerations.
Walter has designed a number of highly-specialized projects for post-secondary, health care providers, labs, and hospitality which require rigorous attention to detail in their design. He is adept at the design of working process within a new or existing space, and the process of working with clients to design projects that are completely fit-to-purpose (which involves a comprehensive understanding of the client and their specific needs). Walter also offers a breadth of experience with construction budgeting, project scheduling, and implementing functional programs within new and existing facilities.
Jason offers extensive experience in academic facility renovation projects.
Jason has worked in Londonas a Project Manager sincegraduating from Fanshawe College in 2000, joining our firm in 2012. He has successfully managed a variety of our projects from design through to completion of construction.
Tim comes to NSA with a breadth of experience, having worked in the architecture industry for over 20 years. An OAA licensed architect since 2006, Tim has worked as a project architect on several award and competition winning projects, including Canadian Architect, OAA and Governor General’s awards during his time at Ian MacDonald Architect and Hariri Pontarini Architects. He has a wide range of design experience, from single family residences to master planning of large-scale urban redevelopment in both Canada and the United States. Prior to joining NSA, Tim was a Principal in his own practice, Tim Wickens Architect.
Invested in making unique and powerful spaces through the study of place, context, site and landscape, Tim has a deep interest in and understanding of construction details and the integration of the work of related disciplines. He takes particular pride in bridging the needs of the client, the innate qualities of site, and the smallest of architectural details through the architectural process.
Tim holds a Professional Bachelor of Architecture with Honours and a Post Professional Master of Architecture II, both from the University of Toronto. He remains actively engaged in architectural education and mentorship, teaching in design studios, acting as a guest critic at student presentations, speaking, lecturing, and judging professional and student competitions.
Dustin Parkes is an Associate who joined the firm in December 2017. Prior to joining Nicholson Sheffield Architects, Dustin gained experience working with a number of Architecture firms in Toronto, and also worked independently as a BCIN licensed Architectural Designer in Sarnia, Ontario and the surrounding area.
Dustin holds a Master of Architecture, and a Bachelor of Architectural Studies, Honours Co-op with Distinction, both from the University of Waterloo. During his academic career, Dustin was awarded the Ontario Graduate Scholarship and received numerous awards for his outstanding design work. Most notably, Dustin is the recipient of the Rome Prize for Outstanding Design and the M.Arch Entry Award for Top Overall Standing in Design.
Dustin is proficient in a variety of drafting and 3D modelling programs included Revit, AutoCAD, and Sketch-Up. He is also proficient in Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign).
During his time with Nicholson Sheffield Architects, Dustin has gained experience working on a number of projects of varying scale and complexity, through Schematic Design, Design Development, Construction Document Production, and Contract Administration phases.
John Ly is an Associate, who re-joined the firm in 2017. Prior to starting with Nicholson Sheffield Architects, he worked as a draftsperson and completed a co-op term at Archon Architects Inc. in Windsor, Ontario. John joined the predecessor firm, Malhotra Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc., in 2003 and worked with them for six years.
John holds a Diploma in Architectural Technology from St. Clair College and a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, Michigan.
He has been recognized for his excellence in the design field after receiving the bronze medal in the 2002 Skills Canada Regional Competition. He is also proficient in AutoCAD, Photoshop, and InDesign.
John is a quick learner with excellent problem-solving skills. His previous technical experience and his business-savvy mentality ensure he is an excellent addition to the Nicholson Sheffield Architects team.
IA-OAA, B.E.S., B.Arch
Since joining Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. in 2017, Alicia Lesniak has served as our resident Intern Architect. With over two decades of experience in the field of architecture, she brings with her considerable experience in a variety of project types, from small-scale commercial and residential interior design and renovations to large-scale multi-family residential and commercial developments and institutional buildings. Her extensive experience in all levels of the design process, leading projects from concept design through to project completion, make her a valuable asset to our team.
As a designer, Alicia understands the need for balance between design intent and the reality of site conditions, project budgets and regulatory restrictions. She is client-oriented and understands the importance of budgetary and functional needs that must be met in order to satisfy project goals. As well, she has a particular interest in sustainable design, having experience with LEED projects and believes strongly in providing a balance between the natural and built environment
Alicia holds two degrees: a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture, both from the University of Waterloo. Since graduating, she has travelled extensively throughout Canada, working at various firms in Ontario, British Columbia and the Yukon. As part of her architectural journey she has designed and built her own house on an island near Vancouver. When not working, Alicia enjoys being active within her community through volunteering with various local groups as well as mentoring.
Alicia is an accomplished individual in the architectural field - her experience, balanced with a unique and creative insight makes her an integral part of Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc.
Hillary Little is an Intern Architect who joined the firm in January 2018. Prior to starting with Nicholson Sheffield Architects, she gained experience working in a variety of design environments including Design-Build and Interior Design in the London area.
Hillary holds Master of Architecture and Bachelor of Architectural Studies, both from Carleton University in Ottawa. She has been recognized for her academic excellence in the design field, graduating with a High Distinction and Senate Medal from Carleton University.
Hillary is proficient in a variety of drafting and 3D modelling programs including Revit and AutoCAD. She is also proficient in the Adobe Suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign).
Becky joined Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. as a Technologist after completing three co-op term placements with our firm (and one with the City of London), as part of her education in the Architectural Technology program at Fanshawe College. While at Fanshawe, Becky won the Skills Canada Provincial competition on two occasions, and at the Skills Canada National Competition won the Bronze Medal in 2012, and the Gold Medal in the 2013 competition.
Becky has worked on many of our firm’s major projects, including contract documents for projects with technically-demanding programme; requiring a comprehensive level of thought and detail throughout production. Becky’s education, experience, and technical capabilities in Revit and AutoCAD make her an important part of our team.
Becky is currently on maternity leave, and we wish her all the best.
Petar Sesar is an Architectural Technologist with 10 years of experience in the architectural and interior design field. He completed his advanced diploma in the Co-op Architectural Technology program at Fanshawe College in 2010; and is currently continuing his studies in the RAIC Syllabus Diploma in Architecture program in collaboration with Athabasca University.
Petar brings to the NSA team an extensive background in the public sector and an advanced understanding of the processes, protocols and expectations involved in working on a broad range of public and privately funded projects.
Petar has prepared construction documents and undertaken contract administration including participating in field reviews, change management, payment certification and compliance reviews. He has coordinated the work of lead architects, interior designers, structural and mechanical engineers on several high-profile interior fit-up projects. His responsibilities have included shop drawing review, engineering systems coordination, and organization of design review committee meetings. He has undertaken peer review of construction documents for a variety of projects in the London, Ottawa and abroad. He has also been responsible for code reviews and analysis. He is conversant in the preparation of NMS format specifications, including ensuring they meet government standards.
Prior to joining NSA, Petar gained local and international experience working in both the private and public sector. In his capacity as Architectural Technologist at Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Petar was involved in a range of planning and development projects, including functional and space programming, feasibility studies, master plans, detailed interior fit-ups, modernization, renovations, additions and new construction. Petar has gained extensive knowledge of workplace branding through various exercises and studies in embassy signage projects abroad. Petar was involved in all stages of project development – from feasibility study to the renovation and consolidation of some of Canada’s most important foreign missions, including the Canadian embassies in Beijing and Paris, and the Canadian High Commission in London. He also assisted in developing security details and upgrades for many other Canadian residences and embassies abroad.
B. Arch. Sc.
Nicole Regier is a Technologist and joined the firm in September of 2018 after completing school. Before graduating and starting at Nicholson and Sheffield Architects, Nicole worked as an Architectural Student at Allan Avis Architects Inc. in Goderich, Ontario for three terms.
Nicole holds a degree in Architectural Science from Ryerson University in Toronto. She also represented Ryerson University during a semester abroad, studying in Germany at the Technical University of Munich. Through her experience at both universities, she learned to be adaptable and think outside the box.
She is proficient in a variety of 3D modelling software including Revit and also excels in Adobe Design Suite. Aside from Nicole’s technical capabilities, she is always eager to learn something new with a positive mentality
As of May 2017, Ben has worked as a Technologist at Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. He holds an Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology from Fanshawe College, graduating on the Dean’s Honour Roll in April 2017.
Ben previously completed two co-ops before joining Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc., one at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory at Western University, and the other at IRC Building Science Group. From his educational and employment experience, Ben has become proficient in AutoCad and Revit, making him a technical asset to Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc.
Dipl.Arch.Tech, LEED AP
After completing an eight-month co-op at Nicholson Sheffield Architects during her final year at Fanshawe College in 2017, Emma was brought back onto the team as a full-time Architectural Technologist. Joining the team in April, 2018. In the same month, Emma graduated from Fanshawe College with an Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology.
Before completing her co-op at Nicholson Sheffield Architects, Emma completed a previous co-op at Chorley + Bisset as a Junior Mechanical and Electrical Draftsperson from January to August 2016.
In addition to her academic and employment experience, Emma was the 2018 Candada Gold medalist in the Skills Canada Architectural Tecehnology and Design Competition. She was also the 2018 Ontario gold medalist, 2018 Top Ranking Competitor, and 2017 Ontario silver medalist at the Skills Ontario competitions. She then had the opportunity to represent Fanshawe College at Polytechnics Canada in 2018, speaking to parliament to advocate for the significance of co-op based programs to yound people in the skilled trades. She is LEED Green Associate certified and proficient in AutoCAD and Revit.
Emma is an extremely hard worker with a keen eye for design that makes her an excellent addition to the Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. team.
Courteney Vandescheur started her Architectural Technology career in 2014 when she began her education at Fanshawe College. During her education, Courteney completed Co-Op placements through John’s Drafting Service, Serratore and Associates, and Nicholsoon Sheffield Architects Inc. In these placements, Courteney refined her skills as a Technologist, assisting in the drafting and design of numerous residential and commercial buildings throughout London and surrounding areas.
Courteney holds a Advanced Diploma in Architectural Technology from Fanshawe College and is well on her way to becoming a accredited Architectural Technologist.
Courteney is proficient various drafting and 3D modeling programs, such as Revit, AutoCAD, Sketchup,and Adobe Photoshop to name a few.
On top of this, Courteney is a quick learner and extremely adaptable in her work environment. She enjoys the entire architectural process from design conception to construction administration as Courteney is experienced in all aspects of the process making her a valuable addition to the Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. team.
Director of First Impressions
BA (H), GCA, GCMCS
Bryar is the Director of First Impressions at Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Philosophy, a Graduate Certificate in Advertising, and a Graduate Certificate in Museum and Cultural Management. She joined the team in 2020.
Before joining Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc., Bryar worked in all manner of customer relations roles. She originally started out as a content writer and has since used her experience to wear every hat in the social media and communications world.
Bryar has published several short works of fiction which can be found by scouring the internet, as well as in a compendium of poetry titled “Painting the Sky” which featured writers from across Ontario.
Nathan joined the Nicholson Sheffield Architect team in 2015 after graduating from Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ontario with an advanced diploma in Architectural-Construction Engineering Technology. During his time as a student Nathan and his design team were awarded first place for both Team Design and Project Documentation of their 3rd year six-storey student residence building. During this He became a great team player and now excels at collaborating with others.
He is very proficient with Revit and pairs that with a great understanding of the Ontario Building Code, building science and technical detailing. This knowledge has helped Nathan take a variety of projects from design development through construction documentation and provided contract administration during the construction of these projects. He is a quick learner who is always up for a challenge.
Mark is an Intern Architect with over 25 years of experience in the construction industry. Originating from Northern Ireland, UK, Mark moved to Canada in 2014 and worked in Saskatchewan as an Architectural Technologist prior to joining Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. Before moving abroad, Mark worked in a variety of positions in the Architectural sector, contributing to many large-scale residential, commercial, and industrial projects, valued upwards of $450 million.
As a lifelong learner, Mark has numerous academic certifications. He first received his Business & Finance Certificate from Eastbourne Technical College, then a Building & Construction Certificate from Lisburn Technical College. After graduating, Mark enrolled in his BA (Hons) in Architecture, followed directly by his Bachelor of Architecture, both from the University of Humberside, in the UK.
Mark is an extremely talented designer with strong technical ability. He is able to effectively manage projects and is proficient in Autocad, Revit, Vectorworks, Photoshop, Sketchup, Canute, PDS, and Drawing Express.
Tracey Watters joined Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc. in August of 2011 as the firm’s Bookkeeper. She is a consultant to the firm and has been a Sole Proprietor since 2008. She covers tasks related to the financial management of the business and our projects.
Tracey’s education, experience, and professional knowledge inform all of her work at the office. She has more than 25 years of experience as a Bookkeeper, and currently works for a broad range of clients across southwestern Ontario including: London, St. Thomas, Port Stanley, and Tillsonburg. She originally received her Certificate in Bookkeeping from Sterling Business Academy
Bryce is our newest employee and a recent graduate from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Architectural Studies in the Conservation and Sustainability stream, focusing on built heritage and sustainable design. He has a variety of work experience from previous employment at MTBA Associates Inc. in Ottawa where he focused on many Federal heritage buildings and conservation districts as well as a summer coordinating construction on the site of East Block Parliament Hill rehabilitation. He has a vast background in designing and building custom cabinetry as well as a recently acquired passion and appreciation for the crafts of both leatherworking and blacksmithing.
Karleigh is joining Nicholson Sheffield for her school placement, she is here to learn and teach and better our workplace environment and we are very happy to have her.