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CCPPP remembers board member David Thom

CCPPP remembers board member David Thom 

President of IBI Group Inc. and IBI Group passed away earlier this month

TORONTO (October 25, 2023) — The Canadian infrastructure community has lost a passionate promoter of innovative infrastructure design and urban planning with the passing of David Thom, President of IBI Group Inc. and IBI Group.

Thom, who served as a valued member of the board of directors of The Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships (CCPPP) since 2016, died on October 13 in Vancouver. He was 73.

He is survived by his wife, Juli, and their six children Jennifer, Benjamin, Devon, Adrienne, Julian and Eliza, eight grandchildren, four siblings, and former wife Vivian.

Mourners may pay tribute to his life today in Vancouver. In addition, a special memorial tribute will be paid to him in front of his colleagues across Canada and globally at P3 2023, CCPPP’s annual conference, on November 13-14.

“David will be incredibly missed. Our thoughts are with his family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time,” said Johanne Mullen, Chair of CCPPP’s board of directors and Partner, PwC. “Over the years, the Council has benefitted tremendously from his generosity, his spirit and his thoughtful insight into how to improve infrastructure for all Canadians, particularly through the use of the public-private partnership model.

“For David, a project was never a standalone edifice or system. He saw the possibility of connections. He believed infrastructure could help create community identity and knit us closer together by using the best in innovative design.”

At IBI Group, Thom was responsible for providing executive leadership to the company with a particular focus on managing and leading the firm’s multidisciplinary teams of professionals. He was also the lead author of the firm’s strategic plan and led major strategic growth efforts for its global practice.

He specialized in the planning and design of complex projects that integrated planning, architecture and transportation. He had senior responsibility for many major urban development projects across Canada, the United States and internationally including P3s and private finance initiatives.

Thom joined IBI in 1975 after graduating from the architecture program at the University of Toronto and was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

“I was so fortunate to have the opportunity to work with and learn from David,” said Lisa Mitchell, President and CEO, CCPPP. “He always had valuable insight and advice to help guide our work and always put his hand up to host whenever we needed a place to gather our members while in Vancouver. His charm and sense of humour, along with his support of our changing mission and vision, made him an incredibly valuable advisor to the Council.”

Mark Bain, former chair of CCPPP and Partner, Torys LLP, added: “The news of David’s passing is incredibly sad for all of us who had the pleasure of knowing and working with him. David had rare wisdom, insight and wit. It was truly fun to collaborate with David as he remained authentic, warm and generous, no matter how challenging the puzzle to be solved. Canadian infrastructure needs more innovation, more thoughtfulness of the type David so consistently demonstrated. We will miss him tremendously.” 

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked instead for donations to the Vancouver General Hospital ICU, which took great care of him in his final days.

Friends and members of the Canadian infrastructure community are invited to share their memories of David as part of the Council’s tribute to him at P3 2023. Stories and photos can be submitted to [email protected]