Jon Packer
Since founding Idea Workshop more than a decade ago, Jon has helped some of Canada’s most prominent architects, developers, interior designers and design-led brands enhance their image and reputation through comprehensive, award-winning public outreach campaigns.

Driven by the core belief that creativity in design improves our lives and our world, Jon and the Idea Workshop team create and implement communications and marketing initiatives for clients across North America and Europe.

Jon works closely with the real estate and design community and is regular guest speaker at conferences, as well as a frequent judge in design and marketing industry competitions.

Jon, a graduate of the Ravensbourne School of Design and Communications in London, England, is also a long time member of the Board of Directors at Toronto’s Gardiner Museum.

Follow Jon on LinkedIn.

Entries by Jon Packer

It's Time For Toronto To Become A Car-Free City

(29) Comments | Posted May 3, 2016 | 11:15 AM

May marks what would have been the 100th birthday of renown urbanist and long-time Toronto resident Jane Jacobs. The occasion will be celebrated as thousands walk in more than 250 city tours in what may be one of the greatest citizen-led walks.

For most, it is a...

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Pedestrian Safety Must Be Part Of The Urban Transit Conversation

(1) Comments | Posted October 29, 2015 | 12:26 PM

On the morning of Oct. 28, 2015, 12 pedestrians were struck by cars in the City of Toronto.

While some would say it's the result of a wet, grey day, this statistic follows an average of six pedestrians being hit each day, a stunningly high number that research...

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We Can Decide What Our Pan Am Legacy Will Be

(1) Comments | Posted July 28, 2015 | 1:03 PM

In the post games analysis, the search is on to identify the legacy of Toronto's Pan Am Games. Is it the Athletes' Village, a remarkable mixed-use development with accommodation for 10,000 athletes that will now form a vibrant community of affordable housing, student dormitory, a YMCA...

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Is Public Transit Actually Too Cheap?

(19) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 5:50 PM

Yes, that's right, cheap. To cross the 26-kilometer stretch of Toronto's core by public transit costs a meager $3. Head north on Yonge Street, the world's longest road, and a single subway fare up the 30 kilometre stretch to the city's northern reaches will still cost $3. To hop just...

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Last Week the World of Journalism Suffered Many Losses

(0) Comments | Posted February 15, 2015 | 10:36 PM

I sit on the periphery of journalism. A PR guy who needs journalists for business purposes and appreciates a good read, too. So I have been struck that this week the biggest news stories have been, well, about news.

First there was the debacle that was Brian...

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The Story of 2014? Urbanization

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 4:53 PM

Let's start with what 2014 was not. It was not the year of the iPhone 6 (despite phenomenal sales), or the digital wallet, robots that shop for us, a nuclear deal with Iran or universal healthcare. And cauliflower did not become the new kale. Kale became the new kale.


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Toronto Transit Solutions No One Is Talking About

(19) Comments | Posted September 29, 2014 | 5:38 PM

As municipal elections approach in Toronto, gridlock, transit and the topic of how we move around a fast growing city are taking centre stage. In a city that boasts 9.2 per cent population growth and annual construction of over $7.9 billion, that is no surprise. But what is...

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Selfies Are Entertaining But They're Not Journalism

(0) Comments | Posted August 21, 2014 | 9:17 AM

Much has been written about the demise of legacy media -- how no one reads newspapers any more, or watchers TV or listens to the radio. We are, it is said, a mobile tap away from all the personalized news feeds we could ever want.

Add to this the...

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Technology Could Enable the Four-Day Work Week

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 5:46 PM

Well not exactly. But Larry Page, co-founder of Google, does tell us that working a 40-hour week is an out-moded employment model. He believes that through smart design and technology we could work a four-day week or less. Now, with over $32 billion in the bank it is...

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Want to Live Longer? Move to a City

(0) Comments | Posted April 30, 2014 | 12:44 PM

As warmer spring weather finally arrives, many of us long for the great outdoors with walks, bike rides and the Holy Grail -- cottage getaways. The notion is that if we could only spend more time out of the city, we'd be both happier and healthier. The reality though is...

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This One Simple Change Can Reduce Urban Crime

(0) Comments | Posted March 14, 2014 | 5:49 PM

This week Toronto revealed its latest ranking of priority neighbourhoods -- those areas in the city that reach a threshold for investment based on health, economics, political participation and education. The initiative was launched eight years ago in response to the city's Summer of the Gun...

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Why We Need to Bring 'Art' Back to the Olympics

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 11:34 AM

Fifty billion dollars is a lot of money. That's the estimated cost to stage the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. As Canada approaches the top of the medal table, we can feel rightly proud of our athletes and be in awe of those from competing countries. But with the exception of...

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6 Things That Would Make Toronto Better, Ford or No Ford

(1) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 4:31 PM

Rob Ford smoked crack. So what? He lied about it. Big deal. He also drank excessively, cavorted with alleged gang members, publicly embarrassed his wife and near trampled over a fellow councilor. Yeah, yeah, yeah, tell me something I don't know. Oh, and he plans to run for a second...

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Amazon's Micro-Drones Are a Good Thing

(6) Comments | Posted December 3, 2013 | 10:53 AM

Have you ever bought an item and needed it in 30 minutes? Aside from pizza and gas, no, me neither. The newly announced Amazon PrimeAir drone concept is essentially a mini-flying airplane that will deliver small purchases to your door in about half an hour. It may be...

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There's More to Toronto Than Rob Ford

(0) Comments | Posted November 7, 2013 | 6:41 AM

For a city that seemingly has so much going for it, things certainly seem not to be running smoothly right now in Toronto. We have an embattled mayor who has admitted smoking crack cocaine and being drunk while on the job. A skyline described by street artist

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Apple Dips into the Fashion World

(0) Comments | Posted October 16, 2013 | 4:55 PM

There was a time when technology was perceived as the domain of the pocket protected nerd, working late nights in a darkened room while scoffing subway sandwiches. Oh, how times have changed. Glitzy smartphone announcements are now the online version of a Paris fashion show, and tech companies...

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What BlackBerry Could Learn From the VW Camper

(1) Comments | Posted September 30, 2013 | 5:41 PM

Smartphone maker BlackBerry is on the ropes and we all know it. Amid the financial turmoil of this once Canadian icon, there was news that the humble VW Camper, itself an iconic brand, is set to be retired at the end of this year.

The introduction of the...

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7 Design Innovations that are Transforming Your Bike Commute

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 8:14 AM

With the recent launch of Citibike, the world's largest bicycle share program in New York City, cycling as a viable option for city commuting is literally gaining traction. A means of transport around long before the automobile, the bicycle has been in and out of vogue since its 19th century...

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Unplug and Listen to the Sounds of Your City

(0) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 5:34 PM

I owe an apology to my next door neighbour. He chose a recent picture-perfect spring Sunday afternoon to power wash his back yard patio. For two hours I listened to the dull generator whir drifting over the fence as I plotted to end the misery. Where is a power outage...

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How Walkable Is Your City?

(10) Comments | Posted February 20, 2013 | 10:42 AM

Two recent reports rate Vancouver as Canada's most walkable city among a ranking of the world's top ten that also included Florence, Paris and Dubrovnik, Croatia. All great cities, but what is the definition of walkable and how does it contribute to the city experience?

In Vancouver's case, Walk...

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