About Lisa

Lisa Orchard

I have more than 20 years of experience with writing and editing the reports, plans, studies, memos and other documents for projects related to housing, transportation, land use, long-range planning, public policy, real estate, design, engineering, infrastructure, technology, sustainability, economic development, community development and more.

I know and love community building and urban life. I launched Scribe Technical to bring together my expertise in city building and technical communications. It’s a unique combination! I know the ins and outs of both worlds and am dedicated to helping other urban experts tell their stories with clarity and understanding.

I know the environment my clients are operating in, and how to make the most of it. I make sure their complex behind-the-scenes work is understood and has an impact – whether that’s to get the right decision from a tough audience, advance a project with colleagues, or win over a skeptical public.

I focus on making the edits that make my clients’ documents clear, effective, and engaging. I’ve worked with clients in government, industry, and non-profits who are changing the ways that we think about and shape our communities. I’m inspired by the work they’re doing and am committed to making it shine, whether they’re writing for decision makers, project partners, or the public.

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A technical editor’s job is to ensure that complex ideas are fact-based, clear, and concise. I translate subject matter expertise into plain language to ensure it’s valued, understood, and influential.

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I launched Scribe to bring together the best practices of technical writing to urban planners, engineers, designers, and anyone else with a role in building cities.

I’m a huge advocate for “plain language”, particularly for technical content, and go beyond editing to help my clients apply key principles to their reports, plans, studies, proposals, and the many other documents they prepare every day. I volunteer with Plain Canada Clair to advance civic clarity and expand the community of plain language professionals.

As an urban planner, and as a technical editor, I’ve written countless internal and external documents, independently and with colleagues, in different voices, from different viewpoints. I understand how decisions get made, and how to write so that professional expertise is heard and taken seriously. Today, I’m delighted to be focused on delivering the top-quality, polished documents that my clients need to influence their audiences and transform their communities.

I believe that by doing a better job of communicating our professional ideas, analyses, and processes, we can build trust in our professions, build more successful organizations, and inform better decisions that benefit everyone.

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Our ideas are so easily misunderstood: wrong numbers become the focus, solutions get over-simplified, processes become less inclusive, misinformation starts to lead the conversation, and decisions get made that leave us, as practitioners, mystified. Even worse, our hard work gets ignored. A professional editor with expertise in urban planning will help you communicate your great ideas, advance your projects, and help make your community a better place to live.

A bit more about me


  • Ontario Professional Planners Institute
  • Canadian Institute of Planners
  • Society for Technical Communications
  • Editors Canada
  • Plain Canada Clair


Certificate in Technical Communications, George Brown College (2020)

Master of Science in Planning, University of Toronto (1999)

Honours Bachelor of Arts in Political Science, University of Toronto (1995)


Founder and Principal Consultant at Scribe Technical since 2019

Senior Planner and Policy Advisor, Metrolinx (various: regional planning; systems planning; regional partnerships)

I get the big picture: the policies, politics, and dynamics that influence the urban environment over the long-term.

Team Lead and Senior Planner, Ontario (various: ministries of transportation; municipal affairs and housing; public infrastructure renewal)

I know how decisions get made, and how important clear, concise documents are to the process and the outcomes.

Policy and Research Planner, City of Toronto (various: urban development services, corporate services)

I understand local government and how important communication is in making projects happen.