Len Gertler was a planner, administrator, author, and university professor, whose areas of study include planning, and public policy. Gertler was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was educated at Queen's University, McGill University, and the University of Toronto.
Throughout his career he held a wide variety of positions. Len Gertler served as Director of the Edmonton District Planning Commission, and also held the position of Deputy Commissioner of Planning for the City of Toronto. In 1966 he became a professor at the University of Waterloo, establishing a new program in Urban and Regional Planning. He was also involved in establishing the University of Waterloo's Faculty of Environmental Studies, and became the first Director of the School of Planning.
Gertler was the coordinator and author of the Niagara Escarpment Study in 1968 which led to the 1985 passage of the Niagara Escarpment Plan, which greatly influenced unesco ’s decision to name the escarpment a World Biosphere Reserve in 1990. His international work included assignments in Indonesia, Jamaica, India, Japan, and Uzbekistan. Gertler was a member and Vice-Chair of the Ontario Environmental Assessment Board, from 1990-2001.