Mr Farley was educated at McGill and Harvard Universities and holds degrees in architecture, city planning and urban design, the field in which he is a specialist. He has taught at Harvard, where he was Associate Professor of Urban Design (1968-1970), and at New York University (1964-1968). Since retirement from McGill he has taught at Queen's and the University of the West Indies in Trinidad, and he currently teaches in the School of Urban Planning at McGill University.
He was the first Executive Director of the Urban Design Council of the City of New York under Mayor Lindsay and prior to that was part of the Boston Redevelopment Authority's first design team, with David Crane and Edward Logue, as a Senior Planning Designer.
Since the early 1960s Mr Farley has been active as a consultant to governments and the private sector. He has consulted on projects overseas in Bahrain, Belize, Trinidad, Mexico and Algeria, as well as projects in Canada and the United States.
Recently, in partnership with John Schreiber and Ron Williams, he won the design competition for "Champ de Mars" next to City Hall in Montreal. Mr Farley paints and illustrates in his spare time.