Volume 24 Fall 2005
Liberty Village • King West • King West Central • Entertainment District • St. Lawrence Market Area • Queen Richmond East
3 Game Boys: Transgaming comes to KWC
2 Invest in Kids helps parents help children
4 Finding Fall Furniture
8 A Room for Tasting
PLUS: Totum tackles fitness myths, Neighbourhood Watch, and Allied Properties buys more space for the small users.
Veritable Satisfaction Verity’s Mary Aitken on her Entrepreneurial Life
King West Central King West Central
KWC Newcomer Invests in Kids National charity formed to give children a healthy start
arlier this fall, King West Central welcomed a new tenant when Invest in Kids moved to 425 Adelaide Street West. Founded in 1993, this national, charitable organization, dedicated to helping parents “become the parents they want and need to be,” manages a number of initiatives to encourage healthy social, emotional and intellectual development of children from birth to age five. Using research, a comprehensive website, training institutes, multi-media
programs and the distribution of various parenting “kits” (360,000 of its resource kits are in the hands of Canadian parents today), Invest in Kids helps parents guide their children’s development. In Canada, almost one third of children under the age of six have social, emotional or learning problems. Many of these problems may be related to a lack of positive parenting. According to Canada’s National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth, these problems affect children from all corners of our society, regardless of socio-economic background. Invest in Kids’ own National Survey of Parents of Young Children found that while 92% of parents believe parenting is the most important thing they will ever do, few feel prepared for the job. Invest in Kids is the only national charity solely devoted to
providing the resources and tools parents need to help them make the most of their children’s first five years. It hosts two high-profile, annual fundraisers: the Invest in Kids Battle of the Brains, a gala, black-tie event where 50 teams compete in a trivia game show-style event (past hosts have
92% believe parenting is the most important thing they will ever do but few feel prepared for the job. included Alex Trebek, Red Green and Evan Solomon); and the Invest in Kids Celebrity Golf Classic that is host to some of the biggest names in Canadian sport including Bobby Hull and Marcel Dionne, Olympians Marnie McBean and Geraldine Heaney and world champions Todd Brooker and Curt Harnett. www.investinkids.ca
10 NEW ALLIED BUILDINGS FROM BATHURST TO BERKELEY STREETS, MORE SPACE FOR SMALL USERS Early November saw Allied Properties REIT grow considerably in Toronto with the purchase Camwood Properties’ office portfolio. The acquisition, which boosts the leasable space in the Toronto component of the firm’s portfolio to nearly two million square feet, will enable it to provide a broader range of solutions to tenants and prospective tenants, explained Michael Emory, the REIT’s President and CEO. “We’re particularly happy about the fact that the new portfolio will enable us to provide solutions to smaller tenants, and tenants with smaller requirements,” he added.
Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
The portfolio is comprised of eight redeveloped Class I office buildings (the “I” stands for the original industrial nature of the buildings) and two Class I office buildings in redevelopment, these include:
In the Downtown East Area • 489 Queen Street East • 100 Lombard Street (in redevelopment) • 145 Berkeley Street (in redevelopment)
In King West Central • 579 Richmond Street West • 141 Bathurst Street • 662 King Street West In the Entertainment District • 312 Adelaide Street West • 208-210 Adelaide Street West • 200 Adelaide Street West • 116 Simcoe Street
662 King Street West
New Game in Town Gaming technology is big business for incoming King Street West tenant
o hear Vikas Gupta explain it, you’d think he has always been a gamer. As the CEO and president of TransGaming, a global leader in the development of portability software technology that allows games written for one gaming system to be easily deployed for another, Gupta speaks knowledgeably of titles like SpyHunter, James Bond 007: Nightfire and Medal of Honor. But his background is more business than recreation. Still, in the multi-billion dollar world of computer gaming, recreation is business.
“A multi-platform game deployment budget can be $60 million.” – Vikas Gupta “I wasn’t a big gamer, but I figured I could help [TransGaming founder Gavriel State] informally. Just do a business plan, that sort of thing,” recalls Gupta. He’d met State, through a former employee, at State’s request. Gupta was a successful entrepreneur with experience in raising capital, and State wanted his input. “The more research I did on the industry, the more I realized how tremendous an opportunity there was at TransGaming,” says Gupta who was offered a role as the company’s president eight months after that meeting in late 2000. Today, TransGaming has an R&D centre in Ottawa and is scheduled to move its Toronto-based business office into 5,200 square feet at 445 King Street West later this year.
Game Budgets in the Millions In the gaming universe, there are three types of companies, he explains. There are system manufacturers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, developers who actually do the programming of a game, and publishers who work with developers to produce a game (visuals, packaging and marketing). “We fit into the middleware, or portability space,” says Gupta. “We work with developers and publishers to migrate content from one platform to another.” Many games are designed from the ground up to function for only one manufacturer’s system. Eventually, a version is licensed for another system, but that version must to be built from the ground up. A game like Tiger Woods 2006, says Gupta cost developer Electronic Arts $25 million to develop – just for Windows. “When a game is a multi-platform deployment, budgets can be in the range of $40 to $60 million,” says Gupta, adding that teams of as many as 200 programmers will be working on such a project.
The company’s product supports a range of platforms, from Linux and Mac to Xbox, PlayStation 2, and other next generation devices. While TransGaming’s technology also applies to business applications, history has demonstrated that games play a key role in the success and penetration of new consumer systems, a fact even more true today than it has been in the past. www.transgaming.com
TransGaming’s portability technologies have been applied to games like… • • • • • • • • • •
TRON 2.0 James Bond 007: Nightfire The Sims Battlefield 2 Battlefield Vietnam Medal of Honor EverQuest Star Wars Galaxies World of WarCraft City of Heroes
Saving 80% of Re-development Time Rather than develop code from scratch, TransGaming’s solution allows publishers and developers to design in a single platform then deploy it across a number of platforms. It’s a sort of universal translator that shaves off 50 to 80 percent of a game’s re-development time and expense.
TransGaming’s software helps convert hit video games like Battlefield 2 for other gaming platforms.
Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
Kingcentral West Central King West
St. Lawrence Market Area St. Lawrence Market Area
NESTING IN STYLE: FURNITURE OPTIONS
From contemporary to comfy to Cappellini, local retailers offer a rang
The Cambridge shelving and storage unit The Newport bedroom set
R-Shop 433 King Street West 416.408.2288 www.rshop.ca
Emilia, a sectional sofa system
R-Shop is bringing in designs that tend to shy away from the hard and glossy look that has characterized items such as sofas. Although you will still see a lot of low, contemporary aesthetics, sofas, for example, are deep enough to be comfortable and have larger cushions to offer more back support. The Ivan, a popular seller, is one such example where comfort meets modern Italian aesthetics.
Mobilia 35-41 Front Street East 416.360.8666 www.mobilia.ca Mobilia’s fall collection maintains a focus on function, introducing a number of new items, including Emilia, a sectional sofa system that can be configured in any number of ways. Adding a seating wedge to give it a curved effect, or a love seat to make a right-angled sectional, are just a few of the combinations. Also new is the Newport bedroom set. Available in 13 colours, this set’s bed frame is adjustable so that you can upgrade to that queen size mattress without having to buy new load of matching furniture.
Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
The popular Ivan sectional
TIONS FOR DISCERNING URBAN TASTES
r a range of styles as the fall season triggers our nesting instincts.
The Marquis recliner
Poliform’s Ubik walk-in closet in grey oak melamine
interior elements The Capri club chair
The Vintage Zebra chair
439 King Street West 416.367.5850 High-end residential and commercial work is interior element’s bread and butter. It has done installations in a number of Rosedale homes as well as work with the W hotel in Montreal. With furnishings from Poliform, Minotti, Antonio Lupi, Arclinea and Cappellini, as well as chandeliers by Lolli & Memmoli, it’s a designer’s first stop to accessing a wealth of cutting-edge European styling.
Acton Leather Co. 522 King West 416.203.7001 www.leathertown.com When it comes to furniture, Acton Leather is primarily focused on leather upholstery, although it does have a few end tables and accessories. There’s a lot of leather furniture in retail these days but owner John Brison says you can tell a quality piece by lifting it. “Pick up the edge of a chair or sofa, and if it’s really light, you can guarantee the innards aren’t that great,” he says, explaining that anyone can put a decent quality hide on a poor frame, but a buyer shouldn’t expect to get much longevity out of something like that. Offering high quality recliners, club chairs and contemporary sofas, this store’s product mix tends to target residents of smaller spaces.
From Poliform’s Varenna collection, the Matrix composition kitchen in white glossy lacquer
Community Chronicle • Summer 2005
Kingcentral West Central King West
Queen Richmond East Queen Richmond East
PROFILE: Mary Aitken Verity’s founder derives deep satisfaction from her club’s ability to help women
arlier this year, Mary Aitken received an unexpected email from a member of Verity, her Queen Street East women’s club. The woman had lost her job, coincidentally, the day after she had attended an Ideas@Verity session on overcoming adversity. “For me, the Verity experience and timing was sustaining at a troubled time, and I want you to know that it made a very big difference,” she wrote to Aitken. “It’s one thing to create a deal and build a financial services company,” says Aitken, of her former life as an investment banker, “but this is much more tangible, to hear the stories of these women.” Part spa, part gym, part salon, part networking centre and part restaurant, the club is a space designed to provide emotional, physical and intellectual wellness to professional women, while giving them a place to connect with other like-minded individuals. And not surprisingly, at its heart, you’ll find someone intimately familiar with the pressures of a modern life; one with multiple careers and six children.
Playing the entrepreneurial game At 56, Aitken is not new to the entrepreneurial game, nor has she been unsuccessful. In the late seventies, after working for a British brokerage firm, Aitken came back to her native Toronto to start a courier service, which she sold four years later during a postal strike.
Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
Despite turning a profit, she was a single mom and needed to maintain a steady income, so she worked as a consultant for a couple of years until founding Renaissance Securities in 1985 with her now-husband Peter Gundy. Securing financing for mid-cap companies, Aitken followed a hardgrinding lifestyle of international travel and multi-million dollar deals, but it was wearing. Even though her work helped to grow companies like AMR Technologies into one of the world’s top producers of materials for high tech products and one that employs more than 1,000 people, Aitken wanted to affect people’s lives more directly. “This is much more tangible,” she says of Verity, which she founded two years ago.
different needs of women began as a few “what if ” conversations with friends, which later took shape as a business plan in 2001 and eventually opened as a club early in 2004. “There’s long been a tradition of men helping and mentoring each other based on meeting up at the golf club,” says Aitken. “I wanted to give women a place they could call their own that could also serve this same function.”
What if there was a place for women? Once a player in a predominantly male game, Aitken was acutely aware that the demands of her home life and career were very different from that of her male cohorts. The idea of a place that addressed the very
Membership is still growing and among her biggest challenges, she says, is convincing potential members that they have the time for a club. “Time is something most of these women inherently think they don’t have,” says Aitken with a knowing smile. “But once joined up, our
“Time is something most of these women inherently think they don’t have.” – Mary Aitken
TOTUM The club’s subterranean oasis is home to one of the few downtown pools (with limited access for large excavation machines, it was dug by hand).
3 FITNESS MYTHS Totum’s Tim Irvine sheds some light on a few workout fallacies Low-intensity cardio work alone will burn fat Interval-based training will help you burn fat and tone muscle better than just doing the same cardio workout every time. If you’re on the treadmill, for example, rather than running for a long period of time, try running quickly in short bursts. Irvine suggests between 30 and 60 seconds of really intense work (a 9.5 out of 10 on the effort scale) then walking for 90 seconds to recover. Do that 6 to 8 times. But remember that with greater intensity comes a higher risk of injury, so work with a trainer who can design a suitable program.
Always stretch before a workout members tell us the club actually saves them time by providing everything they need under one roof.” While her six children (a blended family) are all grown up and have spread about the globe, she is still living at full-speed as the demands of running the club and the critically acclaimed George restaurant are many. Two early morning Pilates sessions a week and daily power walks with her husband help Aitken stay in shape, while running Verity, it seems, feeds her soul. The degree to which it is rewarding, she admits, is in some ways quite unexpected. Beyond helping professional women, Aitken has also extended services to the community through an outreach program that brings 10 women every month from the local Salvation Army to enjoy a Sunday at the spa. What’s more, Verity hosts a “100 Friends at Christmas” party for Regent Park families. “The concept of Verity was intellectual,” she says with some reflection, “but the reward has proven to be an emotional one.” www.verity.ca Casual socializing between spa sessions in the members’ lounge.
Post workout is when you should stretch. Research has shown that there’s no benefit to stretching before a workout, says Irvine. Of course, if you have a specific injury, that’s different, he says, you should do those stretches as recommended, but generally, Irvine suggests a doing light version of the activity you’re about to engage in. So if it’s running, do some skipping or start your run at an easy pace for 5 to 10 minutes. If it’s weights, do body weight squats and push-ups. “Use the muscles and joints in the way they are going to be used for whatever activity you’re about to do. Just do it in a low intensity way,” he says.
Strengthen your core with abdominal crunches These are good for strengthening your abdomen in a very specific way, says Irvine, but on a daily basis, you’re more apt to be using your core strength to lift a box, pick up your child or even sit in an office chair for a long period. “All these activities use your abdomen in a very different way,” he says. Rather than repeated crunches, engage in exercises, like using the Free Motion Cable Cross, that will strengthen your muscles throughout your trunk. “So when you go to pick up that heavy box, your body already knows how to do it.”
www.totum.ca Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
West Central King WestKing Central
Wine Reserve’s Tasting Room a Cozy Spot for Meetings
hile storage is the Fine Wine Reserve’s primary function, owner Marc Russell has constructed a 450-square-foot tasting room that gives clients and guests a cozy spot to enjoy a special bottle after an evening at the theatre, or to bring a group for a modest function. The centrepiece of the room is a beautiful 10-foot-long table made from
reclaimed Hemlock boards that are more than 100 years old. It seats 14 people comfortably and another table can be brought in to create seating for an additional 10 diners. Completely outfitted with convection oven, fridge, dinnerware and stemware for a party of 24 (there are even cheese knives and boards), the Fine Wine Reserve has already hosted a handful of
“We’re talking about [tasting] wines that are in the $60 to $75 range.” – Marc Russell tastings for clients. These events, says Russell, typically feature rare, collectable, and age-worthy wines that have a worldclass reputation, and are organized in conjunction with wine distributors keen to introduce new product to consumers. “Generally, we’re talking about wines that are more than $40 a bottle and often in the $60 to $75 range,” says Russell. While tastings are reserved for clients, the room has been known to host a number of board meetings. Given its central location and the inherent privacy it offers, it’s ideal for conducting business. The Ontario Wine Society, The Young President’s Association as well as Allied Properties REIT have held meetings there. All clients of The Fine Wine Reserve may book the room to host their own private event (at no charge). Those who prefer unlimited access to “drop-in” at any time may do so by becoming a member of the tasting room for $60 a year. www.finewinereserve.com
Neighbourhood Watch Verity Flowers Offers Same-Day Delivery Published four times a year by: Allied Properties REIT 602 King Street West, Main floor Toronto, ON M5V 1M6
Editor: Yvan Marston email@example.com Design/Layout: Gravity Design Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Community Chronicle • Fall 2005
Serving mostly the downtown core, but delivering throughout the GTA, Verity Flowers opened shop in September and is readying itself for the Holiday season. A trained florist staffs the location, which offers floral design services for weddings, parties, showers, receptions corporate events, Bar Mitzvahs and Bat Mitzvahs as well as holiday bouquets. She can arrange same-day delivery as long as she receives the order before noon. You can also just drop in and pick up a bouquet at the shop located in Verity’s spa area at 111 Queen Street East, or call to place an order. Contact Genevieve at 416-368-6006 ext. 255.