Ontario Home Builder - Early Spring 2022

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As a provincial election draws near, where do the candidates stand on housing? 8 One Voice We don’t need gadgets to solve the housing crisis, we need the right policies. 11 Ontario Report Provincial municipal housing summit addresses supply issues, Skilled Trades Ontario replaces OCOT, OHBA Job-Ready Program and your OHBA leadership group. ohba.ca


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The official publication of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association EARLY SPRING 2022 | Vol. 38 Issue 2


Ted McIntyre ted@laureloak.ca CREATIVE DIRECTOR


Ian Sullivan Cant GRAPHIC DESIGN

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Take a photo of our QR code and sign up for digital updates and news! Ontario Home Builder is published six times per year (Winter, Early Spring, Late Spring, Summer, Fall, Awards). All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the Publisher © 2022. For address corrections please email info@laureloak.ca or phone: (905) 333-9432. Single copy price is $5.00. Subscription Rates: Canada $12.95 + HST per year, USA $29.95 USD. Order online at http://ohba.ca/subscribe-or-buy-past-issues CANADIAN PUBLICATION MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 42011539 ISSN No. 1182-1345





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One Voice


When casting your ballot, you need to ask who offers the best devices to address a mounting crisis AS WE PREPARE to head to the polls, many Ontarians are wondering whether they can afford a place to live, and if so, where is that place to call home? The pending growth and the need to build at least 1 million homes in the next 10 years is a significant challenge for our industry, one I know our members are willing to face head-on. However, like any good home builder, we need the right tools in the toolbox to make it happen. There is no doubt that provincial policy and legislative regulations are significant components that essentially dictate and govern our ability to deliver the keys for a new home to families and individuals alike. In essence, our industry is founded on three pillars: the need for planning approvals and entitlements; the ohba.ca


IT IS OUR DUTY TO SPREAD THE WORD BY OFFERING MEANINGFUL SOLUTIONS. provision of infrastructure, including water and sanitary sewer capacity, roads and public transit on a timely basis; and finally, a skilled labour force to build the housing we desperately need. If the regulatory environment fails to support and complement any one of these three important components, our ability to provide for the housing needs in the communities and neighbourhoods across Ontario will be

restricted and at times impossible. So what is the plan? Clearly there is room for improvement, as housing prices are at record levels with no end in sight. Unless serious considerable changes are made to dramatically increase housing supply and accelerate its delivery to market, we cannot meaningfully address this challenge. In this issue of Ontario Home Builder, we ask each of the four political parties to provide their game plan to deal with the untenable housing issues we are facing if they form the next government. I encourage you to review each party’s policy platform with critical scrutiny and ask yourself whether what is being proposed will have any meaningful impact in alleviating the current housing crisis. Are these the right ‘tools’ to get the job done, or meaningless ‘gadgets’ that look promising but fail miserably when put to the test? We can’t forget that the housing supply crisis is a shared responsibility, one that cannot be overcome by our industry alone. Like never before, the need to work together with all levels of government is paramount. Furthermore, housing can no longer be considered as secondary to other public policy initiatives. Rather, it is a critical concern and a number-one priority. Regardless, it is our duty to champion the cause and spread the word by offering meaningful solutions to both the provincial candidates and the general public. We need to educate and remain informed to keep the great Canadian dream of homeownership alive. As you mark your ballot, it may be one of the most crucial decisions in a generation that you will make. It’s time to take action and become a housing champion! OHB




Ontario Report


Provincial municipal housing summit addresses supply issues BY ALEX PICCINI

In January 2022, the provincial government, led by Premier Doug Ford and Municipal Affairs & Housing Minister Steve Clark, joined Ontario’s big city mayors and regional chairs for a housing summit to identify the challenges and potential solutions to delivering much-needed housing supply throughout the province. The summit offered an opportunity for municipalities and the province to share collective best practices, address barriers to new housing and ensure Ontario is set to build the right variety and volume of housing that families are counting on. ohba.ca


“The Ontario-Municipal Summit was vital to help chart out the path Ontario will take to make sure that more families can reach the great Canadian dream of homeownership,” noted OHBA President Bob Schickedanz. “The residential construction industry remains steadfast and ready to partner with all three levels of government to dramatically accelerate the delivery of housing supply we critically need—now and into the future.” The $45 million dollars for a new Streamline Development Approval Fund will help Ontario’s larger municipalities update, simplify and fast-track their

processes for managing development applications. Furthermore, an additional $8 million dollars as part of the provincial Audit and Accountability Fund, as well as the development of a new data standard for development applications and approvals, will help municipalities save money, improve the efficiency of processes and make development outcomes more accessible, timely and measurable. OHBA is strongly supportive of these investments to accelerate the supply of new housing to market. All three levels of government must work with the industry to deliver the supply and choice of housing we need in communities across Ontario. Families, the province and municipalities know that our sector is an essential pillar in addressing housing supply and affordability challenges. With 2.27 million more people coming to Ontario over the next 10 years, we have a tremendous responsibility ahead of us. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


Ontario Report

Skilled Trades Ontario Replaces OCOT The new year has marked a significant change for the skilled trades and apprenticeship systems in Ontario. On January 1, 2022, the doors finally closed on the Ontario College of Trades (OCOT). This is an important milestone for skilled tradespersons and employers across Ontario. OCOT offered little value and often put up bureaucratic barriers to those who wanted to pursue a career in the trades. In fact, under OCOT, apprentice registrations fell by over 17,000 (40%). Today, the average age of an apprentice is 29. Replacing OCOT is Skilled Trades Ontario (STO), a new Crown agency, to improve trades training and simplify services. The new agency will promote and market the trades, develop the latest training and curriculum standards, and provide a streamlined user-friendly experience for tradespeople. STO will offer new online services that will provide apprentices with a onestop-shop for certification processes, including scheduling classes and exams, submitting forms, paying fees and more. Further streamlining of the skilled trades and apprenticeship systems will help make it easier to pursue a rewarding career in the trades while helping ensure Ontario has the workforce it needs for generations to come.


OHBA Job-Ready Program Will Help Fill the Gap In December, OHBA joined the Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development, the Honourable Monte McNaughton, to announce the JobReady Program. Led by OHBA, with support from EnerQuality, the program connects trainees with rewarding and well-paying careers in a number of residential construction trades such as carpentry, drywall installation, cement working, framing and heavy equipment operation. The program connects applicants from diverse backgrounds with a structured and step-by-step approach to a placement opportunity in residential construction while ensuring new workers are prepared, equipped and, most important, working safely.


“Exposing young entry-level employees to the rewarding career opportunities in the skilled trades is a key component of the Job-Ready Program,” said OHBA President Bob Schickedanz. “These indemand career opportunities so often start on the jobsite with workers seeing the important skills and variety of work being done to build Ontario. We are proud to say that with over 160 placements and 40% of those from underrepresented communities, we are helping build the next generation of Ontario’s workforce.” Ontario is facing a trade deficit of 100,000 construction workers over the next decade and OHBA members are ready to create rewarding career opportunities in communities big and small across Ontario. ohba.ca









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Ontario Report

OHBA 2021-2022 LEADERSHIP Board of Directors

President Past President First Vice-President Second Vice-President Second Vice-President Treasurer Secretary President’s Appointee President’s Appointee Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Board Member Chair, Builders’ / Developers’ Council Chair, Renovators’ Council Chair, President’s Council Chair, Executive Officers’ Council Board Member – Non-Voting Chief Executive Officer (TBA). . . . . . . Board Member – Non-Voting

Bob Schickedanz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Martins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louie Zagordo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dave Depencier . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Deveaux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Cudahy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Giannone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pierre Dufresne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nik Mracic. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Derek Cashmore. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heather Galloway . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Maria Kyveris. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Nick Carnicelli. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Heljar Hansen. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . David Renfroe. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John-Ross Parks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jon Rumble. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Jason Sheldon. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Sue Wastell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Gary Burtch . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Mike Memme. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garnet Northey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Tom McLaughlin . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Stacey Hawkins . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Human Resource Committee Bob Ridley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Schickedanz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . John-Ross Parks. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Rick Martins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louie Zagordo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Finance Committee Bob Schickedanz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pierre Dufresne . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Steve Deveaux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Susan Cudahy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chair, Human Resource Committee President Board Member Past President First Vice-President

President and Chair, Finance Committee President’s Appointee Second Vice-President Treasurer

Governance Committee Susan Cudahy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Ridley. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Bob Schickedanz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Christina Giannone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Garnet Northey . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Louie Zagordo. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

Treasurer and Chair, Governance Committee Chair, Human Resource Committee President Secretary Chair, Renovators’ Council First Vice-President


OHBA COVID-19 RESOURCES ohba.ca/covid-19 With Omicron and the expectation of further Covid-19 variants on the horizon, the Ontario Home Builders’ Association provides members with up-to-date information and announcements. This includes a vaccine guidance sheet that provides builders and workers with information on where they can register and get vaccinated. The guidance sheet, which can be found at ohba.ca/covid-19, is updated regularly. It provides essential information for those in the construction industry seeking to quickly register and get vaccinated. The sheet includes links to all the different registration systems by region across the Greater Toronto Area, as each area has different vaccine requirements and systems. The document also highlights the various schedules, locations and registration links for hospital clinics, school clinics, pharmacies, popups and GO VAXX buses.



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A Vote of Confidence As the provincial election looms, where do party leaders stand on housing issues? BY T E D M c I N T Y R E

G R EEN PA R T Y Mike Schreiner



n or before June 2, Ontarians will head to the polls to determine who will lead them into the immediate future, with municipal elections to follow on Oct. 24. Rarely, if ever, have Ontario voters held more passionate viewpoints as to their preferred direction, with the lingering effects of the pandemic triggering health, economic and social policy concerns, combined with a mounting housing crisis. The residential construction industry, which contributes more than $55 billion to Ontario’s economy, while employing more than 477,000 people across the province, is also paying very close attention to the respective party policies as members formulate their voting strategy. From the challenges ohba.ca


LIBERAL PART Y Steven Del Duca


of homeownership unaffordability to the costs of building, trade shortages, supply chain delays, the speed of bringing projects to market and infrastructure supports, there is no shortage of things keeping industry members up late at night. We posted three questions to each of the four parties to see what their respective plans are to address some of the most pressing concerns of the home building industry. Each response can be attributed to the respective party leader, except for the PC Party, where the minister responsible for that specific portfolio has answered directly. Their answers were only edited for grammar or clarity and have not been abridged in any way. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


5. Where safe and appropriate, develop

a framework that encourages the construction of units on commercial property, such as abandoned plazas and warehouses. 6. Work with all levels of government to

take advantage of every opportunity to transform appropriate publicly owned land for permanently affordable housing and attainable homeownership options in the province.


7. End mandatory minimum parking re-

quirements for all new developments.” Mike Schreiner, Green Party


Do you agree the primary driver of the housing affordability crisis is fundamentally the lack of housing supply? If not, what is? If yes, what measures would your party take to address the issue?


“Lack of supply is definitely one contributing factor to the rapid rise in housing costs in Ontario. The Ontario Greens have proposed a housing strategy based on three key pillars: Connected (communities to live, work and play), Affordable (homes that people can afford) and Sustainable (housing that works for people and the planet). “Our strategies for building more housing supply include: 1. Build 100,000 affordable rental

units and maintain an affordable housing supply, and build 60,000 permanent supportive housing units over the next decade through innovative partnerships with public, private and non-profit housing organizations. And increase incentives and streamline approvals for permanently affordable housing developments. 24


2. Support infill development with pol-

icies, such as allowing a minimum of duplex and triplex construction as-of-right in all residentially zoned areas; expand as-of-right zoning within existing urban boundaries, and increase incentives and streamline the application process for homeowners to add affordable rental units to their primary residence. 3. Pre-zone for ‘missing

middle’ and mid-rise on transit corridors and main streets. This will help get projects moving faster and reduce building costs. 4. Require minimum

densities along transit corridors as part of the existing Growth Plan and transit funding agreements between the province and municipalities.

“Absolutely. There is no solution to the housing crisis that doesn’t begin with supply. Ontario Liberals believe that increasing housing supply, protecting renters and building affordable housing are key to creating a housing market that works for everyone. We have consulted widely, including with home builders, to ensure we get our housing affordability plan right. I look forward to sharing the details of our plan soon.” Steven Del Duca, Liberal Party


“Ontario definitely needs new housing supply to ensure that every Ontarian has a decent, safe and affordable place to live, and that we are meeting the needs of projected population “We can’t just growth. We can’t just build build millionmillion-dollar high-rise dollar highcondos and luxury homes— rise condos we need ‘missing middle’ and luxury homes, including duplexes homes—­we and townhomes for families. need ‘missing “Increasing supply middle’ homes, is critical, but there including are other pieces to the duplexes and puzzle. Solving Ontario’s townhomes for housing crisis will take a families.” comprehensive approach ANDREA HORWATH, NDP that must also include: instituting measures to ohba.ca


curb speculation so that housing prices are stabilized; allowing municipalities to shift property taxes onto the very wealthiest to ease the pressure on middle-class families; creating stronger protections for renters; making changes to zoning rules to help us build within existing neighbourhoods close to the services Ontarians need; and government investment in affordable housing. An Ontario NDP government would do all these things, as outlined in our Housing platform, including a commitment to fund the construction of at least 99,000 affordable housing and supportive housing units.”

2018 By the Numbers In 2018, the Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, led by Doug Ford, captured a majority government by taking 76 of the 124 available seats in the legislature. Led by Andrea Horwath, the Ontario New Democratic Party formed the Official Opposition, earning 40 seats. Under incumbent Premier Kathleen Wynne, Ontario’s Liberal party recorded the worst-ever result for any incumbent governing party in the province, winning just seven seats. The Green Party of Ontario, meanwhile, claimed a seat for the first time in its history.

Andrea Horwath, NDP

P C:

“It’s no secret: Ontario has a housing crisis. As demand has outpaced supply over the past decade under the previous government’s mismanagement and inaction, home and rental prices are being driven further out of reach for too many Ontarians. Over the past three and a half years as Minister, I have introduced policies and provided tools to our municipal partners that are working to increase supply of all kinds of homes with real results. “Through the More Homes, More Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan, we’ve made it easier to build homes faster by cutting red tape, accelerating timelines and encouraging innovation, which OREA called “the most prohomeownership legislation in a decade.” For example, we’ve exempted or deferred development charges on priority housing types like non-profits and rentals, and we’ve provided municipalities with the tools to accelerate housing in their communities, such as by facilitating new residential construction around major transit station areas, and accelerating timelines for zoning bylaws and for municipalities to update their Official Plans. “Our policies have delivered real results: In 2020, Ontario saw the highest record of new homes being ohba.ca


76 P C

40 N D P

7 LIB E R A L 1 G RE E N

built in a decade and new rental units Scotiabank housing report concludes being created since 1992. And these that Ontario would need 1.2 million trends continued in 2021: new homes just to match the Ontario had over 100,000 per capita housing ratio of “OREA has housing starts, the highest our G7 peers. called the level in over 30 years, and “To identify and ‘More Homes, more than 13,000 rental implement solutions, More Choice: starts, the highest level Premier Ford and I have Ontario’s since 1991. been consulting with Housing Supply “Additionally, through municipalities through our Action Plan’ the use of Minister’s Zoning Ontario-Municipal Housing the most proOrders, we have helped Summit and the Rural homeownership accelerate the creation of Housing Roundtable, as well legislation in a over 49,000 housing units, as with the public through decade.” including more than 600 an online consultation. A STEVE CLARK, supportive housing units. common theme we’ve heard (PC) MINISTER OF “But there is still more through our consultations MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS AND HOUSING to do to address the supply is that bureaucratic red tape crisis. In fact, a recent is causing too many delays, ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


which is further driving home and rental prices up. “We know the key to building more homes is building homes faster. To help municipalities unlock and fast-track more housing in their communities, I created a new $45 million Streamline Development Approvals Fund, provided over $8 million through the Audit and Accountability Fund, and opened up a third intake of the Municipal Modernization Program for smaller, rural municipalities. “I also created a Housing Affordability Task Force to provide

expert recommendations for additional measures our government can implement with our partners in their report, which was published February 8th. “Addressing the housing supply crisis is a long-term strategy that requires long-term commitment and coordination at all levels of government. Under Premier Ford’s leadership, our government will continue to use every resource at our disposal to get more homes built at the pace Ontarians need and deserve.”

By 2025, it’s estimated that as many as one in five jobs in Ontario will be in the skilled trades, but the average age of people entering the trades is 29. At the same time, a third of tradespeople are nearing retirement, meaning the province is projected to face a shortfall of 100,000 construction workers over the next decade. What are the best short-term and longterm policies to address this shortage?

“Green jobs are the jobs of both the future and the present. We would invest in an historic Green Building Retrofit Program that will create hundreds of thousands of jobs, save people and businesses money by saving energy, and address the climate 26


Mike Schreiner, Green Party


“This is an issue very important to me, and one I championed while working with the Carpenters District Council Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing of Ontario. Making sure Ontario’s workforce meets our needs as a province is critical. We can’t build the volume of housing and infrastructure we need without adding thousands of tradespeople “As part of our to the workforce. Ontario Roadmap to Liberals would focus on Net-Zero climate access to education and plan, we’d give training to make sure 60,000 young anybody who wants to join people the skills, the skilled trades is able to experience and without facing barriers. Our opportunities plan will include ensuring to do energy every high school has shop retrofits and class and increasing support install renewable for innovative upskilling energy systems.” initiatives led by employers MIKE SCHREINER, GREEN PARTY and industry.”



year of free tuition for new, green careers at Ontario community colleges and guarantee one year of paid, on-the-job apprenticeships through a Climate Youth Corps and groups like Hammer Head.”

crisis. Specifically, as part of our Roadmap to Net-Zero climate plan, we would give 60,000 young people the skills, experience and opportunities to do energy retrofits and to install renewable energy systems, with targeted recruitment of women, Indigenous people and racialized communities. We would provide one

Steven Del Duca, Liberal Party


“Skilled tradespeople are invaluable to Ontario’s economy. At the same time, many in Ontario—particularly many young people—are struggling to find stable, well-paid work. The government must ensure that training programs for the skilled trades are affordable and provide clear pathways to paid apprenticeship and employment opportunities. “Our party’s Climate and Jobs platform commits to investing in job training and placement, especially in the trades. We’ll partner with labour and industry to ensure anyone who wants to learn a skilled trade gets the education, training and job placement they need. We’ll open community-run ohba.ca


recruitment centres for the skilled trades and make job training accessible province-wide by bringing job training opportunities to places where Ontarians actually live, including to colleges and training institutes in Northern Ontario, and give support to community-run employment and training centres. We’ll work with universities, colleges and employers to fund and fast-track workers with industry experience and provide tuition grants for programs geared toward expanding the netzero economy. Our plan will also help recruit and train people typically excluded from skilled trades, including women, racialized people and Indigenous peoples.” Andrea Horwath, NDP

P C:

“I grew up with home builders and tradespeople working in our family home hardware building centre in Southwestern Ontario, so I certainly value their work. It’s my mission and my party’s mission to get more people into the skilled trades. It’s a generational challenge right now. One in three journeypersons today is over the age of 55, and we need 100,000 construction workers over the next several years. We’re spending $1.5 billion over four years to build that labour supply—that’s $1.1 billion more than the former government—so that’s how much of a focus it is for us. “Yes, a number of initiatives will take time. We started introducing the skilled trades last fall into elementary schools. And last September, I sent dozens of recruiters into every single high school to compete head-on with university recruiters—to tell young people that careers in the skilled trades are meaningful and well-paying—in many cases they pay six figures and you can start your own business. “For immediate action, one of the biggest opportunities we have is through immigration. Last fall we passed the Working for Workers bill, which recognizes international 28


credentials in the skilled trades. Only 25% of the immigrants in Ontario are working in a profession they studied in, so there’s huge potential there. “Everything I’m doing is built around three pillars: ending the stigma around the trades, simplifying the apprenticeship system and getting employers to hire apprentices. There is a stigma among parents, some educators and some young people that

a career in the skilled trades is secondclass, but there’s nothing further from the truth. You don’t have to go to university to be successful in life. There are other pathways, and there are 140 trades to choose from in Ontario. And many make more than people with PhDs. The average wage of an elevator mechanic is $108,000 a year!” Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development of Ontario.


Infrastructure such as major transit projects are key drivers of enabling accessible and affordable communities that Ontario families want to live in. What is your party prepared to do to expedite the construction of provincial infrastructure that supports housing?


“We can reduce climate pollution and improve people’s lives by redesigning communities, by building accessible, fast and affordable public transit, and by making streets safer for walking and cycling. We are committed to making transit clean, convenient, frequent, fast, safe, affordable and accessible, and to support transitoriented development as follows:

Growth Plan and transit funding agreements between the province and municipalities. 3. Revise the Growth Plan to promote

healthy density. 4. Require that intensification

targets are met with distributed density throughout urbanized areas. Density should not only be achieved through tall condos in high-growth areas.

1. Pre-zone for ‘missing middle’ and

mid-rise on transit corridors and main streets. This will help get projects moving faster and reduce building costs. 2. Require minimum densities along

transit corridors as part of the

5. Develop ‘15-minute’ neighbour-

hoods by working with municipalities on rezoning, using a framework that is flexible to suit a variety of towns and cities across the province.” Mike Schreiner, Green Party



The 2022 Ontario general election will be held on or before June 2.


the construction of housing that’s accessible to where Ontarians work, connect with loved ones and access “Ontario Liberals believe in building services and amenities. An Ontario communities sustainably and responsiNDP government would invest in bly. Reliable and affordable public tranmunicipal transit systems sit is critical to keep Ontario to dramatically improve moving, unlock gridlock “Reliable and service and make fares and connect people with affordable more affordable. Our jobs, education and their public transit commitment to building communities. For too long is critical faster, better, more in Ontario, political parties to keeping affordable transit includes have ripped up or ignored Ontario moving, covering 50% of net transit existing transit plans, unlocking and paratransit operating delaying progress and congridlock and costs across Ontario, tributing to more gridlock. connecting immediately finishing the Ontario Liberals are commitpeople with Toronto Downtown Relief ted to following through on jobs, education Line and Ontario Line, all existing funded transit and their bringing all-day GO service plans in Ontario. communities.” between Kitchener-Waterloo “We also need to make and Toronto and year-round sure projects are planned STEVEN DEL DUCA, LIBERAL PARTY GO rail service between with genuine community Niagara and Toronto. We engagement and economic will also electrify GO and social benefits, including networks and the UP Express, and local job creation, training and relief for make sure GO planning integrates small businesses. We are also committed with density plans to reduce the to funding the two-way, all-day Milton number of cars on the road and lower GO Line, which will make commutes our emissions.” easier for those living in the growing communities of Milton and Mississauga. Andrea Horwath, NDP I am excited about the Ontario Liberal transit platform we are now finalizing and will release shortly.” Steven Del Duca, Liberal Party


“Affordable, reliable and fast public transit is an important piece to reducing congestion and encouraging 30


P C:

“Our government is working hard to put affordable homeownership and rental in reach of more Ontarians and their families, and to provide more people with the opportunity to live closer to where they work. That’s why I introduced the More Homes, More

Choice: Ontario’s Housing Supply Action Plan. It puts Ontarians first. We are making it easier to build the right types of homes in the right places, to make housing more affordable for all hard-working Ontarians. “For example, we are providing greater flexibility for municipalities to plan for transit-oriented communities with mixed uses near major transit station areas that are in provincially significant employment zones. “Moreover, the Growth Plan helps align infrastructure investments with the people and businesses they serve, and bring more homes, jobs and business investment to the region, while reaffirming important environmental protections. “We’re taking an all-of-government approach to building vibrant, complete communities. Our government has also put forward a $28.5 billion plan that will revamp the Greater Toronto Area transit network, which is the single largest investment in subway expansion and extensions in Ontario’s history. “The Transit-Oriented Communities program is part of our government’s plan to build new, vibrant, sustainable and complete communities near transit, while reducing the cost to taxpayers to build transit station infrastructure. “Our government will continue to work with all levels of government to ensure we are coordinating housing with infrastructure, including public transit, to make it easier for more Ontarians to find a home that meets their needs and budget.” OHB Steve Cark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing



Build a better city with ENERGY STAR®

Améliorez votre ville grâce à ENERGY STAR®

The ENERGY STAR Multifamily High-Rise Pilot Program for new construction is a five-year certification program in Ontario. It recognizes buildings that are at least 15% more energyefficient than those built to the provincial energy code and meet other program requirements.

Le Programme pilote de ENERGY STAR pour les bâtiments multifamiliaux neufs de grande hauteur est un programme de certification ontarien de cinq ans. Le programme reconnaît les bâtiments dont la conception est au moins 15 % plus écoénergétique que celle des immeubles construits conformément au code du bâtiment de la province et aux autres exigences du programme.

If you are a professional engineer or registered architect interested in designing a better quality, energy-efficient, multifamily high-rise project, register for training today! You can be confident that a building designed and verified to meet ENERGY STAR certification requirements will deliver the benefits modeled in design while providing better energy performance and cost savings.


Si vous êtes un ingénieur professionnel ou un architecte agréé qui souhaite concevoir un bâtiment multifamilial de grande hauteur, de qualité supérieure et écoénergétique, inscrivez-vous à une formation dès aujourd’hui! Vous pouvez être assuré qu’un bâtiment conçu selon les exigences de la certification ENERGY STAR comprendra les avantages de conception et garantira un meilleur rendement énergétique et des économies.


The ENERGY STAR name and symbol are trademarks registered in Canada by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and are administered and promoted by Natural Resources Canada. Le nom et le symbole ENERGY STAR sont des marques de commerce déposées au Canada par l’Environmental Protection Agency des États-Unis et administrées par Ressources naturelles Canada qui en fait également la promotion.

NAK Design Strategies is taking advantage of a former golf course property with its landscaping plan for Minto Communities’ and Metropia’s Union Village.





WALK IN THE PARK Inspired landscape architecture BY T R AC Y H A N E S

THE CITY OF MARKHAM takes the Burr Oak seriously. As the city’s official tree, its leaf and acorn appear on all park signs. Consequently, a large Burr Oak on a section of the former York Downs Golf & Country Club that’s being redeveloped into Union Village, a master-planned community by Minto Communities and Metropia, presented a unique landscape design opportunity. NAK Design Strategies’ associate landscape architect Naz Hiyate and his team, working with the municipality and developers, decided to use the tree as the centrepiece of a park, where it would become a signature feature for the 412-acre development. Landscape design is a key component in establishing a development’s identity and creating a place where people want to live, work and play. With outdoor spaces and connections to nature important to homebuyers and municipalities increasingly concerned with sustainability, landscape architects and designers are key members of any development team. Landscape architect Jackie VanderVelde of Land Art Design, a firm that has worked with developers such as Daniels, Liberty, Minto Communities, Centrecourt and Fengate, says her studio is involved from the early planning stages. The developer has to show the municipality what’s going to be built, while the city wants to ensure that both the quality and size of the landscaped space are acceptable. ohba.ca




“You’re seeing a need for more access to natural space, sunshine and shade, and soft surfaces outside.”

Land Art Design has provided residents at Daniels Corporation’s Limelight Condos with places to grow vegetables in geometric rooftop garden plots.

“If it’s a greenfield site, only part of it may have had a building or parking lot and there’s lots of extra space. Of if land sits undeveloped, it naturalizes and a habitat is created,” adds Le’Ann Seely, landscape architect and principal at Whitehouse Urban Design, a studio that works on new multi-residential projects and redevelopment properties throughout Ontario. “We can help navigate the process as to what can and cannot be preserved and help a builder understand that.” A municipality often wants an inventory of trees on a site, as there may be endangered species, says Seely. It may specify which trees can be removed and how many new ones have to be planted. VanderVelde is typically in Zoom meetings with 20 to 30 people as planning begins. “It has a domino effect. I might say ‘I want to do this,’ then the engineer says he’ll need to do this, then you have to mix in city approvals. There’s a great deal of coordination, and the consultants have to work together like a Swiss watch.” VanderVelde says the average time from when her studio gets involved to when residents move in is five years, with three years spent determining how all the pieces will fit. And what inspires a landscape design? It can be derived from a multitude of sources, she says: the site’s history, the project’s name or, in one case, Group of Seven paintings. “Landscape designers are constantly monitoring the design 34


world,” VanderVelde says. “We try to bring that into landscape design without being too trendy.” The finished product must have a timeless quality so as to still be relevant in five, 10 and 20 years,” she says. “We try to create magic with everything we design, but pair it with reality, which is the budget.” SEEING GREEN Finding an easy site to work with is becoming more difficult, however, with greenfield land becoming scarce in the 416 and 905 regions. “We’re developing further afield or redeveloping older neighbourhoods,” notes NAK’s Hiyate. That means looking for alternatives, such as Union Village, which involved a golf course redevelopment. The project’s landscape plan will incorporate some golf course elements such as woodlots, valleys and cart paths, the latter of which will become walkways. A creek will be preserved and a walkway created around an existing pond. Trails will provide connection between Union Village and surrounding neighbourhoods. The community park with the Burr Oak tree will be a major feature. “When you design and build a new park, the trees are usually fairly small and don’t provide shade,” says Hiyate. “The beauty of this tree is that it creates a space that’s identifiable, provides shade and is right in the middle of the park.” ohba.ca


Public Work is overseeing the landscaping architecture at Brightwater, a vast redevelopment of the former Imperial Oil site in Mississauga. The finished project will feature 18 acres of new green spaces, including a nine-acre waterfront park, promenades, pedestrian mews and public plaza.

Hiyate says that while most parks are constructed by the city after residential development occurs, Minto is working with the city to construct it before the homes are completed. That benefits the community and it’s a great marketing tool, he notes. REIMAGINING A SPACE With high-rise sector development the dominant form in larger cities, developers look to landscape design to inject a bit of nature into the concrete jungle. “You’re seeing a need for more access to natural space, sunshine and shade, and soft surfaces outside,” says Whitehouse’s Seely. “The end user is more aware and will seek out condos that provide that. A lot of builders and developers know landscaped spaces add to the value of a project. There was the realization even pre-Covid that often people are willing to pay a premium to have that condo lifestyle where they can see and experience green without driving to a conservation area.” In Mississauga’s City Centre district, VanderVelde and Land Art injected ‘green’ while adding an artistic element at Daniels’ Limelight Condos. Tall, thin, lime-green tree trunks are interspersed between walkways, mounding and rocks in a children’s playground faced by ground-level townhouse patios. The design creates a sense of the outdoors for kids who spend most of their times indoors. And people without children can still enjoy the space, as it doesn’t feel like it’s strictly a play area. On the Limelight rooftop, residents can grow vegetables in geometric garden plots and use greenhouses with potting benches and wash stations. There are also gardens incorporated with outdoor rooftop amenities such as a fireplace lounge, dining space and TV lounge. On the ground level, long walkways are framed by waving grasses and shade trees. VanderVelde also created the landscape plan for Chaz condominiums in the heart of Toronto’s Yorkville. Despite ohba.ca


its highly urbanized location, residents can experience a bit of nature and find serenity. A walled garden features wooden boardwalks, limestone walls, a weathering steel deer, several water walls, as well as an outdoor kitchen, dining and lounge areas. A rear garden room provides another intimate oasis, with lush plantings. Some developers are redeveloping large sites that had other purposes. One example is Brightwater, a massive mixed-use community created by the Port Credit West Village Partners (Kilmer Group, Dream Unlimited Corp., FRAM + Slokker and DiamondCorp) on the 72-acre former Imperial Oil property in Mississauga’s Port Credit. The site, which required extensive remediation, will include 18 acres of open space, including five public parks, commercial and retail space, condos and townhomes. Adam Nicklin, co-founder and principal of Public Work, an urban design and landscape architecture studio, is involved in creating the vision for the outdoor spaces. “It has multiple districts and significant landscape elements within the overall plan,” says Nicklin. “When we start projects, we look at the context they sit in spatially and regionally, and how development has occurred over time.” Public Work worked with ecological, remediation, habitat and engineering specialists to design a series of connected parks, open spaces and streetscapes that will promote sustainable stormwater practices, habitat restoration and dynamic ecologies within a walkable, bikeable community. The Lake Ontario shoreline and the mouth of the Credit River on site been compressed, constrained and scarred from previous uses, says Nicklin. And dozens of creeks that used to flow from the Oak Ridges Moraine through the Greenbelt to Lake Ontario have been buried or shrunk by development. Nicklin says the goal is to re-establish an expanded shoreline deeper into the neighbourhood and to celebrate the flow of ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


“It subconsciously feels like it all works together. You make sure spaces are safe and feel comfortable. You want trees, whether it’s private or public space, and lighting.” Brightwater, the massive redevelopment of the 72-acre Shell Oil site at Port Credit in Mississauga including an aerial view and the Village Square in summer and winter.

Developers include Kilmer Group, DiamondCorp, Dream Unlted. and FRAM+Slokker. There will be 18 acres of new green spaces, including a nine-acre waterfront park, promenades, pedestrain mews and public plaza. It won the BILD Award for Best New Community (Planned/Under Development). Landscape architect is Public Work.

water back to the lake through a reimagined and re-naturalized shoreline park. Brightwater will feature a bioswale system (a drainage and stormwater design) throughout the development that follows Low Impact Design (LID) practices. Stones, soil and plants will filter and absorb stormwater. “It was brave to take it on this scale—for all streets to drain into the bioswale. It’s really exciting,” Nicklin says. “You will feel the presence of water, even when you don’t see it.” VIEW FROM ABOVE Developers may hold a competition to select a project’s landscape architect, as in the case of Aquavista, a mixed-used residential project by Hines and Tridel completed in 2019. It’s part of Toronto’s master-planned Bayside Community and is a 12-storey tower LEED Platinum development with 340 condos, 72 affordable housing units, retail space and a large secondstorey amenity space. Janet Rosenberg & Studio Inc. was awarded the landscape design work in a competition with three other North American landscape architects, as her studio’s vision most closely reflected the clients’ vision. It was a collaborative process that included the clients, design architects, architect of record, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, with the landscape design work including streetscapes, a large amenity terrace with infinity pool and green roof. Aquavista’s landscape design drew inspiration from the cascading contours of the building and terraces designed by architecture firm Arquitectonica. The design moved from the building towards the water’s edge, terminating with an infinity pool. It subtly referenced Toronto’s ravine system, winding from the elevated plateaus of the Oak Ridges Moraine south to 36


Lake Ontario. Organic-shaped berms of lush native plantings frame spaces to sit and entertain. The original design concept evolved through the design, approval and construction process. Condo dwellers have a beautiful and functional outdoor amenity terrace that celebrates the building’s proximity to the water’s edge. Elements such as the fire features extend outdoor use through the shoulder seasons, and planted berms create spaces sheltered from the wind. Rosenberg’s team wanted the landscape to be an inviting space where people could relax and entertain, and that maximized views to Lake Ontario, while being visually attractive and interesting when viewed from units above. UNPAVING A PARKING LOT TO PUT IN PARADISE Seely and Whitehouse Urban Design are working on the landscape plan for the redevelopment of Bayside Centre, an old mall in Sarnia’s downtown core. An unused part will be demolished and a portion redeveloped into office space, with 140 to 160 retirement residences created in a new tower and townhouses. The site is owned by Seasons Retirement Communities and the office space has been leased by the County of Lambton. “There is a big sea of surface parking lot, and the underground parking is being maintained,” says Seely. “There are unique challenges when there’s an existing slab. Elevations are fixed, so you have to tie into that. You have to consider stormwater management and that it’s being done properly.” The municipal offices will have surface parking and bus dropoff, yet the retirement residence portion will have more green and open space, a circuitous walking path and pedestrianscale lighting. The goal for the residential side is to create a community landscape so people have no idea they are walking ohba.ca


This White House Urban Design project in Sarnia will see the old Bayside Centre mall replaced with new municipal offices and a pair of Seasons retirement residences, with a park and trails overtop a former parking garage.

on a slab over a parking garage. Vegetation includes hardy sedum flowering plants. Trees will be smaller and placed in raised planters on top of where the columns are situated below or in mounded areas. Seely said her team imagines they are temporarily disabled to help make their community designs as accessible as possible. “We always make sure there is some kind of continuous loop for a walking or running trail. It makes the community more interesting. In a seniors’ community, people still want to socialize, even if they might not be as active as others. It’s important to design spaces where they can be part of the activity without having to enter into it.” That means there must be places for resting as well as moving—all within a seamless design, Seely notes. “It subconsciously feels like it all works together. You make sure spaces are safe and feel comfortable. You want trees, whether it’s private or public space, and lighting.” GROWING KNOWLEDGE Trees can be an encumbrance or a resource, notes Hiyate. In the case of Union Village’s Burr Oak, the century-old tree was healthy and on flat ground, which was a plus, as it wouldn’t survive a lot of grading. But that also limited what else could go in the park and dictated where a playground, other shade structures and green space could be placed. Another issue is that trees don’t thrive on concrete. For Limelight, Daniels and its architects incorporated a ‘bathtub’ filled with soil into the underground parking structure—that portion features lower ceilings than the rest of the garage—to accommodate trees above. But learning what vegetation will survive best on city streets and on high-rise rooftops is an ongoing process, says VanderVelde. “When I started in the business, we used to put trees in planters that were 1m x 1m x 1m. Now trees need planters that are 5m x 6m x 1m. There’s a better understanding of what needs to be done.” ohba.ca


While using native species is preferred, they aren’t always the best option, Seely says, as some may not do well in urban environments. On Toronto condo rooftops, VanderVelde chooses vegetation suited for two zones colder than on the ground. She’ll use plants that grow in Muskoka, as they are able to survive the cooler temperatures. But the biggest challenges are downtown Toronto projects, where traffic is congested and parking is scarce,” VanderVelde says. The city may require that a certain number of trees be planted along a project’s length, yet there may be gas lines that can’t be moved underground. “You have to negotiate with different departments. It’s a bigger challenge on small sites.” And then there’s the consideration of climate change. Rainfalls are increasing and there’s the need to deal with all that stormwater. One answer is green roofs, VanderVelde says. “Five years ago, there was a minimum standard for green roofs, but now we’re increasing soil on the roof to hold more water and doing more planting to use up water. We’re all learning together.” More soil on the roof, of course, means more engineering to support the weight. As for the stormwater challenges, Seely works with a civil engineer on infill projects to figure out how to create features such as bioswales or rain gardens. “You need specifically sized stones and carefully selected vegetation,” she says. “A portion of the garden is stone only, overtop perforated pipe that creates a void that water can flow into when we have storm events. You have to use fast-draining soil and deeply rooted vegetation. The whole system lets water slowly percolate into the ground.” Sustainability measures will continue to ramp up as more cities implement minimum standards, and developers will be looking to landscape design to help achieve this. Hiyate says there will be more incorporation of LIDs and deeper consideration of how water is collected and recharged back into the system. “Municipalities and developers are trying to get aligned,” Hiyate notes, “as these are important issues for the public.” OHB ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


Time, money and a whole new set of parameters is making sustainable building and transparency a challenge—but a necessary one BY T E D M c I N T Y R E










Raw Material Extraction

Transportation to factory


webinar, Purposeful Disruption: Change for Good, at the 2021 Toronto Interior Design Show, Mike Johnson donned a brown top hat. “In the 1800s, there was a profession called hatting,” began Johnson, Director of Sustainability at 3form, a leading manufacturer of eco-friendly materials and hardware solutions for the architecture and design industry. “To make hats like this, they added mercury to animal hides to make felt. Unfortunately for those making the hats year after year, mercury built up in their bodies and in high enough concentrations caused insanity, which is where the term ‘mad as a hatter’ comes from. “This is more complicated than a ‘green’ label,” Johnson continued. “Most commodities come from interconnected pathways. While the product may not be unhealthy for the end user, we have to be cognizant of who handles these products right across the supply chain and optimize the manufacturing process if we’re going to be concerned about global supply chain worker safety, the environment and social equity.” This deeper understanding of what exactly goes into the products and processes that the construction world relies upon is spurring a rethink of the built environment. As noted by Architecture 2030, an independent group seeking to completely phase out fossil fuel CO2 emissions by 2040, 11% of global greenhouse gases are accounted for by building materials and construction processes, with building emissions responsible for 28%. That’s a total of just under 40% of all greenhouse gases. The group further notes that approximately two-thirds of the global building area that exists today will still exist in 2040. And the global building stock is expected to double in area by 2060 from today’s current numbers—the equivalent to adding another New York City to the world every month for the next 38 years. And unlike operational carbon 40


emissions, which can be reduced over time in a structure through energy upgrades and renewable energy, embodied carbon emissions are locked in place as soon as a building is built.

MISSING THE MARK It’s a challenge that can’t be ignored, given Canada’s commitment under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40-45% (below 2005 levels) by 2030 and to become net-zero by 2050. Fortunately there are a number of tools and organizations devoted to addressing the issue, one being Builders for Climate Action, a growing a coalition of Canadian builders, designers, developers, policymakers, researchers and manufacturers. Entitled Achieving Real Net-Zero Emission Homes, the group’s groundbreaking new report, initiated and supported by Natural Resources Canada, cautions that we may be missing the forest for the trees. “To date, the central tactic for addressing emissions from Canadian home building has been the introduction of energy efficiency tiers in the National Building Code, with each of the five tiers representing a significant reduction in energy use for the homes, with an anticipated correlation to operational carbon emissions (OCE) reductions,” the study notes. However,

Manufacturing Products

Transportation to site

Building Construction

Building Use & Maintenance


Waste hauling

Landfill or recycling

“Most commodities come from interconnected pathways. While the product may not be unhealthy for the end user, we have to be cognizant of who handles these products right across the supply chain and optimize the manufacturing process if we’re going to be concerned about global supply chain worker safety, the environment and social equity.” –Mike Johnson ohba.ca


the embodied carbon—or what the authors refer to as material carbon emissions (MCE)—that comes along with this construction may actually “outweigh the impact of OCE for several decades and be the leading cause of GHGs in the sector.” The report compared three home styles—a bungalow, a twostorey house and a row-house end unit. “Results varied widely, from a high of 758 kilograms of CO2 equivalent per square metre of floor area (kg CO2e/m2) to a low of –84 kg CO2e/m2 (representing net carbon storage, rather than emissions) for the Tier 5 two-storey. The very wide range of results indicates that material selection can impact the total emissions of a new home by as much as 842 kg CO2e/m2 without changing the design or performance of the home.” Interestingly, there was no correspondence of product price to its efficiency. “In some cases, the material with the best MCE had low costs, while the material with the worst MCE had the highest costs,” researchers said. Further, given that insulation tends to be a very high-MCE product, the more energy-efficient homes, ironically, often finished with worse emission numbers. That’s obviously problematic, considering “a large percentage of the Canada Greener Homes Grant money will be spent on insulation materials, which this study has shown to be the most impactful, and often most detrimental, to MCE. Without incorporating MCE into these retrofit programs, the Canadian government may be incentivizing an overall increase in GHGs, rather than a net reduction.” Given that today’s regulatory framework focuses solely on energy efficiency and ignores MCE and fuel source emissions, the study’s primary “recommendation is to adopt a unified metric for measuring and regulating emissions in the homebuilding sector that combines all three emissions factors into one: Carbon Use Intensity (CUI).” This would also allow for “regionally appropriate ways” to reach carbon targets, no small value given that ”homes with a high-emission fuel source (emission-intensive electrical grids or fossil fuels) will never be able to meet net-zero emission targets,” the study concludes.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE So how do builders, renovators, designers and architects determine which products to employ? The most useful indicator—when available—is an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of a product. Registering for an EPD certification begins with conducting a life-cycle assessment (LCA), a systematic analysis of the environmental impact over the course of the entire life cycle of a product, material, process, or other measurable activity. “EPDs allow us to compare products side by side in order to choose the one that has the least environmental impact,” Johnson explains. “This also gives manufacturers great insight as to where the sources of their impacts are coming from so that they can correct them and make better products.” Transparency like that is in high demand today, suggests Heather Gadonniex, Director of Sustainable Building and Construction at PE International, a global sustainability services and software firm. “With the previous version, LEED 2009, the emphasis was looking at products through the lens of a single attribute, like what is the recycled content of a product, or what its regionality was. Now with LEED V4, we’re looking at products from a life-cycle lens, focusing on transparency, disclosure and optimization.” Rockwool Insulation is among the companies making such strides. One of the esteemed LP50 (Living Product 50) companies committed to making transparency and optimization documentation publicly available, as well as reducing impacts with scientifically verifiable net-positive products, the group also includes other OHBA members such as Kohler, Cambria quartz surfaces, CertainTeed and Owens Corning. A year ago, Rockwool, the world’s leading manufacturer of stone wool products, announced ambitious, science-based global decarbonization targets. Key elements included reducing factory greenhouse gas emissions by 38% and non-factory life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2034.


2020–2040 57% Embodied Carbon 43% Operational Carbon

Gigatons of CO2

7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 2020






Architecture 2030. All Rights Reserved Data Sources: UN Environment Global Status Report 2017; EIA International Energy Outlook 2017





“At our facility in West Virginia, we have replaced coal as the energy source to melt that product with natural gas,” advises Chad Holmes, Director of Marketing & Brand Business Development at Rockwool’s Milton office. “We continue to look at that across all of our plants—not just how we can modify a product but how we make them, because at the end of the day this is a very energy-intensive operation that we have. “Product-wise, the thing we’ve been focused on is material disclosures through the Declare labelling,” adds Holmes of the building products transparency tool that identifies all ingredients down to 100 ppm. “For us it’s critical, because more and more people are concerned with what’s going into their walls and homes.”

THE COST OF LEADERSHIP Although current software allows for a product’s LCA measurement almost immediately once you have assembled the necessary information, the more seriously you take the process—particularly if you are planning for public disclosure and third-party verification, the time and money mounts, Johnson admits. “Six years ago, an environmental product declaration for a relatively simple product would be between $20,000 to $40,000 per product. That adds up pretty quickly,” he says. “As demand for these services increases, it’s lowering the price.

But for early adopters such as ourselves, the price has been quite high. But sometimes that’s the price of leadership.” Further, a typical EPD, depending on the product category, must be renewed every three to five years, “or once a product changes within a percent range,” Johnson notes. From a socio-economic calculation, however, the balance sheet clearly leans in favour of such certifications, Johnson stresses. “Think of the use of lead-based paint in homes and asbestos, which was very common until relatively recently. How do we take into account the true cost of those products on our health system, of remediation, removal and fixation, and the reduced value of those homes upon resale? Had we known, we would never have used those materials to begin with!” But even from a corporate standpoint, the investment can financially pay off. “We have an acrylic product,” Johnson highlights. “For a very long time prior to these life-cycle analysis methodologies, we believed that having a high-recycled content would lower the environmental impact of that product, which is normally the case. But then we did an LCA and realized that going to an entirely virgin process to create that acrylic actually dropped our global warming index by 35% per sheet. The new product, Flek Pure, is 100% recycled material from our own in-house waste. It has won multiple awards

TOOLS LP50 (Living Product 50)

A collaboration of leading manufacturers working to ensure that healthy, high-performing building materials with full ingredient transparency are the rule, not the exception. The vision is a future where every product is optimized to give more than it takes.


EC3 (Embodied Carbon in Construction Calculator)

A free database of construction EPDs and matching building-impact calculator for use in design and material procurement.

TEUI (Total Energy Use Intensity Calculator) A free online


tool from the Ontario Architects Association to determine total energy use intensity of a building or home.

2030 Palette

A free online resource for the design of zerocarbon, adaptable and resilient built environments worldwide. The database contains sustainable

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mindful Materials (mM)

A free, agnostic platform with aggregated information on human health and environmental impacts for products from leading manufacturers.

LEARNING THE NEW LINGO There is a host of new-age language to master if you’re a builder, renovator, designer or architect, much less a consumer seeking to purchase responsible products. Here’s a crash course of the essential terms and tools! EC (Embedded Carbon or Embodied Carbon): CO2 emissions associated with materials and construction processes throughout the entire life cycle of a building or infrastructure, including the maintenance and eventual demolishing, as well as transporting the waste and recycling it. LCI (LIFE CYCLE INVENTORY): The quantification of all ingredients and inputs used to make a product. LCA (LIFE CYCLE ANALYSIS): The scientific modelling of LCI inputs to predict environmental impacts. EPD (ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATION): A third-party verified quantification of environmental information on the life cycle of a product to enable comparisons between products fulfilling the same function. HPD (HEALTH PRODUCT DECLARATION): A full disclosure of the potential chemicals of concern in products, comparing product ingredients to a set of priority “hazard” lists. DECLARE: A transparency label created to support the Living Building Challenge. Manufacturers must prove that ingredients in all materials, within 100 ppm, are not harmful to the environment. LIVING PRODUCT: This Holy Grail of certification effectively requires the product to have a net benefit on the world—healthy, free of toxins and socially responsible. ZERO CODE: An international building energy standard for new building construction that integrates cost-effective energy efficiency standards with on-site and/or off-site renewable energy resulting in zerocarbon buildings. ohba.ca



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throughout the industry this year. It’s saving us money on waste disposal and giving us a new platform to launch more sustainability products.” Terra View Homes is among a handful of Ontario builders that has tried to stay ahead of the carbon curve. Builder of one of the first LEED Platinum-certified homes in Canada, Terra View was the recipient of the Energy Star for New Homes (Small/Custom Builder), as well as Net Zero Builder of the Year and Best Green Marketing Campaign at the recent EnerQuality Awards. “We believe strongly in the disclosure of supply chain data and material/product selection based on lowest embodied carbon impacts based on the entire life cycle,” says Terra View founder and CEO Andrew Lambden. “We source our products/ materials directly from local suppliers and always consider working relationships with local trade partners exclusively. And we’re leading by example when it comes to educating around green building, approaching vendor/supplier/partner selection and all other aspects to ensure that environmental impact is at the forefront.”

FUTURE OF DESIGN While builders and developers are mapping out their own environmental paths, so it is with the Ontario Architects Association. “We are just concluding a scan of the entire province of architects—to hear about their successes and challenges—and we have heard a cry for help to get better educated in all things climate change,” says president Susan Speigel, who is also a member of the OAA’s Sustainable Built Environments Committee. “We are also developing a database of all kinds of great projects looking at best practices as they happen.” Getting all project stakeholders together early is critical to success, says OAA member Veronica Madonna, Principal of Studio Veronica Madonna Architect and Assistant Professor at RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University. “I think the supply chain problem had an impact on a lot of projects, but it’s a reason why it’s more important to really focus on the integrative design processes and engage with manufacturers and producers of materials, and to source local material products,” Madonna notes. Factoring in the durability of products 44


ANNUAL GLOBAL CO 2 EMISSIONS Other (6%) Building Operations (28%) Transportation (23%) Concrete (11.1%) Steel (10.1%) Aluminum (1.5%)

Industry (20.3)

(incl. buildings & infrastructure)

(incl. building finishes, glass, equipment, plastics, rubber, paper, etc.)

Source: 2018 Global ABC Report, International Energy Agency

versus their carbon footprint is another discussion. “Every application has its own unique characteristics,” Johnson explains. “And those characteristics need to be evaluated on long-term need. The problem is that we live in a short-term society. Your aluminum cladding may last for decades, but if someone else buys the home four years later and changes their siding, it doesn’t matter how sustainable your first choice was. So your embodied energy is automatically doubled at a minimum for recladding. So the intent in the decision-making process needs to be, ‘What will perform in the application for the foreseeable longest term?’” Is Johnson worried that the time and expense involved in this learning and adoption curve will deter builders and manufacturers, particularly at a time when expenses and delays are already mounting? “No, the opposite,” he says. “The pandemic woke us up with regard to human health, since people were confined to indoor spaces more often. It also provided us a break, the likes of which I have never seen in the industry. It’s been a time where architects, designers, contractors—everyone—took a pause and said, ‘I have always been interested in this—let’s find out about it.’ So the past two years have been insanely busy for me, trying to scramble to meet all the requests for education.”

THE ANSWERS So what do we need from government? “A lot,” says Johnson. “We absolutely must end subsidies for fossil fuels first, and transition all of that money immediately to renewable energy. That will buy us so much time to address the other causes of climate change. The only reason organic or sustainable materials are more expensive is because they are not subsidized to the degree of fossil fuels. “We use materials for too short a time and they last too long a time in landfill,” adds Johnson. “In the built environment specifically, government should focus on having a taxation for both waste as well as carbon. By implementing that relatively simple methodology, we end the linear nature of extraction, consumption and disposal and make the disposal phase expensive. Recycling then has a new market, and manufacturers will design for reuse.” Speigel believes in the power of human ingenuity as well. “Almost every great creation comes from a problem,” she says. But while every stakeholder can play their own part, the road to carbon neutrality must be a collective investment, Speigel notes. “We have to redo the formula—not passing on the entirety of the cost of climate change and sustainability to the buyer, but also sharing it with government, city taxes, the builder and the developer.” OHB ohba.ca




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Menkes’ Sugar Wharf Condominiums project is first of its kind BY T E D M c I N T Y R E

“Toronto’s first vertically integrated school.” That’s what Menkes Executive V.P. of High-Rise Residential Jared Menkes observed in an Instagram post in January. Integrated within Menkes Developments’ Sugar Wharf Condominiums project at Lake Shore Boulevard East and Yonge Street near Toronto’s waterfront, the new Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School will have access to more than two acres of green space in the development. The Ontario government is investing $44 million to build the school, part of a 10-year, $14 billion commitment to support school construction. Expected to open in 2024, the project will create 455 student spaces to support families in Toronto’s urban communities. “We’re in the early stages and detailed discussions with the Toronto District School Board will begin in the next few months,” says Menkes of the design. “The first step is ohba.ca


the demolition of the current LCBO warehouse and office building, which will allow for the creation of the public park.” The project is “an amazing milestone for the City of Toronto and, of course, for the many young families who have transitioned to high-rise living,” Menkes adds. “We’ve been advocating for familyfriendly condo living for more than a decade, starting with being the first Toronto developer to introduce both indoor and outdoor children’s spaces in condominiums.” “This is great news for students in the area and an exciting opportunity for the TDSB to shape an innovative urban school model that can be used across Ontario and Canada,” said Stephanie Donaldson, Ward 9 Trustee with the Toronto District School Board. Once complete, Sugar Wharf will be the largest mixed-use development on

the Toronto waterfront; home to 7,500 residents and 4,000 office workers. It will include five residential towers (64 to 90 storeys), a mid-rise rental building and a 25-storey office tower. All buildings will be connected to Toronto’s indoor PATH pedestrian system. The first two residential towers are currently under construction, with expected occupancy this summer. The office component of the site, 100 Queens Quay, is already complete. Among the challenges of incorporating a school into a vertical community, Menkes notes, “is ensuring we adapt to the TDSB standards and approach to make the school suitable for an urban environment, including: creating outdoor spaces within the complex, providing for safe access to the public park for school use, providing adequate space for dropoff and pick-up.” ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


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CHBA REPORT INDICATES SALES CONFIDENCE, BUT MAJOR CHALLENGES Builder confidence reached a record high in the 2021 Q4 results of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA) Housing Market Index (HMI). But while builder sentiment is rising, likely foreshadowing a strong spring sales quarter, a look into the other HMI data reveals continuing challenges with the supply chain and labour availability, which is increasing construction costs and causing delays in home completions. These challenges, combined with a lack of land availability, are reducing the industry’s ability to bring still more much-needed housing supply online, CHBA notes. Launched last year, CHBA’s HMI is a residential construction industry confidence indicator for both the singlefamily and multi-family markets in Canada, providing a leading market indicator before permits and starts. It is released on a quarterly basis. The 2021 Q4 HMI was 84.9 for single-family builders and 87.1 for multi-family builders, which is the most positive rating for both categories since CHBA started collecting the data a year ago. Until the fourth quarter, quarterto-quarter confidence in 2021 had been declining due to a number of uncertainties in the housing market (such as supply chain disruptions, material costs, changes to the stress test and another wave of COVID-19). The reduction of some of those uncertainties and continued homebuyer activity have resulted in a positive shift in sentiment, which is consistent with the incredibly strong housing starts and building permits data in recent months. While sentiment is rising, the HMI data shows that many challenges remain which are impacting the cost and supply of homes for Canadians. Overall construction costs continue to go up, rising another 13% from what was reported in Q3, and resulting in a ohba.ca


staggering $68,000 increase on a 2,484 sq. ft. home compared to prior to the pandemic. Lumber prices are back on the rise and account for half of that increase, but it’s other material costs that have seen the biggest jump, with over 70% of HMI panellists saying that those costs have risen by more than $20,000, compared with 33% of respondents in Q3, indicating the issue is becoming more widespread. The average increase for non-lumber material costs is now $33,768 for a 2,484 sq. ft. home. Closings are also being affected, with supply chain issues and labour shortages growing and resulting in an almost 10week delay in home completions, up three weeks from Q3. Throughout most of 2021, appliances and windows were the major supply chain hold-ups. Respondents are now indicating that plumbing components are being hit the hardest, though appliances and windows remain close behind, along with a long list of other products and materials. The above issues, combined with price volatility, have resulted in 64% of builders indicating that they are delaying some pre-sales and/or development. Another key housing supply issue flagged by the HMI will need government action as well: 63% of builders indicated that the overall supply of developed lots in their area is “Low” to “Very Low.”



multi-tiered approach to data security and privacy with ISO and SOC II certifications. That means they’re not only officially approved by all major Canadian carriers, but that Snaile possesses commercially accepted best practices and governing procedures for company-owned software upgrades, maintenance and fixes. Rather than just being a case of a delivery driver electing to use a locker, this allows the actual delivery corporation to sanction, under contract, every single delivery, with liability insurance that pays out in Canada. Already used by more than 300 developers, with many incorporating the design as part of the mailroom with the option to lease ongoing services, Snaile can accommodate today’s larger parcels from multiple sources with the appropriate locker size with independent QR codes and unique access codes, says CEO Patrick Armstrong. “As the volume of e-commerce purchases has continued to grow, so has the number of parcel delivery companies—Amazon uses more than 12 carriers in Canada alone),” Armstrong says. “Therefore, we need even more sophisticated parcel delivery solutions to receive and process data from multiple sources. Rather than keep a key, locker users now expect to access their items via the internet from a smart device, necessitating cloud storage for critical data and smart receptacles driven by printed circuit boards, firmware and software. Among other features, Snaile software integrates with property management and building automation software to allow instant access to residents’ personal details to send notifications.


TARRY ADDS STAR POWER TO ROSTER The momentum continues for Snaile. Canada’s Parcel Locker Company and its made-in-Canada products have been acknowledged for their

Doug Tarry Limited has welcomed Stefanie Coleman aboard as Chief Sustainability Officer. Her first assignment will be Manager of Special Projects for the Tiny Home Blitz Race. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


Coleman started her career in construction in 2005 as a selfemployed renovation contractor. Over the years she completed numerous building science training courses and earned a number of certifications including BCIN-House, Certified Energy Advisor, HRAI Residential Air Systems Design Technician, Thermographer and Radon Measurement and Mitigation. She is also in the midst of completing her Master of Environment and Business at the University of Waterloo.

Building with Trust When we face our challenge, we need each other as we grow, we need to trust ourselves as we take the next step forward. In Amvic building system--- trust is the foundation of our endeavors it is why we see opportunity in every uncertainty. It is shared, it gives us the strength to face a new world. Trust is put to the test in each of our projects, it drives our commitment, our passion to look ahead and step up. Each day, we make installation easier and more efficient--- it is what unites us with our clients and partners with the communities we serve. Trust is built into all our products and everything that we do. It is the common ground on which we build the world we want.

Prior to joining Doug Tarry Homes, Coleman served as Marketing and Business Development Manager for Building Knowledge Canada, a leading building science consulting firm that helps Canadian home builders design and construct sustainable homes. Stefanie has been a strong advocate and volunteer for the industry, serving on numerous committees at the local, provincial and national level. She was a founding member of the CHBA Net Zero Council’s Management Committee, served on the Building Code Conservation Advisory Council for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and currently sits on the CSA 424 Working Group.



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WOLSELEY NAMES NEW NATIONAL DIRECTOR Burlington-based Wolseley Canada, a market leader in the wholesale distribution of plumbing, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, refrigeration, water-works, fire ohba.ca


protection, pipes, valves, fittings and industrial products, has appointed Jason Bloedow to national director, HVAC. Bloedow will be responsible for growing and developing market share, talent and innovative business solutions in the HVAC vertical, while supporting the HVAC team in enhancing the sales strategy and category strategies.

Most recently with Johnson Controls, Bloedow enters the position with more than15 years of experience in the HVAC, construction, fire and gas industries.


WESTLAKE ROYAL BUILDING PRODUCTS DEBUTS Fuelled by two years of aggressive expansion throughout North America, the newly launched Westlake Royal Building Products combines the business and building product portfolios of Royal Building Products, Boral North America building products and DaVinci Roofscapes.

“Westlake Royal Building Products goes to market with a broader, more diverse range of products, services and solutions that meet the needs of architects, builders and homeowners throughout North America,” says Steve Booz, V.P. of Marketing, whose company’s portfolio additions include windows, decorative stone, concrete and clay roof tiles and stone-coated steel roofing. ohba.ca


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Formica Canada has launched its 2022 Living Impressions Collection with organic patterns, modern marbles and a trove of sophisticated surfaces for elevated interiors. Influenced by extensive home and design research, the launch adds 14 versatile surfaces to the brand’s renowned repertoire with five new patterns of its 180fx line, nine new Formica Laminate designs and one new texture. Pictured is Burnished Coin from the Burnished Series, which was developed to emulate soft metals that have been mechanically burnished to appear rich in lustre. Formica Canada identified three leading design trends in its research that inspired the offerings in this new residential collection: Light and White: (spaces that create a sense of serenity and calm, but with new nuances such as translucent elements; Rustic Luxury (evoking a sense of warmth and ease with elements that feature natural texture such as woodgrains or metals); and New Classic (an eclectic trend with practical, simple and accessible palettes and materials with just a hint of drama).


GILGAN MAKES HISTORIC DONATION Peter Gilgan made the largest donation to a hospital in Canadian history last month. Alongside the Peter Gilgan ohba.ca


Strassburger ad 4.53 x 4.83 Home Builder Dec 21 print.pdf



1:26 PM

Foundation, the noted philanthropist and founder and CEO of Mattamy Homes contributed an historic $105 million to Trillium Health Partners (THP) and Trillium Health Partners Foundation (THPF) to support the largest and most advanced hospital in Canada, to be named The Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital. The donation will also help expand and redevelop Queensway Health Centre, which will be named The Gilgan Family Queensway Health Centre. C








“Peter Gilgan is the most generous benefactor to health care in Canadian history, and we could not be prouder that he and his family have chosen Trillium Health Partners as the recipient of this extraordinary donation,” says Caroline Riseboro, president and CEO, THP Foundation. As the province announced on December 1, 2021, the new Mississauga Hospital will replace the existing 62-year-old facility, and a new patient tower at Queensway Health Centre will be home to needed complex care and rehabilitation services. These projects represent the largest capital build in Canada’s history and will add more than 600 beds across the organization, for a total of almost 2,000 beds, making THP the largest hospital in Canada. These projects will also help to relieve capacity pressure at Credit Valley Hospital, and improve the patient experience across all three sites. Advance work is already underway at the Mississauga Hospital site, with construction on the new Peter Gilgan Mississauga Hospital expected to start in 2025. The Queensway Health Tower construction is expected to commence in 2024. OHB ohba.ca




SAVE THE DATE! OHBA’S ANNUAL CONFERENCE September 18-20, 2022 at Fallsview Casino Resort Niagara Falls

Product Focus I DE A S FOR B U I L DE R S & R E N OVAT OR S


With increased home activity, partitioning rooms with glass allows for separation without restricting light flow.


Hardware makes all the difference in security and noise control BY TED McINTYRE

WITH THE heightened sense of anxi-

ety brought on by the pandemic, there has been an increase in homeowner awareness concerning health and safety. And with luxury travel and entertainment spending only beginning to rebound, there has also been a notable jump in home renovation spending. Put the two together and it’s easy to see why clients are more conscious than ever of the quality and performance of their exterior doors and windows. “It isn’t just about boosting your curb appeal,” explains Strassburger ohba.ca


Windows & Doors sales manager Dean Elvidge. “Once you’re through choosing the design and colour, you get down to the finer details: hardware. And determining the best type of hardware for a client is as much about security as it is style.” The door lock market varies widely, be it a simple locking knob to a handle set with two locking points, to ‘smart’ electronic offerings. “But there’s one popular option that uses traditional locking technology to address modern security needs: a multi-point locking system,” Elvidge says.

That means door hardware featuring deadbolt locks at different points in the door: typically the top, middle and bottom. “The extra deadbolts bring added security, since it takes a lot more force to break through a door that’s locked at three different points.” Kitchener-based Strassburger reminds that “while door locks with similar functionality could once only be secured from the inside and required you to turn a lock at each point, modern multi-point locks are easier to operate since they ONTARIO HOME BUILDER EARLY SPRING 2022


Product Focus

Strassburger’s Torino Nickel door handles are chic, but its heavyduty hardware is increasingly attractive for security purposes.

involve just one lock mechanism and dual-action deadbolts.” So all three deadbolts respond to the same key turn as they engage securely into multiple heavy-duty jamb faceplates. Further, it works the same on the inside as the outside—turning the key secures or opens the door. So you get additional security with the same amount of effort. “As a rule, once a homeowner lives with the security of multipoint hardware and hears the positive engagement every time they close their front door, there is

no going back to a standard latch and deadbolt,” says Elvidge. “We recommend multi-point for all doors, especially in ‘open terrain’ areas where exposure is a concern. We’ve seen increased attention in them on both our steel and fibreglass doors. And it also helps with noise reduction, since its sealing tighter to the weatherstrip.”


That applies to windows as well. “With more time spent at home during the past few years, some of us may have

begun to notice sounds and noises that previously were overlooked,” says Amanda Soltys of Kitchener’s Golden Windows. “The industry is seeing a significant increase in windows and doors that offer noise control. Whether it’s noise from city life, industrial, heavy traffic or airplanes, when we’re at home, we want to be able to enjoy the peace and quiet. One of the best ways for home builders and renovators to do that for their clients is with new windows. And while triple glazed windows are known for their energy efficiency, the benefits also

Golden Windows cites a trend of windows moving from mere accessories to the focal point of a room, with contrasting frame colours ranging from black to burgundy.





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Celebrating 30 Years Of Excellence Submissions open May 1st. ohbaaod.ca

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Product Focus increase security, reduce condensation and can significantly reduce the noise coming into your home.” Soltys also identifies a pandemicdriven trend toward using glass to separate living spaces. “With many people still working from home, finding a quiet space to work can be difficult. Also, with more people being at home for more extended periods, having no divider between rooms, like the kitchen and living rooms, is no longer working for many. But with an increased desire for natural light, we may not want to put up permanent walls that block the sunlight. It’s why defining smaller areas with a glass partition is increasingly popular. It can help provide an element of privacy and create separation between spaces while still tying everything together.” Golden Windows is also identifying a trend with respect to window aesthetics—going from a merely functional part of the design to the focal point of a room. “While it was previously common to have a similar coloured window frame as the walls to allow them to blend into the background—usually light and neutral colours, which also provided an airy, bright environment—now an increasingly popular style is using a contrasting colour on the exterior and interior of window frames to serve as a bold accent point,” says Soltys. “This bold look draws the eye and incorporates windows into the design of a room. Black has been the most popular colour choice for interior windows, but there are other bold options to consider, including slate, sable and even burgundy.”


When it comes to highlighting spaces with glass, however, few do it quite as dramatically as Lumon. Although the Finnish-based company initiated the concept of balcony glazing back in 1978, its value as a dramatic unifying element of a building’s facade is hitting new strides with developers such as Mattamy and beyond. 58




The Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell offers a 180° view. Below, Schlage’s Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt provides a digital key.

According to security specialist ADT, most burglaries occur during the daytime, between 10 AM and 3 PM. when kids are traditionally at school and people at work. It’s likely why police-reported breaking and entering across Canada was down 16% in the first year of the pandemic, according to StatCan—if a would-be thief thinks somebody might be home, that’s usually enough to send them on their way. With stats like that, it’s easy to appeal to a prospective homebuyer or renovating client when it comes to hardware upgrades for the sake of security, particularly with respect to video doorbells. In a review earlier this year of the best video doorbells on the market, CNET noted Arlo, Nest and Ring as standing out from the competition, with the Arlo Essential Wired Video Doorbell finishing atop the standings. Winner of a 2021 Good Design Award for design excellence worldwide, Arlo offers a wide 180° viewing angle and can see a person from head to toe or a package on the ground. Homeowners receive notifications when motion is detected and can view live video on their phone. Using the existing doorbell wiring for its power supply, it features HD video with HDR (providing a wider range of brightness and colours) and connects directly to wifi. When it comes to convenient access when a resident returns home, Schlage’s new Encode Plus Smart WiFi Deadbolt is the first smart lock solution in the North American market to support Apple’s Home Key, enabling your clients to simply tap to unlock with their iPhone or Apple Watch. Homeowners don’t even need to unlock their device to open their lock. And with Power Reserve, they may still be able to tap to unlock for up to five hours after their iPhone battery runs out!



Getting the Job Done Right!

16783 Thorndale Rd. Thorndale, Ontario, N0M 2P0 Tel: 519-461-1180 Toll free: 1-800-265-7086 Fax: 519-461-0903 www.trscomponents.ca Since 1974, TRS has offered builders a single source supply network of wall panels, roof trusses, floor panels. Our supply and install expertise will make your next job faster, easier and more efficient.

7 Oaks Tree Care & Urban Forestry Consultants Inc.

Providing reliable service and top-quality products for over 25 years. Orangeville



Build better. Keep the trees. Offering 40+ years of Arboricultural Consulting services for land development clients. Tree Preservation Plans Arborist Reports and Tree Inventories Monetary Valuations of Trees

Expert Witness Testimony (LPAT/Civil litigation) Tree Risk Assessments and Hazard Evaluations CAD Equipped for Optimal Efficiency and Accuracy


877.351.5603 FASTFORM.ca ohba.ca


Est. 1976

(905) 773-1733 info@7oakstreecare.ca

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2020-12-03 12:33 PM

Product Focus

Lumon’s balcony glazing (Pitt Meadows, B.C. pictured above and Toronto’s Navy Wharf (below) rates highly for curb appeal. But the benefits also include adding usable outdoor space, improved safety, and both energy and noise reduction.



At a time when builders are being encouraged to think of their netcarbon impact and the life cycle of buildings, “a glazed balcony facade protects the building and concrete structures, reducing the need for facade repairs,” explains Lumon’s Mariellen Vänskä. “The non-glazed balcony requires a more extensive refurbishment every 10 years. However, the protection provided by the glazing from the weather, including extreme temperatures, rain, snow and humidity can more than double the repair interval.” There’s protection beyond that, the company reminds, both from intruders and for children venturing onto the balcony. Glazed balconies also support energy-efficient thinking, Vänskä notes. “They reduce heat loss as well as acting as a ventilating structure when some panels are left open. The average energy savings amount to 15%. In city condos, another considerable benefit is noise reduction by up to 50% (or 27 dB)! “These elements, as well as adding space, also improve the overall livability in residences,” Vänskä says. “As the structure is retractable, this means it’s not considered as part of the gross floor area. When considering permit processes, that’s a significant benefit for builders, developers and architects.” The implementation of Lumon’s systems after completion of projects is possible, but the benefit of including the product in the planning process of new developments is significant, including ease of installation and a smoother collaboration between other technical elements of the building. This also helps to streamline the look of the exterior. “We consider ourselves to be in the business of building better homes and better lives and—not necessarily plainly in the business of glass enclosures,” says Vänskä. “Improved usability, space and comfort are major elements in providing value to our customers, especially with respect to city dwellings.” OHB ohba.ca


Product Showcase


t: 905-886-5787 or t: 416-222-2424 Main Office & Yard: 8081 Woodbine Ave. SE Corner Woodbine/407 Office & Yard: 125 Langstaff Rd E., SE Corner Yonge/Hwy 7-407 Manufacturing Plant: 12350 Keele St., Maple

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WE’RE COMMITTED TO OHBA Work with a dedicated agent and risk management team that understands the construction industry and are committed to helping you protect your business.

Learn more at federated.ca Federated Insurance Company of Canada is the insurer of Federated Insurance policies. [3706-007 ed01E | 06-2021]





Frame of Mind


There’s a far greater application of home automation than mere convenience PEOPLE SPENDING more time at home due to the pandemic has only accelerated the adoption of smart technology. When home automation was first introduced, security was a key driver. Rudimentary at first, this technology now includes motion sensors, highpitched alarms and doorbell cameras. Written off at times as gimmicky, these technologies are proving to provide immense practicality, particularly for the elderly and those with reduced mobility. People who require a wheelchair to move about their home can control lighting and thermostats through smartphone apps. Those concerned with distant aging family members can monitor them and ensure that their doors are properly locked without having to visit. Similarly, with hospitals pushed to capacity, health care authorities are moving rapidly to offer virtual services, with some instruments installed in patients’ homes to communicate and monitor them from afar. Voice-assisted technology, seen in products like Google Home or Amazon Alexa, provides a new sense of intimacy to the world of home automation. It allows users to search the internet, control music and lights, send messages and reach loved ones 62


by simply calling out to the device. While privacy is a common concern with these technologies and some have been proven easy to hack, their benefits are quite significant for the aforementioned groups and, in certain circumstances, can outweigh the risks. One of the biggest contributions of home automation is its ability to provide new ways that dwellings can be rewired to reduce their carbon footprint. Sensors can monitor energy usage and identify where reductions can be made. And home energy systems can be aided with powergenerating ‘smart’ technology. Solar panels that track the movement of the sun to ensure the highest amount of solar gain are now available. Motion sensors can trigger lights to turn off if they detect that there is no one in the room. They can also be programmed to lower blinds or even to save water by scheduling automated lawn and garden watering. With the cost of these technologies reaching economies of scale, it’s becoming an easy sell to homeowners who wish to save both the environment and money on their utility bills. Consider the BS House, designed by architecture firm Reisarchitettura in Puglia, Italy. The house functions both as a working studio and a relaxing retreat for a couple. Sitting high,

with a generous view of the surrounding landscape, the home is organized around a central courtyard facing north. Indoor, the living room and workspace are to the east, with private quarters to the west. The kitchen and dining area are in the middle, with direct access to the courtyard. The clients wished to have control of their home while they were away on business trips, so an automation system was installed. Not only are lighting and air conditioning remotely adjustable, but the system also features control of the house’s security system, including the entry buzzer, door lock and alarms. Energy consumption management is also monitored through an app. The house generates power from photovoltaic panels, which serve the home as well as a charging port for an electric car. Builders will increasingly work with home automation experts to ensure that their projects can be equipped with these technologies during construction—tech that provides buyers with a more intimate way to live in their own homes and contribute to the environment at large. OHB AVI FRIEDMAN IS AN ARCHITECT, PROFESSOR, AUTHOR AND SOCIAL OBSERVER. AVI.FRIEDMAN@MCGILL.CA ohba.ca


Enbridge Gas

Meet your Enbridge Gas Residential New Construction Team — We recognize the important work done by builders and developers across Ontario. We strive to be your energy provider of choice and are committed to ensuring that every builder’s experience with Enbridge Gas adds value. We provide assistance during the new construction process to promote best practices, innovation, energy-efficiency programs and training opportunities.

Connect with your area representative today. Susan Cudahy

Supervisor Strategic Builder Relationships, New Construction and Residential Sales 289-237-0068 susan.cudahy@enbridge.com

Michelle Vestergaard

Sr. Advisor Residential New Construction, Ontario-based Developers and Toronto Builders 905-717-6261 michelle.vestergaard@enbridge.com

Don Armitage

Sr. Analyst Residential New Construction, Ontario-based Community Expansion; Kawartha Lakes and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Builders 705-750-7203 don.armitage@enbridge.com

Eastern Ontario

Lanark, Leeds/Grenville, Ottawa, Prescott/Russell, Renfrew and Cornwall

Garrett Fell

343-997-1509 garrett.fell@enbridge.com

GTA East & Eastern Ontario (to Frontenac County)

Durham, Frontenac, Hastings, Kingston, Lennox/Addington, Northumberland, Prince Edward County and York Region

Kain Allicock

437-223-2349 kain.allicock@enbridge.com

GTA West & Northern Ontario

Algoma, Dufferin, Halton, Muskoka, Nipissing, Parry Sound, Peel, Simcoe and Sudbury

Michelle Nikitin

416-903-4274 michelle.nikitin@enbridge.com

Southwestern Ontario

Chatham–Kent, Huron County, Lambton, London, Middlesex, Oxford, Perth County, St. Thomas, Elgin County and Windsor/Essex

Gina Mancini

519-564-7943 gina.mancini@enbridge.com

Southeastern Ontario

Brant, Bruce County, Grey County, Haldimand, Hamilton, Niagara Region, Norfolk and Wellington County

Joanne Van Panhuis © 2022 Enbridge Gas Inc. All rights reserved. ENB 904 02/2022

519-209-6345 joanne.vanpanhuis@enbridge.com

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