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The official publication of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association SUMMER 2019 | Vol. 35 Issue 4





Ian Sullivan Cant GRAPHIC DESIGN

Marikha Saira COPY EDITOR

Barbara Chambers CONTRIBUTORS

Avi Friedman, Peter Giffen, Isaac Tang, Joe Vaccaro ADVERTISING

Tricia Beaudoin, ext. 223 Cindy Kaye, ext. 232 PUBLISHER

Sheryl Humphreys, ext. 245

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Take a photo QR code and SIGN up for Digital updates and news. Ontario Home Builder is published six times per year (Winter, Spring, Renovation, Summer, Fall, Awards). All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher © 2019 For address corrections please email 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








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26 It’s All in the Details What separates good from great? It’s not always obvious.

33 Opportunity Knocks

39 The Big Chill

What does the new Growth Plan mean for builders and developers?

Exploring recent Interim Control Bylaws and the ramifications for builders and communities

9 One Voice The elephant in the room — housing volume and variety— is finally being discussed. Now what comes next? 11 Ontario Report Spectacular Blue Mountain awaits OHBA’s annual conference and awards, and we’ve got your agenda; capturing moments and striking architecture from OHBA’s Scandinavian adventure; and getting the word across at Queen’s Park Advocacy Day.

19 Frame of Mind Does a Japanese prefab aluminum home hold promise for Ontario builders? 21 Top Shelf Hot items for builders, contractors and designers include seven new colours from Gentek siding, SafeSite from Securitas Mobile Guarding, Phantom Screens’ new motorized cable-guided shade, a stud and joist drill from DeWalt, Wolf Serenity Decking from Al-Mar Vinyl and a new Dupont Tyvec warranty.

47 Building Buzz Mattamy’s Peter Gilgan makes an unprecedented donation to Sick Kids, the 2019 Energy Star Canada Participant Awards, the safest construction helmet ever and what’s new at Isolofoam? 53 Product Focus From landscaping to roof shingles—what’s trending when it comes to curb appeal? 62 Words to Build By Hugh Heron, President, Heathwood Homes


A marble-framed fireplace from Rock Cliff Homes’ Hampton’s Chic project in Oakville. Photo by Jason Hartog.



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One Voice groundwork needed to tackle Ontario’s housing crisis and supports our industry’s efforts to build more homes that meet the needs of #homebelievers in every part of our province. OHBA is very supportive of many of the initiatives in Bill 108, including: • Moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to community planning in Ontario; • Changes to rent controls that protect existing units and tenants while stimulating new construction; • Allowing development charges (DCs) for rental housing to be paid in installments over given years; • Changes that will create greater cost certainty and predictability for new homes; • Changes to Planning Act timelines that should speed up the approvals process.

LET’S BUILD HOUSING It’s time for bold leadership to fix the housing issues facing Ontario communities THE URBAN DICTIONARY DEFINES

the term, “elephant in the room” as “a very large issue that everyone is acutely aware of, but nobody wants to talk about. Perhaps a sore spot, perhaps politically incorrect, or perhaps a political hot potato, it’s something that no one wants to touch with a 10-foot pole.” In terms of the generational housing and supply challenge that increasingly is making homeownership unaffordable in communities across Ontario, it’s not so much that we haven’t been talking about the problem for many, many years; it’s that not enough has been done about it. And as a result, the shortage of housing supply and choice is a growing problem. Consider the facts today: • 22% of the cost of a new home in the GTA is made up of government fees, taxes and charges. • Over 100,000 future housing units are stuck in a logjam at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT),

“THERE WILL BE 2.6 MILLION MORE #HOMEBELIEVERS WHO WILL CALL ONTARIO HOME BY 2031.” which is significantly reducing supply. • It now takes, on average, 10 years to complete a housing project in Ontario. The provincial government tells us there will be 2.6 million more #homebelievers who will call Ontario home by 2031. Where are they going to live? In Ontario, we need 1 million more homes to meet our future housing needs. The More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019 was passed in the Ontario Legislature on June 6. It lays the

And while passage of the More Homes, More Choice Act provides our industry with a sense of optimism, there is still plenty of advocacy work to be done, particularly at the municipal level. Our sense is that some local municipalities are guarded, if not skeptical, about the positive contributions our industry can make in building more homes to create better affordability. Some municipalities have even gone to extreme measures by imposing development freezes that will negatively impact the supply and the price of housing (see story on page 39). The advocacy work of OHBA and its local associations will ramp up again this summer as we support #homebelievers across Ontario and inform and educate all levels of government about the “elephant in the room.” Because with another 2.6 million people arriving in the next 12 years, #weneed1MILLIONmorehomes. OHB




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Ontario Report

COLLINGWOOD IS CALLING REGISTRATION OPEN FOR THE 2019 OHBA CONFERENCE OHBA returns to the spectacular Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood for the 2019 annual OHBA Conference from September 22 to 24. Hosted by the Simcoe County Home Builders’ Association and under the theme of Building Growth Together, delegates from across the province can enjoy three full days of industry insight, professional networking and fun activities. This year we are offering two concurrent streams (Builder/Developer and Marketing/Sales) on Monday, with informative and timely sessions of interest to your entire team! As well, a full slate of business sessions will be offered on Tuesday. Plus, you won’t want to miss the evening galas, celebrating the incoming OHBA president and crowning the 2019 OHBA Awards of Distinction winners!






Interested in how to prepare for climate change, become a better negotiator and communicator or want the latest news about research and development in the housing industry? How about an interactive virtual reality session? You can expect that and much more with the two concurrent streams being offered at this year’s conference on Monday, with additional sessions set for Tuesday. Check out the program at

Our host, the Simcoe County HBA, will kick the conference off with GREASE Extravaganza! (Think Danny, Sandy, Rizzo, Frenchy, The T-Birds & the Pink Ladies.)



Cunningham for an all-around good time as we find out who will take home the coveted AoD titles! A reminder to vote for the OHBA People’s Choice Awards in mid-August at OHBAAOD.CA . Seating for the tropical oasis-themed gala event is limited, so book your tables early online soon!




Back by popular demand, the AoD gala on Tuesday, Sept. 24, will be emceed by comedian James

On Monday, Sept. 23, OHBA will welcome our 53rd provincial association president, Bob

Schickedanz of the Simcoe County, Durham Region HBAs and BILD, who invites you to enjoy yourself at his cottage-themed celebration.


ADDITIONAL ACTIVITIES: Conference delegates can choose to sign up for Tuesday business sessions or, for an additional fee, can also choose from among three extra activities: Tour a local brewery, relax and chill out at Scandinave Spa or enjoy a local housing tour. Lunch is included in all activities.

Register before September 2 and enjoy substantial savings with early-bird rates! Sign up today at CONFERENCE.OHBA.CA.


The Ontario Home Builders’ Association will hold its Annual Meeting of Members at its Annual Conference as follows: DATE:


Monday, Sept. 23, 2019

Village at Blue Mountain Conference Centre, 110 Jozo Weider Blvd., R.R. #3 Collingwood, Ontario Petun Room

TIME: 8:30 to 11:15 am




Ontario Report

The 190-metre-tall 54-storey Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden features a stormwater amenity out front.

Colourful central Copenhagen in the Nyhavn district.

OHBA International Housing Study Tour

BY M I C H A E L CO L L I N S - W I L L I A M S , D I R E C TO R O F P O L I C Y, O N TA R I O H O M E B U I L D E R S ’ A S S O C I AT I O N

This past May, the largestyet international business delegation of 27 OHBA members from across Ontario travelled to Denmark and Sweden for OHBA’s 2019 International Housing Study Tour, which featured four jam-packed days of meeting directly with European academic, research, architectural and business leaders and tours of new communities. 12

On day one, we visited Cophenhagen’s BLOXHUB, which is the Nordic hub for sustainable urbanization, founded on the belief that the challenges of global urbanization and climate change require new ways of collaboration. Following a lecture at the Danish Architectural Centre exploring Danish architect and urban designer Jan Gehl’s “cities are for people”


Delegates enjoyed a sunny day in Sweden exploring the Western Harbour.

principles, OHBA toured four sites in the emerging ØRESTAD City at the south end of Copenhagen, including one of the most spectacular residential buildings in the world, “8 House.” The bowtie-shaped, nearly 500-unit 8 House stacks horizontal layers of differing unit typologies. They’re all connected by a continuous public path stretching from street level to the penthouses on the 10th floor that allows people to bike all the way from the ground floor to the top, winding throughout the entire urban block. We also visited the

Mountain Dwelling and the neighbouring VM Houses with its spectacular (and scary-looking) piercing triangular balconies, as well as possibly the most expensive student residence ever built, the Tietgenkollegeit. On our second day, OHBA visited some sites in Nordhavn, which, like Toronto and Hamilton’s former industrial ports, is undergoing a massive transformation into a thriving mixed-use waterfront community. The most eye-catching was a 17-storey former grain silo in the area that has been


A close-up of the Maersk Tower by C.F. Møller Architects shows the details of the grid structure of copper-covered shutters that function as movable climate shields that, depending on the weather, automatically open or close to ensure a comfortable indoor climate.

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8 House, designed by architect Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG), was a tour highlight with diverse unit topologies stacked in layers connected by a continuous promenade from the street to the 10th floor.

transformed into “The Silo,” housing residential apartments, a small museum and a restaurant up top. The afternoon featured two innovative projects including The Maersk Tower, a stateof-the-art research building whose innovative design creates a relief-like grid structure of copper-covered shutters. The shutters of the facade function as movable climate shields that, depending on weather, automatically open or close to ensure a comfortable indoor climate. We were lucky to be onsite at a moment in which the climate shields moved into a new position. 14

On the final day of the tour, we crossed the Øresund Bridge and tunnel—the longest combined road and rail bridge in Europe—to Malmö, Sweden. We started our day with Lotta Hansson, who is with the Malmö Planning Department at the 190-metre-tall Turning Torso tower in the Western Harbour neighbourhood. Like Nordhavn, the Western Harbour was once a busy industrial port that has been transformed into a thriving residential community. The mixeddensity community was full of diverse “missing


In Nordhavn, the Silo’s industrial concrete facade has been re-clad as part of the residential conversion (by COBE Architects), with an angular faceted exterior facade made of galvanized steel.

middle” housing typologies, interesting urban design quirks and eye-opening designs for transforming stormwater facilities into urban amenities in small parkettes and along side streets. Later in the day we were joined by the Swedish equivalent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (The Boverket) and by a specialist for fire suppression in tall wood buildings. The tour concluded with the new Hyllie mid-to-high density, transit-oriented greenfield development community that has taken off since

the bridge to Copenhagen was completed. Essentially, two distinct cities in two different countries have been unified into a single functioning urban region upon the completion of the bridge linking Copenhagen and Malmö in 2000. OHBA thanks our Housing Tour partner EnerQuality, as well as major tour sponsors Velux, Cricket Energy, Ozz Electric and Building Knowledge Canada for their support of a very successful tour that focused on energy sustainability and architecture. Stay tuned for details on the 2020 tour destination!


The VM Houses, by architects BIG + JDS = PLOT, offer a rather unique interpretation and design for balconies.

Ontario Report

OHBA President Rick Martins, PC MPP Doug Downey and OHBA Sales and Marketing Chair Richard Luciani.


Awards of Distinction 2019 Gala A tropical oasis awaits guests at the 2019 Awards of Distinction gala on Tuesday, Sept. 24 at Blue Mountain Resort in Collingwood, where the winners of this year’s awards will be announced. Comedian James Cunningham, former host of TV’s Eat Street, will serve up non-stop laughs once again as the entertaining MC of this prestigious event. Join your friends and colleagues for an exciting evening cheering on the 2019 AoD finalists and winners. Seating is limited, so book your tables and register soon at 16


NDP MPP France Gélinas with OHBA 2nd V.P. Louie Zagordo.

PC MPP Jim McDonell, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Hon. Steve Clark and OHBA 1st V.P. Bob Schickedanz.

Greater Ottawa HBA Executive Director Jason Burggraaf, Liberal MPP Marie-France Lalonde, OHBA Past President Pierre Dufresne and GOHBA President Roy Nandram.

QUEEN’S PARK DAY In late May, members of the OHBA Board of Directors and many local executive officers spent the day at Queen’s Park advocating on various issues of concern to the industry. A key message presented to elected officials was that when it comes to housing supply we need to address the elephant in the room and recognize that with the provincial government forecasting 2.6 million more Ontarians by 2031, the demand for housing is both real and urgent. To accommodate this significant growth, we need to work together with all levels of government to build one million more homes in the next 12 years! OHBA’s advocacy day included addresses about the More Homes, More Choices Act, 2019 (Bill 108) by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Hon. Steve Clark, as well as the Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, Hon. Todd Smith. The day also featured the first-ever address by the leader of the Green Party, MPP Mike Schreiner, to OHBA focusing on energy efficiency, brownfield redevelopment and renovating older inefficient housing. OHBA local association members attended two dozen MPP meetings to discuss the Housing Supply Action Plan, and the day was capped off with an MPP reception attended by over 50 members of Provincial Parliament.

CORRECTION On Page 113 of the 2019 OHBA Membership Directory we incorrectly printed the wrong local’s name on the header. The correct Header on page 113 should be Grey-Bruce.

We apologize for this error.

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Frame of Mind

A-RING OF TRUTH TO IT A Japanese prefab aluminum home holds promise BY DR. AVI FRIEDMAN

DID YOU EVER WONDER why prefab houses are sought after by Japanese homebuyers but not looked upon more favourably in Canada? The answer may lie in innovation, use of new materials and in placing buyers’ comfort front and centre. The Japanese prefabricated housing industry is a world leader in building innovation, featuring efficient production processes, targeted marketing strategies and high-quality designs. Contrary to popular North American beliefs, Japanese society perceives factory-manufactured housing to have quality superior to that of conventionally built housing. Fully computerized to maximize efficiency, the process takes advantage of advanced digitization to allow for a cataloguing system that end users can use to customize their homes using standardized components. Manufacturers have developed an innovative user-oriented approach that allows clients to interact with and

learn more about the product before purchasing. Homeowners, for example, are willing to spend slightly more money to reap the benefits of lower extended maintenance costs. Japanese prefab houses accommodate the need of families in the flexibility they offer while recognizing that lifestyles may grow and change. They are also environmentally sustainable due to the minimal waste produced in an optimized factory production setting. Consider the A-Ring House in Ishikawa. Architectural firm Atelier Tekuto worked with several universities and companies to develop materials and technologies to help create an environmentally friendly home. The 1,471 sq. ft. project focused on developing a single aluminum component that can serve various functions at once. The main structure is composed of an aluminum ring and aluminum column and beam frame. There are four

aluminum moulds, developed by the architects and their partners, that interlock to form the ring shape. In addition, modified deck plate moulds are composed of columns, walls and binding joists held together using ordinary bolts. As a result of these interventions, the design firm was able to achieve higher construction quality, reuse materials and reduce waste. Furthermore, composite units that combine structure, a radiant heating/cooling system and water section were developed. The ring fully integrates the heating/cooling system into the structure by passing a pipe through the prefabricated aluminum components to create a large radiator and further structural elements. The home’s “wet functions” (bath and kitchen units) were also built into the aluminum rings. To minimize the running costs and environmental footprint, the home relies on renewable energy systems. An energy-harnessing unit was developed to obtain heat from groundwater and geothermal energy using solar power. Embedded into the ring, the system reduces energy costs by half. Furthermore, LED lights are incorporated into the structure, using aluminum’s reflective properties to illuminate a greater area. All other light fixtures were replaced with LEDs. In addition, “green curtains” were developed as part of a second-floor roof garden to reuse captured rainwater. By passing a hemp cord through an aluminum frame, the plants wrap around the cord to create the natural curtain. The rainwater collection tanks were installed to allow water to circulate inside the frame while a portion of the water is used to mist the plants and cool the inside of the house. While aluminum is still uncommon in the building industry, data gathered from this project might help it become an essential building material alongside concrete, steel and wood. OHB DR. AVI FRIEDMAN IS AN ARCHITECT, PROFESSOR AND SOCIAL OBSERVER. HE CAN BE REACHED AT AVI.FRIEDMAN@MCGILL.CA.




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GROUP OF SEVEN Deep and saturated, yet soothing and calm—that’s the organic beauty of the seven new colours for Gentek-manufactured siding products. From lightchanging green and greys to hues of timber and brick, this fresh nature-inspired palette makes it easy to reimagine any home with signature style.

WOLF NOW PROWLS ONTARIO Al-Mar Vinyl has recently been appointed Ontario distributor for Wolf Serenity Decking, a high-end cellular PVC decking that is embossed on both sides. CCMC-approved for use in Canada, it’s available in 11 colours, nine of which have variegated patterns to mimic natural hardwoods. Boards are available in 12’, 16’ and 20’ lengths and there are matching fascia boards. This new appointment will make Wolf available Ontario-wide through professional deck contractors/suppliers. ALMARVINYL.CA


MADE IN THE SHADE Phantom Screens’ new motorized cable-guided shade is mounted on the exterior of the home or outdoor space, and can attach to structures that have no posts or walls. It appears and retracts at the touch of a button. Unlike free-hanging solar shades, Phantom’s cable system holds the screen and slidebar in place during breezy conditions, and is ideal for large openings such as pergolas, decks or patios. PHANTOMSCREENS.CA



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THE REAL DEAL Thanks to the recent Dow-DuPont merger, builders, contractors and installers are now eligible for a new 10-year limited residential product and labour warranty for wall systems constructed with DuPont Styrofoam brand XPS products (formerly Dow), DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap products and DuPont Flashing System products. When installed for exterior above-grade continuous insulation, Styrofoam helps keep walls warm and dry, while Tyvek blocks air and water intrusion to help improve the home’s energy efficiency. BUILDING.DUPONT.CA THE LATEST BIGFOOT SIGHTING Contractors love the security of Bigfoot Systems footing tubes not breaking down and collapsing from groundwater, rain or wet soil, as well as the added protection from frost heave due to its tapered design and slick surface. Now a 12” plastic tube has been added. Working with both the BF28 and BF36 models, the BFT12 addition provides the company with the most complete pier foundation footing form system on the market. BIGFOOTSYSTEMS.COM

COMING THROUGH IN THE CLUTCH DeWalt’s new brushless 60V Max In-Line Stud & Joist Drill with E-Clutch System is a high-torque right-angle drill with fast application speeds. Featuring batteries that are backwards compatible with most 20V Max DeWalt tools, the model’s mechanical clutch offers control in high or low speed, sensing tool motion and eliminating the torque when binding is detected by stopping the motor. DEWALT.CA

PUMPING FOR INFORMATION Designed to be used in the outdoor sump systems of Stratford’s R&D Development Group, the PumpSpy is a powerful backup pump-pluscontroller that automatically monitors and tests a primary sump pump, backup sump pump and battery. Simply plug the wifi-connected system into your sump pump and download the free app to receive alerts on a smartphone, tablet and computer. RNDGROUP.CA 24


PANELS.CA ONE STOP SHOP FOR ALL YOUR FRAMING NEEDS Precision Floor and Wall Systems is a manufacturer/installer of high quality engineered wall and floor panels for the low-rise, mid-rise residential and light commercial construction sector. From floor to the rooftop, provides the solutions to help builders/developers with high quality, cost-effective prefabricated components. Our range of products offers substantial benefits to both the high-volume retail builder of tract housing, multi-family builders, and the custom home builder looking for solutions to unique challenges. Benefit from precision manufacturing in a controlled environment, delivering fit-for-purpose solutions specifically designed for your projects needs.



The obvious—and not so obvious—elements that define a luxury build BY P E T E R G I F F E N

David Small Designs and Profile Custom Homes teamed up at the modernist Pheasant Lane in Toronto.

“It’s about using stone and brick, not stucco; and natural stone, not veneer. It’s the extra things that go into the house.” Nikki Stefaniuk, the director of business development and marketing for RS Homes, is talking about some of the details that separate good from great. And RS Homes, a luxury custom home builder and renovator in Toronto, has no shortage of experience in that department. “It’s the feel of the home when you enter. It’s the craftsmanship that comes from quality trades,” Stefaniuk notes. “You can walk into an empty home and you don’t get that echoey sound because it’s built to dampen sound with extra insulation and thicker subfloors. You open an internal door and it’s heavy and solid. It’s using solid wood trim even when it’s painted. And when you feel the trim, it feels wonderful to the touch because it’s painted to furniture grade. I once had a client that came in after it was painted and actually embraced her panelled wall, saying, ‘I love my wall.’ “It’s not the fixtures or even the look of the home—that comes later, and that’s subjective, as it’s about what the client wants,” Stefaniuk continues. “It’s easier to think ‘luxurious’ when the fixtures and furniture are in. But even a poorly built home can look luxurious. And looks are subjective for each person. For a builder, though, it’s knowing about what went into the home that the client does not see. That’s when we can take pride that we have delivered something special. A luxury home is an experience that needs all five senses to really appreciate.” What follows are three projects that define luxury inside and out in their own way. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


MODERN ENGLISH MANOR Known for its finicky attention to detail, RS Homes walks the client from a get-to-know-you phase right through to the finishing touches. To keep the lines of communication open, it builds each client a website, which it constantly updates with images and progress reports. That detailed exchange was in effect with Ridgewood, a 7,500-square-foot estate just completed last month for a young family in Richmond Hill. RS Homes was tasked with building a simple but functional abode—a transitional, two-wing home that would combine the elegance of an English manor and peaked-roof architecture with a myriad of contemporary flourishes and comforts, including a five-car garage for the owner’s auto collection. For Stefaniuk, one of the signs of a superior luxury residential builder are the behind-the-scenes touches that add to the quality of a home. For example, the $2.8-million-plus Ridgewood is completely clad in natural stone and brick. “For the best kind of luxury home, you’re not going to use stucco on the sides or back, where it can’t be seen,” says Stefaniuk. “This house is brick throughout, with stone accents to highlight areas of interest.” When wrapping a home, the builder always uses plywood rather than code chipboard, since it is stronger. Great attention is also paid to insulation—not simply for comfort and energycost reasons, but to reduce noise pollution from the outside, dimming any “echoey feeling” inside. Amvic SilveRboard Graphite exterior wall sheathing insulation is also employed to provide superior temperature stability throughout the building, while increasing thermal comfort. As you enter the front foyer of Ridgewood, you are treated to the dramatic sight of the great room, with its 24-foot-high peaked ceiling and natural white quartzite bricked fireplace, the chimney of which rises the height of the room. The fireplace is double-sided, dividing the great room and an office. A practical touch of luxury in the foyer is a chandelier on a motorized system that allows it to be easily lowered to change the light bulbs. One of Stefaniuk’s favourite details is the beautifully crafted staircase that curves from the basement to the third floor of the house. Soaring above is a bridge that connects the two wings of the home, divided by the great room. Or if you are too tired to take the hike from bottom to top, you can opt for the home’s elevator, stained a butterscotch hue to bring out the grain of the wood veneer. Climate control is optimized by a pair of furnaces that help split the home into two zones with separate temperature controls. “Adding a furnace on the second floor gives the builder the chance to eliminate ductwork in the ceiling of the first, so you don’t have unnecessary bulkheads in the first-floor ceilings,” explains Stefaniuk. “It’s not something you think about, but it makes the home more esthetically pleasing.” A small but important flourish is found in the dining room, where RS Homes moulded the plaster in the dropped ceiling to the shape of the round light chosen by the client. The huge 28


bathroom on the main floor, meanwhile, includes a uniquely shaped sink and countertop, each fashioned from the same piece of stone, set on an ornately carved wood cabinet, making it look more like a piece of fine furniture than a vanity. The master bedroom sprawls some 922 square feet. It has huge windows facing south and north, filling the spacious room with light. On the south side, the bedroom opens up to a deck that provides views to downtown Toronto—especially stunning at sunset. The ensuite bathroom runs the length of the bedroom and features two entrances, with hisand-hers sections divided by a bathtub under a vast window, shaded by trees for privacy. The wood panels in the bedroom, as with the wood throughout the house, is painted with furniture-grade oil spray paint, enhancing its wonderful texture.

HAMPTON’S CHIC IN OAKVILLE Since Ali and Roman Rockcliffe launched their business 12 years ago, Oakville-based Rock Cliff Custom Homes has grown into one of the go-to luxury designers and builders in the region, even extending to upscale cottages in Muskoka. Coming from a family that has been in the real estate development business

RS Homes’ Ridgewood includes opulent features such as a fivecar garage and soaring stone fireplace, but also an ornate vanity and behind-the-scenes details like multiplelayered cladding to keep the home cozy while also dampening sound.

RS Homes SilveRboard

“One of the call-outs to modernist houses is to have the same range of materials both inside and out.”

for 50 years, Roman serves as head builder, while Ali wears many hats, including that of designer, project manager and business manager. The company’s knack for fashioning custom upscale homes that harmonize with the neighbourhood include the 4,800-square-foot, $5 million Hampton’s Chic they built last year in southeast Oakville, which features a Hampton/New England look with white wood siding and a grey cedar roof. Inside, MDF (medium density fibreboard) panelling typically reserved for dining and living rooms in luxury home builds extends throughout the home. Ali notes that this required detailed planning and the services of experienced trim carpenters—“true craftsmen”—to install on this sometimes random, funky design. “What we did here with the panelling demonstrates the movement we’re seeing away from the traditional wainscotting and square panels to more contemporary looks, adding texture, warmth and unique looks to luxury homes,” Ali notes. The dining room is highlighted by a unique, custom-built oak wine display cabinet that will showcase favoured bottles like works of art—a testimony to the owners’ exquisite taste. This climate-controlled cabinet is double-sided so that it can be admired both from the dining room and hall. The kitchen island features a jackknife waterfall design, Ali explains, meaning “the Super White Quartzite comes three-quarters of the way down and is actually cut on an angle. It’s a different, beautiful way to finish the island.” That same stone, part of a warm palette of greys and whites throughout the kitchen, is carried through to the backsplash and also wraps around the range hood—the latter requiring extra back-framing reinforcement to support the weight. The custom-made kitchen cabinetry is given a twist, with strips of LED lighting glowing both on top and below the cabinets. But most eyecatching of all is a back-painted grey glass wall with built-in Sub Zero ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


Rock Cliff’s Hampton’s Chic features (clockwise from left) an avante garde two-sided wine rack, a light-filled bathroom and a striking grey glass kitchen wall.


appliances, cabinet doors and even a door leading to a hidden walk-in pantry. The sitting room is dominated by a fireplace surrounded by a striking marble slab created through “book-matching”—that is, setting mirror-image marble slabs side by side to reveal their intricate pattern and to showcase the natural beauty of the stone. Upstairs, the 10-foot coffered ceiling of the master suite adds to the feeling of spaciousness. In the ensuite, floor-to-ceiling Pella Architectural Series windows surround the freestanding Aria Voce Grande bathtub and its elegant Riobel Salome tub filler. The floors are heated, and the water closet includes both a toilet and a bidet. Oakville’s Top Notch Cabinets supplied the custom vanity work, including a mirror designed to house a built-in TV. The slab marble in the shower is also book-matched and features an extra-large bench. Boasting a 10-foot ceiling, the basement is open and expansive—a trademark of Rock Cliff—thanks to the use of a 30-foot-long, $6,000 steel support beam. “It’s important for us to build so that there are no support columns down there,” says Ali. “Nobody likes to look at those.” 30


Since launching a one-man shop in 1996, David Small has grown his Mississauga-based operation into an award-winning architectural design firm with a collaborative team of 25, responsible for more than 1,700 custom home and renovation designs, including a growing client base in the United States. Whether designing a house in Toronto or another part of the continent, Small always starts the process by visiting the property where the construction will take place to help inspire his work. “One of our philosophical beliefs is that the property should [inform] the design,” he says. “If I can’t (physically get to) the property, I won’t design the house.” Small’s innate connection to the land became an important element in his BILD-award-winning renovation design of Pheasant Lane in the Thorncrest Village area of Toronto. The owners of the home wanted his firm to take the modernist bones of the existing structure and turn it into a fully realized luxury home, with an open-plan design that would make it seem much larger than it actually is. During his first visit to the property, Small was struck by “one of the biggest trees” he’s ever seen—a sprawling white oak. “It’s a monster, but in a good way. For the house to become a worthy observer of that tree became a big talking point for the design. We wanted to make sure we got all the primary rooms looking back at that amazing tree.” Small accomplished this by using lots of glass throughout the house, opening up the sightlines— not only within the house but to the treeline beyond. With all of Pheasant Lane’s openness, the danger that Small had to guard against was that the various spaces would lose their individual identity. “It’s really important to do everything

High-end windows look onto an ancient oak at Pheasant Lane. At right, steps up and a dropped ceiling help separate rooms despite the open-plan design.

you can to make sure each of the spaces is adequately articulated,” he explains, “so when you’re in the living room, you don’t feel like you’re in the dining room, because of the architecture. So the living room steps up a bit and the ceiling comes down. And it protrudes from the envelope. We’ve got a very open plan, but the highly articulated spaces revolve around the specific function of each space.” To make the home seem firmly connected to property, Small’s design emphasized its “horizontality.” Those horizontal lines show up, for example, in windows hinging from the top and opening up from the bottom. Builder Joel Atkinson, a principal of Profile Custom Homes in Burlington and a frequent Small collaborator, points out that the high-end Kolbe VistaLuxe windows are designed for modern structures such as Pheasant Lane. “For a lot of years, there was not a nice, clean modern window on the market, so a lot of people were forced to make a more traditional window work or go to a commercial model, which has its drawbacks in a residential atmosphere,” Atkinson explains. “So Kolbe put a panel of designers and architects together and said, ‘OK, let’s design a window that meets the needs of a modern home but checks of all the efficiency boxes for residential applications.’” The minimalist, slim-framed VistaLuxe is designed for applications demanding large expanses of glass, such as Pheasant Lane, with clean lines, using durable steel on the outside and having the warmth of wood inside. To add to the effect of bringing the outside in, “one of the call-outs to modernist houses is to have the same range of materials both inside and out,” says Small. Any wood used inside is similar to the

colour of the exterior wood. Stone used on the exterior of the house can also be brought inside, as can its colour, used as a monochromatic element. “To get that long linear look, to hit the mark on David’s vision, we did a special order of Cascade Tiger Stones,” recalls Atkinson. “Usually those stones come in a blend, so it was a premium to get 80% or more at two-inch lengths, with some longer lengths thrown in to break things up [visually].” The home’s interior design was handled Goran Tijannic of Gogo Design, who, for example, sourced the magnificent marble slab for the fireplace, giving specific instructions on how it should be cut to best reveal its pattern. Tijannic also handled all the home’s intricate millwork through his Line to Line company. Atkinson particularly admires how Tijannic handled the bathroom, with its sculpted bathtub and curbless shower. “There is this really cool wall that is clad in Corian, creating a floating bench and niche for shampoo,” he says. “This separates the toilet room and the shower, with two full-height sidelights of frosted glass.” The builder likes the effect so much that he is creating the same detail in his own house. The entire 5,500-square-foot residence employs radiant heating with individual temperature controls in every room. As an added benefit, the concrete slabs used for the radiant heating make the house “feel more solid,” says Atkinson, with fewer floor vibrations and “great sound properties.” The house also features a ductless air conditioning system and a furnace that supplies supplemental heat when needed. “Where radiant heat is not good is when it’s 10C during the day and drops to minus-10 at night, because it it can take a full day for in-floor heating to react to temperature [change],” explains Atkinson. “So the furnace is there to help in spring and fall, when temperatures are fluctuating all over the map.” “Radiant heat has a nice inherent storage capacity, so even when the heat goes off, it still emits some warmth,” adds Small. “Besides, you feel more connected to the land when you don’t have hot air blowing at you.” OHB ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


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OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS Why Ontario’s new Growth Plan could be good news for builders BY I S A AC TA N G


n May 2, 2019, the Government of Ontario released its highly anticipated policy document for stakeholders in the land development industry: A Place to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe. The new Growth Plan is an important part of the Ford government’s housing supply action plan that includes Bill 108, the More Homes, More Choice Act, 2019. Bill 108, which received Royal Assent on June 6, 2019, is intended to help accelerate the planning approvals process, increase housing

supply and address the anticipated population growth in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH). In addition, the government has committed $1.4 million to help address the backlog of appeals at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, many of which are held up due to questions of interpretation with the Bill 139 process introduced by the former government. The new iteration replaces the 2017 version of the Growth Plan. The government had released a draft (also known as “Proposed Amendment 1”) of the new plan in January for public consultation.

For the most part, the changes in Proposed Amendment 1 have been incorporated into the new Growth Plan. The changes reflect a shift away from a ‘one size fits all’ approach and towards greater flexibility at the local level of development in certain cases, but demand greater provincial oversight in others. All planning decisions in the GGH had to conform to the new Growth Plan as of May 16, subject to transition provisions. Given the nature of the changes, the new plan will have a significant impact on planning decisions going forward. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW The following are some of the highlights of the new Growth Plan that may be of interest to developers and home builders, recognizing that municipalities and public agencies may view the changes from a different perspective.

1 GREATER FLEXIBILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT LAND CONVERSIONS The Growth Plan 2017 imposed strict policies that prohibited any conversion of employment lands for non-employment uses outside of a municipal comprehensive review (MCR). An MCR involves a comprehensive application of provincial policies to an official plan or official plan amendment (e.g., a secondary plan) and must be initiated by an upper-tier or singletier municipality. This meant that local municipalities and developers could not advance applications for employment land conversions before the planning process at the upper-tier level has been resolved. The new plan has retreated from this strict “top-down” planning approach. Applicants are now provided with a one-time window where they may apply for an employment land conversion in advance of the next MCR. This provides greater flexibility for employment land conversions to be approved where certain tests have been met. Note that one of those tests is that the lands proposed to be conveyed must demonstrate that the conversion would still “maintain a significant number of jobs through the establishment of development criteria.” The unanswered questions include what the Province considers 34


“significant” and how development criteria alone will be able to guarantee a certain density of jobs for a particular parcel of land.

2 INTRODUCTION OF “NO-TOUCH” PROVINCIALLY SIGNIFICANT EMPLOYMENT ZONES While providing additional flexibility for employment land conversions, the Ministry also identified 29 “provincially significant employment zones” (PSEZs, or “P-zeds”) across the GGH that it considers “crucial to the province’s economy.” Lands within PSEZs would require Provincial approval before they can be converted and cannot be converted outside of an MCR. In other words, they are considered “no-touch” lands from a conversion perspective unless the Province approves the conversion. According to the Ministry, the purpose of PSEZs is to ensure that the Province continues to support a strong economy and maintain its global competitiveness. Clearly, the importance of not only encouraging but retaining jobs within Ontario was a major factor for the Ministry in introducing the PSEZ framework. Some changes have been made to the PSEZs that were originally identified in the mapping of Proposed Amendment 1 include: an expanded area in central Hamilton, an expanded area in south Hamilton near the Hamilton airport, an expanded area near Tremaine Road and Britannia Road south of Milton, and a scoped area near the intersection of the 401 and 407. Landowners with holdings near previously identified PSEZs should carefully review whether their lands are now included and may be subject to the more rigid employment land conversion policies. The Province has indicated that despite this mapping, it will still consider requests to review the PSEZs.

3 GREATER FLEXIBILITY FOR SETTLEMENT AREA BOUNDARY EXPANSIONS As with employment land conversions, the Growth Plan 2017 imposed very strict policies that prohibited settlement area boundary expansions outside of an MCR. The purpose of this restriction was to limit urban sprawl (renamed as “unmanaged growth” in the new Growth Plan), one of the guiding principles of the Growth Plan 2017. Previously, an MCR was required to expand or even adjust a municipality’s delineated settlement areas. Under the new Growth Plan, municipalities can expand their settlement area boundaries in advance of an MCR, provided that they meet certain criteria (e.g., minimum density targets, comprehensive planning tests and servicing) and that the amount of land being added to the settlement area is not more than 40 hectares. While the protections with the Greenbelt appear strong, rural settlements or settlement areas within the Greenbelt may not be expanded through this process. Municipalities may now also adjust settlement area boundaries outside of an MCR, subject to criteria, including that there be no net increase in land within settlement areas. The affected settlement areas also cannot be rural settlements or located within the Greenbelt.

4 REDUCED INTENSIFICATION AND DENSITY TARGETS FOR SOME MUNICIPALITIES The Growth Plan 2017 set out the same intensification targets for all delineated built-up areas: 50% until 2031 and 60% thereafter.

This meant that until 2031, a minimum of 50% of residential development each year would have occurred within the delineated built-up area. Proposed Amendment 1 suggested immediately raising the intensification target to 60% for the Regional municipalities of Peel, Waterloo and York and for the City of Hamilton. However, this higher target was not carried forward in the new Growth Plan. Instead, intensification targets were reduced for these municipalities to meet the targets for Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Orillia, Peterborough, Durham Region, Halton Region and Niagara Region. The former minimum 60% intensification target after 2031 was also removed. Likewise, the former minimum density target of 80 residents and jobs combined per hectare in designated greenfield areas (areas designated in official plans for development to accommodate forecasted growth) has been removed and replaced with the following:

Fifty residents and jobs combined per hectare in the cities of Barrie, Brantford, Guelph, Hamilton, Orillia and Peterborough, as well as the regions of Durham, Halton, Niagara, Peel, Waterloo and York. Forty residents and jobs combined per hectare in the city of Kawartha Lakes, and the counties of Brant, Dufferin, Haldimand, Northumberland, Peterborough, Simcoe and Wellington The reduced intensification and density targets in the new Growth Plan permit greater flexibility for developers to provide groundrelated housing to respond to market demand. However, the density policies of the Growth Plan 2017 did not appear to be the primary reason why developers opted for higher-density housing (e.g., stacked townhouses) in low-rise neighbourhoods. Rather, the cost of land, building materials and labour appeared to be key factors that would dictate the ultimate built form for a development site.

5 GREATER FLEXIBILITY AND LARGER MAJOR TRANSIT STATION AREAS As the name would imply, major transit station areas (MTSAs) are areas that surround existing or planned major transit stations. MTSAs include subway stations, light rail transit stations, intercity rail stations and bus rapid transit stations. The new Growth Plan further expands the policies applicable to MTSAs by: Increasing the radius of MTSAs from 500m to 500-800m Clarifying that the Minister may lower the density target for a specific MTSA outside of a MCR, subject to streamlined criteria Allowing upper- and single-tier municipalities to delineate the boundaries of and set density targets for MTSAs in advance ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


of the municipality’s next MCR, provided that they are done are in accordance with the Planning Act. Municipalities and developers have long paid close attention to MTSA policies. Given the strength of those policies, it was well recognized that development near MTSAs would support increased densities, usually beyond what the community within the radius of the MTSA would anticipate. However, with the new MTSA policies, it will be interesting to see how PSEZs and MTSAs interact. Over 81 MTSAs were reportedly located in the 29 PSEZs originally identified by the Province. With the expanded areas for both MTSAs and PSEZs, it will also be interesting to see how the policies that promote increased densities and mixed-use developments in MTSAs will be read together with PSEZ policies that prohibit employment land conversions.

“THE PLAN CLARIFIES THAT RURAL SETTLEMENTS ARE NOT PART OF THE DESIGNATED GREENFIELD AREAS.” For developers and home-builders, the rural settlement policies in the new Growth Plan would permit greater flexibility in terms of permitting the “rounding out” of existing development in rural areas (that is, “filling in” an area with additional development—typically a few lots—provided there is a sufficient gap. This was permitted in the old Greenbelt Plan 2005, but was removed in the current version.) The changes also clarify that permitting development in such areas would not take away from the growth intended to be directed towards urban settlement areas.

6 GREATER FLEXIBILITY FOR RURAL SETTLEMENTS The new Growth Plan introduces the concept of “rural settlements”— existing hamlets or similar existing small settlement areas that are long-established and identified in official plans. These settlements must be serviced by private water and wastewater systems and contain a limited amount of undeveloped lands that are designated for development. They also include hamlets in the Greenbelt Plan, rural settlements in the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan and minor urban centres in the Niagara Escarpment Plan. Given their unique role in the GGH, the new Growth Plan clarifies that rural settlements are not part of designated greenfield areas. The new plan also permits minor adjustments to the boundaries of rural settlements if certain criteria are met. 36


7 REFINEMENTS TO PROVINCIAL AGRICULTURAL AND NATURAL HERITAGE SYSTEM MAPPING The Growth Plan 2017 was released with updated Provincial Agricultural and Natural Heritage System mapping for the GGH. This new mapping was not always consistent with the existing mapping that was recorded by the municipalities. This disconnect between the Provincial and municipal mapping created confusion and uncertainty for development sites that were characterized differently. The new Growth Plan, though, clarifies that the Provincial mapping does not apply until it has been implemented by the applicable upper-tier or single-tier municipality in its official plan. The

new policies not only provide that refinements of the Agricultural and Natural Heritage System mapping may occur at the upper-tier and single-tier level, but also specifically allow upper-tier municipalities to undertake the refinement exercise separately for each municipality. That clarification resolves much of the uncertainty for developers that were affected by the Provincial mapping. However, developers should still carefully review the mapping proposed for development sites when the municipality undertakes its implementation exercise to ensure that the appropriate refinements are captured. Given the sweeping changes proposed, the new Growth Plan will have a significant impact on current and future planning approvals. It remains to be seen how the amended plan will affect appeals that are currently underway at the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal, but the Province has released a summary of the proposed transitional regulation on the Environmental Registry of Ontario (Comments on the proposed changes to the transition regulation were accepted by the Province until June 1.) Needless to say, developers and home builders alike would be wise to consult with their planning and legal professionals early in the process to better understand the nature of the changes, how the new plan may interact with the legislative changes in Bill 108 and their collective impact on their businesses and long-term development strategies. OHB —Isaac Tang is a partner with Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in Toronto.

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THE BIG CHILL By freezing development in its path, interim control bylaws can have unintended consequences BY T E D M c I N T Y R E

D describes the word Draconian as, “of, relating to, or characteristic of the Athenian statesman Draco, or his severe code of laws; rigorous; unusually severe or cruel.” This is noteworthy because, although not exactly a word one typically encounters in common parlance, during the course of interviews for this feature, three

separate, unconnected parties—one a home builder, one a lawyer and the other a politician—each used that very word to describe Ontario’s Interim Control Bylaw (ICBL). Such is the attitude of many toward this municipal allowance contained within the Ontario Planning Act, particularly developers, who often view an ICBL as more of an ICBM

(Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile) with respect to the potential disruption and fallout that can occur. “It is a powerful tool,” notes a prominent GTA builder, requesting anonymity and whose firm has been inordinately affected by the 2016 Richmond Hill interim control bylaw in a key development area at Yonge and Bernard streets. ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


“It effectively strips all sites in that designated area of zoning, so no one can do anything, not even a renovation permit, unless the wording of that ICBL specifically allows it. As one of my professors once said, it can be a very Draconian measure in how sweeping and powerful it is.” Municipalities have had the ability to pass interim control bylaws since the Planning Act came into force on August 1, 1983. ICBLs put a temporary freeze on many land uses while the municipality is studying or reviewing its policies. No notice or hearing is required prior to its passing—the municipality need only direct that a study be undertaken with respect to landuse planning in the specified area. The freeze can be imposed for only a year, with a maximum extension of another year. And there is no ability to appeal it when it is first passed, except by the Province itself. However, any extension to the bylaw may be appealed. The good news for developers is that once an ICBL ceases to be in effect, the municipal council may not pass a further ICBL on the same land for three years.

HOW LONG IS A YEAR? The wording “can be imposed for a year” suggests that the bylaw was never meant to be an automatic 365-day term—that it could, in fact, be shorter if the necessary reviews and resulting decisions are made by a municipality in advance of that period. The fact, however, that it has historically run the full term suggests that municipalities customarily prefer to hold off development for as long as possible. Similarly, the allotment for a one-year extension to an ICBL does not mean that the maximum term of a development freeze is two years. In fact, the Planning Act 40


provides that an ICBL remain in effect beyond the two-year period if the new zoning bylaw that replaces it is appealed to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal. “If (that occurs), the tribunal must decide whether to hear or dismiss the appeal without holding a hearing,” explains Praveen Senthinathan, Media Relations Spokesperson for the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “If the tribunal holds a hearing it may dismiss the appeal, allow the appeal, repeal the bylaw, amend the bylaw or direct the municipality to amend the bylaw in accordance with the tribunal’s order.” There is no more telling example of the potential complications of an ICBL than what has transpired at Richmond Hill’s Yonge & Bernard, where, although the initial bylaw was enacted on Nov. 28, 2016, shovels have yet to break ground for most developers. “We did an official plan in 2010,” recalls Richmond Hill Ward 2 Councillor Tom Muench. “Six years later, we do an ICBL. We do a one-year study. Right after that, everybody—residents and property owners—challenged us on our plan. It goes to OMB. Now here we are in 2019 and we’re asking OMB/LPAT for an adjournment so we can study more. It’s a Draconian measure for municipalities to stop development. I tell you honestly, we have policy staff that just want to keep doing studies. It’s job security! ‘I can make $200,000 a year to do a study, with no accountability or performance. And when I’m done this study, I may do another one!’” “They passed an ICBL because they had a key development area (KDA) where people wanted to build, but they weren’t sure how to deploy heights and densities,” explains the GTA builder. “They rushed through their ICBL and rushed the study. Because the study that was initiated through the ICBL process was appealed,

the bylaw remains in effect until the resolution of those appeals. Right now we’re into year two. If they adjourn the (LPAT) hearing until next year, it will be three. If it takes another year to get a decision, it could be four. That’s where there’s a misconception about the operation of an ICBL.” The Molinaro Group can sympathize. With marketing plans poised to commence for the final two towers of the builder’s fivetower Paradigm project adjacent to the Burlington GO Station, the builder has become part of the collateral damage of an ICBL that includes Burlington’s downtown Urban Growth Centre and lands near the GO Station. Although five towers were always part of the project plan, site plans for towers 4 and 5—much of the infrastructure of which is already in place—had not been officially submitted when the ICBL was enacted on March 5, 2019. And while Paradigm would appear to be an ideal fit for the Province’s plan to intensify around major transit stations, as well as helping Burlington alleviate future density issues, the City is not handing out exemptions to the bylaw ruling, leaving the builder in limbo.

THE GAMECHANGER Although the fear of overdevelopment was fundamental to her 2018 campaign, Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward says one project in particular spurred the interim control bylaw decision. “The Official Plan didn’t contemplate—because we didn’t have the decision until late last year— the impact of the OMB ruling in the Adi Development project at Martha and Lakeshore: 26 storeys, and the existing OP had been four to eight! That was a gamechanger, and that necessitated us saying, ‘Ok, hang on. What does that

designation mean for that land use?’ We are going to start to see a canyon of towers on both sides of Lakeshore. So good luck seeing the lake. Good luck knowing that there’s a lake there.” Suzanne Mammel, CEO of the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders’ Association, counters that “the OMB decision was actually finalized and made public in February of 2018, and ample time was available to consider the results in the OP. November 2018 was when the city was advised that their application to appeal the decision of the OMB was denied.” Further, shutting down development in the designated area of Burlington runs counter to the city’s mandate, says Mammel. “According to the Region of Halton’s approved growth strategy, the City of Burlington is expected to add 8,300 units between 2015-2031 to accommodate for growth,” Mammel noted on a blog post. “This equates to a minimum of 519 units per year over this period. Since 2015, the City of Burlington has achieved an average of 421.5 units. At this rate, the City of Burlington will fall 1,556 units short.” Mayor Meed Ward counters that Burlington’s population targets are 185,000 by 2031. “As of the 2016 census, we were at 183,000. So we have surpassed our population growth target. Those are the facts.” Not exactly, says Mammel. “They also have to hit certain densities as required through the Ontario Places to Grow Act, which sets densities of 150 people plus jobs per hectare (pj/ha) for Major Transit Station Areas and 200 pj/ ha for the City’s Urban Growth Centre. No one from the City has confirmed their ability to hit these targets.” “There are many units that are approved, but not yet built that would not be captured in the unit counts,” Meed Ward says. “Some real-time examples include the Carriage Gate development, a

17-storey residential building, six-storey parking garage and sixto eight-storey medical centre— which was approved in 2009. They only started constructing that two years ago. There’s a 22-storey building over on Brock Ave., over 100 units, that was approved. The Bridgewater, which is currently being constructed—was actually approved in the 1990s and is only now being constructed.” “The Mayor considers a unit approved when it receives OP/ zoning, but that is not the case,” Mammel argues. “And one of these projects is awaiting a construction management plan to be approved by the Ward Councillor and

staff before they are allowed to construct. The other has not received site plan approval, and is caught in the ICBL.” While Meed Ward maintains that the city is playing catch-up on the required infrastructure to match the its population growth and that high-density housing must include amenities to create a more walkable environment, Mammel says what the City is missing is office space, “and that is the fault of neither the Planning Act, nor the public.” Mammel, for her part, wonders how official an Official Plan can ever be, given that the scope being studied in the ICBL was to have




been included in the OP process completed last year. “It raises massive concerns about the lack of transparency and the potential for other agendas,” Mammel says. “We have always tried to work with the City on all of their initiatives that impact city building, and providing affordable housing options for our growing population. However, it seems that yet again the City has chosen to move forward without even officially notifying us regarding something so impactful to newhome buyers, businesses and developers who drive economic growth.” Mammel notes the Mayor said she would formally respond to HHHBA’s concerns, although none has been received since the ICBL’s passing. The City also reports “that a minimum of another $100,000 will be spent to re-study the same scope,” Mammel highlights. Meed Ward does not see Burlington’s freeze as having a major impact on developers. “The applications that are on the books right now—all of them require some revisions, and they’re going through revisions. So the applicants still have some work to do on their end. And they can do that work while we’re doing our work. They’re not shovel-ready.” Mammel, however, counters that “the City is not allowing any of the projects to become shovelready, as they refuse to consider a staff report until such time as the ICBL issues are resolved. Very little work will be done for the duration of the ICBL as a result.” Further, wouldn’t continuing to go down that road be poor business practice for builders if they’re not sure they will ever be approved? “They’ve never had guarantees of approval,” Meed Ward says. “Whenever you’re asking to significantly deviate from an existing official planning and zoning bylaw—which is what we’ve seen for years—that is a speculative 42


exercise, and that’s what’s been going on in the downtown. It’s been a bit like the wild west.” “The City hasn’t had a new OP for decades, though,” says Mammel. “This is why there are so many deviations.” Richmond Hill Ward 2 Councillor Muench takes issue with those who suggest developers are only marginally inconvenienced by

interim control bylaws. “The argument from someone who’s not involved in investment to say, ‘We can delay your investment because it’s not going to cost you anything’—shame! Because labour rates are not going to decrease in a year. I don’t think DCs are going to be reduced. I don’t think the cost of capital will be cheaper. So housing affordability will not be improved.”


“We had a site that was pretty much ready to go—it would just have needed a few small variances. We should have been able to start building within nine months,” says the Richmond Hill builder. “We paid a lot for the land— prices had escalated because of the Greenbelt and other factors. We thought we could turn it over quickly. But substantial delays ultimately drive up the costs of delivering housing. Interest costs go up. Scheduling becomes increasingly difficult. The cost of raw materials and labour tend to go up. Ultimately, these costs get passed on to future homebuyers and can have a substantial effect on eroding housing affordability. “If we had turned it over in the 24 months we think it should have been, there would have been capital freed up to redeploy to other sites—possibly where the municipality already wanted (residential construction),” he adds. “Plus there would have been a large number of people working on the site who would have made money and reinvested it: the framers, carpenters, HVAC, the sewer water main guys, concrete, kitchen painters, landscapers, cleaners, marketers, real estate agents, etc.” Couldn’t they have appealed the one-year extension? “Yes, but there are complications. First, your case needs to be really strong. And second, because LPAT has such a backlog, you might not get a hearing for a year anyway.”

A SURPRISE STOPPAGE IN NOTL Chuck McShane, Executive Officer of the Niagara Home Builders’ Association, has also been frustrated by the process—or lack thereof. “There was no mention of an interim control bylaw during the run-up to that election,” McShane notes of the Dec. 5, 2018 ICBL in Niagara-on-the-Lake. “Then it

was passed 48 hours after the new mayor took office. So there had to have been discussions of it before she was elected. What they did talk about during the campaign was housing affordability. But an ICBL doesn’t go with that when you shut development down.” “Discussion started in May 2018, during the election,” says Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero. “The biggest concern of residents was the speed of the development that was uncontrolled, or (that it was) being controlled by the development industry. The need to finalize a new official plan—get some controls in place so that we determine our destiny—was part of the mandate of every member of this new council.” The Niagara-on-the-Lake ICBL pertains to the Old Town tourist district. “We get 2.5 million to 3 million tourists every year coming to Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Old Town in particular,” says Disero. “Over the last five to eight years, there were developers coming in and putting in row housing and townhouses, and it was starting to take away the ambience. So we said, ‘Let’s stop, do a study, figure out what areas need to be protected and what type of housing we want built in those areas.’ We’ve had applications come forward everywhere else in Niagara-on-theLake and we’ve approved them.” Last month the town imposed an infill bylaw “that will put some structure into what can be can approved in that area, and then we’ll release the ICBL,” Disero noted. “So instead of a year it will have been six months.” Could the ICBL be extended beyond Old Town? “The infill bylaw will probably affect all of Niagaraon-the-Lake,” Disero says. “It talks about compatibility. But each village is different, so each one, even though it’s the same bylaw, will have different criteria for each area. “I know there are a lot of developers who are upset,” Disero

adds. “But seriously, we’re looking at a very small piece—one urban settlement among five in NOTL. There’s no question that home builders are an important part of our economy. But so is tourism. They are free to do in the other four settlements what the Official Plan and zoning bylaws allow.” From a density standpoint, Disero echoes Burlington’s position: “We’ve already met, as a municipality, our 2031 targets with respect to housing. And we have a huge area of growth potential—up to 400 hectares in the Glendale area. We’re just now getting our numbers for 2041 and we’ll accommodate those.”

NOT THE FIRST TIME The Old Town ICBL is not Disero’s first. In March 1988, she brought forward a six-month freeze on new rooming houses for the city of Toronto. “It’s a tool that I’ve used a couple times,” she admits. “I was not anti-development in Toronto, though. In fact, many would say I was pro-development. But I respected neighbourhoods, as I do here.” And how is the relationship with the Niagara Home Builders’ Association? “They came in and talked to us about our plans with respect to what’s next with the ICBL. We told them what we were doing and said we’d let them know when anything came forward.” McShane disputes that the lines of communication have been completely open. “If the elected officials truly cared about housing affordability and the cost of living of their constituents, and spent more time consulting our industry instead of punishing the new-home purchaser by using a sledgehammer to drive a finishing nail, we could have a better chance of achieving housing affordability. That, in turn, will help create more affordable housing. Just because you have a certain tool in your tool box doesn’t mean it is the ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019


right one to do the job.” If Disero’s six-month prediction seems dubious, Meed Ward’s oneyear ICBL might also be pushed to the limit. For although it went into effect March 5, and that discussions had preceded it, as of June 12, no one had yet been hired to conduct the Burlington study. Politicians need to take a more parental outlook, suggests Muench. “Kids want chocolate for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I want to give them a balanced diet,” he analogizes. “But the value in that won’t be understood for 20 years and I need to get elected. If I’m the province and I care about politics, do I really want to fight against residents who say, ‘Please don’t build here’? “Here in Richmond Hill, the developers are saying, ‘We can show evidence that we can meet a 30-storey angular plane.’ So I say, ‘If you can do that, then we should move our height limit to the 30-storey realm. Because Markham has already approved a 37-storey in a non-key development area on a major corridor. “People freak out about height,” Muench says. “I’m just worried about good planning and proper infrastructure and walkable communities.”

BUYER BEWARE But the onus is also on builders to be increasingly aware of the political landscape, cautions Roslyn Houser, a partner with Goodmans LLP in Toronto. “The problem for developers is that it’s hard to rely on what they see in zoning bylaws. They may think they’re buying a zoned piece of land, and the next day an ICBL is passed. So when I’m advising clients who are considering the purchase of land, I tell them, ‘If you have any sense that it’s a controversial area, or one where a municipality may want to conduct 44



a review, tread carefully,’” says Houser, a municipal law specialist whose practice focuses on land development matters. “This can be a problem whether or not an election is pending, because where there is a hot-button topic, something that gives the Council concern, there can be public pressure to enact an ICBL. I’ve seen it happen. Some ICBLs are upheld on appeal, some are not. But either way, it can be a long process until the matter is decided. “If you ask municipalities, they would say that sometimes they learn through a development application that their existing zoning is outdated and in need of review and updating and, it’s not in the public interest for development to proceed before they’ve had a chance to properly study and review,” Houser says. “But I’ve never been thrilled about the ICBL, as it’s a very Draconian tool. The idea of not giving notice and changing the zoning can be very disruptive. And when people have made investments based on a certain planning regime and

then suddenly those rights are suspended, it can have severe consequences for property owners. “But the Province gave municipalities that power, so municipalities can’t be blamed for using it,” Houser says. “There have been challenges, though—a lot of the deliberations revolve around whether there’s been bad faith on the municipality’s part— some of these have been tested at the tribunal level (OMB and now LPAT) and a few have gone as far as the Ontario Court of Appeal. Municipalities that have improperly used the power have had their interim control bylaws overturned. “The bigger issue is the provincial directive to intensify— especially around transit stations—and that typically requires an amended city official plan and zoning bylaw,” Houser adds. “The province is encouraging municipalities to plan appropriately for intensification. And now that the appeal rights have been restored in Bill 108, you’re going to see more challenges.” OHB




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A MORE THAN HEALTHY GRANT Peter Gilgan Foundation donates $100 million to SickKids An unprecedented gift of $100 million donated by the Peter Gilgan Foundation was announced at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) on June 3. This is the largest single gift ever to SickKids. Together with donations made to other hospitals and health care organizations to date, this makes Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation the largest benefactor to health care in Canada. This $100 million gift will support the SickKids VS Limits campaign, a key element of which involves redevelopment of the SickKids campus, including building a new facility on University Avenue, to be named the Peter Gilgan Family Patient Care Tower. “We are extraordinarily grateful to Peter Gilgan and the Peter Gilgan Foundation for their ongoing philanthropic leadership and dedication to SickKids. Our vision for the children’s hospital of the future includes the construction of a state-of-the-art

building, matching our world-class care with family-friendly spaces for patients and their loved ones. This gift is unparalleled and will help ensure our vision becomes reality,” says Dr. Ronald Cohn, president and CEO of SickKids. Although a leader in pediatric health, SickKids maintains that its buildings do not reflect the high quality of care provided for more than 150,000 patients annually. When it was built at 555 University Avenue in 1949, SickKids was the largest children’s hospital in the world, but to remain a world leader in pediatric health, the time has come for a fully redeveloped campus. “To continue to have the opportunity to support SickKids is an honour and also very humbling,” says Gilgan. “I’m in a privileged position to be able to make this gift, and I know it’s going to be used to help children today and in the future live longer and healthier lives. I want to thank my family—both the Gilgans

Patients and their siblings at The Hospital for Sick Children walk in a procession with Peter Gilgan (centre), founder of Mattamy Homes, to celebrate the Peter Gilgan Foundation’s unprecedented $100 million donation.

and my Mattamy family—whose unwavering support over many years has made this commitment possible.” Today’s donation brings the cumulative giving from the Peter Gilgan Foundation to SickKids to more than $140 million. “Generosity of this magnitude is transformative. We continue to be grateful to visionary philanthropists like Peter Gilgan, whose historic gift today will help change the future of children’s health,” noted Ted Garrard, CEO, SickKids Foundation. “The SickKids VS Limits fundraising campaign is the largest in Canadian health care history and a once-in-alifetime opportunity to help reimagine the SickKids campus. Today’s gift takes us closer to reaching our goal of raising $1.3 billion through philanthropy and will undoubtedly inspire the community to help us continue to build the momentum needed to unleash the full potential of SickKids.” ONTARIO HOME BUILDER SUMMER 2019




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STARS OF THE SHOW Natural Resources Canada has acknowledged 20 organizations with 2019 Energy Star Canada Participant Awards. The awards recognize organizations that have demonstrated excellence in offering Canadian consumers the most energy-efficient products and technology available on the market. They are presented to manufacturers, retailers, utility providers, advocates and new-home builders that have shown leadership in manufacturing and promoting energy-efficient products. The list included the following OHBA members: 48


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MIPS, touted as the world’s leading brain protection system company, has partnered with Swedish industrial safety company Guardio to develop the first MIPS-equipped industrial safety helmet, slated for release this month. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,


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When it comes to technology, security cameras are atop the wish list of homeowners. According to the latest edition of NAHB’s study, What Home Buyers Really Want, 46% of recent and prospective homebuyers want a security camera in their home. Close behind were video doorbells (45%) and programmable thermostats (44%). The study is based on a survey that asks recent and prospective homebuyers (people who bought homes in the previous three years or are planning to do so in the next three years) about the features that they would like in a home and a community.  Three of the four most-wanted features are security-related, including a wireless home security system—all three being desired by at least 40% of homebuyers. Even better news for manufacturers is that at most 21% of homebuyers currently have any one of these technology features installed in the residences, so there’s plenty of potential for growth.OHB

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Product Focus




Windows (Pollard Advantage Plus pictured) are among the top eyecatchers for prospective homebuyers.


A look at what’s generating great curb appeal this year BY TED McINTYRE

It’s what’s inside that counts. Well, yes and no. If you never get noticed in the first place, or if that first impression simply doesn’t impress, then what’s inside will remain a mystery forever. That’s why curb appeal matters so much. Whether you’re a production builder in a competitive market, a renovator applying a facelift for a future resale or a custom builder whose client

wants their home to drop the jaw of every visitor or passer-by, it’s important to know what catches the eye of prospective homebuyers—and what doesn’t. Come summertime, though, it’s safe to say that most are seeing green. “There’s a builder nearby, Gordon Tobey Developments. The owner, Steve Tobey, knows the value of curb appeal. Future customers drive in and think, ‘That’s beautiful—I don’t have to do

anything!’” observes Rhonda Boers of Hollandale Landscaping & Garden Centre Ltd. just west of Trenton. “But even for the mid-range builder looking to attract somebody, the builder who recognizes the value in landscaping and curb appeal will sell much quicker—a few trees and shrubs can make a big difference.” Standing out from the crowd is obviously key. But it doesn’t always


Rhonda Boers Hollandale Landscaping

Marta Zonneveld Arriscraft (building stone/brick/limestone)

Elaine Willis Unilock (pavers & stones)

Jeff Williams IKO Industries (roof shingles)

Karen Pollard-Josling Pollard Windows & Doors



Product Focus mean a huge investment, suggests Richard Luciani, president of Cedar Point Real Estate Corporation and chair of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association’s Sales & Marketing Committee. “I think of CountryWide Homes’ copper accents on their roofing overhangs—it’s a trademark of theirs,” says Luciani. “But the simplest thing can attract the eye, like the colours on your garage or a bright red front door. You can enhance that new asphalt driveway with borders, maybe lay interlocking stones to make it more inviting from the sidewalk on in. Maybe we’re talking a few thousand dollars. And if you’re talking a couple plantings to give it some life and colour, then maybe a couple hundred dollars.” It’s both an overt and subliminal message, Luciani suggests. “It sets the tone of what a potential buyer expects throughout the rest of the home. You tend to think that if there’s attention to detail on the outside, they must have taken care of it on the inside too. And the reverse is true, where you’ll go in with a negative mindset (if the exterior looks uncared for).” Pricier upgrades such as stonework can also leave a two-tiered mental impression. “When you see a house with stone on it, it projects an image of a more luxurious, higher-end home—more so than plain brick,” says Luciani. “Even though brick or stone don’t necessarily have a lot to do with the structure of the home—that they’re essentially just the skin— people feel it will be a more solidly built home, compared to something that has vinyl on it.” What are the things that most regularly draw double takes from his homebuying clients? “Different styles of windows and some variation in front doors—not just flat-front panel, but with glass inserts—privacy or etched glass. “A 2015 Cost vs Value study conducted by Remodeling magazine in the U.S. shows that replacing windows and doors are among the top 10 mid-range exterior renovations with the highest return,” adds 54


As important as landscaping is when looking in, Hollandale ensures that homeowner views are just as good looking out.

Gary Pollard, Senior V.P. at Pollard Windows & Doors. “The report shows that replacing a front entrance with a steel slab entrance door like our Polardor Entrance systems provides 101% return on investment. Replacing windows with high-quality vinyl windows offers 78% ROI.” “When it comes to colour, there are two schools: People who like a traditional look that has stood the test of time and that will look good in 10 years; and others who say, ‘ I don’t want what everyone else has,’” says Luciani. “But for most, long gone is the traditional white. Many like to see charcoal and smoky. Maybe a colour that contrasts with the rest of the home. Pollard is in agreement. “Currently, windows in dark contrasting colours, like black, brown and grey, are popular because they’re easily

noticeable from the curb. And your front door is where you can add a punch of personality to your home since it’s one of the first things people see and touch. Matching front and garage doors, along with windows, will create a classic look. Or you can make a statement with a bold colour like yellow, blue or red. Some might shy away from trying this, but it will create a strong focal point for the more fashion-forward homeowners and buyers who want to reflect their unique style and add lots of curb appeal.” Luciani says his clients also take note of the garage door, “especially if they are more contemporary, with glass inserts. And porches are always big—even if people don’t use them much. It’s welcoming.” And don’t forget to look up,

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Product Focus reminds Jeff Williams, North American Brand Director of IKO Industries. “I think people overlook the fact that the roof is the most dominant element of your exterior elevation. If it looks tired, your house looks tired. People are so surprised when they change it out how it freshens the look of the entire facade—even when they go with a more traditional colour palette. And when it has been installed really well, the home’s flashing details stand out. “And if you want to challenge builders to try something different, the most unique shot I’ve seen is when somebody actually breaks away from white or beige soffit, facia, gutters and window trim, and go with an onyx or dark bronze. Then use a complementary shingle, and all the trim absolutely pops. So what specifically is turning heads this summer? Here’s what our five contributors had to say.

So what’s trending? RHONDA BOERS, HOLLANDALE LANDSCAPING: “Design-wise, we used to be into circles and circle patterns with interlock, but now it’s mainly a long and linear look—repetitive plantings of four or five different types of plant material. The paving patterns are somewhat square. Cleaner, more modern, more natural stone. Less colour.”

Arriscraft’s Stack (above) and Midtown (below) lines are now more accessible in Ontario. At right, Pollard’s Advantage Plus earned “Energy Star Most Efficient” in 2019.


“Arriscraft recently added a thin stone production line at its Cambridge plant for Midtown and Stack thin stone, which makes it more accessible for the Ontario market, since it eliminates shipping from Georgia. For new homes, our thin stone products offer a premium, added touch for curb appeal. But you can use it for renovation too, such as resurfacing your garage or porch. “People want the benefits of using stone on their homes in terms or durability and safety, but many are looking for a more modern esthetic. In addition to our thin stone, we have 56


modern stone options, with stones up to 32” and super-long brick too. We’ve had several new introductions in the past couple years, but many builders order the same product year after year. We’re getting the word out, because many customers have no idea of the breadth of options Arriscraft offers.”

exposed aggregates. Combining those different textures on the surface really gives you some interest and curb appeal at the front or back of the home. “Linear plank pavers are really trending, as are large-format. We’re seeing many different kinds of homes—a lot more contemporary—so having pavers that are in keeping with that style, as we do, is key.”


blacks, white—and using the range together in an interesting pattern. And a combination of different finishes, from very smooth to brushed to

KAREN POLLARD-JOSLING, POLLARD WINDOWS & DOORS: “Our Advantage Plus all-vinyl windows are newly redesigned and re-engineered for

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Product Focus best-in-class performance for both dual-glazed and triple-glazed units. Awarded the Energy Star Most Efficient mark in 2019, it’s a perfect fit for multi-level, high-density buildings, as well as traditional residential applications. The line incorporates new triple-perimeter weatherstripping on casement and awning windows and offers the highest water penetration resistance and air leakage resistance on casements, awnings and fixed lite models. They’ve been re-engineered for a clean, modern and sleek look, with improved functionality and easy service from the interior. They’re available in three colours and virtually any custom applied colour, including three new exciting metallic finishes. Advantage Plus also offers true 1-3/8” triple glazing for industry-leading energy efficiency and optimum soundblocking ability.” JEFF WILLIAMS, IKO INDUSTRIES: “One of the things we’ve really latched onto as a strategy is performance products. We previously launched the Dynasty product line with ArmourZone, a reinforced nail strip. If you haven’t tried it, you won’t believe the difference between a standard, traditional laminate shingle and a product nailed through the ArmourZone. It’s extremely difficult to pull off the roof. We’ve now adapted that to a new product called Nordic—a polymer-modified shingle. It is a Class 4 shingle, meaning it has been tested to be more resilient when it comes to impact strikes than a non-polymer-modified shingle. You combine that with the nail-holding power of the ArmourZone, which is a wide 1.25” thick nailing zone, and it’s so much easier for the contractor to get the nails in the right place. It’s absolutely a difference-maker for the home, and it’s available in a wide variety of high-definition, dynamic colours. Weather is getting more unpredictable, and we’re developing more and more products for that. Think of the angle of talking about both finishing



Equipped with vacuum pads, Unilock’s UniLyft helps contractors save time and money while improving efficiency. Below: Optimized for increasingly extreme weather patterns, IKO’s Dynasty product line features the company’s ArmourZone, a reinforced nail strip, for easier and more durable installation.

the exterior of the home and the performance aspect, and that there could be a possibility of their client receiving a homeowners’ insurance discount. That’s a compelling argument that we’re not seeing many new-construction contractors take advantage of!” Colour-wise, blacks still do well, but we have a granite black with a little blue flake to it. Taupes and browns, and our Weather Wood shingle is our number-one seller. And there’s a resurgence in colours like blue, which is picking up traction. But

we’re noticing a lot of whitewashed brick in custom construction—whites and greys. For that to work, you have to have a darker contrast colour of shingle, or richer or darker blacks.”

What separates you from some of your competition? RHONDA BOERS, HOLLANDALE LANDSCAPING: “Attention to detail!

Every view is important! We have built our reputation on the details, and our customers appreciate that! As much as we care about the views for those

pulling up on the street, we care just as much about the beauty of the views from the inside of the house looking out. You look outside as much as everyone looks in.” MARTA ZONNEVELD, ARRISCRAFT:

“Arriscraft is the only calcium silicate stone product made in North America—it’s essentially sand and lime that binds naturally in manufacturing. This natural process gives our stone a unique, authentic look that you can only get with quarried stone, and that’s important for curb appeal. Concretebased stones, on the other hand, can have a sheen or flat finish to them that looks artificial. The untrained eye might not even realize why they prefer Arriscraft, unless you explain it to them, but it’s the authentic appearance.”

Award Winning Design

“Anything that’s maintenance-free or maintenance-friendly is really on homeowners’ minds. And we’re unique in that we have products, such as our Umbriano line, that have an integral coating—EasyClean Stain Resistance technology—that’s added during manufacturing, not afterward. That makes it easier to keep our product looking like new, as opposed to other products that you have to install and then seal, and then go back and reseal after every few years. Our EnduraColor pavers are more durable and the colour won’t fade over time as it can with other standard pavers on the market. We’ve invested in technology that is unlike other paver manufacturing. We have unique styles, sizes and finishes that are not available from other manufacturers, and that investment shows up in our product line.”



“We were founded in 1948, so something we really pride ourselves on is the longevity we have enjoyed. Although we’re known internationally, our products are made locally—our manufacturing facility is visible from the 403 in Burlington. Also, many customers take note of the options and



Mississauga, ON





features Pollard includes as standard, things that are usually found in a higher price point, such as multipoint locking hardware on casements, a large selection of exterior colours and many standard glazing options in both dual- and triple-pane windows. You can count on better energy ratings on almost all our products using standard glass compared to the competition. And our products are backed by an industry-leading warranty.” JEFF WILLIAMS, IKO: “Our shingles are a little larger than most standard shingles, but the unique thing about it is that it’s optimized for a true square. When you buy three bundles of IKO products, you’re going to get exactly 100 square feet. We have a larger exposure than average. It has a significant advantage with respect to the time of installation, and then when you make it easier with our larger nailing zone, it’s a win-win for everybody.”

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What about ease of installation? MARTA ZONNEVELD, ARRISCRAFT:

“Masons, who are true artisans, are unfortunately becoming more scarce and installation costs are an important factor to builders. But our new linear stones can go on just like brick—in what’s called coursed installation—so it’s considerably faster, thus more cost-effective. So builders can use a bricklayer and deliver a sophisticated and more modern look.”



“Our Elegance line, reminiscent of Old World street cobblestones, is engineered so that they’re uniform in height with a consistent base, making them easy to install. And with many contractors looking for more efficiencies for installations, especially with the difficulties of hiring trade labourers, we’ve come out with a product called UniLyft. It has several vacuum pads that allow you to pick up a large paver unit or several smaller paver units at a time and install them quickly and efficiently. It saves you at least a person on the installation team while also saving your back.” OHB










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Words to Build By

“A positive attitude is one of the best assets one can have in the bank.” Hugh Heron, President Heathwood Homes



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WE Build Communities And Careers. WE Build Communities And Careers.

When a community is built from the ground up, there is no labour force on the planet, better skilled to get the job done right the When a community is built from the ground up, there is no labour force on the planet, better skilled to get the job done right the first time. LiUNA members and retirees made a commitment to their careers, which means a commitment to our communities. first time. LiUNA members and retirees made a commitment to their careers, which means a commitment to our communities. A commitment to build the BEST schools, airports, hospitals, office buildings, pipelines, tunnels, power plants, roads, bridges, A commitment to build the BEST schools, airports, hospitals, office buildings, pipelines, tunnels, power plants, roads, bridges, low rise and high rise housing in the country. When the work is done, LiUNA members and retirees continue to live, low rise and high rise housing in the country. When the work is done, LiUNA members and retirees continue to live, play and grow in their communities, with the guarantee of a pension that is also....simply the BEST! play and grow in their communities, with the guarantee of a pension that is also....simply the BEST! Jack Oliveira

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