Ontario 2021 Builders' Annual

Page 1

The first and only complete guide to pre-construction homes and condos





Building excellence for over 30 years


olmar Development Corp. has been creating visionary masterplanned communities across the Greater Toronto Area for over three decades now. Family owned and operated with a focus on building and developing exquisite family homes and condominiums to business parks and commercial real estate, Solmar brings cutting-edge innovation, sophisticated design and timeless architecture to every landmark project they build.

COMING SOON TO BRAMPTON’S CITY CORE Solmar will soon be unveiling Bristol Place, a luxurious new condominium community in the heart of Downtown Brampton. This modern urban community will be one of the tallest luxury condominiums in Brampton, a fantastic location just steps from

the GO Station, VIA Rail, ZUM Transit, shops, cafes, restaurants, theatres and galleries. Bristol Place will take downtown living to new heights of luxury and convenience. Award-winning Graziani and Corazza Architects have envisioned a sleek and

CURRENT HIGH-RISE COMMUNITIES ORO, MISSISSAUGA Rising 50 storeys over Mississauga City Centre, ORO is a triumph of modern architectural design and quality craftmanship. Distinguished by its contemporary design, the landmark tower will become a beacon of style and sophistication on the downtown Mississauga skyline. The first two towers are sold out and Solmar has just released the magnificent Oro Collection in Tower 3. Elegant interiors come with smooth ceilings, energy-efficient doubleglazed windows, sleek kitchens with cutting-edge appliances, quartz countertops, and more. Shopping at Square One, entertainment at Celebration Square, parks, transit, cafes, restaurants and boutiques are all located minutes from ORO.

CURRENT LOW-RISE COMMUNITIES ERIN GLEN, ERIN Erin Glen is Solmar’s prestigious new master planned community in the village of Erin. Located at the headwaters of the Credit and Grand

contemporary design for the two towers, with bold clean lines and a striking profile. Bristol Place will offer a wide selection of sophisticated suite designs detailed with premium luxe finishes. Plans include chic 1 bedroom and 1 bedroom plus den to 2 bedrooms.

Rivers, midway between Guelph and Orangeville, Erin is a charming small town close to several big cities. Surrounded by phenomenal schools, adventure parks, convenient shopping, and over 500 trails, Erin Glen makes families feel at home. Offering Freehold Townhomes and Semi-Detached Homes, Phase 1 & 2 sold out in record time and Phase 3 released this fall, with a fine collection of 33’ and 36’ detached homes and freehold townhomes. These thoughtfully designed homes offer unique floor plans with high quality features and finishes.

UPCOMING COMMUNITIES Solmar Development Corp. is in the process of planning more master-planned communities that will see low-rise and high-rise projects across the GTA over the course of the next 5 years, continuing to build on their wide range of offerings for each prospective home buyer. Register today on solmar.ca and be the first to know about each upcoming Solmar Community.

editor’s letter WAYNE KARL EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Builders’ Annual EMAIL: wayne.karl@nexthome.ca | TWITTER: @WayneKarl

Embracing the disruption Disruption is often considered purely a negative word, as it implies a disturbance or something that otherwise upsets comfortable norms. But that’s changing; in the digital technology world, for example, if you’re a disruptor, you’re a star, celebrated as someone or something that displaces existing market leaders. In the GTA real estate world in 2021, there are a number of emerging disruptions that are not to be feared, but understood and embraced. For the better part of two years now, COVID-19 has disrupted so much of how we live, work and play – certainly in the short term, and possibly forever. Some of these changes are structural – in how new homes are designed, built, marketed and sold. Others involve society, in terms of demographics and evolving consumer demands. More still have to do with global matters such as financial literacy, personal debt and the economy.

+ get social

All of them are bound to impact the housing industry in numerous ways – many we’re aware of, and some we’re just learning. For this 2021 edition of our Builders’ Annual – the largest we’ve ever published – we’ve compiled a wide range of content to explore these important issues. We’ve assembled a best-of-the-best Expert Panel of builders and developers, beginning on page 50, and a roster of Industry All-Stars in marketing and sales, starting on page 62. We urge you to take the time read these insightful contributions, as well as the other columns and features. Our aim is not to just guide you in your new-home purchase, but to help you understand the challenges, choices and opportunities, so you make the best, most informed decision possible. And ultimately, to find ways to embrace the disruptions we’ve all experienced over these last two years, and to be better prepared for those yet to come.

Interact with us on social media: nexthome

nexthome.ca  5


it’s simply natural.

It all starts with a remarkable vision. Georgian Communities takes inspiration from Ontario’s landscapes, and builds homes designed to enrich the lives of every family who lives there. Their inspiring legacy includes the groundbreaking communities of Windfall, Braestone, and Mountain House, bringing modern living to the

Collingwood, Blue Mountain, and Oro-Medonte regions in the most natural combination of comfort and style. High-quality craftsmanship and artful architecture elevate every home to the highest standard of modern living in Ontario’s most remarkable natural settings.

designed to enrich your lifestyle.

The incredible quality and unparalleled lifestyle provided in each home has earned them awards both locally and provincially, but most recently, Georgian Communities reached the national stage with the Canadian Home Builders’ Awards. The success of their first three communities has earned them recognition as finalists for five different awards by the CHBA this past year, marking them among the best in Canada.

A big part of what makes each of these communities so special is the unique amenities, designed to enrich every lifestyle and elevate your connection to the land. Braestone in particular reimagines the traditional master-planned community, offering residents the most holistic lifestyle with inspired amenities based around an active, natural life. A toboggan hill. An apiary. A sugar shack. A farm. Residents

can purchase honey made from the bees buzzing through the fields, jam made from the berries growing ripe in the berry patch, and pure maple syrup from the trees towering above you. Learn the cycles of the land, become a part of your environment, and live a happier, healthier life. That’s what Georgian is all about. Most recently, construction was completed on The Shed, Windfall’s unique gathering place for friends, families, and neighbours. Residents have already had the opportunity to gather here and enjoy the gym, saunas, patio, and pools. The winter will make the indoor lounge the best place to meet and spend time together with your loved ones, with a cozy fireplace to cuddle up and share stories, laughter, and memories. Expanding on their portfolio, Georgian Communities has undertaken a transformative new project in Collingwood, bringing new life to one of the most sought-

after neighbourhoods. Inspired by the historic 19th century schoolhouse at its centre, Victoria Annex combines contemporary design and luxury interiors with bold historic architecture to capture the spirit of Collingwood’s iconic heritage style. Between the renovated schoolhouse, an inspired new coach house, and a limited collection of single and semidetached homes, Victoria Annex is creating a distinctive new address in the heart of Collingwood. Stepping back into the beauty of Oro-Medonte, the future of Georgian begins with a brand new community in Craighurst. Plans are in the making for an incredible new project consisting of modern farmhouse bungalows and two storey homes on magnificent 50’ lots surrounded by nature. It’s the best of rural life, with all the beauty and quality of a modern home. The charming Village of Craighurst is brimming with smalltown charm, neighbourly kindness, and historic character.

Connecting to the rich history of the province in a place of fertile soil and deep forests, Craighurst is surrounded by rolling green pastures and lush woodlands. In close proximity to Barrie and Orillia, urban amenities are never far, but the allure of Copeland Forest, Horseshoe Valley, Mount Saint Louis, Braestone Club, and The Ktchn are even closer to home, and to the heart. This new community will be coming to Craighurst in the near future, with new details and updates to be released in the coming months. To stay informed, register at the Georgian Communities website or at MyCraighurst.ca. As Georgian Communities diligently works towards their incredible future projects, new opportunities grow from Ontario’s iconic landscapes. Holistic living has never been as stylish, or as beautiful, as a Georgian community. These are places to reconnect, to get in touch with the land, and cultivate a better state of being. Places to grow, love, and discover. To learn more about the remarkable lifestyles Georgian Communities offers, visit their website at georgiancommunities.ca, and discover what’s in store for small-town Ontario.

table of contents

34 5 20 34

Editor’s Letter Embracing the disruption

Need to Know Five things you need to know about buying real estate this year

The Future of Homebuying Three potential real estate disruptions we should all prepare for



›› Boaz Feiner, Geranium ›› Frank Spaziani, Kylemore ›› Brian Brown, Lifetime ›› Fred Losani, Losani ›› Deena Pantalone, National ›› Scott McLellan, Plaza ›› Kelly Anderson, Silvergate ›› Angela Marotta, Solmar


Industry All-Stars

BILD REPORT 100 Years of homebuilding excellence and preparing for more

Expert Panel High level advice from some of the industry’s top builders ›› Jordan DeBrincat, Altree ›› Sunny Bao, Aoyuan ›› Shaun Levy, Flato ›› Mike Parker, Georgian

12  Builders’ Annual 2021

Homebuying insights from marketing and sales icons ›› Mark Cohen, TCS Marketing Systems ›› Debbie Cosic, In2ition Realty ›› Riz Dhanji, RAD Marketing ›› Barbara Lawlor, Baker Real Estate ›› Christopher Markovic, PMA ›› Elliott Taube, IMHG

74 78

OHBA Report Today’s young homebuyers will drive housing for years to come

Western View Bright future awaits in Hamilton and Burlington


Real Insight


Legally Speaking

Wealth transfer pushing demand on tight supply

How to prepare to buy a home


Personal Finance


Elements of Design


Six common mistakes every homebuyer should be aware of

Design experts share their inspirations

The List Builder Roster


Jacky Hill jacky.hill@nexthome.ca EXECUTIVE MEDIA CONSULTANT

Michael Rosset


Susan Legge susan.legge@nexthome.ca


Wayne Karl wayne.karl@nexthome.ca MANAGING EDITOR

Rise Levy



61 62


Jesse Abrams, Mike Collins-Williams, Kevin Crigger, Jayson Schwarz, Ted Tsiakopoulos, Joe Vaccaro, Dave Wilkes


Hope McLarnon 416.708.7987, hope.mclarnon@nexthome.ca SENIOR MEDIA CONSULTANTS

Amanda Bell 416.830.2911, amanda.bell@nexthome.ca Natalie Chin 416.881.4288, natalie.chin@nexthome.ca VICE-PRESIDENT, SALES – DIGITAL MEDIA

Virginia Knott


Leanne Speers


Sonia Presotto


Marilyn Watling


Gary Chilvers, Vi Nguyen





builder index Inside Front Cover Solmar Developments


National Homes


Georgian Communities








Mirabella Development


Lifetime Developments


Remington Group, The


Flato Developments






Tribute Communities


Mason Homes


Losani Homes


Silvergate Homes


TSC Marketing Systems





Lauren Reid–Sachs


Lisa Kelly


Yvonne Poon


Alicesa Pullan


Hannah Yarkony


Johannah Lorenzo, Mike Terentiev

Published by

nexthome.ca Advertising Call 1.866.532.2588 ext. 1 for rates and information. Fax: 1.888.861.5038 Circulation Highly targeted, free distribution network aimed at real estate buyers using street level boxes, racking and Toronto Star in-home delivery. Copyright 2021 All rights reserved. All copyright and other intellectual property rights in the contents hereof are the property of NextHome, and not that of the individual client. The customer has purchased the right of reproduction in NextHome and does not have the right to reproduce the ad or photo in any other place or publication without the previous written consent of NextHome. Terms Advertisers, Editorial content are not responsible for typographical errors, mistakes or misprints. All prices are correct as of press time. Editorial Submissions from interested parties will be considered. Please submit to the editor at editorial@nexthome.ca. nexthome.ca  13



Building Features

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of the art fitness gallery • Uber stylish rooftop entertainment venue


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• European inspired kitchens designed for the most discerning gourmet chef, equipped with top of the line professional grade

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Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances

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• Pre-engineered flooring in

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all principal rooms

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• Where convenience and

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style merge

gym and yoga room, bar lounge,

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Three Bedroom Penthouse Suite

party venue and dining room

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• Soaring ceilings with floor to ceiling windows • Engineered laminate flooring

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• Sun-soaked homes with soaring ceilings and floor to ceiling windows • Miele equipped kitchen with quartz countertops, matching backsplash

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and quiet close cabinetry

palettes and finishes • Gastro inspired kitchens with

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stainless steel appliances,

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SEMI-DETACHED $2,388,000


MOVE-IN READY TOWNS, SEMIS & PENTHOUSE SUITES AVAILABLE NOW Toronto’s most experienced condominium construction and development company has a number of suites that are now move-in ready, all in the city’s most desirable urban neighbourhoods. Visit the meticulously curated and thoughtfully designed Plaza Store today and discover the benefits of living in one of our featured communities.


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pureplaza.com Prices and specifications subject to change. Illustrations are artist’s concept. E.&O.E.


A WORLD OF LUXURY. A TRADITION OF EXCELLENCE. CUSTOM-DESIGNED SINGLES & TOWNS IN MARKHAM Register today at KylemoreLiving.com © Copyright. Kylemore. All rights reserved. Brokers protected. Actual Kylemore Model Home. 2021.

Since 1997, Kylemore has been creating master-planned communities and building new homes that prioritize the wellbeing of the families who will live in them. Our goal has been to offer residents closely-knit communities through providing a social framework as well as better living in a luxury environment. Today, we continue this tradition by making Wellness the essence of our future communities. By focusing on Wellness, we are able to expand upon this legacy by paying attention to many other aspects of lifestyle that can be enhanced by what we build, how we build, and where we build. Kylemoreliving.com

nEED TO know

5 things you need to know about buying GTA real estate this year


by Wayne Karl

s we approach the end of 2021, it’s hard to believe that in a matter of months, we will have been dealing with the challenges of the pandemic for two full years. Even more difficult to comprehend, perhaps, might just be how well real estate markets in Toronto, the GTA and elsewhere in Ontario, have performed though it all. This is not to say there isn’t any uncertainty, or things prospective homebuyers need to be aware of – caused by COVID-19 or other market influences – because there are. Let’s take a look at five of them. 1. housIng a growIng natIonal concern Housing has been an election issue at various levels before, but never quite to the degree it was in the 2021 federal campaign. Indeed, supply and affordability have become such pressing matters – not just in the GTA where various industry groups have been speaking out for years, but across much of the country – that it garnered the attention of all the major parties.

20  Builders’ Annual 2021

Eighty-five per cent of Canadians believe there is a housing affordability crisis, according to a recent survey by ReMax. And a report in mid-October from PwC Canada and the Urban Land Institute, Emerging Trends in Real Estate, summarizes that “homeownership remains a glaring issue, even in Canadian cities where it previously wasn’t.” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau cannot ignore these voices or facts any longer. Overdue government attention could finally be good news for prospective homebuyers in Toronto and elsewhere in Ontario. The Liberals made a number of promises, notably financial incentives and other initiatives for first-time buyers. These efforts might partially ease the challenges on the demand side of the equation and facilitate purchases for some, but some of the core issues relating to housing supply are largely provincial and municipal matters. And those won’t be resolved quickly. Says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association, “It’s time to move from words to action and address our region’s

housing supply problem by reducing approval times, designating land for growth, building infrastructure to support development and ensuring taxes on new development are transparent, equitable and invested as intended to support growth.” In the meantime, while many homebuyers may prefer lowrise homes and those that provide more space and bigger lots due to COVID concerns, multi-family housing (read, condos) is expected to remain a strong category, thanks to affordability. 2. Interest rates may Inch up Interest rates have been at historical lows forever. Well, not really, but the Bank of Canada’s influential overnight rate has sat at 0.25 per cent since March 2020, and most experts don’t expect any notable increase until midway through next year. A tentative economy caused by the pandemic and other factors will do that. But, with increasing concern over inflation and other issues, some rates are on the move. “Interest rates in Canada have steadily increased over the last few months, specifically fixed rates,” says Jesse Abrams, co-founder and CEO of Homewise, a mortgage advisory and brokerage in Toronto. “Many lenders increased their rates by 20 to 40 basis points in early October due to the release of new Canadian inflation numbers, which were high. There is also an expectation that inflation in Canada will continue to rise in the near future.” Variable rates, which are directly correlated to the Bank of Canada prime rate, are still near record lows. “Generally, Canada follows the U.S.’s lead when it comes to increasing rates, and both countries have pointed to the back half of 2022 before they do so,” says Abrams. “However, with inflation rising, job numbers almost back to normal, bond yields rising and escalating home prices, we may see rate increases to both fixed and variable rates sooner than expected.” So, as a number of contributors in our Expert Panel, Industry All-Stars and other content in this Builders’ Annual suggest… now is not the time to buy more home than you can really afford – especially at these prices. 3. Market perforMance Ontario has long been a stellar performer in terms of home price growth. Current COVID challenges aside, people still want to come and live and work in the GTA and elsewhere in the province. Strong and diverse economies produce employment opportunities, which lead to population growth and healthy real estate markets. The ReMax 2021 Fall Market Outlook Report, for example, cites that the province has seen some of the highest average residential price increases for singledetached homes in the country. The majority of regions saw increases between 20 and 35.5 per cent, year over year. During a pandemic. Markets where price increases were below 20 per cent include Toronto at 14.6 per cent, and Mississauga, 19.7 per cent – still very strong numbers. Most of these markets still expect to see more price growth between October and the end of the year:

prIce growth forecast to end of 2021, select ontarIo Markets Market























2 source: reMax 2021 Fall Market outlook rePort

4. IMMIgratIon on the rIse Immigration, one of the key drivers of housing demand, could return to pre-COVID levels in 2022. International immigration to Toronto was down by almost half in 2020 due to restrictions, is inching back up this year, and as many as 300,000 new immigrants could come to the GTA over the next three years. All those new federal initiatives to address homebuilding and buying discussed earlier, and whatever the provincial and municipal governments might do to on the supply front? It’s highly unlikely they will have a notable impact in the short term. Which means… it’s easy to see where housing demand and pricing will trend in the next couple years at least – upward. 5. wellness for all Wellness isn’t exactly a new concept, and it may mean different things to different people, but it’s clear that this is a growing focus of consumers, on many fronts. It’s also the topic of one of the questions we put to the participants in our Expert Panel (see page 49), and their insights discuss some of the creative ways builders and developers are addressing this interest. But it goes beyond just condo design and efficient use of space. The Emerging Trends in Real Estate report, in fact, highlights that Canada’s real estate companies are rethinking their strategies as they look ahead to 2022. “(They’re) paying close attention to several forces of change: The impacts of a changing world of work; environmental, social and governance (ESG) matters; and rising costs and competition. As they navigate these and other business pressures – including the growing concern about housing affordability – real estate companies have an opportunity to embrace creative solutions to stay ahead of the challenges and plot their growth strategies for the future.” It may all sound slightly amorphous, but a rough translation might be: There are several disruptions at play in society, the economy and housing market. For more on these, read economist Ted Tsiakopoulos’s The Future of Homebuying feature on page 34.

nexthome.ca  21






Semis & Singles 10 minutes from Barrie Register now

Upscale Townhomes 2,300 to 2,600 sq. ft. From just over $1 million

42’ & 50’ Bungalows Last chance to own. From the mid-$900’s

COMMUNITIES BUILT FOR YOU Since 1977, Geranium has been creating communities and homes designed for every stage of life. With every foundation we pour and every brick we lay, you and your family are the inspiration for how we design and build a home you can live in for years to come. We are committed to providing quality and value in every new community. And, we are constantly evolving to ensure the needs and desires of our current and future homeowners are met. Inspiring, designing, guiding, building and thriving. Built for family, by family. From the ground up.


AURORA 52’ & 61’ Detached homes Temporarily sold out. Register for next release

geranium.com Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Renderings are artist’s concept. Brokers protected. E.&O.E. September 2021.



For over four decades Geranium has been guided by a focus on outstanding Community Development, Design Innovation, Construction Excellence, and superb Customer Service. We approach the planning of every community with a view to its future residents. Our newest neighbourhood, Asprey Towns in Pickering, is a perfect example. For this collection of upscale, family-sized townhomes, connecting future residents with useable outdoor living space is equally as important as the interior design. This attention to detail is reflected throughout our homes, in lifestyle features, building materials and energy efficiency, all supported by a stringent construction program designed to provide homeowners with cost savings and enjoyment for years to come. We’ve built more than 8,500 homes and many master-planned communities contributing to the growth and development of the most desirable locations across Southern Ontario. Learn more about our communities and homes at geranium.com.

geranium.com Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Illustration is artist’s concept and may include upgraded features. Brokers protected. E.&O.E. September 2021.



“Motion in Air (Ma)” by Jennifer Macklem Motion in Air (Ma), a stunning piece of public art by Jennifer Macklem, will be displayed on over 500 recyclable and high-quality aluminum panels across Mirabella’s podium. Inspired by the concept of environmental awareness and the location’s special connection to the water, sky and plant life, the art will be a striking depiction of Toronto’s ecology aimed at sparking curiosity and an appreciation for the impact of microscopic elements in nature.

For more information | MirabellaArtToronto.com



SUI TE HN 3 3 BED 995 sq.ft

SU ITE H N3 3 BED 995 sq.ft

SU ITE H N3 3 BED 995 sq.ft


Nestled within an area featuring beautiful public parks and pathways, Humber Bay, Shores Park, the Waterfront Trail and High Park to name a few, and facing the expanse of Lake Ontario, Mirabella combines urban living within one of the most natural settings in Toronto. Our suites not only showcase our bespoke quality for enduring value but are also up to 20% larger than the average downtown urban condo, providing you with additional space to live, work and play. All suite owners have access to exclusive amenities including two shared outdoor terraces, a party room, indoor pool, yoga studio, fitness centre and more.

PR 

All dimensions, specifications, and drawings are approximate. Furniture not included. Actual square footage may vary from stated floor plan. E. & O. E. - June 16, 2021 All dimensions, specifications, and drawings are approximate. Furniture not included. Actual square footage may vary from stated floor plan. E. & O * Effective June 16, 2021 "Principal" will replace the word "Master" * Effective June 16, 2021 "Principal" will replace the word "Master"

Located at 1926 Lake Shore Blvd W. residents can enjoy great neighbourhoods, an unprecedented natural environment and a convenient commute to the downtown Toronto core, Mississauga centre and the airport. Mirabella offers Toronto living away from the congestion of downtown and without altering the convenience of your lifestyle.

All dimensions, specifications, and drawings are approximate. Furniture not included. Actual square fo * Effective June 16, 2021 "Principal" will replace the word "Master"

*Limited Time Incentive. Prices, availability and specifications are subject to change without notice. Upgrades included may vary per suite, please ask a sales representative for more information. Illustrations are artist’s concept only. Views from other levels may vary. E. & O. E.

SUITE HN3 3B | 995 sq.ft | Starting at $965,000 *

Panoramic North & East Views from Suite HN3 on Level 35

SUITE HN3 3 BED 995 sq.ft FEATURES Three well-sized bedrooms with views of the city Spacious 19’5” x 5’ balcony with awe-inspiring views of High Park and Grenadier Pond Ample storage with over 24 linear feet of closet space 12 15 1 2 Large ensuite bathroom with a full bathroom and

powder room for 11 guests and 3 family. 10 12







FLOORS 40-41 10 5

RINCIPAL* 

O. E. - June 16, 2021


Finish and electrical included* 9 8 upgrades 7 6








FLOORS 40-41

PRINCIPAL* 





9 9






8 8

7 7

10 3


10 11




FLOORS 33-39 FLOORS 33-39

PRINCIPAL* 


2 12




2 3


5 8



PRINCIPAL* 



FLOORS 40-41 12 11

ootage may vary from stated floor plan. E. & O. E. - June 16, 2021











All dimensions, FLOORS 33-39 specifications, and drawings are approximate. Furniture not included. Actual square footage may vary from stated floor plan. E. & O. E. - June 16, 2021 * Effective June 16, 2021 "Principal" will replace the word "Master"





mirabellacondos.ca 416 961 8008 | info@mirabellacondos.ca



For over four decades, Lifetime Developments has been renowned for its creation of thriving residential neighbourhoods and successful commercial properties. With an artistic fervor woven into every project, Lifetime is dedicated to holistic city building in the Greater Toronto Area, building interconnected communities with the purpose of greatly enhancing the city’s vibrant real estate and development sectors. An unrivaled passion for the industry and diverse portfolio complements Lifetime’s strong company culture that is rooted in corporate and social responsibility. Lifeline, Lifetime’s Charitable Foundation, was founded in 2014 out of the company’s commitment to actively support and enhance the communities in which they build. The foundation has since raised more than $2M for organizations that provide necessary aid and support for some of the most vulnerable and at-risk communities in the GTA and across the country.




SOON 2 G N I M CO hase P s o d n XO Co

Lifetime Developments continues to breathe new life into the corners of King & Dufferin. We love the life there and want you to have the chance to love it 2! That’s why we’re back with XO2.

Register at xo2condos.com *Prices & Specifications subject to change without notice. E.&O.E. Illustration is artist’s concepts. Brokers protected. Exclusive broker listing: Baker Real Estate Incorporated.

the place to live,

dine play

Downtown Markham Master Plan

Cineplex Cinemas Markham and VIP

Experience Downtown Markham A new generation of residents has been able to immerse themselves in the Downtown Markham experience with the completion of York Condominiums, the latest Remington



project to open its doors in Downtown Markham. Rising at the corner of Warden Avenue



condo development forms a spectacular gateway to parent company The Remington Group’s unparalleled master-

York Condominiums

Boulevard, the three-tower

planned community.

Pride of Canada Carousel

Street Art Wall: Halowuzhere, Kidlew, 2016

York Condos portends the arrival of York University’s exciting new Markham Centre campus, adding another layer to a community that already boasts an expansive public art program anchored by the one-of-a-kind Pride of Canada Carousel, an eclectic mix of dozens of upscale and quick service restaurants, the bestin-class



Markham Hotel and Rouge Park – North America’s largest urban national park, plus 72 acres of

• 243 acres • 3.7 million sq. ft. premium offices • 2.4 million sq. ft. award-winning retail • 10,000+ luxury towns and condominiums • $25 million public art program • 1 developer

Lucullus Bakers and Roasters

Downtown Markham

landscaped greenspace.


3 real estate disruptions we all need to prepare for by TED TSIAKOPOULOS


hen I was growing up, my parents always said, “prepare for the unexpected.” Nothing rings truer today, as the world continues to fight a pandemic. In these uncertain times, one thing is certain – the next decade will be very different from the last. For financially-focused Gen Zers who worry about becoming successful, what will the next 10 years look like? The oldest (aged 24) are already graduating from college and university, entering the workforce, and will be buying or renting their first home. In general, this generation will be making some tough housing decisions for the first time in the next decade. But what kind of economy will they be buying into? What challenges will they face? What skills will they need

34  Builders’ Annual 2021

to be financially independent and resilient? How can educators, realtors and builders play their part in setting them up for success in the housing market? Global crisis aside, a 3D wave is coming, and it’s going to disrupt the real estate market. Growing digitization, household debt and aging demographics will change the economic landscape as we know it.

1. The digital economy disruption We’re currently in what many experts call the birth of the digital economy – conducted through technologies such as the Internet. Put simply, it’s the economic activity generated by billions of online connections among people, businesses, machines, data and processes. This digitization will disrupt labour markets, increase supply, keep inflation and interest rates low and increase debt.

To control costs and mitigate the squeeze on profits from a slower growing economy, companies will continue to modernize equipment and processes by investing in digital technologies. This could shift the production process from labour-intensive to capital-intensive. WHAT THIS MEANS FOR GEN Z In the future, workers will be armed with better tools to do their work and their productivity should increase. Meaning, it will take them less time to do their job, negatively impacting the average hours worked per week. With a shorter work week, Gen Zers craving financial stability may need to diversify their employment options, beyond one employer. This means the gig economy will only grow in size. And, coupled with the prospect of earning less than generations before them, it will challenge Gen Zers’ ability to be financially independent. Housing affordability is already a growing concern – for owners and renters – and incomes may be hardpressed to keep pace with higher rents and house prices. Rental and housing affordability are reaching a tipping point, and more needs to be done to face this challenge head on. Educators, realtors and builders all have a part to play in positioning Gen Z for success. Occupations that are more susceptible to automation are those that are founded in routine and don’t involve a high-level of social skills. To remain relevant, Gen Zers working in these fields will need to be able to use their digital savvy to innovate and create the tasks of the future. FINANCIAL LITERACY Financial skills are important for both personal and career development. Few elementary and high school programs across the country include financial education as part of the curriculum. Basics of how the economy works, budgeting, savings and investing are not all mandatory course topics covered in the curriculum in a holistic manner, although some progress has been made recently. This is problematic, especially if we hope to put a dent in the growth of household debt in Canada. It’s never too early to learn financial literacy basics. Canadian teens rank relatively well in overall global financial literacy scores, but score lower on more basic questions pertaining to the value of savings and how interest rates work. A recent Federal Consumer Agency of Canada survey found that households have trouble distinguishing between the amortization and term of a mortgage. They also don’t understand how compound interest works. HOW REALTORS CAN HELP Some of the more traditional functions of a realtor have been displaced by technology. What hasn’t changed is the value realtors add to the homebuying process. Although technology can help package data for buyers to help inform decision-making, some buyers don’t have the experience and intuition necessary to accurately analyze data and act on it. More importantly, buyers and sellers may not have the capacity to negotiate the best price in volatile markets.

Buyers and sellers will increasingly need to leverage a realtor’s expertise to participate in the housing market. In fact, many already are. Recent survey results indicate that 78 per cent of recent homebuyers leveraged the services of a realtor in 2019, up sharply from 61 per cent in 2018. With housing affordability challenges and a growing need to rely on multiple sources of income to make ends meet, realtors will play a key role. In partnership with lenders, they can help manage Gen Z’s expectations by helping them make more rational housing decisions, ones based on their budgets and needs, not their wants. While realtors master the art of helping clients make rational decisions, they also need to stay on top of and adopt the latest digital tools. Gen Z will expect virtual video tours via social media and digital information packaged in a way to provide deeper insights that they can act on immediately.

2. The debt disruption The second element of the 3D wave is debt. Debt is a dirty word in some circles, but Gen Z has to understand how it impacts their short-term and long-term financial stability. They have to learn how to foster a healthy relationship with debt, by implementing winning debt strategies now. Their ability to buy or rent a home in the future depends on it. When saving to buy a home, consider a variable rate mortgage, especially if you can tolerate fluctuations. Why? Eight times out of 10, you would have been better off historically. But take it one step further. Not only should you tie the mortgage to the variable rate, but try tying your payment to a fixed mortgage rate schedule. This will not only force you to pay down debt and build equity faster, it will help you manage interest rate risk should rates move in the opposite direction. The foundation for financial freedom starts with a budget. Forget about having any luck with saving, investing and managing debt if you don’t have a budget. You need to create a monthly budget and make a clear distinction between what you need and what you want, so you can live within your means. Also, steer clear of the biggest budget killers – peer pressure, keeping up with latest tech devices, and emotionallydriven purchases. The bottom line: Creating a budget and sticking to it forces you to live within your means and allows you to save and get and stay out of debt. This means you’ll be able to build wealth at a younger age. When you buy a home, your bank or lender will give you a residential mortgage. This is considered “good” debt because it allows you to build equity. The more equity you have, the better off you’ll be, financially. Owning a home is one way to build wealth, but you can also do it while renting or living at home. If the rent you’re paying is less than what you’d pay on a mortgage payment, you can channel those savings into building a solid financial portfolio with diversified assets, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. Again, this takes discipline and the presence of mind to have a budget.

nexthome.ca  35

3. The aging demographic disruption Builders, city planners and the community also have a shared responsibility to set Gen Z up for success. How? By promoting more choice. By 2030, households over the age of 65 will comprise more than 20 per cent of Toronto’s population. This ratio is 50 per cent higher than the previous decade, and represents the maturing of the younger and older boomer generation. Households may be aging, but they are also living longer. As a result, aging in place will only accelerate. Given that most aging households live in lowrise housing, this will only further restrict housing options for younger buyers looking for space in the next decade. What really matters for Boomer households is living in a community they are familiar with that provides important amenities, such as transit, retail and medical services. More mid- to higher-density housing will not only provide seniors with more maintenance-free housing choices in their existing communities, but will also entice more listings and choices for Gen Z, as seniors vacate their existing space. To make this happen, we must embrace and promote collaboration between builders, city planners and the community. HOW THE INDUSTRY CAN HELP The building industry needs to alter the conversation from housing construction to housing production. The fact is, most homebuilders in North America build homes the same way they did 50 years ago. The speed of innovation and productivity growth in the construction industry has lagged other industries in Canada over the past decade. This needs to change, particularly given the opportunities that advances in technology will offer over the next decade. First and foremost, leveraging technology will help alleviate accelerating labour shortages, owing to an

36  Builders’ Annual 2021

aging population, over the next decade. Secondly, by manufacturing pre-fabricated parts in an offsite facility and shipping parts to a building site for final assembly will boost productivity. This will help reduce production costs, which in turn will restrain price increases and provide more affordable options for Gen Z residents. It is reassuring to see some homebuilders having adopted these building practices, especially in Sweden, Australia and Asia. Closer to home, a few Toronto-based companies manufacture different home panels and use robotics for final assembly before shipping parts to local job sites. The pandemic is a stark reminder of the uncertain times we live in. Preparing as best as we can for the 3D disruption will be the difference between success and failure. We all have a shared responsibility to guide the next generation along a path of success. We also have the luxury of history on our side. Identifying best practices that worked over time, while staying clear of practices that didn’t can help achieve better results. The courage of frontline workers fighting the pandemic tells me we will remain resilient in the face of future change.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and should not be construed as financial or investment advice. Ted Tsiakopoulos is a professional economist and sought-after speaker with more than 25 years of experience analyzing housing and financial markets. He has also worked as an investment counsellor on Bay Street in Toronto. This is an edited excerpt from the bestselling book, Property Trendsetters: Successful Toronto Real Estate Experts Share Key Insider Secrets, published by Fatima Omar Khamissa & Platinum Publishing, and available on Amazon.

We Build Build Communities. We Communities. We Build Communities.

We keep community’s requirements closely in mind, explore all different opportunities with our stakeholders and find the best plan for each of our master-planned neighbourhoods. We closelyin inmind, mind,explore exploreallalldifferent different opportunities Wekeep keepcommunity’s community’s requirements requirements closely opportunities We listen to the communities needs and support non-profit organizations and public facilities. with best plan planfor foreach eachof ofour ourmaster-planned master-planned neighbourhoods. withour ourstakeholders stakeholders and and find find the the best neighbourhoods. We create neighbourhoods and build homes to make homeowner’s lives better. We and support supportnon-profit non-profitorganizations organizations and public facilities. Welisten listento tothe thecommunities communities needs and and public facilities. We build communities. Wecreate createneighbourhoods neighbourhoods and lives better. We and build buildhomes homesto tomake makehomeowner’s homeowner’s lives better.










See Sales Rep for details. Prices and specifications are subject to change without notice. Rendering is artist’s concept. E. & O.E. FLATOGROUP.COM | info@flatogroup.com | FLATOGROUP.COM | info@flatogroup.com |

Building complete communities



home is about more than just the bricks and mortar. It’s about the neighbtourhood, local parks, convenient amenities and a sense of community. For Flato Developments, designing and building a master-planned community begins by creating a sense of place and a strong connection to the community. “We believe that building communities is more than just building homes,” said Shakir Rehmatullah, president of Flato Developments. “That is why we strive to create dynamic and vibrant neighbourhoods, for homeowners at all stages of their lives, while giving back to the communities we operate and build in.” From York Region to Simcoe County, and most recently in the Village of Dundalk, a burgeoning community in Grey County, Flato Developments has a proven record of keeping the community’s needs

38  Builders’ Annual 2021

in mind when they create complete communities with rich amenities and services.

Discovering Dundalk’s newest community Flato is the biggest developer in the Village of Dundalk, with two premier lowrise residential projects underway, Edgewood Greens and Carriage House. Edgewood Greens is the perfect place to put down roots. With 1,200 new spacious homes up to 4,000 sq. ft., families looking for more space can find homes with elegant living and dining areas, plenty of room to create a home office or study area and large private backyards. Interested homebuyers are encouraged to register to learn more about new phases coming soon. Carriage House is an exquisite collection of well-crafted townhomes and detached homes that offer magnificent heritage exteriors and the kind of interior

features and finishes families love. With designer kitchens, nineft. ceilings throughout, custom stonework and so much more, the homes have been meticulously designed to make a statement in a community that is truly like no other. “We listened to local residents’ needs when we worked on the plan for this new community,” says Rehmatullah. “We worked with our stakeholders and the municipality to find the best plan for the township and the community.” Flato learned there was an urgent need for an apartment for

seniors, so instead of creating a plan that included only lowrise residential homes, the company put an adult lifestyle apartment into the master plan. Residents at Edgewood Suites can choose from studio rentals, one-bedrooms or two-bedroom suites and discover safe, carefree and comfortable living at its finest. The building is nearing completion and will be a welcome addition to the community. Flato also looked at the healthcare facilities in the area and worked with the township and Grey Bruce Health Services to build a new full service clinic right in heart of Dundalk, donating $1 million to make it happen. “In 2020, Flato donated $1 million to South East Grey Community Health Centre, a charity organization providing health care services and programs to the residents of Grey County. This gift will help build a full-service health clinic in Dundalk, expanding access to primary care, mental health, social and home care services to area residents,” says Rehmatullah. As the charming village continues to grow, there is a need for more retail, grocery and services. Realizing this, Flato converted the plan for townhomes to a commercial plaza, Edgewood Plaza, right off Hwy 10. Edgewood Plaza features 700- to 5,000-sq.-ft. units. With more diverse residential housing, an apartment for seniors, a new retail/commercial plaza, healthcare services, and enhanced parks and nature trails, Flato is building a complete

community in Dundalk that is a result of unparalleled community engagement.

Committed to community service Since its founding in 2005, Flato has been committed to supporting charities and causes in places where the developer operates and builds new communities. From giving to local hospitals and clinics to promoting arts and culture, Flato is dedicated to positive change in our communities. Flato has supported the arts in King Township, with donations to Arts Society King (ASK). The company has also donated to the King Township Food Bank and other community food banks. Flato recently donated $20,000 to the Run for Vaughan, which supports the Cortellucci Vaughan Hospital and was instrumental in the creation of the Shakir Rehmatullah Cancer Clinic at the Markham Stouffville Hospital. Flato also actively supports Markdale Hospital in Grey County, and its lobby now bears the name Flato Developments, as well as

the South East Grey Community Health Centre, Headwaters Hospital in Dufferin County, and Stevenson Memorial Hospital in New Tecumseth.

Dedicated to building complete communities Flato Developments has introduced a new and refreshing spirit to community building across southern Ontario. The homebuilder has established a reputation for paying meticulous attention to the finest details. Understanding the unique needs of each community is how Flato excels at seamlessly integrating a new neighbourhood into an existing one, how the builder offers distinctive homes with innovative designs, and how the company goes above and beyond to ensure customer and community satisfaction. “This is all part of our corporate mission, not just building homes but enhancing the complete communities we develop,” adds Rehmatullah.

To learn more about Flato Developments, and register for information about upcoming communities straight to your inbox, visit flatogroup.com.

Nothing Compares to the Feeling of Home


Our vision has always been to develop complete communities that promote a healthy lifestyle for our residents and neighbourhoods. This means a diversity of uses, more livable spaces, and a real connection to the surrounding area. Vancouver


Information is subject to change. Illustration is artist’s impression E. & O.E.


Hong Kong

The magnificent second chapter.

Information is subject to change. Illustration is artist’s impression E. & O.E.

M2M SQUARED is the most transformative phase of the extraordinary M2M Community. With a daycare, community centre and public park, it is the culmination of a grand vision. Standing tall above Yonge and Finch, along with its numerous life-enhancing amenities and modern, livable suites, M2M SQUARED is second to none. REGISTER NOW



BILD – 100 years of homebuilding excellence and preparing for more by DAVE WILKES


ur association came into being on April 5, 1921, when five builders from Toronto gathered at 26 Adelaide St. W. Their objective that day was to create an industry association for Toronto’s homebuilders. The new organization was aptly named the Toronto Home Builders’ Association and the first president was Howard Addison Johnston. Our association has been there over the years – through the Great Depression, the Second World War, the post-war period of rapid expansion, and later the founding of what was to become the Canadian Home Builders’ Association and the Ontario Home Builders’ Association. With the creation and expansion of the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, we became the Metropolitan Toronto

46  Builders’ Annual 2021

Home Builders’ Association. We were there through the rise of the condominium after the introduction of the first Condominium Act in 1968, and the passing of the Ontario Building Code in the 1970s. We represented the industry through the turbulent 1980s, which came in with a 22.5-percent interest rate, and went out with a downturn in housing that would last until the mid-1990s. With the creation of the Greater Toronto Area, we evolved again to become the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association. Then on to the Growth Plan, the merger with the Urban Development Institute to create BILD, and the last decade and a half of unprecedented growth. Throughout our history, our association has been led by volunteers who have cared deeply about the health and vitality of the industry and about providing a wide range of

Photo: Shutterstock

In the 2000s, the Growth Plan directed where growth should occur – preferably around existing infrastructure and transit.

Victory House

Photo: Shutterstock

The 1980s marked two significant events – inflation and the condominium becoming a housing staple in the GTA.

Photo: John Provenzano

housing choices, home renovations, and commercial, office and manufacturing work spaces. The walls of BILD’s offices are covered with the names of people who have supported the industry and its objectives through their participation. As we close out our first 100 years and as we (hopefully) approach the aftermath of the most serious global pandemic in 100 years, it is clear that our region is facing some very difficult decisions on the future. Looking forward to the next 100 years, BILD’s role is more vital than ever. Layers of policy, regulation and red tape are hampering the industry’s ability to meet the GTA’s demand for housing, distorting the market and ultimately threatening the competitiveness of the region and our collective quality of life. Like the industry, the association continues to evolve, to help address the generational challenges that our region is experiencing. For the last 100 years, the cities and towns of the GTA have been a beacon, welcoming new Canadians from all over the world. This, combined with natural population growth and the massive rural-to-urban migration of the last century, consistently made the GTA one of the fastestgrowing urban areas in North America. From 1920 to 1950 the population doubled, then doubled again by the start of the 1990s and then again to today. Residential, commercial and institutional development has provided housing, employment spaces, schools, hospitals and all the recreational amenities we enjoy today, for nearly seven million people. The GTA generates 20 per cent of Canada’s GDP and 50 per cent of Ontario’s GDP. Our quality of life and economic strength are rooted in our ability to attract and retain highly educated and skilled workers and provide them with desirable places to live, work and play.

Unfortunately, in the last 20 years, building more homes and workspaces has been more restricted, costly and time consuming than ever. The current provincial government has brought in welcome changes with its Housing Supply Action Plan, but it is up to the municipalities to do the work of updating their policies to meet the new requirements. With more than four million more new residents expected by 2051, now is the time to ask ourselves what type of future we want and have an honest, open and factual dialogue about the challenges and realities of accommodating population growth.

Dave Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the homebuilding, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, @ bildgta or visit bildgta.ca.

nexthome.ca  47

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contributors 2021 Expert Panel

High level advice from some of the industry’s top builders

JORDAN DEBRINCAT Vice-President Altree Developments

SUNNY BAO Lead Project Manager Aoyuan International

SHAUN LEVY Vice-President Finance & Operations | Flato Developments

MIKE PARKER Vice-President Sales & Marketing | Georgian Communities

BOAZ FEINER President Geranium

FRANK SPAZIANI Vice-President Kylemore Communities

BRIAN BROWN Principal Lifetime Developments


DEENA PANTALONE Managing Partner National Homes

SCOTT MCLELLAN Senior Vice-President Plaza

KELLY ANDERSON Sales & Marketing Manager Silvergate Homes

ANGELA MAROTTA Director of Sales & Marketing | Solmar Development Corp.

Industry All-Stars

Homebuying insights from marketing and sales icons

MARK COHEN Managing Partner TCS Marketing Systems Inc.

DEBBIE COSIC Founder and CEO In2ition Realty

RIZ DHANJI President RAD Marketing

BARBARA LAWLOR President and CEO Baker Real Estate Inc.


ELLIOTT TAUBE President International Home Marketing Group nexthome.ca  49

EXPERT PANEL by WAYNE KARL Due to COVID-19 and other factors, prospective new-home buyers are more carefully weighing location, housing type, design and amenities – and affordability – than ever before.

To help you understand all the issues to make a better, more informed homebuying decision, we went to some of the industry’s top builders and developers for expert advice.

Jordan DeBrincat Vice-President Altree Developments What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Function is everything – whether you are looking for a detached house, townhome or condominium, the layout and functionality of your home are everything. It is one thing to look at a 2D plan and think it looks great, but another to mentally walk through the plan and comprehend the functionality of each room. This is the process I personally take when we are designing each of the floorplans for our buildings, and it’s something unique for each purchaser to consider, when they are purchasing. In any building, there are multiple floorplans that come with various sizes and pricing. Once the price point is determined, there are normally a few floorplans that fall into that price point that can be very different. By taking the approach of understanding the functionality of the plan, it can be the difference of just purchasing a unit, or purchasing a home.

incorporate that into our development. When designing individual suites, we always have a few that are more geared towards investors, and those that are geared towards end users. The main component of being able to offer different types of housing is that each buyer type is looking for something different; an investor is looking for a comfortable plan that they could rent out to either one or two different individuals, while an end user is looking for space and functionality. We also try to tailor the amenities to all buyer demographics. Offering amenities, such as a pool, kids centre, gym or co-working space, is something that can speak to all buyer profiles. How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

One of the biggest needs we are seeing from purchasers coming out of the pandemic is a definition of spaces within a unit. There are always two approaches to take when designing a suite – “open-concept” or “separate room” – and people are looking for suites that have more defined separate spaces. There has been a huge shift to working from home during the pandemic, and it is hard to do so when you have an openconcept space. The idea of setting up a den or second bedroom as a home office has become much more prevalent, and is one of the only ways to be able to separate work and home. If there is no clear definition of these spaces, people tend to always feel “connected” and as though they aren’t able to have a break or disconnect from work. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

Whether the buyer is an investor, end user, first-time homebuyer or empty-nester, we really do think about each want and need to these respective groups, and we try and 50  Builders’ Annual 2021

Living/working in one of the best cities in the world comes with its perks and its downfalls; the perks are self-explanatory, and the downfalls sometimes harder to understand. Living in a city such as Toronto, you really have the best in class when it comes to architects, interior designers and construction managers, and all of these benefits come with a price. While it is our job to provide housing to everyone in the city of Toronto, and do so for the most cost effective/efficient price as possible, sometimes there are certain items we cannot control. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

One of the main issues with the supply and affordability of housing in Toronto is the timeline it takes for our applications to be processed, reviewed and approved at the city level. There are so many entities that need to provide their approval on development before developers are able to start. As a result, there is a considerable amount of time that we have to allocate for our approvals process. The longer our application takes to be approved, the more money we spend on carrying the land, which ultimately affects the price we need to sell at to make these projects feasible.

Expert Panel

This is likely to be a permanent rather than temporary change. As people spent more time at home, the need to incorporate parcel delivery-friendly systems, creating suitable common elements, such as enlarged fitness space and additional workflex infrastructures, became more important than ever. Smart building features that include touchless technology in common spaces will also be valued by residents. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

Sunny Bao Lead Project Manager Aoyuan International (Eastern Canada)

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

With the unprecedented escalation in some construction materials that occurred in 2021, and that imbalanced supply and demand issues remain, we can expect GTA housing prices to continue to climb. Hence, I will echo what some in the industry are advocating – don’t wait to buy, but buy and wait. As the industry is adapting into COVID-19, we are seeing that preconstruction launch activities are picking up, more so for the downtown area. This provides a variety of offerings for investors, so it is important for buyers to do their due diligence by visiting the neighbourhood, “kicking the tires” and understanding the overall development plan for the area. Of course, we expect some of the pandemic-driven behaviours will remain for the foreseeable future – residents preferring space and overall livability of the area over location, solely. So, the overall appetite and investment value for suburban or nondowntown areas are likely to remain high. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

We believe that purchasing a new home isn’t just buying a room with four walls, it’s about embracing a healthy lifestyle. From land acquisition to development, we try to bring out the unique character of each site and incorporate Aoyuan’s philosophy to bring soul to each project. At M2M, we aim to satisfy the need of the demographic and the neighbourhood by offering family-oriented products, coupled with the right residential and neighbourhood amenities, including a public park, a more than 46,00-sq.-ft. community centre and 11,000 sq. ft. of daycare space. This is a great example of how we bring “building a healthy lifestyle” to life in North York. Our upcoming downtown Toronto project will follow suit in terms of the development process, but for a very different target audience. We are excited to share more details of this project as they become available, so stay tuned. How is your company addressing the affordability issue? We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability.

We believe that having a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t be unaffordable. We’ve been developing products that aim to maximize horizontal and vertical space by leveraging our unique strength from successfully developing residentials in some of the most expensive and highest density cities in the world. At M2M, we have units that are ideal for multigenerational living, maximizing livability and affordability. Also, in our first phase of M2M, Aoyuan’s A First Home program focused on smaller one-bedroom and one-bedroom plus den suites, and received tremendous response. We were able to offer great suites at a price that helped first-time homebuyers realize their dreams and get into the housing market. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

We believe that the affordability issue should be addressed for Canadians. To rebalance the supply side of the equation would be crucial in addressing affordability. This may be effectively addressed by inducing the private and public sector to deliver more supply via government backed programs, accelerating the planning approval process for developers, and increasing density among transit hubs. Also, measures in making mortgages affordable for appropriate homebuyers would be welcomed by the public. nexthome.ca  51

Expert Panel

Shaun Levy Vice-President Finance & Operations Flato Developments

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

We at Flato believe that there will be increased opportunities for new-home buyers to enter the market in 2022. Interest rates will remain low, although we do forecast an increased interest rate environment going forward, probably later in 2022 or early 2023. This, in itself, could give impetus to new buyers as inventory comes online. Flato has a pipeline of new builds coming, and we look forward to selling to some of these purchasers. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

Flato has differentiated itself by having a longer-term deposit structure that has encouraged buyers to purchase a Flato home. In addition, we build communities and pride oursleves on giving back to the communities, both current and some that we may not build in. How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Building outside the GTA is helping our customers who are first-time buyers get into a market that is priced lower, and thereby giving opportunity where there may not have been in the GTA for these buyers. Flato also seeks to offer more housing types, such as traditional and back-to-back townhomes in our new communities, to increase affordability. In addition, we provide a unique deposit structure to encourage new buyers. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

We need approvals to build more housing. It’s that simple. There is huge demand for homeownership, with purchasers wanting more space and open areas. Flato is attempting to meet these needs with our current and future master-planned communities that include homes, commercial plazas and rental apartments for seniors. 52  Builders’ Annual 2021

Expert Panel

Mike Parker Vice-President Sales & Marketing Georgian Communities

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Recognize that the process for purchasing a pre-construction home is more extensive than a resale, therefore if it’s your first new build, do some research in advance. Tarion Warranty Corp.’s website is a good place to start. From a budgetary perspective, understand that deposit structures may vary, and although every buyer is different, be prepared for some costs associated to upgrades you may want above and beyond the standard features and finishes. It’s always a good idea to do your own research on the builder, and whenever possible, visit other developments by the builder that are completed or in progress to get a sense of the care and the quality being delivered. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

Wellness design was a trend prior to the pandemic. However, people have spent many additional hours at home and have had more time to critique their living spaces. Flexible spaces in the home for work and/or school, better storage solutions and outdoor living/garden areas are a few key wellness designs that are here to stay. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

We focus on thoughtful consideration as to how people want to live in their home and their community, and look for creative ways to add value that far exceeds price. We have an entire team of visionaries and are extremely passionate about our communities, and that passion can be found in everything we do. We deliver so much more than a home – we create and build communities.

We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

This is a very complex issue with many layers. However, from a new community developer and builder perspective, there has still been very little done to support the federal government’s commitment to reduce red tape and make it more efficient to build homes in Ontario. The land development process, start to finish, requires extensive front-end investments and a number of approvals, locally and provincially. It simply takes too long for development projects to move forward, even when a development fits squarely within a municipality’s Official Plan. Local, provincial and national homebuilding associations must be considered as strategic partners with the various levels of government in order to create specific action plans. All facets of the community building process must be taken into consideration to create attainable cost savings that can be passed on to new-home buyers.

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Expert Panel

Boaz Feiner President Geranium What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

When searching for the home that’s right for your family, think about your future needs as far as it is possible. Buying a home is likely your largest investment, and it’s critical to consider things that are important to you, such as work/life balance, what you value, and what makes you happy. There is quite a lot of volatility but also opportunity in our lives today, I encourage you to be confident in your homebuying decision. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

Good home design has always been a priority for Geranium, and our goal is to provide our purchasers with maximum use of every square foot of interior space. For example, about 10 years ago, we eliminated separate formal living and dining rooms in favour of open-concept Great Rooms, especially in our smaller layouts. Today, in Midhurst Valley, our standard floorplan is a three-bedroom plus media, rather than a four-bedroom. This way, we include additional shared living space for a family who may only need three bedrooms. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

As a land developer as well as a new-home builder, we are in a unique position to address how the whole community will evolve. We provide numerous parks, parkettes and landscaped areas in tune with the expected resident demographic. In each location, we evaluate what we can add to the existing community and plan accordingly. For example, Friday Harbour Resort in Innisfil is a completely different design than Midhurst Valley, or Cardinal Point in Stouffville.

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Expert Panel

Frank Spaziani Vice-President Kylemore Communities

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Purchase a home in a location that meets your current needs and where you will want to reside in the future. Look for designs offering flexibility and that can adapt to how your family will live, grow, age, celebrate, relax, enjoy recreation and, possibly, work in. Do your research to find a new home builder that offers these components. By putting your hard-earned dollars into homeownership, you are on the right track to a secure future. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

In 2019 pre-pandemic, Kylemore introduced a brand refresh to focus on Wellness within the built environment. Our positioning is reflected in our tagline “Live. Wellness.” These words signify a commitment by the Kylemore team to design and construct with wellness in mind. The emphasis on wellness takes our brand into the future while building on our past success. A home is typically our most important personal investment. To us, it is logical that they should also be an investment in our clients’ overall health and well-being. The homes we are selling at Angus Glen South Village in Markham today were designed and refined during the pandemic, and we took the opportunity to make further additions to the wellness components we were already including. These homes provide options for the modern and multi-generational family, with in-law and nanny suites, coach houses, home offices, yoga/meditation and fitness rooms, ample laundry rooms, craft rooms, large open gathering areas as well as quiet, private spaces. Our homes also include features such as large triple-glazed windows throughout for added insulation properties, improved sound and indoor air quality, and high ceilings that promote good air circulation. They also allow for oversized windows and doors where interiors will benefit from lots of natural light, views and connection to the outdoors, solar panel ready rough-in and

complete electric vehicle charging connections, low VOC paints and adhesives, smart home technology for continuous monitoring of humidity, security, heating and cooling and managing energy costs. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

We do offer something different; we are a luxury homebuilder that also creates master-planned communities providing families with parks, open spaces, access to schools, and convenient retail areas and exclusive membership to Angus Glen Golf Club, which is the hub of our community. We include a range of homes that give residents the opportunity to move up and scale down, while remaining in a complete community that they love. We also provide an abundance of choice in features and finishes, including options for customization. How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Kylemore supports the City of Markham’s affordable housing initiative to create inclusive, modern communities. We will work with staff to achieve the desired planning objectives for affordable housing, as well as many other components, specifically in transit-oriented developments such as our Langstaff-Gateway community. In Angus Glen South Village, we have several home designs that include self-contained Coach Houses, as well as larger layouts suitable for multiple generations under one roof. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

Focus investment on creating rapid transit transportation such as what exists in London, Paris and New York. And recognizing that the onset of the pandemic has fostered the ability for work-from-home options and job place flexibility, we need as much support as possible to add to the existing housing stock in communities people want to live in. nexthome.ca  55

Expert Panel

Brian Brown Principal Lifetime Developments What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Many forecasted that the pandemic would have created new opportunities for bargains in the marketplace but, despite a slight pause, this could not have been further from the truth. Over the last year alone, we have seen sites that were held off the market in 2020, launch with great success and many even selling out in a short period of time. Pricing has not only held firm, but has increased over the last year, and the rental market is rebounding very quickly as international students return to in-person learning, the hospitality industry reopens and welcomes guests back to their establishments, and as the government slowly reopens the borders to immigration once again. All this points to further price increases in the marketplace, and greater appreciation of any pre-existing real estate holdings, as the issue of supply will continue to be outpaced by the demand. What does this all mean? If you’re considering purchasing a new home, there is no reason to wait. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design, to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

The pandemic has definitely forced developers into new conversations and ways of thinking about wellness and design. These types of concerns have actually risen to the forefront of key determining factors people are taking into consideration when choosing their next home investment. On our end, we’ve spent the last 18-plus months looking at our buildings – how we build them, specifically water and air quality in our condo developments. We have examined the shared amenities, turning a greater focus to outdoor living, improving the fitness offerings, examining work-from-home space requirements and ensuring suitable space is allocated to package deliveries in our lobbies. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

Our culture at Lifetime is one where we’re constantly looking at how we can innovate. We are always looking at our processes, how we build, and what more we can offer our clients. It’s led to some hard conversations with our consultants and peers, where we have tried to break the mould on many occasions, and it has ultimately led to some incredible advancements between projects. Lifetime has also been a strong supporter of the arts and culture in our city, and we look to integrate that into each of our projects by collaborating with different artists. Some artists are local, such as George Pimentel, who we worked with on Oscar Residences or Anthony Ricciardi on Liberty Market 56  Builders’ Annual 2021

Tower. Others are international, such as Jun Kaneko and Lenny Kravitz, who we worked with on the Bisha Hotel. It gives our projects a truly unique component that both buyers and investors have grown to appreciate. Our ties to art and culture have also opened the door to us building out our philanthropic initiatives through Lifetime’s Lifeline Foundation. Our focus, since the pandemic, has been on our See You Soon Toronto initiative, which I launched with eTalk’s Tyrone Edwards, and local artist Ben Johnston. Together we’ve raised more than $425,000 to date, with 100 per cent of those funds going back to the community through COVID relief programs, mental health programming, and meal drops to shelters and our frontline workers. We were also able to support our hospitality industry, especially when they were substantially impacted in the early days of the pandemic. How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Several of our developments include affordable housing or rental suites, and we’ve been able to partner with some incredible charitable organizations that have helped us find the right people and communities for these types of units. We also spend a great deal of time on suite designs when we’re planning our developments to ensure that we’re maximizing space as best as possible, knowing that people are choosing to live in smaller units because of affordability. We continue to look for new opportunities to incorporate affordable units in our developments and we have some larger developments coming up, that will offer a substantial affordable component. Ultimately, though, this issue needs to be tackled by all levels of government and our industry together and in a cooperative manner. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

Our industry and the government need to work much more collaboratively and as partners in tackling this issue. Housing and affordability will remain an issue so long as supply of new homes is low in comparison to demand. If we want to continue to grow as a world-class city, we need to be able to provide housing to all types of buyers. Further, our industry needs to be recognized and supported for its major contribution to the health and growth of our economy. This is a time to come together and work together towards a solution as we all have a common goal.

Expert Panel

Fred Losani CEO Losani Homes

keep this in mind, incorporating direct waterfront access, walking distance to shopping, transit and community centres, built-in community parks, or for commuters, easy access to highways. Our communities and homes constantly get above market resale values. We are also amongst the preeminent homebuilders that offer choice and affordability within the most attractive alternate GTA communities. What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Prices are stabilizing, interest rates remain extremely low, and buyers should be aware that opportunity will increase accordingly. Despite price increases, homes just outside the inner GTA, in areas such as West Niagara, Brantford and Brant County, remain affordable relative to their GTA counterparts. Workfrom-home arrangements make these more-affordable locations practical. However, the real problem is supply, and buyers should research opportunities diligently. Buyers should also investigate the status of developments when they purchase, to avoid projects that have too many hurdles to cross for approvals or have closing dates too far into the future. There may be too much uncertainty in those projects. Buyers should make more informed decisions. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

It has become clear that quality of life is paramount in buyers’ decision-making. Home offices and study areas, new, faster and more reliable Internet technology supply, amenity spaces within the properties, and complete communities are top of buyers’ lists. For condominium units, we are designing larger balconies and incorporating more amenities within and around the buildings. Losani Homes has always had the most robust customization program of any builder in Canada to meet the various needs of buyers. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

Homeownership has never been as important for lifestyle and safety. All current and upcoming Losani Homes communities

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Choice and location allow us to offer the most selection at affordable pricing across southwestern Ontario. We currently have more than 8,000 new residential units currently at or near a stage that they can be offered for sale in several markets. We are petitioning municipalities to facilitate their approvals and relieve the strain on supply. We are also working with municipal staff and politicians to obtain approvals for functional build forms that reduce cost and expand variety, such as back-to-back homes and mixeduse communities. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

A lack of supply is absolutely the dominant reason why we have an affordability issue. If municipal staff and council would approve the applications in the pipeline for approvals, tens of thousands of units would be available immediately. Prior to the pandemic, our industry struggled with the drawn-out municipal approval systems. Now with municipal staff mainly working from home, and at a time when the release of new housing starts is needed more than ever, the struggle has become far worse. In addition to the delays at the municipal level, roughly 950,000 acres of land within the most affordable portion, Ontario Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan Area is now subject to a moratorium on development, as declared by the Haudenosaunee Confederacy Chiefs Council in April of this year. This area is commonly known as the Haldimand Tract. More than 1,500 sold, draft-approved or potential new homes were stopped from development in 2020 alone on account of land claims. Inaction by the federal government in dealing with this crisis has cost Canadians their affordable new homes, prevented thousands more from achieving homeownership, and has put any homebuilder looking to invest in new home development at significant risk. nexthome.ca  57

Expert Panel

Deena Pantalone Managing Partner National Homes

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

Now more than ever, it’s important to look for a developer with a proven track record that will deliver what it promised, has good relationships with the trades and stands behind its product. While sales have been strong and life is slowly getting back to normal, with restrictions lifting, unfortunately, the effects of the pandemic are still being felt on the construction side of the business. Purchasing from a developer that has weathered a few ups-and-downs in the market over the years is a good barometer for what to expect going forward. At National, we feel consistent communication with purchasers is essential right now. That’s why we designed a customer care program that ensures the entire process, from purchase to closing, and delivery is a positive one. Our Homeowner Portal acts as a communication hub for all you need to know about the construction of your new home. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

Green thinking is at the heart of every National home. That balance in life that we all need comes in many forms, from the quality of the air we breathe, to reducing our energy consumption, right down to our own healthy living practices. We call this Your Greenprint. So, from incorporating Green features and practices in the building of our homes, through to our Bright Ideas, we are constantly looking for ways to simplify our purchasers’ lives, keep them organized, and ultimately give them back precious time to spend with family and friends. And when we look for sites, we focus on locations that allow for a direct connection to nature (often right outside your back door), while also being conveniently located close to schools, transit and everyday amenities. Greenprint is more than a promise to purchasers, it’s a philosophy that drives our every decision. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

“You Are the Blueprint” isn’t just an empty tagline. We truly put our customers first and take the time to listen throughout the homebuying process, including hosting extensive Blueprint Workshops and focus groups before going to market, to ensure we’re building homes and condos that people want to live in. 58  Builders’ Annual 2021

Right now, for example, we are giving real estate a ReThink with something called “YouPrint,” a wide-ranging survey about homebuyer preferences that we have made accessible to thousands of potential buyers and past homeowners. We analyze every bit of feedback we receive, share this information and build on it. We encourage everyone to join in by visiting us at nationalhomes.com to let us know their thoughts. How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

Affordability is an ongoing issue in the GTA, and lack of supply is at the core. On the lowrise side, National will be introducing a collection of homes in our Whitehorn Woods project in Mississauga that feature secondary suites. This allows purchasers to legally rent their space and help pay down their mortgage while also offering additional rental housing in the community. National is also expanding further into the highrise market, and will be bringing more than 600 condo suites to Brampton over the next few years. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

To encourage and embrace the implementation of technology in the city planning departments to help facilitate the approval process. If they could reduce the amount of red tape imposed on development, and greenlight the much needed infrastructure projects, it would certainly help. Also, encouraging densification in municipalities that can handle it. And, of course, increasing funding for transit, so people can live outside of the downtown core and still commute easily and efficiently.

Expert Panel

Scott McLellan Senior Vice-President Plaza

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

It’s very important to understand your personal finances and get properly pre-approved for a mortgage. It’s also very important to understand the timeline, because one of the things that the pandemic has had an impact on is occupancy dates. Our industry struggles to meet timelines due to the impact of COVID-related items, such as material and labour shortages. So, it is key to research your builder, to make sure it is recognized as one of the top builders by Tarion Warranty Corp. to ensure that even during difficult times, you know your builder will be there to help you. There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

There’s a lot we have to do as an industry with Toronto Green Standard implementation, and we have to adhere to a lot of building code issues that could be much Greener. Also, things such as social distancing and how amenities would be laid out – such as treadmills being placed farther apart, wider spaces to allow for social distancing – to happen within the community would change the way we look at high-density living spaces. What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers.?

How is your company addressing the affordability issue?

As we look at the design of our suites, one of the things we are most proud of is that we have been able to offer great design in smaller spaces, leading to prices that are very affordable. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

Put pressure on municipalities, particularly in the GTA, about opening the supply chain. The government spends a lot of money on infrastructure, such as transit hubs, and to ensure they are being fully utilized, we need to increase the density in the area. It would be great to see the government work with the municipalities to create more supply in the GTA to help with affordability. The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre is a great example where the transit hub set-up has much increased the supply of housing needs. More supply means better affordability, and as there is more supply, we may see prices moderate. And if there was an oversupply, prices may even come down.

What makes our projects unique is location, as all of our locations are either in the downtown core or on major transit hub lines. We also take great pride, as the 2020 Tarion Homeowner Choice Award winners, to strive to put our purchasers first and have all our processes directed to make sure our purchasers are taken care of.

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Expert Panel

Kelly Anderson Sales & Marketing Manager Silvergate Homes

What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

There’s been a lot of discussion about wellness and new home design to address emerging needs coming out of the pandemic. What’s your take on this?

The one thing we can all agree on, as a result of the pandemic, is that our lifestyles have changed considerably. People are revaluating what “home” means to them. This includes working from home, working out at home, entertaining (of course, when we are able to do so, safely) and more. We are witnessing a trend where homebuyers are looking to enrich their lives by moving closer to amenityrich communities, such as the Niagara Region, that offer an abundance of walking and hiking paths, pet-friendly parks, waterfront trails and open space, and all the same conveniences of big city living. Silvergate Homes offers two new home communities that cater to this: Legends on the Green, backing onto a renowned Niagara Falls golf course; and Village on the Twelve, in a wellestablished area in St. Catharines. In addition to the communities themselves, Silvergate is tailoring the home interiors to focus on the latest home designs, including home offices, fitness and entertainment areas. We want each and every home we build to promote happiness and well-being. If you can achieve this in the comfort of your home, your everyday life will benefit. Large, covered porches, for example, have become a staple in our designs, allowing homeowners to take in the natural settings surrounding them, creating a harmonious and peaceful space to relax and enjoy.

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Silvergate Homes prides itself on unique, quality design, craftsmanship and attention to detail. This can be seen in every stage, from community planning, to floorplan designs and layouts, construction, features and finishes, quality materials, and more. We take great care in ensuring our homes are efficiently built and address all homebuyers’ needs and wants. Appealing to market demand, we have shifted our focus to constructing bungalow townhomes. Of utmost importance is thinking outside the box. Although the homes are attached, we use various materials and colour palettes for each individual unit, which gives every home its own unique and personalized feel. Building Energy Star homes has always been of the greatest importance to Silvergate. We believe that we should build homes that contribute to the well-being of the next generation. Incorporating large windows into our designs allows for an abundance of natural light. Other efficient building practices include eco-friendly designs, higher R-values in homes, LED lighting, and Energy Star rated fixtures. In addition, we strategically select community locations surrounded by natural features such as golf courses, greenery, walking paths and waterfront. We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

Affordability is certainly a challenge for many homebuyers. However, homeownership is truly a lifelong investment that most Canadians strive to achieve. Leadership that allows the development process to be streamlined at all levels of government will ensure that developers can bring new homes to market faster. In turn, this keeps an adequate supply of housing available to meet the demand. This would assist in reducing shortages and support our industry as a whole.

Expert Panel

Angela Marotta Director of Sales & Marketing Solmar

What advice would you like to offer new-home buyers, as we approach 2022?

a builder, we provide choice thanks to our range of product and strategic development planning. We have seen repeat Solmar homeowners cross over from condo to townhouses to detached, which makes our team proud. It is important that buyers look for these new rural communities to invest in and start or move up as homeowners. Closing dates may be longer, which requires patience, but they will see the long-term investment as a wise decision.

If there is an opportunity to buy now and get a locked in rate for at least 36 months, do it. In some areas, prices have gone up 30 to 40 per cent. Invest in real estate over anything else right now, as the current landscape will see values continuing to increase.

We recently had a federal election, and all the major parties promised to address housing supply and affordability. If you had the opportunity to speak directly to the Prime Minister on this topic, what would your advice be?

What is it about your company or projects that differentiates you in the marketplace, that you’d like to stress to prospective new-home buyers?

We are careful to not price ourselves out of the market. When launching a project, we assess the phasing and price for the long term to avoid excess increases. This does not mean that we are the most affordable. However, we try to maintain pricing over the term of each phase. As a developer and builder, we also try to offer a wide range of product with our projects over the course of any given year in market. We currently have two active highrise projects in Vaughan and Mississauga, with one launching shortly in Brampton, and a lowrise project in market in the town of Erin. We are developing a large master-planned community in Erin, which will see double the population growth, with about 1,400 new homes and infrastructure of parks, school and employment lands. The launch of our first phase with Cache and Lakeview homes was cited as the most successful lowrise development sales effort of 2021. We sold 500 homes in eight days, through an virtual online platform created by Ryan Design. Our second phase launched a month later saw a sell-out in 10 days. Our current third phase, comprising mainly townhouses and our detached collection, has received more than 350 worksheets for 120 homes. We have seen a trend of buyers wanting to move away from urban centres and settling roots in these rural areas, knowing they will see an increase in equity over time, due to a shortage of homes and a low interest rate locked in for 36 months. Buyers are thinking ahead, are smarter than ever before, and know what they can afford and carry over time. As

People are looking for wide open spaces and lowrise. There has and will continue to be a demand for condo living; however, we are seeing a growing interest in lowrise as the primary choice of home to raise a family. There is a shortage of developable lands, and the planning and zoning process has become much more complicated and rigid. Due to the low supply and high demand, home prices have been soaring. It is simple economics that is affecting many looking to get into the housing market and take pride in homeownership. In urban areas, the resale market has become very competitive, and bidding wars further drive up prices. The government needs to have a plan to increase housing construction – easing and in some cases fast-tracking the process of developable lands. There is a fear of increasing interest rates, and if that happens, the government may have to look at a subsidy program for first-time homeowners. It will be too expensive for many of these new buyers to enter the market; home prices are not likely to decrease, due to increasing construction costs. Canadians should have choice when it comes to deciding to buy a home. Immigration and population growth are on the rise, and all levels of government need to work together to address the housing supply shortage, and align on policy and more efficient development processes. Governments also need to also address the influx of speculative buying for investment purposes, which reduces purchasing opportunities and availability for end consumers. Speculators drive up prices and increase competition in the market, and sometimes are forced to sell or assign due to overleverage. Imposing new standards for investors to qualify for loans would help curb the influx of these buyers. nexthome.ca  61

Deep into a second year of the pandemic, we sat down with six industry game changers for their advice to those considering purchasing a pre-construction home or condo in the next year. Here’s what they had to say. INDUSTRY ALL-STARS


Mark Cohen Managing Partner TCS Marketing Systems

Remember, real estate is the most solid investment one can make today.

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PURCHASING A pre-construction home poses a myriad of questions to the purchaser, especially because the building isn’t built, so it can’t be walked through and experienced. Your buying decision is based on seeing floorplans and renderings of the building. The most important thing is location. Is it close to transit, shops and services, schools and parks, as well as main thoroughfares and highways? Will you need a car, or can you get where you need to go by walking or via public transit? These considerations are key to assessing present and future value, and resale potential down the road. Do your homework on how the project and pricing compare to other projects in the area. There are many pre-construction projects on the market today, but not all offer the same features, finishes and amenities. How up to date are the technology features that are so valuable today, both economically and for convenience? Understand what today’s fair value is, as it is constantly evolving. The reputation of the builder is hugely important. You need to be assured that the home you have put your money down on will actually be built. How many projects has the builder been responsible for and completed? Was the final product exactly what the builder had promised when pre-sold? Check the builder’s reputation with Tarion Warranty Corp. for insight on the reputation of the company building your new home. Today, it’s important to fully understand the challenges of buying during COVID, as many deals are completed online through DocuSign. Talk to your broker, as well as your lawyer, and be sure you understand your obligations with a pre-construction offer. With safety in mind, you still may be able to visit a sales office. Most important is that buying a new home or condo is a significant investment, and one you will be committed to for eighteen months to four years until closing. Buying early means buying with early pricing and incentives often offered only for a limited time. Ask for the right to assign or sell before you close; take the peace of mind that comes with that. If you need a mortgage, investigate options and compare rates to ensure you’re getting the best possible rate. Remember, real estate is the most solid investment one can make today. Buying pre-construction has many benefits and little downside. It’s not to be taken lightly, but it can be a very exciting experience. Enjoy the ride.

Industry All-Stars

Debbie Cosic Founder and CEO In2ition Realty

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned owner, your next home or condominium purchase will probably be one of the single largest financial and lifestyle investments of your life.

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IF YOU decide to buy a pre-construction home or condo, congratulations! Buying at the lowest price is one of the many advantages of purchasing pre-construction. And as an added bonus, with occupancies and closings likely years away, you have more time to save. And the biggest benefit of buying pre-construction is that while you’re waiting for your new home to be built, you are making money. Because you bought as early as possible, prices will rise continually, earning equity on your purchase. Buying early also means first come, first served when choosing your desired home, including floorplan, and based on whether you’re buying a home or a condo – your floor, view, elevation, exterior package and more. All of these factors are important to both end-users and investors, so whatever your situation, think about getting your foot in the door as soon as possible. Buying pre-construction also means you get to choose the features and finishes that place your personal stamp on your surroundings. This is a big and exciting step for most buyers. Even if you stick to standards, you will enjoy an impressive level of luxury. Why not select the items and colours that appeal to your personality? Another advantage of buying pre-construction is that you decided to buy new. You benefit from Tarion Warranty Corp. protection, as well as a home or condo that features the most up-to-date construction methods and materials upheld by Ontario Building Code, plus energy-efficient elements such as fixtures and appliances. And speaking of those appliances, it’s a terrific feeling to be the first person to use them. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned owner, your next home or condominium purchase will probably be one of the single largest financial and lifestyle investments of your life. You may want to look into enlisting the help of a real estate agent who is experienced in pre-construction sales. Whatever you decide, buying early in the marketing cycle means you can sit back and enjoy the benefits.

Industry All-Stars

Riz Dhanji President RAD Marketing

Start your homeownership journey by researching the developers. Look at the projects they’ve completed to evaluate their level of experience and the success they’ve enjoyed.

WHEN SOMEONE coined the phrase “what goes up must come down,” they certainly weren’t referring to Toronto’s condominium market. Year after year, stretching back decades, we’ve heard people tell us that condos won’t sell at a certain price, and yet the market has remained hot. In 2014, downtown condos were going for $700 per sq. ft., and we thought that was the ceiling. A few years later, the price had risen to $1,000 per sq. ft. and we thought that was the peak. Today, despite the pandemic slowing immigration, we’re seeing downtown Toronto condos priced at $1,500-plus per sq. ft. The homebuilding industry is also experiencing upward pressure to increase prices. Construction costs have skyrocketed. Taxes are rising. Proposed inclusionary housing regulations will further escalate the pricing on market units. These are among the reasons the average price of preconstruction homes has risen an average of 10 per cent between August 2020 and August 2021, according to Bullpen Research & Consulting Inc. As the social effects of the pandemic begin to wane, Toronto will once again enjoy tremendous growth as Canada’s most successful employment hub, attracting immigration. The city is consistently considered among the top places to live in the world, and we recently ranked as the second-safest city, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. As immigration levels return to normal, expect further pressure on supply and demand. What’s a new prospective homeowner to do? Preconstruction condos remain the best way for first-time homebuyers to experience the thrill of homeownership. Between the extended deposit structures, allowing for savings over the time to delivery, and the continued annual price growth, it’s an easier way in that promises long-term rewards. Start your homeownership journey by researching the developers. Look at the projects they’ve completed to evaluate their level of experience and the success they’ve enjoyed. Also, consider your long-term goals. Do you plan on living there longterm, or might you keep it as an investment? Your answer may influence the type of floorplan you should purchase. Instead of physics telling us, “what goes up must come down,” perhaps a more appropriate phrase describing Toronto’s real estate market is, “the sky is the limit.” Start reaching for the sky yourself, today, in a downtown Toronto pre-construction condominium.

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Industry All-Stars

Barbara Lawlor CEO And Broker Of Record Baker Real Estate Inc.

When you walk into your new home or suite, everything is fresh and clean. You are the first to live in these surroundings and use your appliances.

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MY FIRST piece of advice is – do it! Pre-construction homes and condominiums come with numerous advantages. For one thing, when you walk into your new home or suite, everything is fresh and clean. You are the first to live in these surroundings and use your appliances. It is a wonderful feeling, like slipping into a brand new car for the first time. Of course, a new pre-construction home or condo will come with Tarion Warranty Corp. protection, which provides a level of confidence far above that of purchasing resale. The Ontario Building Code is updated regularly, so your new home is built to the latest construction, technological and materials standards. It is also more energy-efficient than ever before, and isn’t that a positive step? Plus, think about the hassle and expense of bringing a resale home up to your standards. If you buy early enough in the pre-construction cycle to select your features and finishes, you arrange for your house or suite to feel like home right away. Buying pre-construction also means you get the best choice of lots, layouts, floors, views… you get the beautiful picture. You can also take advantage of the best prices. And speaking of prices, as the developer begins construction and the community progresses, you can build equity as well, even before you move in. In the long run, equity in real estate is a wise investment. We have all seen how well buyers have done financially over the past few years. And with a new home community or condominium, your move-in date is likely several months to a few years in the future, which gives you time to save toward your purchase. New home and condo communities are popping up in spectacular locations across the GTA. Exterior architecture varies from traditional to contemporary and downright modern – so there is something for everyone. This is wonderful news for buyers who live in their purchase and for investors who want to appeal to the spectrum of renters. My advice in a nutshell is – buy new and buy now.

Industry All-Stars

Timing is critical to entering today’s new home and condo market – especially today, with the high levels of demand and lack of supply.

Christopher Markovic CEO PMA Brethour Realty Group IT’S ALL in the timing! We’ve all heard the old adage “location, Location, location,” which to a certain degree rings true, but I challenge you to consider “timing, timing, timing.” Timing is critical to entering today’s new home and condo market – especially today, with the high levels of demand and lack of supply. Here are three pieces of advice all focused on the concept of time. Take time and do your homework Take the time to go through the exercise of establishing your budget, factoring in all the costs associated with your new home purchase, and ensuring that it can be supported by your current income and personal situation. Take the time to establish a solid relationship with your bank so you have the assurance that you have a partner in the process. We are increasingly seeing the requirement from new-home builders and developers (and their financial institutions) that the homebuyer provide a firm mortgage approval. Establish a strong relationship with your bank so you will be able to firm up your agreement in perfect time. Take time to be open to new opportunities Be open to new areas of opportunity in the market. This goes back to that old location adage – today’s new burgeoning areas are tomorrow’s hot locations. By being open to these locations, you will benefit from time (there it is again), as values may increase as demand continues. Don’t waste time Given the pace of today’s new home market, the sooner you enter the market the better. By purchasing early in a new home project, you raise the likelihood of realizing value before you even move in. Staged deposits which are spread out over time allow you to secure your new home early, at today’s prices, so you can sit back over the coming months knowing you purchased your perfect new home early, while others scramble to enter the market, perhaps when it is too late. I think you’ll agree – it’s all about timing!

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Industry All-Stars

Elliott Taube President International Home Marketing Group Realty Inc. ELLIOTT TAUBE advises that homebuyers keep one key component in mind when shopping for a new property – the cost today will be less than the value of the home when you go to close. In the case of a lowrise home, you’ll be getting the keys at least one to two years from the date of purchase. There’s an appreciation that’s already happening before you even close; home costs have grown exponentially over the last two decades. When comparing the cost of a resale property to a new home, consider cost appreciation. For example, it’s very expensive to build infrastructure in place for lowrise developments, whereas highrise is preferable for municipalities, since it’s less costly. The increase in value has historically been proven in the numbers, which have steadily been on the upswing for the last 20 years. In the case of a condo purchase, the number of years of potential appreciation increases, stretching out over the four to five years, or sometimes more, that it will take to build the project. This is a key reason people buy new, and something prospective buyers should keep in mind. In addition, you’ll also have a chance to save for more of a down payment over this period of time. Interest rates, while currently very favourable, can’t stay this low forever. As a homebuyer, make sure you do the math to ensure you’re still able to afford the carrying costs of a home if interest rates rise a point or two. If you’re an investor, higher interest rates are concerning, but may not be as impactful. But regardless of the type of buyer you are, if you’ve done your research, a small increase in interest rates shouldn’t have a significant impact. A new home and condo will have higher upfront cost, but with that comes a certain level of guarantee that everything in the home is also new and will incur little or no cost to maintain for a few years. These homes also come with protection from Tarion Warranty Corp., which enforces the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act and Regulations.

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A new home and condo will have higher upfront cost, but with that comes a certain level of guarantee that everything in the home is also new and will incur little or no cost to maintain for a few years.


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* Please note: 24-hour notice is required for all appointments. Specifications subject to change without notice. Sizes, prices and specifications are correct at press time and subject to change without notice. E. & O. E. October 2021.

MASONHOMES.CA * Please note: 24-hour notice is required for all appointments. Specifications subject to change without notice. Sizes, prices and specifications are correct at press time and subject to change without notice. E. & O. E. October 2021.




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Today’s young homebuyers will drive housing for years to come by JOE VACCARO


he recent federal election officially opens the political season in Ontario, with the provincial election scheduled for June 2, 2022 and the municipal elections on Oct. 24, 2022. With Ontario’s population growing as we continue to be a destination for international students, business investment and talented entrepreneurs, it is no surprise that housing emerged as a top-five issue for voters during the campaign. Each federal party focused on the need to build more housing across Canada as the only real answer to making housing more affordable. The need for more housing across Ontario was the focus of a new report from Mike Moffatt, senior director of policy and innovation at the Smart Prosperity Institute and assistant professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey Business School, Western University. Moffatt has been leading a series of data-driven housing commentaries called – Ontarians on the Move. Baby Needs a New Home takes his data-crunching skills and makes this definitive conclusion: If Ontario wants to meet expected population growth and familyformations in the coming decade, one million new homes will need to be built in the next 10 years. But, along with that statement and all the data to support it, Moffatt identified that young families with children are leaving urban areas like Toronto and Peel to find family-friendly housing in places such as Woodstock and Thorold. He provides the data to show what is happening in the market-housing world in Ontario. The report concludes that this will be a driving factor in the housing market for the decade to come. This report also projects the local housing demand across Ontario’s 49 Census Data Areas, making it a must-read for every municipality as they consider

74  Builders’ Annual 2021

the housing needs of the next generation of #homebelievers in their communities. Just before the 2018 Ontario election, OHBA launched the #homebeliever campaign. It was designed to be a non-partisan and values-based campaign to bring people, voters, candidates, political parties and leaders together to acknowledge that the dream of homeownership is slipping out of reach. It solicited pledges of support for more housing choice and supply across Ontario to help all of us achieve the great Canadian dream of homeownership. Today at Queen’s Park, there are more than 70 Members of Provincial Parliament who are #homebelievers. There has been a tremendous amount of positive work done by the Ontario government, including its signature housing bill, the More Homes, More Choice Act. The results are beginning to show, with 2020 having the most housing starts in the past 10 years, and 2021 expected to have the most starts in the last 20 years. Baby Needs a New Home makes it clear that family formations are driving the housing demands in our communities. To make housing available, attainable and sustainable, we need champions in government, industry and communities to help these #hombeliever families achieve the great Canadian dream of homeownership. Joe Vaccaro is CEO of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA), the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies, and organized into 29 local associations across the province. The industry contributes more than $56 billion to Ontario’s economy, employing more than 336,000 people across the province. ohba.ca






P R I C E S A N D S P E C I F I C AT I O N S S U B J E C T TO C H A N G E W I T H O U T N OT I C E . E . & O . E .




Founded in 1976, Losani Homes has a distinctly recognizable style; a Losani neighbourhood exudes character and curb appeal with wide boulevards, pleasing streetscapes and inspired home designs in green settings near parks, trails and wooded areas. For four decades, quality craftsmanship and well-planned designs have been the hallmarks of every Losani Homes community—proof that doing things right is the right thing to do. Lino Losani - President

Fred Losani - CEO

WHY A LOSANI COMMUNITY? COMMITMENT In choosing Losani Homes, our buyers are not just selecting a home, they are choosing a lifestyle. Our team of in-house experts are committed to ensuring that each and every Losani homeowner has a rewarding and life enriching experience.

VALUE Our commitment to finding innovative ways to exceed homeowners’ expectations is second to none. In addition, we aim to provide the best value to our home buyers by delivering a custom homebuilder experience at a production builder price.

QUALITY We strive to be the industry leader in providing our home-owners with the most exceptional new home building experience. We see a future where quality, service and value are shaped through a tradition of excellence and an emphasis on innovation.

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Savour life by the banks of the Nith River at Losani Homes next great community. Riverside is a new master-planned community of singles and townhomes coming soon to Paris, Ontario. This development by Losani Homes is anticipated to launch in early 2022. Prospective homebuyers can register online to become a VIP and receive the latest updates and special offers. Located less than two hours west of downtown Toronto in Brant County, Paris is one of Southern Ontario’s hidden gems. It was voted Canada’s ‘Prettiest Little Town’ by Harrowsmith Magazine in 2017 for its charming streets, historic buildings and beautiful riverfront. While it’s become increasingly popular with travel bloggers and photographers, Paris has also attracted prospective homebuyers looking to escape the high prices and hustle and bustle of the big city.

Prices at Riverside start from the $700,000’s. Available homes boast elegant exterior architecture with soaring rooflines, brick and stone cladding, and expansive windows. Inside, the layouts range from 1,500 square feet for townhomes to over 3,000 square feet for singles. Single detached homes will be available on 36’, 40’, 46’, 50’ and custom lots. The award-winning designs will be available in Traditional, Chateau, Tuscan, and Modern elevations. The Modern Collection shows forward thinking design while maintaining classic elements. They feature a dramatic colour palette, large dark casement windows, and the natural appeal of stone, brick, and wood-style paneling. To learn more about Riverside and to register for VIP status, visit losanihomes.com.

The community is within a quick 10 minute drive to downtown Paris and area attractions. With the banks of the Nith River as its backdrop and the renowned Grand River just minutes away, life at Riverside is all about the water. Whether you’re an avid kayak enthusiast or a weekend paddle boarder, the stretch of the Nith River features calm waters and scenic views of pristine wilderness. And don’t forget to make a stop into town for a tour of a craft brewery, lunch at a pub, or a chat with one of the friendly boutique shop owners.

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Bright future awaits in Hamilton and Burlington by MICHAEL COLLINS-WILLIAMS


he West End Home Builders’ Association (WEHBA) – previously known as the HamiltonHalton Home Builders’ Association – was formed in 1942 and is one of the oldest home builders’ associations in Canada. After the Second World War, the Baby Boom and the incredible rise in home construction brought immense growth to the Hamilton-Halton areas. WEHBA has grown, along with Hamilton and Burlington, to become the third largest home builders’ association in Ontario, with members spread right across southwestern Ontario. For the past 80 years, WEHBA has been a strong supporter of existing and future homebuyers, representing the industry at all three levels of government and successfully advocating on behalf of consumers for housing

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choice, affordability and supply. In 2019, WEHBA was recognized provincially and nationally by its peers, as it received top honours for a local home builders’ association in Ontario and Canada. Over the past decade, the Halton and Hamilton areas have been evolving. This is primarily due to rapid population increases, and to the growth the Golden Horseshoe will continue to see over the next 30 years. Hamilton is projected to grow from 584,000 residents today, to an astounding 823,000 residents by 2051 (an increase of more than 40 per cent). This increase in population means brand-new communities and housing opportunities in the region, as well as vibrant city centres with a growing variety of restaurants, retail stores and entertainment and recreational facilities. Downtown Hamilton alone offers tremendous business

and career growth opportunities, and an unexpectedly high quality of life. While both Hamilton and Burlington have become attractive places to work and raise a family, the recent and unprecedented spike in housing prices is making it difficult for the younger generations to settle and grow in these areas. The lack of housing supply and choice has unfortunately made the west end of the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area less affordable and unattractive to younger families. WEHBA members – which come from all the different sectors of the homebuilding industry – are working hard to address these challenges. The association is working with our partners in the government more than and closer than ever, to ensure that over the long term, we will continue to provide young people the opportunity to call Hamilton and Burlington home. Within the next five years, Hamilton is expected to develop and evolve even more, with the fully-funded – and soon to begin construction of the $3.4-billion Hamilton LRT. This will connect the city through McMaster University, the downtown core and Stoney Creek, connecting many of our residents to homes, jobs and greenspace. Hamilton offers a wide range of lifestyle opportunities, from downtown

urban living and central historic neighbourhoods, to new vibrant suburban areas and quiet rural communities just outside the city. Hamilton and Burlington’s growth and rapid transformation has turned the heads of leading global companies and international investors who are looking to increase their business opportunities and engagement with top Canadian cities. As our cities continue to grow and bring in talented young students, families and workers, the future is looking even brighter. With a wide diversity of complete, vibrant communities and a variety of housing options inclusive of all ages and budgets, the west end is truly the place to be!

Mike Collins-Williams, RPP, MCIP, is CEO West End Home Builders’ Association. westendhba.ca.

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Building for your Lifestyle for over 35 Years in Niagara

Real estate in the Niagara region is booming as buyers from the GTA look to escape an overheated metropolitan market. It’s a perfect place to downsize while locking in exceptional value. GTA sellers can upscale their comfort and luxury, while achieving considerable savings. Silvergate Homes is Niagara’s leading builder, based on an award winning reputation for service and quality nurtured by two generations of our family business. With any one of our outstanding communities, Silvergate Homes can bring you close to the best that Niagara has to offer.

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The Marketing Systems Advantage n a constantly-evolving real estate landscape, TCS Marketing Systems is a boutique sales advisory group that works collaboratively with developers to build exceptional value for their pre-construction projects and communities. Led by industry veteran Mark Cohen, the team uses their experience to plan, price, and sell pre-construction real estate projects to both investors and end users. Every program they create for a project is customized and powerfully conceptualized, strategically developed and extraordinarily implemented.


“Paramount to the company’s success has been the innovative thinking of the people that form the diverse Marketing Systems team.” – Mark Cohen, Managing Partner TCS Marketing Systems offers a unique advantage to their clients as every member of the executive team has years of experience working in-house for some of the GTA’s largest developers in various roles such as marketers, researchers, architects, strategists, tech experts and sales personnel. They understand from the developer’s perspective what it takes to achieve success. This translates into building longstanding relationships with clients who trust their proven track record.

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“Each project needs a dynamic, eye catching marketing program to capture the imagination of its specific target group.” – Serena Quaglia, VP of Strategy Few projects can be successful without a carefully thought-out marketing program. The team at Marketing Systems contributes their keen understanding of the buyer personas for each project to assist in the development of the marketing plan and ensure it reaches the right prospect.



“We take pride in our attention to detail along with a knowledge base of understanding the market, the buyers and how to maximize revenue for our clients.” – Glen Buttigieg, VP of Sales

“Revenue maximization for our developer clients is core to our operational disciple. To achieve this we are constantly evolving our research metrics, pricing strategies and administrative processes.” – Onkar Dhillon, VP of Operations

Shallow units, finishes, amenities and more, Marketing Systems knows what sells and uses their expertise to provide guidance through the design stages to ensure the product is saleable and speaks to a large buyer audience. Working with a developer early in the project gives Mark and his team the ability to offer valuable advice and research before the approvals process.

Marketing Systems has enhanced their scope with both qualitative and quantitative research, data and technology to create a truly unique sales program that is exclusive to each project they work on. This allows them to build a proprietary data system for each client while maintaining their roots that always center around the customer experience – a unique offering specific to TCS Marketing Systems.

A COMMITMENT TO SELL FOR MORE “Working with Mark and his team over the past 12 years, I have grown to appreciate how buttoned down they are and how they are more a partner rather than consultant to our projects.” – Gary Bensky, President of Wycliffe Homes At TCS Marketing Systems, the focus on success is unwavering. The team has a track record of setting new standards for pricing through their deep understanding of the market, proformas and the

product. Their holistic approach with each project allows them to ensure it is best positioned for success in today’s market. With their mission bolstered through experience, they look to continue to set new standards for the industry, challenge themselves to provide great solutions, and help their clients succeed and shine. So as their slogan says, it’s time to “Experience the difference. The difference is experience”. nexthome.ca  85


How to prepare to buy a home by JAYSON SCHWARZ, LLM


ere you are getting ready to make what may be the single largest purchase that you will ever make when you are confronted by daily and nightly doses of anxiety. “What do I do?” you ask yourself. Don’t be afraid, take your time, do the proper research to identify your target area, the services available to you and ensure that there are no hidden matters that could affect your decisions. For example, check for old dumps, train tracks, or commercial malls to be built next door, nearby amenities and so forth. If you’re buying a condominium, are there restrictions, noise protection, are Airbnb rentals allowed? Proper research is essential to answering these questions. Go to the local municipal offices and check with planning and zoning to ensure you determine what

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your neighbourhood will look like, not just today but in 10 years, and get as many answers as you can. Speak to your prospective neighbours, visit the Tarion Warranty Corp. website (tarion.com) or the Home Construction Regulatory website, and check out the builder. Next, have an honest look at your job. Speak with your supervisor and make sure things are as secure as you can. If applicable, consult with your significant other and budget the way things will be. Consider what happens if interest rates rise, and be prepared for exigencies. Once you have done all that, speak to the mortgage specialists at your bank, as well as a reputable mortgage broker. Find out how much money you are able to borrow and how much of a deposit you’ll need to put down. This will allow you to focus on homes you can afford. Get a mortgage pre-approval in writing so you have something

to rely on. Today especially, it is critically important that you don’t get caught up in the rush of buying beyond your budget. Nothing is worse than living for the house, not living in your home. Once you identify how much you can spend, determine if you want a condo or freehold home. Condo living provides a carefree lifestyle – someone else cuts the grass and provides other maintenance services – but you pay common expenses, and sometimes others determine how the amenities, if not your unit itself, can be used. Freehold provides the freedom to do what you want, but maintenance and upkeep fall on your shoulders. The choices are boundless. Securing a good lawyer is next. It’s important to find one who specializes in residential real estate and check their Google reviews. Do they provide valuable information and articles you understand? Go online and check out the websites of different real estate lawyers. Speak to friends who have used a lawyer for the type of service you require, and ensure they did the job professionally, courteously and for the price quoted. Ensure the lawyer does more than just close your deal. you want someone who will explain the different kinds of ownership, the need to have a Will before closing, and other critical matters.

Then, you may want to find a realtor to assist you. Again, you want someone knowledgeable and experienced in the kind of home you are purchasing. You do not want your brother-in-law’s sister’s aunt’s cousin twice removed. Do your research. You want referrals from people the realtor has worked with, and research them online. Once you’ve found the perfect home, advise your lawyer so he is prepared to review the appropriate paperwork. If you are prepared, the anxiety will change from fear to excitement. Happy home hunting!

Jayson Schwarz, LLM is with Schwarz Law Partners LLP. To suggest topics for future columns or ask questions, visit schwarzlaw.ca or email info@schwarzlaw.ca.

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6 common mistakes every homebuyer should be aware of by JESSE ABRAMS


eople often say it’s good to learn from your mistakes. But, when it comes to buying a home, you don’t want to leave any room for error. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a first-time buyer, there are many common missteps that can occur throughout the mortgage and buying process, which could end up costing you thousands of dollars. To ensure you’re prepared to take the plunge, here are six common mistakes to avoid when buying a home.

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NOT GETTING PRE-APPROVED FOR A MORTGAGE Getting pre-approved for a mortgage isn’t exactly mandatory, but it offers many advantages for homebuyers. It establishes how much you can borrow early on in the process. Understanding your home affordability not only makes for a more efficient home search, but it allows you to set a realistic budget so you’re not overspending. A pre-approval will also benefit you in the case of a bidding war – something very common in today’s hot

market. When a buyer is pre-approved for a mortgage, a seller is often more likely to accept their offer because it shows credibility and that they are serious about making the purchase. And, if you’ve already been pre-approved, it’s also a good idea to consider these common errors so you can ensure final approval upon your home purchase. FAILING TO CONSIDER OTHER COSTS Coming up with a down payment is only one piece of the puzzle, and while it’s very important, many buyers lose sight of other expenses that come with buying a home. These often include closing costs, insurance fees, property taxes, legal fees, monthly living expenses, moving costs and the list continues. If you plan to purchase in a highrise building or a lowrise property, it’s worth noting that maintenance fees and other costs will differ – making it even more important to understand the difference and evaluate your budget accordingly. Failing to factor in these costs or allocating too much of your monthly income toward mortgage payments might make it difficult to meet other household expenses after moving in. To avoid this mistake, review your savings and consider all of these expenses before beginning the process. Getting pre-approved is a good first step because it allows you to create a budget to factor in these unforeseen costs. LIMITING YOURSELF TO ONE LENDER One of the most common mistakes many homebuyers make is not shopping around for different lenders. Mortgage terms and products vary between lenders, which is why shopping around gives buyers the benefit of comparing options so that they can make the best choice. In some cases, many homebuyers think that getting a mortgage can only be done with the big banks. However, there are many mortgage lenders in Canada, such as credit unions and monoline lenders that may have better mortgage options than the banks. So, before heading to your local bank, it’s recommended to shop around to see what’s available in the market. At Homewise, our team helps both first-time and seasoned buyers navigate the market to find a mortgage that best suits their unique needs by shopping around with multiple lenders so that they can feel confident and prepared when buying a home. HAVING TOO MUCH DEBT Before buying a home, prospective buyers should take a close look at their credit to understand if it’s something they can afford right now. Many start this process too quickly without paying attention to their credit score and debt levels, leaving them in a difficult financial situation later on. Having strong credit, specifically your debt-to-income ratio and credit score, is a key factor lenders consider when approving you for a mortgage. So, before your mortgage closes, you may want to avoid getting a new credit card or taking

out any large loans. Taking on new debt while your mortgage application is pending can impact your ability to get approved. If your credit score falls and your debt-to-income is poorly impacted, lenders can go as far as changing the terms of your mortgage or denying it entirely. NOT TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER INCENTIVES The Canadian government has many great programs to help first-time buyers in the homebuying process. However, our team at Homewise has noticed that many first-time buyers aren’t fully aware of these programs and incentives – causing them to lose out on money saved and other useful benefits. Each of these resources help to increase home affordability and alleviate some of the roadblocks new buyers face when buying a home. FAILING TO READ THE FINE PRINT In any transaction, it’s always important to pay attention to the fine print and clearly understand the terms and conditions involved with your mortgage, especially before signing anything. If you’re not familiar with mortgage jargon, you can always consult with an experienced mortgage advisor. We’ll break down all of the complex details so that you can clearly understand what your mortgage entails and the types of privileges and penalties you’re being presented with. Believe it or not, doing this can save you thousands of dollars if you were to ever switch your mortgage, break it early or make a lump sum prepayment. For example, let’s say you’ve recently received a monetary gift of $10,000 from your parents and would like to use that extra money to pay off your mortgage faster. This would require you to make a prepayment, which is possible but might result in a penalty fee if you don’t have prepayment privileges in your contract. This is why it’s important to clearly understand the terms and conditions before you lock in your mortgage. Buying a home is an exciting milestone that marks a new chapter in your life. At the same time, it’s essential to stay on top of all the important details, steps and expenses that come with purchasing and owning a home. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or an existing homeowner, this milestone investment is definitely worth doing the right way.

Jesse Abrams is Co-Founder at Homewise, a mortgage advisory and brokerage firm based in Toronto. thinkhomewise.com

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Wealth transfer pushing demand on tight supply



he price of real estate continues to climb, and many Baby Boomers are supporting their children with funds to start their homeownership journey. In a recent episode on TRREB’s Ready to Real Estate podcast, we unpacked generational wealth transfer and how it relates to the housing market; it’s an ongoing trend of wealth passed down from one generation to another. When it comes to how this impacts real estate, we learned that early inheritances are changing how new buyers are cascading into the homeownership world. More first-time buyers are looking towards their parents for help with the house hunt, especially with upward pressure on prices and stricter mortgage lending rules, including the stress test. However, gifted funds are supporting down payments and driving up demand in the GTA. In fact, consumer polling conducted by Ipsos for TRREB suggested that about 40 per cent of buyers in 2021 would be firsttimers. This means many first-time buyers might reap the benefits of a generational wealth transfer, and in turn increase demand on the already tight supply of homes available for sale. This is why it’s important to address housing supply. We know demand will remain strong in the GTA as the population continues to grow, perhaps at a record pace in the initial years of recovery from the pandemic. Policymakers at all levels must pursue a coordinated effort to bring on a greater diversity of supply in major

90  Builders’ Annual 2021

metropolitan areas. Otherwise, the journey to buying a home will get harder and pricier for many buyers. The only long-term solution to affordability is to build more homes to accommodate the needs of our growing region. An affordable housing supply will also be important to sustain the economic competitiveness of the GTA on a global scale. I invite you to tune into TRREB’s Ready to Real Estate podcast to uncover more topics such as generational wealth transfer. In our newest season, we’ll feature fascinating interviews and thought-provoking viewpoints on the latest real estate trends, critical issues facing today’s marketplace, and the industry as a whole. Discover more homeownership trends by visiting trreb.ca and explore the latest reports. You can also connect with a TRREB member realtor and search listings in real time on any device.

Kevin Crigger, TRREB President and realtor, is a long-standing and active member at the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board. He has served all levels of the real estate industry, as well as local charities and educational institutions.


elements of design



soaker Statement

“Delicate yet decadent, striking yet simple, a freestanding bath is the centrepiece of the bathroom. It exhibits control with perfect proportions while inviting you to unwind in the depths of the water.” – Kohler MEMOIRS FREESTANDING TUB: Kohler nexthome.ca  91

accents Wood

“With the ever-growing desire to freshen up our bathrooms, incorporating medium wood tones helps balance out all the crisp white tiles and provide the right amount of warmth to create that modern and comforting appeal.” – Designer Dvira Ovadia, Dvira Interiors PHOTO: Valerie Wilcox. | CABINETS: Natural Walnut. OC-17 Benjamin Moore | FLOOR TILES: Oriental White marble. Cercan Tile | COUNTERTOP: Caesarstone 2141 | FAUCETS: Canaroma | LIGHTING: Union Lighting

metals Mixing

“When mixing metals, it always comes down to balance and respecting one key rule: Create balance by repeating at least one of the finishes in several elements. You can mix either two, or maximum three, different finishes together.” – Designers Eugenia Triandos and Korina Khamis, Hibou Design & Co. FAUCETS: Rubi | LIGHTING: Mitzi | HARDWARE: Top Knobs 92  Builders’ Annual 2021

art Custom

“Art is meant to be enjoyed, particularly in a space where you are spending a lot of time, such as a bath space. I truly believe that surrounding yourself with pieces that bring you joy is essential.” – Designer Gillian Segal, Gillian Segal Design

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shower Double

“When sharing a space as intimate as a bathroom we like to design a layout that allows multiple people to use the space comfortably at the same time.” – Designer Sascha Lafleur, West of Main WALL TILE: Olympia Tile & Stone | FLOOR TILE: Anatolia Tile | SHOWER TILE (WALL): Olympia Tile & Stone | SHOWER TILE (FLOOR): Anatolia Tile | BUILDER: Glenview Homes | FINISHES: Delta | LIGHTING & DECOR: West of Main Shoppe

tiles Bold

“Tiles are a big part of a bathroom design concept and can truly set the mood. By using the same pattern throughout, but altering sizes, it took away from that busy feel that you can get when mixing tiles, and just allowed the bold pattern to be the main star in what was just a white rectangular room. The pattern created a seamless flow for the eye that naturally guided you up the shower wall from the floor, almost creating an illusion of a larger space.” – Designer Jo Alcorn, Alcorn Home PHOTO: Jason Hartog | LIGHTS, BLINDS AND TOWELS: Bed Bath and Beyond | FREESTANDING TUB, MATTE BLACK SLEEK FAUCETS, GLASS SHOWER, MIRRORS: Bath Depot | TILES: M2Tile | COUNTERTOPS AND INSTALL: Stone Edge/ Hand Stone | PAINT: Benjamin Moore 94  Builders’ Annual 2021

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THE LIST A list of contact information from builders and developers to help you stay connected

Altree Developments

Kylemore Communities


2828 Bathurst St., Ste. 300 Toronto, Ont. M6B 3A7 647.715.5711 altreedevelopments.com altreedev altreedev

9980 Kennedy Rd., Ste. 200 Markham, Ont. L6C 0M4 905.887.5799 kylemorecommunities.com KylemoreLiving kylemoreliving

10 Wanless Ave., Ste. 201 Toronto, Ont. M4N 1V6 416.481.2222 pureplaza.com


Lash Group of Companies

1000 Finch Ave. West, Ste. 901 Toronto, Ont. M3J 2V5 416.493.5000 amexon.com

10 Kodiak Cres., Ste. 200 Toronto, Ont. M3J 3G5 416.630.9393 lashgroup.ca LashGroup LashGroupCA

Aoyuan International 145 King St. West Toronto, Ont. M5H 1J8 416.363.6688 AoyuanInternational

Diamonte Development Corp. 100 Davenport Rd. Toronto, Ont. M5R 3P1 416.741.7207 diamantedevelopment.com

Flato Developments 3621 Hwy. 7 East, Ste. 503 Markham, Ont. L3R 0G6 905.479.9292 flatogroup.com

Georgian Communities 85 Bayfield St., Ste. 300 Barrie, Ont. L4M 3A7 705.730.5900 georgiancommunities.ca

Geranium 3190 Steeles Ave. East, Ste. 300 Markham, Ont. L3R 1G9 905.477.1177 geranium.com geraniumhomes geraniumhomes

96  Builders’ Annual 2021

Lifetime Developments 49 Jackes Ave., Ste. 200 Toronto, Ont. M4T 1E2 lifetimedevelopments.com 416.987.3344 LifetimeDevelopments Lifetime_Dev

Losani Homes 430 McNeilly Rd., Ste. 203 Stoney Creek, Ont. L8E 5E3 905.561.1700 losanihomes.com losanihomes LosaniHomesLtd

Mason Homes 70 Innovator Ave. Stouffville, Ont. L4A 0Y2 905.640.6777 masonhomes.ca MasonHomesLtd masonhomes

National Homes 291 Edgeley Blvd. Concord, Ont. L4K 3Z4 905.669.9199 nationalhomes.com NationalHomesCanada nationalhomesca


Remington Group Inc. 7501 Keele St., Ste. 100 Vaughan, Ont. L4K 1Y2 905.761.8200 remingtongroupinc.com remingtonbuilds

Silvergate Homes 144 Dunkirk Rd. St. Catharines, Ont. L2P 3H6 905.680.6000 silvergatehomes.com silvergate_homes

Solmar Development Corp. 122 Romina Dr. Concord, Ont. L4K 4Z7 905.660.9222 solmar.ca solmardevelopmentcorp solmardevelopmentcorp

TCS Marketing Systems Inc. 171 East Liberty St. Toronto, Ont M6K 3P6 416.533.5888 tcsms.ca TCSMarketingSystems TCSMarketingSys

Tribute Communities 1815 Ironstone Manor, Unit 1 Pickering, Ont L1W 3W9 905.839.3500 tributecommunities.com TributeCommunities


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