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BUILDER PROFILE: Sifton Properties

Sifton Properties: 95 Years and Counting

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Sifton Properties: 95 Years and Counting

Sifton focuses on developing sustainable, energy efficient communities.

It’s a comforting feeling when you know that you’re dealing with a respected company that has decades of experience, not only in the art of construction, but also in their knowledge and best assessments of particular areas that are suited to community development.

Sustaining Legacy

Harry Sifton built his first home in London, Ontario in 1923. By the 1940s he was building approximately 20 homes per year on properties that he deemed to be appropriate. He eventually passed the torch to his son, Mowbray, who grew the company to one that was diversified in their construction expertise, to include home building and industrial/commercial construction, as well as residential rental accommodation, property management and retirement living communities.

A third generation of the Sifton family is now at the helm. Richard Sifton (son of Mowbray) recognizes that they are in an envied position as it relates to their chosen areas for development. For 95 years, London and surrounding areas have been their regions of focus. And, these locations have become extremely popular with retirees, due to lower costs and the proximity to major urban centres.

RiverBend Golf Community

Sifton’s RiverBend Golf Community has been specifically tailored for those who are looking forward to their next life chapter. Here, residents have a choice of single-level detached, and attached, villas. Not only is it a gated community with 24-hour concierge service, but the RiverBend Home Check service monitors your home while you’re away. Worry-less considerations at RiverBend also include outdoor maintenance services, so that you no longer have to strain yourself shovelling snow or pulling weeds, providing you more time to do the things that you want to do.

Specifically designed for the mature golfer, the 18-hole championship course encompasses 160 acres that is surrounded by environmentally protected forests. Six sets of tees are rated for golfers of all abilities.

The 28,000-square-foot Clubhouse is the social hot spot at RiverBend. There’s a heated indoor pool, a fitness centre with organized classes, as well as a dining room and a veranda overlooking the greens. A full calendar of events, organized by the Community Social Committee, is sure to spark some unexpected interests.

Homes at RiverBend include architectural enhancements inside, and out, as well as an open-concept kitchen and living areas for easy manoeuvrability. Everything that you could possibly want in a home environment has been thoughtfully considered by the award-winning team of Sifton.

West 5

Located in the west end of London is a new development called West 5. This community will include a mix of townhomes, mid rise and high rise apartments. In addition, there will be 150,000 square feet of office space and 400,000 square feet of retail space. Also included, will be a large community park that will host a farmers’ market and planned activities. “Our goal here is to create a net-zero community,” says Rick Gooyers, executive vice president of construction and asset innovation. “Along with better construction methods and technologies, we will generate all of the required energy for the community with solar panels.”

Sifton Properties is forever innovating, and developing, new environmentally sustainable construction methods for the benefit of us all.




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Cover Story: Bold Moves

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Cover Story: Bold Moves

By Lydia McNutt • Photography By Stacey Van Berkel

British-Canadian interior decorating guru, television host and entrepreneur, Debbie Travis takes RENO & DECOR to the historic streets of Wandsworth, London, inside her very own 19th-Century townhouse—and the site of a recent renovation intended to breathe new life into this old home.


The bathroom became a focus of Travis’ redesign, thanks to its obvious space constraints and perhaps more importantly, its lack of character.

It’s here, Travis reveals, that this self-taught pro came up against an all-too-common interior decorating hurdle—limited size. She thoughtfully describes the space as her “challenge.”

“It’s a luxury being able to start from scratch in the bathroom,” says Travis of the renovation.

TIP: One of the easiest ways to start a bathroom renovation is with a mood board. Collect your inspirations, whether it’s colour, texture, or the type of finish you want. You may work on this for months, Travis says, but the choices evolve. “Don’t rush the job,” says Travis. “Play with that space over and over again, until you get the image that you want.”


Travis’ selections are methodical, functional and beautiful. An arresting freestanding bathtub not only became a beautiful focal point in Travis’ bathroom, but it also artfully creates the illusion of more space.

“It worked perfectly in here because it’s not too high, it’s not too long, and it has this wonderful organic shape,” Travis explains. “It’s incredibly comfortable.”

When shopping for a bathtub, it pays off to research different shapes, styles and sizes to ensure that it’s a good fit for you. Don’t be shy to get inside the tub and try it on for size, so to speak. It’s really the only way to determine whether the style complements your curves.


Travis likes to play with different materials to create textural interest. Surfaces such as rough natural stone or marble are great base textures, and pair well with woods and glass. In Travis’ own bathroom, tile and texture became important decor elements. She selected a chic, fabric-inspired tile for the shower, featuring an oversized stripe. “You don’t have to have a huge room to go large scale,” Travis says.



Speaking of large scale, let’s address the Sophia Loren in the room. Don’t get us wrong. Travis is a proponent of neutral, simple and classic style. “Then, look to add the drama and personality,” she says. Travis selected an image of a young Sophia Loren, which she had enlarged and printed onto a durable canvas. This dramatic background makes the bathtub stand out even more.

The resulting interior is cleverly filled with light, texture and personality—a welcoming, luxurious and relaxing retreat Travis is proud to call “home.”

“A successful bathroom makeover, when it comes down to it, is about how it makes you feel. I’m very pleased about how my bathroom turned out. It is a gorgeous place to start the day. But even better, it is an incredible place to end the day, soaking in this tub with a glass of champagne.”

Lydia McNutt is an award-winning writer, editor, journalist pro based in the Greater Toronto Area.


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The Millennial View - One Pricey Pint

The Millennial View – One Pricey Pint

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The Millennial View – One Pricey Pint

by Nika Tomljenovic

LONDON — When somebody mentions they’ve lived abroad, I imagine a cute apartment with a view of the ocean, a farmers’ market across the street and rent a quarter of Toronto’s. When my friend lived in Thailand, it literally sounded like a savings plan with elephant rides and sunshine.

So when I received the news I’d be moving to London (yes, England) for my MA in playwriting and screenwriting, I was hit with the realization that London is an expensive city. And a wet one. Not like New York City expensive, but it definitely costs a substantial amount more to live here than Toronto. I see it as a halfway point between the two.

The average cost of a studio flat in London is about £1,100/month (depending on the area). That’s about $2,000 in Canadian dollars. So currently I live in student housing, or halls as they call them here, and it costs me the equivalent of a trendy one-bedroom-plus-den condo on King Street West. The neighborhood, Shoreditch, is in East London and is known as a hive for young artists and hipsters with its share of cool restaurants, bars and clubs. It’s like Queen Street West, but bigger.

The perks of my student housing includes having my own bathroom, mini kitchen and access to a gym for less than the cost of a flat. The not so ideal part is that I’m 23 and living the student life. I own a pair of earplugs I frequently use when I’m trying to sleep and my neighbors decide to throw a spontaneous Tuesday night party. Other than that, my accommodation has done its job, considering I moved here not knowing one thing about the city, or any of its neighborhoods.

Not only is rent more expensive, but food and clothing are too. The meals cooked at home in Toronto would cost nearly double to recreate here (and it’s not like I have the equipment; I own one pot and one pan). Though the shopping is amazing, I try to do most of it while visiting Toronto. Everything is suddenly a deal there. Even doing my laundry is a bit of an investment. I’ll add £10 to my laundry top-up card and it shows up as $18.50 on my PayPal account.

When I first moved here, I began teaching English online, which was amazing because I didn’t have to leave my room. But once payday came around, I’d see those earnings cut nearly in half because of the conversion rate into my U.K. bank account. Fortunately, I have enough savings to sustain myself for the time being and get a start in copywriting.

So, if you’re planning to move abroad (particularly across the pond), have enough saved up to sustain yourself for several months, know the average cost to live in that city (this includes food, having a social life, transportation costs, etc.,). And finally, Poundland is your new best friend. Yes, that’s their dollar store. I got a kick out of that when I first heard it.

Of course it’s not all cheap, fresh produce and beachside views, but at this point in my life, there’s nowhere else I’d rather be, regardless of cost. There isn’t a more vibrant city with fine culture, breathtaking architecture, and friendly — if sometimes aloof — people. Yes, it rains but it’s also very entertaining when the entire city shuts down and everyone pulls out phones to film a centimetre snowfall. Ultimately, the experience has been worth much more than the $9 loss of every laundry card top-up.

Nika Tomljenovic is a copywriter working on her master’s degree in London. Before becoming a writer, she was a realtor and marketing professional (it runs in her family). Reach her at bulldogcopy.com.


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RiverBend Golf Community

RiverBend Golf Community

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RiverBend Golf Community

Where harmony and quality unite

Our living environment is crucial to our quality of life, in terms of having a comfortable home in which to reside – preferably located in a wonderful community and surrounded by nature. The Sifton family operates on these pivotal principles, and is well aware of the components that go into making a great neighbourhood.

Located in London, the RiverBend Golf Community is the result of years of careful planning. RiverBend was designed to appeal to a varied mix of residents – from bookworms to social butterflies, and from golf enthusiasts to nature lovers – every aspect has been considered.

More than 450 homes will be built around, and throughout, the RiverBend Golf Course. Attached villas and single-family homes are available on spectacular lots, some of which are situated along the golf course’s 15th green. Quiet streets with a blend of harmonious architectural styling, along with natural green spaces, contribute to RiverBend’s peaceful setting.

New home buyers have come to appreciate how far their money actually goes in the upscale community of RiverBend. “Residents have really embraced all that RiverBend has to offer,” says Rick Gooyers, executive vice president of Sifton Properties Limited. “Many of our new residents are moving here from the GTA. They are astounded that they can get so much more home, along with a lifestyle.”

Single-detached homes range from 1,812 to 2,548 square feet, and attached villas from 1,534 to 1,756 square feet. Single-level homes are priced from the mid $300’s. All designs incorporate spacious, well-planned kitchens and great rooms, as well as soaring ceilings and luxurious appointments in the master suite. Beautiful views are enjoyed from the large windows and covered porches.

RiverBend’s year-round, professional grounds’ staff maintain the immaculate landscaping throughout the community. There’s no need to worry about yard work, mowing the lawn or shovelling the snow. As a result, residents have more time to do the things that they’ve always wanted to do.

The Community Clubhouse is the hub of RiverBend. Residents and their guests can savour chef-prepared meals in the dining room. Other amenities include an indoor swimming pool and fitness facilities, as well as regularly scheduled social clubs, including game nights, darts and billiards. Special interest groups are also organized, and a speakers’s series and travel excursions are arranged on a regular basis.

Golf enthusiasts tee off at RiverBend Golf Course, designed by Doug Carrick of Carrick Design Inc. The course has five sets of tee blocks to accommodate beginners and professional players.

“It’s great that a community of people, who are approximately in the same age group, have so many chances to form new friendships and explore new interests at this stage of life,” says Gooyers. “Residents often tell us that moving here has given them a fresh beginning.”

Sifton Properties Limited is celebrating 95 years of homebuilding success in London and the surrounding area. RiverBend Golf Community is one of their best.


For further details, visit riverbendgolf.com.


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London Fire

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London Fire

The deaths of at least 81 people in an apartment fire in London in early June was a tragedy that unfolded in real time on people’s television screens. The deeper tragedy is that a recent renovation seems to have been to blame for the rapid spread of flames that eventually engulfed the entire 24-storey complex. A non-fire resistant cladding was recently installed on the building. The flames spread rapidly across the exterior of the building, trapping dozens inside. Early estimates were that the cladding cost about $3.40 per square metre less than a fire-rated version.



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Sifton Properties

Editor’s Choice: Sifton Properties

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Editor’s Choice: Sifton Properties

Spend more time living at RiverBend Golf Community

There comes a time when the search for a new home becomes about much more than a house alone — it becomes about the opportunity for a fresh start in a new home that enhances the lifestyle you want to enjoy now. At RiverBend Golf Community you’ll do just that – spend more time living.

What does that mean, exactly? It means you’ll spend more time playing, more time outdoors, more time with friends and family, more time dining, more time reading, maybe even more time doing yoga! The list goes on. Get rid of the lawn mower, the shovels and the stress of maintaining a large family home, because at RiverBend a team of staff does the work, and you delight in living on pristine grounds in a relaxed natural setting.

Located in west London, RiverBend is designed with active 50-plus adults in mind, nestled along the Thames River amid the lush Kains Woods. It’s a private and picturesque gated golf community with something for everyone.

At the heart of it all, the 28,000-square-foot clubhouse is the social hot spot of RiverBend. Enjoy a drink with your friends, catch a fitness class, or savour a delicious meal in the dining room, prepared by RiverBend’s award winning executive chef. The club also plays host to a full calendar of events and clubs organized by the social committee, alongside the RiverBend management team. Golfer, gardener, card shark, bookworm, or chef in training — rest assured there is a place for you at RiverBend Golf Community.

And of course the crown jewel, the immaculate 160-acre championship golf course is just steps from your door. Designed by renowned golf course architect Doug Carrick, the RiverBend golf course features rolling greens and quiet niches to master your swing. The RiverBend ProShop carries the most current golf equipment and apparel with a friendly and passionate crew of professional golfers to assist with all of your golfing needs.

And when it’s time to retire for the evening, your dream home awaits. All of the homes at RiverBend are built by the award-winning homebuilder and reigning local Builder of the Year, Sifton Properties Limited. When complete, the community will consist of approximately 450 homes, lining the quiet streets that meander through the golf course and ponds offering magnificent views. Whether you choose an attached villa style or detached single-family home, Sifton’s superior building standards and quality craftsmanship result in a home you’ll be proud of in a community you’ll be proud to belong to.

Now is the perfect time to shift your swing a little to the west! Make the move west to London and enjoy new home savings worth smiling about, with award-winning new homes starting in the mid $300,000s and special pricing on select lots. Purchase one of the first 20 inside lots and receive $5,000 in free upgrades and one-year free land lease.

RiverBend Golf Community

Located at 2200 Jack Nash Drive, London, the Sales Centre is open daily from noon to 5 p.m..

(519) 657-4333


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Destination Ontario – London Calling!

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Destination Ontario – London Calling!

By Cece Scott www.cecescott.com

Britain and Canada unite with shared namesakes

Incorporated in 1855, London is the largest municipality in southwestern Ontario and the 11th largest in Canada. Situated halfway between Toronto and Detroit, in the Windsor- Quebec City corridor, this trendy metropolis is positioned at the juncture of the Forks of the Thames. Home to many wonderful parks, including Victoria Park, Harris Park, and Fanshawe Conservation Area (Fanshawe Pioneer Village), London is also a regional hub for healthcare, education and the prestigious Western University.

Get your London on

If eclectic activities are high on your list, London is the place to be. Voted the sixth happiest city in Canada, (Jetpac City Guides, 2015), the city is also ranked the fourth best, large city to live in (MoneySense, 2016).

More than 160 years old, London is packed full of cultural experiences and fun things to do. In fact, the see-it, do-it, interactive music festivals, fairs, theatre, museums, and outdoor experiences – places London among the top summer destinations in North America.

It’s all about the beat

Summer in London is an extravaganza of music festivals, many of them centrally located in Victoria Park. TD Sunfest (July 6 to 9) is one of Canada’s largest music festivals, and embraces a cross cultural spectrum of music, dance and visual arts.

The popular Home County Music and Art Festival (July 14 to 16), with roots dating back to the 70s, features Canadian musicians and juried artisans showcasing original pottery, glass, jewelry, fine art, textiles and photography. A diversity of cuisine is served up by 30 featured food vendors.

The London Blues Fest (August 25 to 27) brings it home with megawatt talent. Last year’s performers included Sass Jordan and Downchild Blues Band.

Historical Legacies

The Banting House National Historic Site of Canada was home to Frederick Banting, the facilitator for the discovery of insulin (1920). Banting’s discovery continues to help millions of diabetics worldwide to live better, and more active, lives.

Afternoon tea at Eldon House

Eldon House, London’s oldest residence, is a prime example of Georgian and Regency architecture. Savour one of their special tea events while enjoying their gardens, considered some of London’s most beautiful.

Things to do and see

Outdoor enthusiasts should check out Boler Mountain, home of the London Ski Club and Boler Bike Centre. Skiing, tubing, biking and zip lining are all great seasonal options.

Museum London houses southwestern Ontario’s leading collection and presentation of visual arts. The permanent installation includes works by the Group of Seven, Paul Peel and Jack Chambers.

Zip lining at Boler Mountain

The Grand Theatre, opened in 1901, was built by Toronto entrepreneur Ambrose Small, whose ghost reputedly still haunts the theatre. The Grand’s illustrious list of performers include W C Fields, Sarah Bernhardt, Sidney Poitier and Leonard Nimoy.

London, known as the Forest City, has a reputation for loving trees, so it is only natural that they host the Tree Trunk Tour. Carvers create wooden sculptures carved from chain saws, chisels and power rotary tools, which are then varnished and displayed on public streets.

Grand Theatre


If name dropping is your thing, author Emma Donoghue, whose novel, Room, won a 2015 Academy Award for its screen adaptation, lives here; as well as Scotiabank Giller nominee Joan Barfoot (Luck), and Man Brooker prize winner, Eleanor Catton (The Luminaries). For those old enough to remember, Guy Lombardo of big band fame, was also born here. And, for the youngin’s, The Biebs (yes Justin Bieber) was born in London.

Photos, courtesy londontourism.ca


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