Tag Archives: BILD

Plan Ahead: BILD president shares insider tips to ensure your renovation comes up roses

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Plan Ahead: BILD president shares insider tips to ensure your renovation comes up roses

Like thousands of people in the GTA every year, I just had a major renovation completed on my home. It was a great way to make sure that my home meets the changing needs of my family, and that it is updated with features and designs that match our current tastes. In doing so, I experienced first-hand the benefits of using a professional renovation contractor, and putting into practice what the Building and Land Development Association (BILD) and its RenoMark renovators recommend to all their clients.

By following our own recommendations, I didn’t experience any nightmare scenarios that unfortunately, are more common than anyone would like to think. The end result was fabulous, the project was finished on time and on budget, and while most renovations often have some bumps in the road, the process went relatively smoothly.

Here are some of our top tips:

  • Spend the time upfront to have a very clear picture of what you want to achieve. Know your budget, and make a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves. Chances are, as you proceed with your renovation, you will likely have to make some trade-offs between what you want and what you can afford.
  • Choose your renovation contractor carefully. Interview at least three. If you don’t know where to start, you can find a list of RenoMark renovators on the RenoMark.ca website with renovators in your city from coast to coast. The benefit of using a RenoMark member is that they are professionals, they carry all the applicable licenses and insurance coverages (including WSIB). Also, they will always provide a written contract, provide a two-year warranty on their work and continually upgrade their skills with ongoing education provided by the local home builder’s associations (HBA).
  • When interviewing potential renovation contractors, make sure that they understand your vision for the renovation and are able to work with you to fine-tune your project. Ask for references from previous clients and check them! Don’t just be satisfied with pretty pictures and a snazzy brochure. If they are not a RenoMark renovator, ask them to provide evidence of insurance and workers compensation coverage, ask about their warranty coverage and ask if they are members of the local HBA. Insurance and WSIB coverage are important because if the renovator does not have coverage, you, as the homeowner, could be liable in the event of an accident on the job site.
  • Make sure you have a comprehensive written contract with the renovator. This will make sure you get the renovation you want, and protects you in the event something goes wrong. Check our website for tips that outline some of the most common terms and features you will want to make sure are included in your contract.
  • As the renovation progresses, make sure to stay in regular contact with your renovation contractor. Book regular progress meetings. Changes are bound to occur with the project as you are working with an existing, and sometimes older, structure or home. When you do make changes, make sure to document them with your contractor in a change order.

Fortunately, my overall experience was a very positive one. I worked with a professional and was very happy with the end results. Remember: you wouldn’t hire someone off the street to repair your car; you would go to a licensed mechanic, so why would you risk the biggest investment of your life, your home, to a nonprofessional just to save a few dollars?

David Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog.


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Toronto City Hall

City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

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City of Toronto councillors’ decision ‘irresponsible,’ will worsen housing affordability and supply problems

Toronto City Hall

The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) is outraged by the announcement made today by City of Toronto councillors Joe Cressy, Mike Layton and Kristyn Wong-Tam. The trio said they would red light any development that supports council approved TO Core Plan, ignoring the direction given by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s approved plans. These actions are a clear example of political interference that slows the development of new housing and increase costs.

Blatant disregard

“This blatant disregard of provincial policy is the opposite of a housing strategy, in fact it’s an anti-housing strategy,” says Dave Wilkes, president and CEO of BILD. “The net impact will add cost to the City, add cost to new home purchasers, increase the delays of much needed livable housing close to transit and lengthen approvals times as challenges and appeals are undertaken to ensure that the law is respected,” adds Wilkes.

It was the City of Toronto’s decision to file the Official Plan Amendment for TO Core with the province under Section 26 of the Planning Act. This rarely used mechanism requires ministerial approval and is non-appealable. Disliking the results of this decision, the councillor’s statements to developers that they will de-prioritize projects that are in accordance with the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing’s decision and not the City’s version of the plan is like asking them to take sides in schoolyard spat. Councillors Cressy, Layton and Wong-Tam are disregarding the planning process, abdicating their responsibility and adopting planning by threat.

“The decisions to amend the official plans just prior to the last election was politically motivated and went against the recommendations of the City’s own planning staff,” says Wilkes.

Desperate need

“More housing is desperately needed to accommodate growth in the region. It makes sense for this type of housing to be built in places that can leverage existing investments in infrastructure and be transit supportive. We are calling on Toronto City Council to take the necessary steps to address housing supply and affordability in Toronto.”

The provincial government rightly recognizes that changes are desperately needed to provide adequate and affordable housing to a growing province. More than 115,000 new residents are expected in the GTA every year through 2041 and the population is set to grow by 40 per cent. Meeting this generation challenge will require policies that enable housing supply and affordability, not illegal actions that add cost, delays and restrict supply.

BILD is the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA. With more than 1,500 member companies, the industry provides $33 billion in investment value and employs 271,000 people in the region.

TREB reminder

The Toronto Real Estate Board is also concerned about the councillors’ decision.

“With some City of Toronto councillors announcing plans that could add obstacles to the creation of new housing supply in their wards, TREB is reminding all levels of government that housing supply is one of the most important issues in Toronto and the GTA, and is encouraging cooperation between governments,” the organization says. “TREB has been at the forefront in calling for governments to do what they can to ensure an adequate, appropriate and affordable supply of housing for the Toronto and GTA real estate markets.

“This is an issue that will require both provincial and municipal government efforts and policy initiatives from various perspectives, including minimizing unnecessary red tape, while maintaining the high quality of life that makes Toronto and the GTA such a desirable place to live, work, and play.  TREB is encouraging provincial and municipal decision makers to work cooperatively to make the interests of homebuyers their first priority.”

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Aoyuan: M2M's T1 Tower Suites

M2M’s T1 Tower Suites: Right-size your home and upsize your lifestyle

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M2M’s T1 Tower Suites: Right-size your home and upsize your lifestyle

Get a glimpse into a vibrant lifestyle currently being offered by Aoyuan International at Yonge and Finch. Now open, is the three-bedroom model suite at M2M. This insider’s perspective offers a first-hand appreciation for this 8.6-acre masterplanned community, situated close to the Yonge/Finch subway station.

All roads lead to M2M

M2M recently received the 2019 People’s Choice Award from BILD – GTA. With 1,680 new residences, it has been earmarked as an exceptional new development. On-site amenities include a community centre, a day care and a new public park, as well as 180,000 square feet of retail and office space. Just steps from the main subway artery and transit hub, other travel options whisk you away to the downtown core or suburban destinations. In additon, direct access to Highway 401 is situated just south of M2M.

Floor-to-ceiling curtain wall windows on the corner suite.
Floor-to-ceiling curtain wall windows on the corner suite.

A model suite

Within the M2M Presentation Centre, a fully furnished three-bedroom suite is now open for viewing. Featuring a 1,101-square-foot corner unit, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a 220-square-foot balcony, this model showcases an incredible living space.

At M2M there’s no need to compromise on space, style or comfort. If downsizing, this is the ideal first step. Exceptional quality is evident with clean lines, walnut flooring and gold accent detailing. An overall asthetic appeal is reflected in all the fine finishes.

Double-height yoga studio.
Double-height yoga studio.

Attention to detail

As you enter the model suite, you’ll notice that the inviting foyer includes much-needed storage space. In the heart of the home, the kitchen features Caesarstone on the countertops and on the island, with sleek waterfall edges on both ends. A space-saving convenience includes additional counter space that pulls out from between the microwave and the dishwasher when needed. The counter is complemented by a beautifully tiled, white marble backsplash in a Moroccan arabesque pattern. The kitchen also includes integrated appliances, a Kohler sink, shaker-style woodgrain cabinetry and under-cabinet lighting – all of these upgrades are standard in all of M2M’s T1 tower suites.

The open-concept dining area is connected to the kitchen and to the living room, and features sculptural lighting to offset your furniture. Bedrooms are located on opposite ends of this suite to promote privacy and tranquility. This three-bedroom layout also includes two bathrooms, a walk-in laundry, a storage closet and natural light is optimized throughout.

Aoyuan offers a wide variety of layout options for those who appreciate expansive spaces, with the option to remove bedrooms, and open up floorplans, where possible. Other floorplans include one- and two-bedroom layouts with dens, as well as double-master suites. The flexible designs can accommodate a variety of family requirements or multi-generational living.

The extended community

Beyond the doors of each suite, an active lifestyle awaits. Residents can choose to relax, socialize or take advantage of various fitness opportunities, including a double-height yoga studio, a sauna and change rooms. Also within the development are beautifully landscaped areas with exclusive outdoor spaces that are accessible to residents on the third and ninth floors. In addition, there’s an infinity pool, a barbecue area and an outdoor dining room – plus plenty of space to unwind.

For those who love to entertain, there is a party room, a theatre room and lounge areas that are perfect for get-togethers with friends and family. From initimate dinner parties to celebratory events with an extensive guest list, the on-site dining room offers a full chef’s kitchen.

M2M places residents in the centre of this amenity-rich area of North York, close to transit, schools, parks and other community destinations. The M2M sales team is made up of knowledgeable professionals, who understand the local market, and are on hand to assist with this all-important decision.

CONTACT INFORMATION

The model suite and sales office are now open at 5851 Yonge Street.

416.901.2720

m2mcondos.com


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GTA new home sales continue stronger upward trend in April

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GTA new home sales continue stronger upward trend in April

The GTA new home market saw continued momentum in April, as prices remained relatively flat and condominium inventory increased, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).

Total new home sales, with 3,853 new homes sold, were up 123 per cent from last year, and about even with the 10-year average, according to Altus Group, BILD’s official source for new home market intelligence.

Single-family growth

There were 800 new single-family homes sold in April, including detached, linked and semi-detached houses and townhouses, up from last April’s low of 443, but still 50 per cent below the 10-year average. This is the sixth month in a row that new single-family home sales have increased year-over-year. Sales of new condominium apartments in low-, medium- and highrise buildings, stacked townhouses and loft units, with 3,053 units sold, were up 137 per cent from April 2018 and 37 per cent above the 10-year average.

“The last two months have seen stronger new home and condominium sales in the GTA after a sub-par April in 2018,” says David Wilkes, BILD president and CEO. “There seems to be a resiliency in the market as new-home buyers are coming off the sidelines.”

“Both builders and buyers stepped up their game in the new condominium apartment market in April,” adds Patricia Arsenault, Altus Group’s executive vice-president, Data Solutions. “The number of units in new projects launched, and the number of sales, were well above the April average of the past 10 years. While it is still too early to call the market as being on the upswing, the stronger showing in April is encouraging.”

Price growth

The benchmark prices of both single-family homes and condominium apartments moderated slightly compared to the previous month. The benchmark price of new single-family homes was $1.12 million, up slightly at 0.3 per cent over the last 12 months, while the benchmark price of new condominium apartments was $758,585, up 2.5 per cent over the last 12 months.

Remaining inventory in April included 13,707 condominium apartment units and 4,580 single-family homes. Remaining inventory includes units in preconstruction projects, in projects currently under construction and in completed buildings.

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Planning a renovation?

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Planning a renovation?

Like thousands of people in the GTA every year, I just had a major renovation completed on my home. It was a great way to make sure that my home meets the changing needs of my family and also updating features and designs to meet our current tastes. In doing so, I experienced first hand the benefits of using a professional renovation contractor and of practising what the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and its RenoMark renovators recommend to all their clients.

By following our own recommendations, I didn’t experience any nightmare scenarios that unfortunately are more common than anyone would like. And the end result was fabulous, the project was finished on time and on budget, and while most renovations often have some bumps in the road the process went relatively smoothly.

HERE ARE SOME OF OUR TOP TIPS:

1. Spend the time upfront to have a very clear picture of what you want to achieve. Understand your budget and have a list of must-haves and nice-tohaves. Chances are as you proceed with your renovation you will likely have to make some trade-offs between what you want and what you can afford.

2. Choose your renovator contractor carefully. Interview at least three. If you don’t know where to start, you can find a list of RenoMark renovators on the RenoMark.ca website with renovators in your city from coast to coast. The benefit of using a RenoMark member is that they are professionals, they carry all the applicable licenses and insurance coverages (including WSIB), they will always provide a written contract, provide a two-year warranty on their work and continually upgrade their skills with ongoing education provided by the local home builder’s associations (HBA).

3. When interviewing your renovation contractor, make sure they understand your vision for the renovation and are able to work with you to fine-tune your project. Ask for references of previous clients and check them! Don’t just be satisfied with pretty pictures and a snazzy brochure. If they are not a RenoMark renovator, ask them to provide evidence of insurance and workers compensation coverage, ask about their warranty coverage and ask if they are members of the local HBA. Insurance and WSIB is important because if the renovator does not have coverage, you as the homeowner could be liable in the event of an accident on the job site.

4. Make sure you have a robust written contract with the renovator. This will make sure you get the renovation you want and protects you in the event something goes wrong. Check our website at renomark.ca for tips that outline some of the most common features you will want to make sure are included in a contract.

5. As the renovation progresses, make sure to stay in regular contact with your contractor. Book regular progress meetings. Changes are bound to occur with the project as you are working with an existing and sometimes older structure or home. When you do make changes, be sure to document them with your contractor in a change order.

My overall experience was a very positive one. I worked with a professional and was very happy with the end results. Remember, you wouldn’t hire someone off the street to repair your car; you would go to a licensed mechanic. Why would you risk the biggest investment of your life, your home, to a non-professional just to save a few dollars?

Dave Wilkes is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on:

Twitter.com/BILDGTA

Facebook.com/BILDGTA

YouTube.com/BILDGTA

and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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Savvy savings: Energy-efficient tips for your home that will ultimately save you money

Savvy savings: Energy-efficient tips for your home that will ultimately save you money

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Savvy savings: Energy-efficient tips for your home that will ultimately save you money

Your home may look the same as your neighbours’ home, but it may be costing you more money to maintain it. The assumption that all homes are created equal is not true. Within the GTA, there are homes that were built in the 1800s and have since been renovated 20 times or more. Let me help explain where you might be wasting money every month and provide you with some tips to help improve the energy efficiency of your home on your next home renovation.

Energy efficiency in your home is a combination of many different parts (electricity, heating, cooling, air leakage and insulation). Making your home more energy efficient in an integrated way can be very complicated and needs to consider all aspects of your home. You can start this process on your own with a few easy steps.

Electricity

Managing your electricity costs can be as simple as switching your light bulbs to LED. This alone can save you over 60 per cent of your lighting electricity use. You can go one step further and use newer light switches that have a dimming feature, occupancy sensor (it will turn the light off if you leave it on) and smart-home features. These light switches cost more upfront, but they will save you money in the long run – especially if you have a person in your home that always forgets to turn off the light when they leave the room!

Heating and cooling

Make sure that your thermostat is installed in a central location without anything blocking it. If you have a curtain or something else blocking the airflow around it, then it will not register the temperature in your home properly and lead to over-heating or over-cooling. Don’t forget to check the expiry date on your thermostat! Just like smoke detectors, there is a practical life expectancy for these devices. I suggest that after 10 years of use, you should consider replacing it.

As for the temperature setting, this is a personal preference. Some people like a warmer or cooler house, and control of that is completely up to you. But consider your temperature settings for when you are not at home, and adjust your temperature setting by 10 degrees Celsius. Your system won’t turn on when you don’t need it to, so this will save you money in operational costs and also increase the lifespan of your heating and cooling system. A Smart thermostat allows you to return your home to a comfortable temperature, firing the system 30 minutes before you arrive.

Your passive choices

After addressing the more proactive things, like your thermostat settings and lighting systems, you should look at the passive parts of your home that are costing you money. Let’s look at air leaks. If the seals around windows and doors are leaking, then you are losing valuable heated or cooled air all the time. This can be fixed simply by replacing the gaskets or applying caulking. You can also eliminate air leakage and create a much better building envelope by rebuilding old exterior walls – integrating a well-detailed air and vapour retarder and adding insulation to create a more comfortable living space.

Using a professional renovator to help guide you through the process of making your home more energy efficient will help save you money. Always remember to obtain a detailed contract and get building and electrical permits when they are required, this will protect you and ensure that the work is completed according to code.

David Wilkes is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the voice of the home building, land development and professional renovation industry in the GTA.

For the latest industry news and new home data, follow BILD on Twitter, Facebook, BILD’s official blog.


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How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

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How the Liberals missed the boat on affordable housing

Now that we’ve had a couple months to digest the most recent federal budget, we can now safely say Ottawa missed the boat on affordable housing.

Indeed, the Liberals had a golden opportunity to make some simple tweaks to the mortgage system in Canada that would have allowed more first-time buyers to get into the housing market and assist second-time buyers to move up, without major changes to the policies implemented over the last two years to cool the market. Industry groups across the country including the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Ontario Home Builders’ Association, various real estate associations, boards of trade, lenders and housing advocates, have all beseeched the government to take some steps to ease up on the various stress tests and mortgage restrictions. Most of these requests were embodied in a list of recommendations from the Chair of the Federal Liberal Housing Affordability Caucus, Francesco Sorbara. Sadly, only one of the many recommendations was implemented.

Little impact

Instead, the Liberals decided to use taxpayer money to the tune of up to $1.25 billion to assist first-time buyers to purchase homes by advancing up to 10 per cent of the purchase price of new homes and a five per cent of the price of resale homes in conjunction with a CMHC-insured policy. Incomes were capped at $120,000 annually, and the loan portion cannot exceed four times annual income. Effectively, the program by its very capping of the loan portion, excluded major centres such as Vancouver and Toronto, which have suffered significant declines in both sales and prices over two years. Much criticism has already been levelled against the proposed program as having little impact on increasing housing affordability.

There is no question that these proposals will assist first-time buyers of homes in less expensive areas with the biggest beneficiaries being places like Montreal and western provinces. However, the government will have t0 advance significant sums of taxpayer monies by way of repayable loans plus significant cost to administer the program.

This is not to say there isn’t some merit to this program. However, there are many private, non-profit institutions such as Trillium and Options for Homes which offer similar second mortgage loans and share in the equity upside with purchasers. The government has not totally revealed how the sharing will work, but has indicated that there would be no interest costs during the term of the loan.

On the other hand, the recommendations of the Liberal Housing Affordability Caucus would not cost the government a single dime, and would have allowed a broader section of the marketplace, including those in Vancouver and Toronto, to gain access to housing markets which have now been closed to them because of the new and tightened mortgage rules.

Some of these proposals included:

  1.  Exempting mortgage renewals from the stress test. Currently, institutions, whether those refinancing existing loans with the same borrower or new institutions, are
    applying the new stress test to existing loans. This can put a homeowner in danger of having to pay down his loan in order to qualify even though he has been fully complied with all of the obligations;
  2. Extending the amortization period for blended payment mortgages from 25 years to 30 years. Although this seems like a small adjustment, it would lower overall carrying costs for buyers and materially expand the number of eligible purchasers for financing. Again, 30-year amortization is fairly standard in most countries and in Canada it was raised to 35 years at the height of the financial crisis in 2009;
  3. Modify the current stress test. Requiring purchasers to be able to carry a mortgage which is two per cent above the quoted rate or meet the posted five-year rate (which is usually higher than the real five-year rate) has done enough damage, particularly in the Toronto and Vancouver housing markets, but more so, has impacted on other markets that were not overheated. Some minor adjustments would have made a big difference. The suggestion was to have a declining rate stress test such that the percentage over the proposed mortgage rate (now two per cent) would decline the longer the term of the mortgage that was being obtained. For five- or seven-year mortgages, purchasers are locked in and protected from having to face significant interest rate increases for many years and did not need such a stringent stress test to protect them from increased rates.
  4. Increase the Home Buyers’ Plan which allows purchasers to borrow from their RRSPs. This proposal was in fact partially implemented with the limit of $25,000 being increased to $35,000; and
  5. Increase the GST/HST rebate thresholds of $400,000 to reflect today’s current marketplaces, as proposed by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. When GST came out in 1991, the level of $400,000 was supposed to be adjusted periodically for inflation. There has not been one adjustment since 1991 and there is no recognition of variations between regions of average prices. Again, this recommendation was ignored.

Markets on ice

In reality, the Liberals were looking for flashy, vote getting, news catching type of proposals that would show that the government is putting its money behind first-time buyers. Making adjustments to the stress test and amortization period really isn’t sexy, but would have had a far greater beneficial impact with no cost to the government. The Liberals have responded to this criticism that the prior changes in the stress test are doing their job in cooling the markets and should not be changed at this time. In fact, many markets have not only cooled, but have been put on ice – such as the lowrise market in GTA for instance.

Leor Margulies is a partner at Robins Appleby LLP and a member of the board of directors of BILD.

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M2M Condos

Aoyuan International’s M2M Condos master-planned community wins BILD People’s Choice Award

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Aoyuan International’s M2M Condos master-planned community wins BILD People’s Choice Award

While far from its first real estate development on a global scale, M2M is Aoyuan International‘s initial project in Toronto, as well as its most ambitious to date. Planning for the multi-faceted community project first started in 2017, when Aoyuan International acquired the Newtonbrook Plaza and began to lay out plans for its largest residential complex in Canada.

When completed, the 8.6-acre master-planned community at Yonge and Finch in North York will be a fully integrated neighbourhood designed for living, working, and playing. Featuring five towers and two podiums, M2M’s all-encompassing community will be home to a total of 1,650 residential units, as well as hundreds of thousands of square feet of office and retail space, a community centre, children’s daycare, and even its own greenspace for a future park.

The Aoyuan International team is thrilled to have received the BILD People’s Choice Award at the 39th annual BILD Awards on May 3, where the award was presented by the Building Industry and Land Development Association.

The BILD Awards are an annual event held to highlight new real estate projects that standout taking place in the greater Toronto area and to celebrate “excellence in the GTA’s land development and new home industry,” With awards that recognize distinction in everything from marketing and sales to project design, BILD aims to recognize the myriad hard-working people behind the hundreds of new communities that appear on the market every year.

Aoyuan International shares the People’s Choice Award with key strategic partners who are equally responsible for M2M’s success, including Wallman Architects, U/31, Ferris + Associates Inc., Baker Real Estate Inc. and KG&A.

In a lengthy selection process, most winners of the BILD Awards are chosen by a jury of industry experts. However, for the People’s Choice Award, the power of selection is put into the hands of the general public, which makes the award one of the most coveted in the BILD Awards. This prize is considered massively important within the industry, as it represents the voice of the GTA people who will ultimately occupy the award-winning dwellings.

Initially shortlisted alongside seven other finalists, Aoyuan International’s master-planned community ended up snagging the award. The project was also nominated for the Best Suite Design award, thanks to M2M’s expansive square footage, smart home features, and thoughtful details, such as laminate wood flooring, Kohler fixtures, integrated appliances, and under-cabinet lighting.

Aoyuan International believes in and is committed to “building a healthy lifestyle” for its residents, and is thrilled that the M2M site has received its official approval from the city. With the BILD People’s Choice win drawing even more attention to the project, all eyes will definitely be on this exciting new community as the Newtonbrook Plaza is transformed over the coming years. The TTC Yonge subway expansion, which will soon bring downtown public transit access to M2M’s door, will make the master-planned community an even more attractive place to call home for daily commuters between the 416 and 905 area codes.

With such a positive start in the Toronto market, there’s no telling what successes await Aoyuan International and M2M, but the outlook so far is incredibly optimistic, and the team is excited to build out its master-planned community with its many amenities — from a yoga studio, infinity pool, and co-working space to a marketplace and park for families in the neighbourhood. It’s this very blend of modern development, design, marketing, and communications that Aoyuan International believes led to M2M’s victory at this year’s BILD award.

Aoyuan International encourages a healthy urban lifestyle. To learn more about the project, visit the M2M Presentation Centre and model suite, located at 5851 Yonge St.. The Presentation Centre is open from noon to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday, and from noon to 6 p.m. weekends. For further information or an appointment, call 416.901.2720 or visit the website.


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Top Honours for BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

Top Honours for BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

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Top Honours for BILD Renovation and Custom Home Awards

by Dave Wilkes

On the opening day of the National Home Show, the GTA’s top renovators and custom-home builders were recognized by the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) at its annual Renovation and Custom Home Awards, which took place on March 8th at the AllStream Centre.

Created by BILD in 1999, the awards program recognizes renovation general contractors for professionalism, quality of work and industry leadership. Nominees are evaluated by a team of industry professionals. The Renovator of the Year award, which recognizes the renovator who sets the standard for the rest of the sector in leadership and commitment to customer service and contribution to the overall image of the renovation industry, is also decided based on survey results from clients.

This year, the Renovator of the Year award was presented to Golden Bee Homes.

“Golden Bee Homes’ clients speak highly of the excellence of the company’s work as well as their professionalism, customer service and courtesy,” says Justin Sherwood, BILD’s vice-president of communications and stakeholder relations and RenoMark program manager. “Owner Jack Torossian gives back generously to the industry as the Chair of BILD’s Renovator and Custom Builder Council and volunteers as a presenter for our renovation seminars for consumers.”

Best Bathroom Renovation was awarded to All Angles Renovation Ltd. for truly customizing their client’s space by using the space efficiently. There is plenty of natural light in the washroom with a window next to the tub and a skylight in the shower.

The Best Kitchen Renovation went to Binns Kitchen + Bath Design. The kitchen has a unique style application and incorporates an avant-garde range hood. The use of the space and the creativity tie all the elements together. Another unique aspect of this kitchen is a stove wall that includes upper cabinets unconnected to the ceiling.

Best Renovation (no addition) under $150,000 went to Alair Homes – Aurora/Newmarket for a major home transformation and upgrade on a modest budget. The kitchen was relocated to achieve a very functional cooking environment, while opening up the remaining spaces, significantly increasing natural light.

The Best Renovation (no addition) over $250,000 went to Bachly Construction for a stunning wine cellar. Extensive thought and creativity are evident in this design and the renovation, from the logistics of excavation to the creativity of using a drawbridge which provides access to portions of the wine wall.

The newly created Best Innovative Renovation award went to Kinswater Construction for creating a simple and timeless space, while incorporating the client’s ancestral heritage into the project. The renovator overcame structural and layout obstacles to create a functional layout that is truly original.

SevernWoods Construction was presented with the Best Custom Home award for creating a modern, but warm and inviting home. The materials chosen, like the use of local stone on the exterior and interior, help to achieve a good balance within the neighbourhood.

“This year’s winners exemplify the quality, innovation, creativity and integrity that homeowners can expect when working with professional RenoMark renovators and custom builders,” says Sherwood.

All award winners are members of the national RenoMark program, which connects homeowners with professional renovators who have agreed to abide by a renovation-specific Code of Conduct.

BILD would like to congratulate all the winners and finalists.

Contact information for all RenoMark renovators as well as a complete list of the winners can be found on their website.


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Great Gulf, Homebuilder of the Year, Lowrise

GTA’s top homebuilders and projects honoured at 39th Annual BILD Awards

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GTA’s top homebuilders and projects honoured at 39th Annual BILD Awards

Great Gulf, BILD Awards Homebuilder of the Year, Lowrise
Great Gulf, BILD Awards Homebuilder of the Year, Lowrise

Great Gulf and Tridel were among the big winners at the recent 39th Annual BILD Awards, as the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) recognized the top builders and developers, projects and marketing initiatives in the industry.

Builders of the Year

Great Gulf earned the distinction of Lowrise Builder of the Year, while Tridel won for Mid/Highrise Builder of the Year.

Tridel, BILD Awards Homebuilder of the Year, Highrise
Tridel, BILD Awards Homebuilder of the Year, Highrise

The awards honour achievements in planning, design, sales, marketing and city building in 40 categories. A group of 41 expert judges from across North America determined the winners from 850 submitted entries.

Lifetime Achievement Award

Edward Sorbara, principal with the Sorbara Group of Companies, was presented with BILD’s Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing his 52 years of leadership in the building and land development industry.

Edward Sorbara, right, principal with the Sorbara Group of Companies, is presented with BILD’s Lifetime Achievement Award by BILD President David Wilkes
Edward Sorbara, right, principal with the Sorbara Group of Companies, is presented with BILD’s Lifetime Achievement Award by BILD President David Wilkes

Stephen Dupuis Humanitarian Award

Tridel also took home the Stephen Dupuis Humanitarian Award for the company’s unique approach to corporate social responsibility. The founding families and every Tridel employee takes pride in the fact that the Tridel brand is synonymous with integrity, quality, customer service, innovation and sustainability.

People’s Choice Award

The coveted People’s Choice Award, determined by members of the public through online voting, was awarded to Aoyuan International for its M2M development. Aoyuan’s vision for M2M is a condominium community that supports and encourages a healthy urban lifestyle, while providing living options that make it easy for families to raise children in the city. The master plan includes more than 1,500 new residences, a community centre and a daycare.

“The People’s Choice Award is a unique honour because it is the public that decides the winner,” says BILD President and CEO Dave Wilkes. “Over 5,200 people cast votes for projects that competed for the best in city building. These projects demonstrate how the industry is providing a wide range of housing options for home buyers in GTA.”

Best New Planned Community

Lakeview Community Partners Ltd. won Best New Planned Community for Lakeview Village. Lakeview Village reconnects the community through a diverse mix of build forms for different uses, including residential, cultural, institutional, commercial and retail. Lakeview will repurpose brownfield land that was once home to the Ontario Power Generation Station in Mississauga.

Lowrise Project of the Year

The Lowrise Project of the Year went to Treasure Hill Home Corp. for its Charbonnel development near De La Salle College in Toronto, while Urban Capital Property Group, M3 Condos, in Mississauga was selected as the Mid/Highrise Project of the Year.

Best Highrise Building Design

Best Highrise Building Design went to Lanterra Developments for 50 Scollard. The project boasts contemporary architecture from Norman Foster and interiors by Toronto-based Italian designer, Alessandro Munge, and an incomparable location in the heart of Yorkville.

Best Midrise Building Design

Alterra Group of Companies and Graywood Developments Ltd. won the award for Best Midrise Building Design for Wonder Condos. Wonder is one of the last of its kind in Toronto, a landmark address that will house heritage lofts, condos and townhouses. Wonder is built on the site of the former Weston Bakery on Eastern Avenue.

Best Overall Marketing Campaign

The award for Best Overall Marketing Campaign went to the team of Empire Communities and Pureblink for their campaign for Empire Phoenix.

For a complete list of award recipients, visit bildawards.com.

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