Tag Archives: Geranium

Local Focus - Toronto

Toronto – in demand and on the rise

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Toronto – in demand and on the rise

Largely considered the pinnacle of the condo boom we’re seeing these days, Toronto still does boast some good lowrise home options. Supply and pricing of those homes, however, is another matter.

That’s what happens when you combine a strong economy and rising population with limited new and resale home supply.

Indeed, the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board (TRREB) is forecasting at least 10-per-cent price growth in the GTA this year to $900,000, up from $819,319 in 2019. And on the new home side, 2020 began on a strong note, with 2,106 total new home sales in January, up 65 per cent from January 2019 and 14 per cent above the 10-year average, according to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). The benchmark price for new single-family homes was $1.09 million.

Booming economy

“Toronto’s booming economy has brought with it housing affordability challenges that will continue throughout the next decade,” says Frank Clayton, senior research fellow, Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Research & Land Development.

“Both the provincial and municipal governments must support a massive increase in the supply of all types of housing and tenures as priority number one and quickly transform the land use planning system to make this happen.”

Long considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, Toronto boasts a collection of distinct communities, including East York, North York, Scarborough and Etobicoke.

Some of these areas, in fact, now represent areas of growth for new lowrise housing, given that larger master-planned communities of single-detached homes are fewer and farther between. Much of the focus now is on the socalled missing middle, those smaller developments such as townhomes that represent a real opportunity for new ground-oriented homes in the city.

Culture and entertainment

Find a way to buy and live in Toronto, however, and you likely will love it.

Toronto offers a vast array of culture and entertainment options, from the National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, to the Art Gallery of Ontario, Royal Ontario Museum and more.

For the sporting sort, Toronto has a handful of pro sports teams – the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Raptors, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto FC and Toronto Argonauts – and is home to the Hockey Hall of Fame.

The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) is an annual event celebrating the film industry and attracts many movie stars and a-list players. And the Toronto Caribbean Carnival, formerly known as Caribana, attracts more than one million people every summer.

Other points of interest include the Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Science Centre, Harbourfront, Fort York, the Distillery District, Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower and the Canadian National Exhibition.

And of course, as a large metropolitan city, great shopping areas include the St. Lawrence Market, Kensington Market, the Toronto Eaton Centre, Sherway Gardens and Yorkdale Mall.

Though a subject of some debate due to the challenges with keeping up with all the growth, transit and highway infrastructure is undergoing major expansion all over the city. The TTC moves almost two million people throughout the city every day on subway, buses, streetcars and LRT lines, while GO Transit links Toronto with the surrounding regions of the GTA. Highways include the 400 series (401, 403, 404, 407 and 427), the Don Valley Parkway and the Queen Elizabeth Highway.

Location, location, location

This provincial capital of Ontario and the most populated city in Canada is located on the shores of Lake Ontario; Population 2,954,024

Key landmarks

  • CN Tower
  • High Park
  • Ontario Science Centre
  • Ripley’s Aquarium
  • Toronto Eaton Centre

Select housing developments

East Station by Mattamy Homes

Fairfield Towns by Plaza

Lake & Town by Menkes

Origins of Don Mills by Mattamy Homes

Terraces at Eglinton by Nascent Developments

The Belmont Residences by Caliber Homes

The New Lawrence Heights by Context Dev. Inc.

The New Lawrence Heights by Metropia

Twelve on the Ravine by Geranium


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Courts of Canterbury by Geranium

Bungalows achieve sales success at Courts of Canterbury in Port Perry

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Bungalows achieve sales success at Courts of Canterbury in Port Perry

The first phase of spectacular bungalow and bungalow-loft designs at Courts of Canterbury is more than 50 percent sold. Home builder, Geranium, started construction in late 2019, and the neighbourhood has been taking shape throughout the winter months.

Established infrastructure

Located alongside Lake Scugog in picturesque Port Perry, Courts of Canterbury homes will blend with the existing Canterbury Common adult-lifestyle community, built more than 20 years ago. Courts of Canterbury offers the ideal combination of life-enriching designs and superb finishes, in a remarkable adult-lifestyle community, just minutes to the many fine amenities of the historic town.

At its centre is a resident-only clubhouse, where homeowners can enjoy a multitude of social and fitness activities, as well as an outdoor pool and planned excursions. “The majority of Courts of Canterbury’s purchasers are scaling down from their family home. They plan to simplify their life, yet live in comfort, while taking advantage of a newly-built, warrantied home with the choice of interior finishes,” says Stephanie Lane, Geranium’s director of sales and marketing. “The private clubhouse adds an exciting opportunity to belong, and join in various activities throughout the year.”

Flexible living

Courts of Canterbury offers a variety of floorplans, many with a loft option, in addition to open-concept spaces for flexible living and entertaining. Homes have a main-floor master bedroom and deluxe ensuite bathroom. Two model homes showcase the imaginative designs. High-end finishes include nine-foot ceilings and quality kitchen cabinetry paired with elegant granite countertops. These features are parcelled with Geranium’s stringent construction methods and materials that exceed Ontario’s Building Code. New construction offers energy efficiency and ensures lower maintenance requirements, without expensive replacements of the roof and windows for many years.

Close at hand

Courts of Canterbury is located minutes from trails, parks, a marina, unique shops, and an array of services and eateries in Port Perry’s charming downtown core. Lakeridge Health Port Perry is known for excellent, and friendly, medical care. The town hosts many events throughout the year, including live music, theatre and festivals. Port Perry is within a one-hour commute of Toronto via GO Transit, Durham Regional Transit, and Highways 407 and 401.

Available homes in Phase 1 at Courts of Canterbury range from 1,669 to 2,587 square feet on 50-foot lots. Prices start from $799,900. Since 1977, Geranium has welcomed more than 8,000 families to its new home communities. New home purchasers will have peace-of-mind knowing that they are purchasing from a builder that has a well-earned reputation.


The sales centre and model homes are located at 52 Coulter Street, Port Perry.




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Local Focus - Newmarket & Aurora

Newmarket & Aurora are close to the city, but far from the hustle and bustle

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Newmarket & Aurora are close to the city, but far from the hustle and bustle

With some homebuyers priced out of the downtown Toronto core, not to mention limited availability, many are heading to the suburbs in search of more affordable homes.

Those looking north – to Newmarket and Aurora – may indeed find savings. They may also get more bang for their buck, in the way of larger properties and lots for those prices.

But it isn’t all about paying less in Newmarket and Aurora, where proximity to nature, including the Oak Ridges Moraine, and expanding highway and transit infrastructure, make living here and working in Toronto or elsewhere in the GTA an appealing option.


Located just seven kms north of Aurora, with a population of about 85,000, Newmarket gets lots of love.

In a recent survey conducted by the Town, 95 per cent of residents said they are satisfied with Newmarket as a place to live, and 80 per cent are satisfied with overall service levels.

“The feedback received from the Community Survey results support Newmarket’s reputation as one of the Best Places to Live in Canada, according to MoneySense Magazine,” says Mayor John Taylor.

Indeed, Newmarket was ranked in the top 25 communities in Canada in 2016 and 14th among best small cities. In 2017, Amazon Canada rated it as number 20 of the top 100 most romantic cities in Canada.

Also, as is the case with Aurora, the elections in 2018 brought change to Newmarket, when then-Mayor Tony Van Bynen decided not to seek re-election. John Taylor took over, making the economy, business growth, community building and expanding new housing developments his top priorities.


Located in York Region, Aurora is an increasingly popular and affluent town. According to the 2016 Census, the population here grew 4.2 per cent from 2011 to 55,445 – but is forecast to grow to more than 69,000 by the end of 2020.

With an average household income of more than $155,000, Aurora is one of the wealthiest towns, not just in the province, but in all of Canada.

What’s causing such growth? An increasingly diverse economy and business expansion, which drive housing demand and rising prices.

Through it all, Aurora has been able to maintain a small-town feel. In 2016, it was ranked as one of the Top 25 places to live in Canada.

Still, the October 2018 municipal election brought change to Aurora. Tom Mrakas unseated incumbent Geoff Dawe, running on a platform centred around housing and growth. He had said he wants to ensure better land use planning decisions are made through the Local Appeals Body and by implementing a Design Review Panel. He also intends to uphold the Official Plan and continue to oppose golf course redevelopment and improve municipal infrastructure.

Location, location, location

• Newmarket, population 84,224, 7 kms north of Aurora

• Aurora, population 55,445, 49 kms north of Toronto

Select housing developments


Glenway Urban Towns by Andrin Homes

Shining Hill by CountryWide Homes

Shining Hill by Regal Crest Homes

Shining Hill by Townwood Homes


Allegro by Geranium Homes

Paradise Aurora by Paradise Developments

Queen’s Grove Collection by North Star Homes

Aurora Townhomes by Andrin Homes


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Courts of Canterbury by Geranium

Courts of Canterbury offers an unbeatable adult lifestyle

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Courts of Canterbury offers an unbeatable adult lifestyle

At Courts of Canterbury, in picturesque Port Perry, Geranium has created the ideal combination of life-enriching bungalow and bungalow-loft designs, along with superb finishes, in a remarkable adult lifestyle community. Phase 1 has been released, and two professionally finished, and furnished, model homes are now open.

Perfect for right-sizing home buyers who are looking to simplify life, a total of eight floor plan styles are available, many with a loft option.

Geranium collaborated with acclaimed Designer Jo-Ann Capelaci of Colours & Concepts Inc. to create two model homes, which showcase the incredible versatility of this new collection.

The Chesterman Model

This home is a one-of-a-kind corner lot design, with a loft. With 2,474 square feet of living space, it includes two bedrooms and a den on the ground floor. The loft has a third bedroom, a full bathroom and a lounge overlooking the great room below. This Euro-chic design has a grey palette, accented with deep, rich blue, along with pops of rust and orange accessories. Modern furnishings, with clean lines in shades of blue and brown, create a warm and welcoming home.

The Cavendish Model

A bright, one-storey, two-bedroom plus den model home is a generous 1,934 square feet. Blending a light palette of cool neutrals, accented with blues and greens, Capelaci infused this home with colours that were inspired by the community’s proximity to Lake Scugog. An open-concept kitchen, dining and great room overlook the back garden. The interior is bathed in natural light, and is augmented by a vaulted ceiling.

Sought-after community

At the Centre of the Courts of Canterbury is a residents-only clubhouse, where homeowners can enjoy a multitude of social and fitness activities, and participate in planned excursions.

Courts of Canterbury is located minutes from trails, parks and a marina, as well as unique shops, services and eateries in Port Perry’s historic downtown. Port Perry’s hospital is known for excellent, and friendly, personal care.

Home to many cultural events, including live theatre, music and festivals, the town is also within an easy one-hour commute to Toronto, via GO Transit, Durham Regional Transit, or Highways 407 and 401.

A commitment to quality

Courts of Canterbury homes will blend seamlessly into the existing Canterbury Common adult-lifestyle community, built more than 20 years ago. Exterior elevations will feature elegant scale and beautiful styling, ensuring that each residence is a lasting complement to this established, mature setting.

Interiors will boast nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, sleek layouts and quality finishes, such as granite countertops and custom cabinetry throughout. Homes range from 1,453 to 2,587 square feet on 50-foot lots, and are priced from $799,900.

Geranium’s stringent construction methods exceed Ontario’s Building Code, and along with the Tarion warranty coverage, new home buyers can rest assured that they’re purchasing a well-built, energy efficient home. Since 1977, Geranium has welcomed more than 8,000 families to its new home communities.


905.982.2649 | courtsofcanterbury.com


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Model Home Feature: Courts of Canterbury by Geranium

Courts of Canterbury by Geranium a model of excellence

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Courts of Canterbury by Geranium a model of excellence

Geranium invites right-sizing homebuyers to enjoy a wonderful adult-lifestyle community at Courts of Canterbury in picturesque Port Perry. Situated alongside Lake Scugog, a short walk to the historic downtown, Geranium is now previewing a portfolio of imaginative bungalow and bungalow-loft designs with open-concept spaces that are ideal for flexible living and entertaining.

This bungalow model finished in a Hamptons style has an upscale yet relaxing, tranquil environment. A palette of cool neutrals is accented with pale blues and greens inspired by the community’s waterfront location. The light colours complement the nine-ft. ceilings, beautiful large windows and sliding doors, and soaring vaulted ceiling. The interior furnishings incorporate cherished keepsakes and travel acquisitions, and the gallery-style artwork throughout adds splashes of colour and interest. In the kitchen, two-toned cabinetry is paired with stylish quartz stone countertops, and elegant flooring provides a seamless transition from room to room. Finally, the master bedroom and adjoining ensuite offer a soothing, zen-like retreat to rest and relax.

Courts of Canterbury in Port Perry

Adult-lifestyle community with private clubhouse, outdoor pool, and social activities.

Sales office: 48 Coulter St., Port Perry

Model Name: The Cavendish

Style: 50-ft. detached bungalows and bungalow-lofts

Designer: Colours & Concepts Inc.




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Courts of Canterbury

Courts of Canterbury is an all-bungalow community in Port Perry

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Courts of Canterbury is an all-bungalow community in Port Perry

This summer, the award-winning new home, and community, builder, Geranium, will introduce Courts of Canterbury, located alongside Lake Scugog and minutes from Port Perry’s historic downtown core. Built more than 20 years ago, a new addition to the highly sought-after Canterbury Common adult-lifestyle community presents an all-new bungalow portfolio, which blends seamlessly into the existing neighbourhood.


At the heart of the community is a resident-only clubhouse – The Centre. Here, residents can enjoy a multitude of social and fitness activities, in addition to swimming in the outdoor pool and taking in the natural wonders on the waterfront trail.

Set along people-friendly streetscapes, Geranium’s new exterior designs complement the already-established community’s mature settting, with impressive details as it relates to scale and style.

Two-, three- and four-bedroom bungalows, and bungalow-loft options are available. Interior layouts feature an efficient, and effective, use of space. The open-concept floorplans are ideal for entertaining and everyday living. When stairs become an obstacle, the main-floor master bedroom, along with a deluxe ensuite, are truly convenient. An additional bedroom is included on the loft opition, or a bedroom could be added on a future basement renovation.

Courts of Canterbury homes include high-end finishes, such as nine-foot ceilings on the main level, as well as quality kitchen cabinetry, paired with elegant granite countertops. Prices for phase one start at $799,900 on 50-foot lots. Construction methods and materials exceed Ontario’s Building Code, providing improved energy efficiency and lower maintenance.

Free and easy

Courts of Canterbury is just steps away from the waterfront trail, parks and marina on Lake Scugog. An array of eateries, boutiques and services make up Port Perry’s downtown, which has become a popular tourist destination with it’s unique shops, galleries and water access. A Lakeridge Health medical institution, Port Perry’s Hospital, provides excellent care.

With more than 9,500 residents, Port Perry is a small town with the amenities of a much larger centre. “In Port Perry, we’re creating a wonderful new opportunity for people to purchase an elegant bungalow, within an easy one-hour commute of the GTA via GO Transit, Durham Regional Transit or Highway 407,” says Stephanie Lane, director of marketing and sales.

The idyllic town of Port Perry hosts top-quality theatre and musical productions, as well as artists’ studio tours, festivals and annual events.

Since 1977, Geranium has welcomed more than 8,000 families to their new home communities. Their well-earned reputation provides new home buyers with a heightened comfort level when making that all-important purchase. At Courts of Canterbury you’ll find the home that you’ve been looking for.




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In Conversation With Cheryl Shindruk, BILD Chair, & Executive Vice-President, Geranium

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In Conversation With Cheryl Shindruk, BILD Chair, & Executive Vice-President, Geranium

Homebuyers may not realize or appreciate it, but hard at work behind the scenes on their behalf are industry organizations such as the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD). In the last few years, given the challenging affordability, supply and policy issues facing the GTA housing market, BILD is not just important but essential to protecting the public interest.

Charged with building on this momentum for the next two years as BILD Chair is Cheryl Shindruk, who also is executive vice-president of land development at homebuilder, Geranium.

HOMES Magazine spoke with Shindruk to get her insights on these and other issues.

HOMES Magazine: You recently spoke at BILD’s Chair’s Dinner, with your topic being “leading change.” How do you, or BILD, plan to lead change in your tenure as Chair?

Cheryl Shindruk: The continued success of BILD, and our reputation as an industry, depends on our commitment to professionalism and excellence. We must be principled and fact-based in our approach; determined to have a voice and communicating our message loud and clear.

One way we can achieve change is to continue to focus on educating the public on the role our industry plays in contributing to the high quality of life this region offers, and the challenges we have delivering housing that people can afford, where and when it is needed.

HM: What were some of the other key messages in your address?

CS: Our advocacy agenda with government achieved some great momentum in 2018. We need to continue our work to help government create a regulatory environment and approvals process that is fair and streamlined, free of duplication, while protecting the public interest, and creates positive conditions that allow our members to build and renovate homes, and places for people to work and play. Collectively, we need to work to restore balance and stability in the housing market.

HM: The industry – through BILD, the OHBA and TREB – has made great strides over the last few years in getting governments to understand the challenges facing builders and developers, and therefore homebuyers. What’s your outlook for these relationships – how do you see things progressing over the next year or so.

CS: I believe in the power of partnership and collaboration with all levels of government, with the financial institutions, sister construction associations, chambers of commerce and BIAs, with our colleagues in the environmental and resource sectors and, with the media. We will continue to strengthen these partnerships as a means to achieving regulatory environment that allows us to meet the housing, commercial and industrial building needs of this region.

HM: Try to look ahead to a year or so from now. What accomplishment would signal your tenure as BILD Chair as a success you would be proud of?

CS: Our organization is poised to take on the challenges of 2019. The staff and board of BILD are highly qualified when it comes to talent, experience and work ethic. Advancing our advocacy agenda with government; further educating homeowners and prospective buyers; and restoring balance and stability in the housing market will signal to me that we’ve accomplished what we set out to do.

BILD Chair
BILD Chair Cheryl Shindruk, centre, with BILD President Dave Wilkes, left, and William Moore, president, Solutions Ink.

HM: Through this interview with HOMES Magazine, you’re also speaking directly to prospective homebuyers – who are growing increasingly concerned about affordability in the GTA. What would you say to them on this and other topics they need to be aware of, to keep their homebuying hopes realistic?

CS: Two things: Educate yourselves on the issues contributing to affordability, and get involved. In conjunction with traditional media channels, the Internet provides an abundance of information about our industry. Be sure to check sources and subscribe to different outlets for a balanced picture.

Ensure that your elected officials understand your concerns and viewpoint, at all levels of government.

We are committed to working with government and stakeholders so that our industry can do its part in delivering an ample supply and mix of housing options, and achieving balance and stability in the housing market. We need a regulatory environment and approvals process that allows this to happen.

HM: How has your work at Geranium prepared you for your position as Chair of BILD?

CS: I have been fortunate to have been able to pursue a career that merges my passions for city planning, community building, business and volunteerism. Since joining Geranium in 2003, I’ve had the opportunity to work on many complex and challenging files, receiving guidance and mentorship from outstanding business partners and Geranium’s principals, who lead by example. I’m inspired by our land development team, and we’ve all embraced a strong commitment to communication, consultation and collaboration. This is what helps me most in my role with Geranium and prepares me for the position of Chair of BILD.

Chair’s Dinner
Shindruk at the podium, delivering her keynote address at the 2019 Chair’s Dinner.

HM: Let’s talk more about Geranium… What’s in store for 2019?

CS: On the sales and marketing side, we will continue to sell and build our design-forward new homes in Aurora, Stouffville, Toronto East and Pickering. With our partners in Friday Harbour, Innisfil, we’re bringing this resort community to fruition on Lake Simcoe. We expect to launch new home communities in Port Perry and Pickering. We’ll also be continuing our planning and development processes on existing land holdings, working with government and agencies to create places which contribute to the diversity of housing styles, employment and lifestyle opportunities, while enhancing the communities we have the privilege of working in.

HM: How do you think your work at BILD will benefit you in your day job at Geranium?

CS: I value the work of BILD, OHBA and CHBA, which is why Geranium is a member. Our President, Boaz Feiner was a two-term BILD board member, and Louie Morizio, senior vice-president of construction, has served on RESCON’s board of directors. Whether through a formal role, or in other ways, Geranium and I will continue to have a voice in our industry.


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Builders constantly improve energy efficiency of new homes

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Builders constantly improve energy efficiency of new homes

Energy efficiency is a concern for homeowners, for the obvious reason of saving money on utility bills, but also the impact on the environment. In the home building industry, the Ontario Building Code (OBC) is updated every few years, often resulting in increasing energy efficiency standards in new homes.

It is important, as an industry, to achieve and exceed OBC requirements to create homes with increased sustainability. Participating in voluntary third-party rating systems, such as Energy Star and LEED, is one way builders improve energy efficiency. In addition, numerous builders create their own specific programs to ensure their homes are better built than the OBC.

Undertaking their own research and reviewing new technologies and materials that are cost and time saving, as well as reducing environmental impact, is an ongoing process for residential builders. It is important to keep an open mind when presented with new products while ensuring they are effective. This often requires extensive testing.

For example, Geranium is testing a new liquid tar material to seal flat roofs. The substance is poured into place becoming a puncture-resistant rubber membrane that seals roof edges and penetrations on the exterior more effectively against inclement weather. It is a durable product, requiring less maintenance and repair and decreases drafts, thereby contributing to overall energy saving.


Many builders devote time and energy to enhance their construction techniques to make sure homes are well sealed, incorporate good air flow and have minimal air leakage. These efforts are being acknowledged through industry recognition. The Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), for example, includes a Green Home Builder of the Year category in its annual awards. The Residential Energy Services Network (RESNET) holds a Cross Border Builder Challenge and gives awards for the lowest Home Energy Rating System (HERS) score. The lower the score, the better it is for the environment. Recently, Geranium proudly received the award for the lowest score (HERS 42) in the Canadian midproduction category for a home in our Whitchurch-Stouffville Bloomington Woods community.

There are different ways builders may address energy efficiency. Other examples include using raised heel trusses providing consistent thickness and more space for attic insulation, Tyvek Air Barrier (a home wrap that performs as a superior air barrier), sprayed-in-place expandable foam insulation and Energy Star qualified windows, all of which Geranium uses. To inform people of the benefits of how we build and the process behind it, we’ve created an online video and hold events such as Hard Hat Tours led by the construction team in a home being built prior to drywall installation to help educate our homeowners on the building process.

In the GTA, the push to design more functional smaller spaces is encouraging lowrise builders to create higher density housing forms, and as a result, seek out innovative products. For example, installing a tankless water heater in combination with an air handler for space heating means the equipment takes up less valuable space while improving energy efficiency; a benefit to the homeowner.

Ontario’s builders are focused on offering top-quality energy-efficient homes that will take owners into the future in comfort and with confidence.

Louie Morizio is senior vice-president, construction, housing division for Geranium and a director of RESCON. Since 1977, Geranium has built more than 8,000 homes in fine neighbourhoods and communities throughout Ontario. Geranium.com


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Geranium contributes to Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank

Geranium contributes to Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank

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Geranium contributes to Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank

Geranium continues to support the Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank with a donation of over $5,000.

Geranium generously donated $5,050 to the Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank. This year, contributions from SCS Consulting Group Ltd., Griffith Property Services Ltd., PACE Credit Union, Peak Flow Water Consulting Services Ltd., and Eye-View Drain Services were incorporated in the donation. Representatives from Geranium and PACE Credit Union were on-hand to present Anand Daté, chair of the Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank, with the donation.

Geranium contributes to Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank
Geranium contributes to Whitchurch-Stouffville Food Bank

Geranium’s long-standing commitment to the town of Whitchurch-Stouffville began in 2008 with the award-winning, master-planned The Neighbourhoods of Cardinal Point community. This development spans 100 acres north of Main Street between Highway 48 and Ninth Line.

“Giving back to communities in which we build is very important to us and remains one of our core principals,” said Boaz Feiner, president of Geranium. In 2016, Geranium was a supporting sponsor of the Main Street Habitat for Humanity home build project and employees helped to build a house for a working, low-income Whitchurch-Stouffville family.

Holding the cheque, Boaz Feiner, left, and Anand Daté with Geranium and PACE representatives.
Holding the cheque, Boaz Feiner, left, and Anand Daté with Geranium and PACE representatives.

In addition to the financial contribution, throughout the month of September Geranium collected food donations from residents of The Neighbourhoods of Cardinal Point, which were delivered to the food bank. Food Bank volunteers will distribute the non-perishable food items and use funds to purchase fresh meat, fruit, vegetables, bread and dairy year-round.

Since 1977, Geranium has created unparalleled master-planned communities and built more than 8,000 homes throughout Ontario.



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Understanding Development Charges

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Understanding Development Charges

The purchase price of a new home is comprised of many components – a significant portion of which is a tax referred to as Development Charges (DCs).

According to recent Altus Group statistics prepared for the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), Development Charges account for more than 20 per cent of new home prices in the GTA. The average new single-family home includes about $186,000 in DCs. These are one-time fees imposed by municipalities on land developers, homebuilders and institutions when they build within their boundaries.

The idea behind these fees is to help defray the costs to provide the additional infrastructure that is or will be needed to accommodate the increase in population from the new developments.

People typically think of infrastructure as roads and sewers, but Development Charges also go toward a variety of amenities that benefit entire communities.

Development Charges are protected by legislation. In 2016, Bill 73, the Smart Growth for Our Communities Act, came into effect to help ensure predictability and accountability of municipalities, help them fund growth, protect greenspaces and ease the planning/appeals process. These steps were taken to improve on the Development Charges Act that was implemented in Ontario in 1989.

Municipalities conduct studies to determine what services and infrastructure will be required in the future to accommodate growth. Through the mechanism of a bylaw, they have the ability to determine fees that can be used to pay for hard and/or soft services. Hard services include items such as roads, water and waste management. Examples of soft services are libraries, parks and recreation centres. A simple way to think of this system is that growth pays for growth.

The Neighbourhoods of Cardinal Point in Whitchurch-Stouffville.

A good example of how Development Charges are applied is in the growing Midhurst area in the Township of Springwater, Simcoe County, where Geranium has land holdings in the Doran Road and Carson Road communities. The DCs on new homes built here will help with the creation of a comprehensive new parks and recreation master plan offering an exciting array of facilities and amenities. These will include neighbourhood parks, ball diamonds, splash pads, trails, tennis courts, picnic pavilions, a multi-purpose recreation centre with a twin-pad arena, curling rink, community centres and potentially more. In addition, these funds will pave the way for expansion on critical services such as fire and police protection. When delivered, these substantial amenities will result in a higher quality of life for residents of the area, whether current or future.

Municipalities experiencing growth have a limited number of tools at their disposal to raise funds to support the aforementioned hard and soft services. Voters do not like it when their political representatives raise property taxes, so development charges often bear the brunt of costs associated with growth. This explains why they account for 20 per cent of the price of a home in the GTA.

Families buying a new home are often drawn to it because of the surrounding neighbourhood and the opportunities to enjoy parks and trails, recreation facilities and community centres. These amenities are provided, repaired and maintained partly as the result of Development Charges.

Shauna Dudding is senior vice-president, development for Geranium. Since 1977, the company has built more than 8,000 homes throughout Ontario. Geranium.com


In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share



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