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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.

HOME ENERGY RATING

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.

geranium.com


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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

RELATED READING:

In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share

 

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The View From Inside: Have Your Say!

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The View From Inside: Have Your Say!

Why voting in municipal elections is important

Canadians lives are greatly affected by the policies of, and decisions made by, our governments. Fortunately, we live in a country where we can express our views at all levels – by voting.

The upcoming municipal elections across Ontario offer an opportunity to influence local outcomes, and many feel, as I do, that voting is both a privilege and a responsibility. Municipal councils are elected to make decisions that affect us directly. Among these are the delivery of important services such as water, sewage treatment, waste collection, public transit, land use planning, emergency services, economic development, libraries, parks design – all of which have a lasting impact on our communities.

At Geranium, we see the effects of municipal election outcomes firsthand. Over 20 per cent of the cost of a new home is comprised of government fees and charges, which are set by elected officials.

A 2018 study by the Altus Group found that average government charges for a single-detached home in the GTA amount to $186,300, representing 21.7 per cent of the cost. Since 2004, development charges have increased across the GTA between 236 and 878 per cent. Of course, this is affecting the affordability of new homes.

Elected officials are also responsible for approving official plans, which provide guidance on where and what type of homes can be built. They approve zoning bylaws that control the standards for new home construction. These cover elements such as how far from the street a dwelling should be set back, how much of the lot can be covered by buildings and the spacing between houses.

The length of the process for these approvals affects the time to deliver new homes to the market. Local governments have an opportunity to streamline approvals, remove duplication and waste to facilitate timely home construction. They can also work with the building and development industry to meet the variety of needs in the community: people renting, first-time homebuyers, and those ready to scale down, to name a few. Ensuring there is an adequate supply of serviced land for the construction of new homes is an important role played by municipal councils. The complex development process requires careful planning and timely processing to ensure homes can be built in response to market need.

Local councils are also responsible for approving official plans that guide change in our neighbourhoods. They may identify new greenfield areas for development that require the extension of municipal services. They determine density targets to achieve intensification goals and earmark locations for intensification and redevelopment that can utilize existing infrastructure. They also set locations of parks and schools.

Whether or not you are in the market for a home, decisions are being made that may affect you now, or in the future. Each year, the building, development and professional renovation industry creates thousands of jobs and contributes billions of dollars to our local, provincial and national economy. Find more information at BuildForGrowth.ca. Take time to research the candidates running for election to find out whose values you share. Voting is a way of having a direct say about the future of our communities.

Cheryl Shindruk is executive vice president, land development for Geranium. Celebrating over 40 years in business Geranium has created master-planned communities including more than 8,000 homes in Ontario. Geranium.com

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EDITOR'S CHOICE: Geranium

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Geranium

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EDITOR’S CHOICE: Geranium

New and natural detached living in Pickering and Aurora

Fall signals a resurgence of movement in the new home market. When school starts, and summer holidays are now memories, people find time to absorb change and plan for the future.

Geranium has been delivering quality new homes and communities for more than 40 years. Today, two remarkable lifestyle opportunities are ready for discovery.

Allegro has a fabulous downtown location with preserved green space and walking trails.
Allegro has a fabulous downtown location with preserved green space and walking trails.

ALLEGRO

Allegro is nestled in Aurora’s downtown core on a rare former golf course property, minutes from Yonge Street and bordering Bathurst Street. New cul-de-sac streets, and homes on gracious 52-foot and 61-foot lots, are woven into an established neighbourhood where existing trees reach above the rooftops. Almost half of the community is preserved as a park and greenspace for residents of Allegro and all of Aurora to enjoy. Allegro presents a unique lifestyle opportunity where every store and restaurant you can imagine is at your doorstep.

Timeless architecture is combined with contemporary designs that reflect the way families live, with flexible open-concept areas, as well as private spaces, which may include an office or a library, ideal for today’s work-from-home culture.

Allegro offers four and five-bedroom layouts with two- and three-car garages, in two-storey and bungalow-loft configurations plus many options to personalize, such as an elevator and a dog wash. Homes have oversized patio doors opening onto a wonderful covered loggia, providing magnificent views and connection to mature treed backyards.

With striking exteriors, flexible designs and outstanding finishes in a sought-after locale, Allegro is perfect for purchasers seeking a luxury forever home. Floorplans range from approximately 3,100 to under 4,400 square feet with prices starting from $2 million.

Edgewood offers desirable family-sized homes.
Edgewood offers desirable family-sized homes.

EDGEWOOD

Discover a new collection of detached homes in a mature, family-friendly neighbourhood adjacent to preserved woods and close to everything in Pickering. Edgewood offers just 21 residences set on 43-foot and 50-foot lots on Woodview Avenue, west of Altona Road and north of Twyn Rivers Drive.

Edgewood has a peaceful residential setting, while close to Pickering Town Centre and the bustling Frenchman’s Bay waterfront. Nearby are two GO Transit stations and Highways 401 and 407. Just around the corner, Altona Forest is a 102-acre urban forest with a four-kilometre trail system.

Choose from seven model types; each has three levels of finished living areas with handsome brick and stone facades, recessed garages with space for up to three cars, front porches and backyard walk-outs. Edgewood plans range in size from 3,200 to 4,000 square feet with prices starting from $1.3 million.

Geranium is an award-winning homebuilder with a reputation for quality construction. Homes are built better than Ontario’s Building Code and constructed with the company’s stringent building materials and methods for lasting value.

Just as you will shop around for the right home, also consider exploring the options for a mortgage provider; credit unions, for example, offer product alternatives to the big banks.

GERANIUM

Visit Geranium’s website to learn more about Allegro in Aurora and Edgewood in Pickering — and all of Geranium’s communities.

Geranium.com


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The View From Inside: Is The Market Gaining Stability?

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The View From Inside: Is The Market Gaining Stability?

Sales statistics indicate small signs of market improvement

The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) reports for July reflect a rise in sales when compared to spring and summer 2017 and early 2018. Is this an indication that the market is gaining stability? Yes, but it’s early days yet.

The initial impact of the Liberal Ontario government’s Fair Housing Plan, introduced in April 2017, quickly started to cool things down and many buyers chose to postpone purchasing a home. Then in January, new stresstest guidelines were announced by the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) requiring all buyers seeking a mortgage from federally regulated lenders (i.e. top tier banks), including those with more than 20 per cent down payments, to qualify at the five-year fixed rate as reported by the Bank of Canada. These two regulations negatively impacted homebuyers’ confidence. At the time, numerous industry experts predicted that the results would be temporary and there are some indications that they were right.

TREB also reported that sales numbers rose from 5,869 in July 2017 to 6,961 in July 2018 (an 18.6 per cent gain). The same report showed the average price increased by 4.8 per cent. Toronto MLS statistics for July 2018 showed that the median number of days on the market was 25 – much more usual than the previously recorded days of multiple offers and sales within a day of listing.

These statistics indicate small signs of market improvement. However, the changes to both the number of sales and average prices show increases from 2017, a year where both were considerably lower over previous years.

Although slight mortgage rate increases by the big banks in the last quarter have been introduced, rates remain historically low. Forecasts indicate that minor increases are still expected in 2018, prompting some buyers to act now and take advantage of lower interest rates.

In terms of demand for housing, this continues to outpace supply, which often has an effect of putting upward pressure on home prices. Statistics Canada reports that in the Toronto Census Metropolitan Area more than 1.2 million people moved in between 2001 and 2016, yet only just over 500,000 new dwelling units were constructed, which is not enough to fulfill demand.

When considering a home purchase, new construction has many advantages, including the latest building materials, techniques and home-efficiency technology in place upon move in, compared to updating through renovation. Further, there is the opportunity to select the features and finishes which will personalize a house into a home. Those who buy early, prior to the start of construction, have time to organize and sell their existing homes, if applicable.

And then there’s location, location, location. Many new homebuyers today are opting for infill developments that offer a roster of existing amenities already in place. The feeling of home and community is there from the onset, which is both comforting and convenient.

Take time to research new home communities and start thinking about the opportunities they present. Whatever your taste and lifestyle needs, a perfect new home is waiting just for you.

Stephanie Lane is sales and marketing director for Geranium. Celebrating 40 years in business, Geranium has created master-planned communities including more than 8,000 homes in Ontario.

Geranium.com

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OHBA 2018 Awards of Distinction

OHBA Awards of Distinction finalists named

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OHBA Awards of Distinction finalists named

The Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) is pleased to announce the 2018 Awards of Distinction finalists. Judged by a panel of industry professionals from across Canada, the entries were submitted into 41 categories showcasing excellence in building, design, professional renovation, and sales and marketing. The complete list of finalists is available online at ohbaaod.ca/winners-finalists/.

The Awards of Distinction winners will be announced September 25, 2018 at the OHBA Conference in Ottawa.

Notably, OHBA will also announce the winner of the prestigious 2018 Ontario Home Builder of the Year award to a company that exemplifies outstanding professionalism and integrity within their business, industry and community.

This year, finalists are Tridel, Minto Communities and Great Gulf.

Finalists for the coveted Ontario Renovator of the Year award are Amsted Design-Build, OakWood and Lagois Design Build Renovate.

Until August 24, the public also has a chance to vote online for their favourite project and help decide who wins the 2018 People’s Choice Award (vote here https://www.ohbaaod.ca/). People’s Choice Award contenders are the top finalists in Project of the Year Lowrise and Project of the Year High or Midrise awards categories:

Geranium for Friday Harbour, HIP Developments for The Gaslight District, Minto Communities for Glen Agar, Mizrahi Developments for The One, North Drive Investments for One Forest Hill and Paradise Developments for High Point.

“This year, we’ve seen the rise of #homebelievers in Ontario – that is, government, builders, renovator, and local champions rallying around the great Canadian dream of home ownership,” said OHBA president Pierre Dufresne. “The OHBA Awards of Distinction has always celebrated that dream by recognizing excellence in homebuilding, professional renovation and sales and marketing; all of these efforts lead to more housing supply and choice in communities across Ontario.”

As #homebeliever champions, the OHBA believes in the great Canadian dream of home ownership by supporting more housing choice and supply across Ontario. OHBA is the voice of the residential construction industry in Ontario, representing 4,000 member companies organized into 29 local associations across the province.


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EDITOR'S CHOICE: Geranium

EDITOR’S CHOICE: Geranium

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EDITOR’S CHOICE: Geranium

Stylish detached homes offered in Pickering

Following a successful preview sales program, Edgewood by Geranium is slated to begin construction this year. Take advantage of this remarkable opportunity to own a spectacular detached home situated in a mature, family-friendly neighbourhood adjacent to preserved woods and close to everything in Pickering.

“We are experiencing steady interest for well-located, well-designed detached family-sized homes like Edgewood offers,” says Stephanie Lane, director, sales and marketing.

Hickory Elevation A (artist's concept).
Hickory Elevation A (artist’s concept).

A sought-after private enclave setting on Woodview Avenue, Edgewood is located just west of Altona Road and north of Twyn Rivers Drive. With only 21 architecturally stunning residences set on 40-foot and 50-foot-wide lots, Edgewood will offer elegant streetscapes of stately homes with exteriors of architectural stone and brick and attractive embellishments.

Purchase any of the seven model types and, when moving day arrives, your family will immediately be able to enjoy three levels of beautifully finished living space. Being slab-on-grade construction, the uniqueness of Edgewood provides for fully finished lower levels having a recreation room with walk-out to the garden, powder room, as well as garage parking for up to three cars.

Homes also feature main floors with modern, open-concept layouts where kitchen and breakfast areas flow into great rooms and have a walkout to the rear deck. Living and dining areas are separate or combined depending on the model type selected and many designs have a separate den, which makes an ideal home office.

Upper floors have master bedroom retreats with a spacious sleeping area, walk-in closet and spa-style ensuite. Three large family bedrooms have ensuite or shared ensuite access. The laundry room is also conveniently located on the upper floor.

Edgewood offers gracious interiors with nine-foot main floor ceilings and oversized windows. Homes include desirable features and finishes, such as a gas fireplace, decorative coffered and tray ceilings, and purchasers’ choice of engineered hardwood flooring and elegant cabinetry. Kitchens in some layouts have a pantry and separate servery connecting to the dining room and all have granite countertops with undermount sink.

These homes will be built with Geranium’s stringent building materials and methods, resulting in a home built better than Ontario Building Code for lasting value.

Minutes away, Frenchman's Bay is a fabulous destination.
Minutes away, Frenchman’s Bay is a fabulous destination.

Edgewood offers a peaceful, residential setting against a backdrop of preserved woods yet is less than 15 minutes to Pickering Town Centre and the bustling Frenchman’s Bay waterfront. Commuting is easy with Rouge Hill and Pickering GO Transit stations close by and Highway 401 and 407 just minutes away. Nearby are the University of Toronto’s Scarborough Campus, Centennial College Morningside Campus, the Toronto Pan Am Centre and the Toronto Zoo.

The Edgewood neighbourhood has an abundance of shopping options from brand name stores to small boutiques, so whether you’re shopping for home office requirements, groceries or a celebratory gift, you’ll find what you need nearby. Families will also appreciate being just a few minutes from Altona Forest, Pickering’s 102-acre urban forest with a four-kilometre trail system winding through cedar and hardwood forests, wetlands and meadows, home to a multitude of flora and fauna.

Celebrating 40 years in business, Geranium has created many master-planned communities and built more than 8,000 homes in Ontario.

Edgewood homes range in size from 3,238 to 3,990 square feet with prices starting from $1,284,900.

GERANIUM
Edgewood

The Sales Centre is open by appointment only.

647.984.5677

EdgewoodPickering.com


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The View From Inside: Building A Rewarding Career

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The View From Inside: Building A Rewarding Career

Many builders are running programs to promote work in the trades

Prices of new homes today are affected by numerous factors, including the availability of skilled construction tradespeople. When there are fewer crews available to work on job sites, the total time required to complete the new homes may be extended.

In the GTA, we are experiencing a shortage of skilled workers – bricklayers and framers, to name just two. The good news is that the construction industry is working with unions and colleges through associations and affiliations to remedy the situation. Topping the list are efforts to educate and interest high school students, and to attract women, Indigenous peoples and new Canadians through specific initiatives.

“We are just starting a one-year labour market information study and video series that will promote trades, determine recruitment and retention best practices, as well as highlight the high job satisfaction of many tradespeople in the residential sector,” says Andrew Pariser, vice president of RESCON (Residential Construction Council of Ontario). “We will profile 25 different trades through the eyes of one man and one woman in each. The videos will help the viewer understand the components of each trade and demonstrate the tremendous opportunities available.”

Amina Dibe, project and policy analyst at RESCON, is implementing projects that promote recruitment and retention in the residential construction industry.

“By providing resources for school boards outlining what a job in construction entails and showing examples, we create broader awareness,” she says. “Most people have never heard of jobs such as a concrete finisher and drain-layout specialist.”

Another RESCON project includes a partnership with the construction management program at George Brown College. “Each year, we enroll 12 to 15 graduates for two semesters — one in the classroom and one placement in the field,” Dibe says. “On completion, the students are hired into positions such as junior project manager, junior estimator or site clerk.”

In addition, through Humber College’s Carpentry and Renovations Technician program, RESCON is implementing a pilot that will place 15 graduates into jobs in one of six residential trades including highrise and lowrise forming, concrete and drain, and tile. Starting in September, the students will have fourmonth contracts, with the hope that they will be kept on full time.

“We’d like to expand the program to other colleges and engage a higher number of graduates not traditionally seen in the construction trades,” Dibe notes.

By virtue of her own career, Dibe is an inspiration. Her presentations during the George Brown program have resulted in a spike in female participants. “Women are often detail oriented with exceptional fine motor skills,” Pariser adds. “They often outperform men in the finishing trades.”

Many builders are pitching in by running programs to promote work in the trades as well. In addition, the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program (OYAP) enables high school students to earn cooperative education credits through work placement in apprenticeable trades. Following graduation, they can become registered apprentices.

At Geranium, we are proud to be part of the construction industry, which is a major economic driver in Ontario. We support the efforts among government and the private sector to encourage more people of all ages and backgrounds to consider the building trades as a rewarding career choice.

Louie Morizio is vice president, housing 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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