Tag Archives: home builders

New home sales centre app

Program helps builders get back to business safely after COVID-19

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Program helps builders get back to business safely after COVID-19

Toronto-based real estate marketing and advertising firm Ryan Design has created a customizable and innovative turnkey safety COVID-19 program for new-home builders.

New home sales centre app

When sales offices reopen, they will need to be ready to provide an environment that is safe for everyone and continues to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

A leading marketing firm serving numerous homebuilders across Canada, and trained by the World Health Organization (WHO), Ryan Design has created a complete COVID-19 safety program that is innovative and customizable to any builder.

As an essential service, homebuilders continue to build the homes people have been promised across the province. Using technology and an app, staff and trades workers on construction sites can help to ensure everyone’s safety.

Touchless job site sign-in portal

To keep everyone on the job site and in the community safe, Ryan Design has created a Touchless Job Site Sign-In and Sign-Out Portal. Tradespeople can now scan at arrival and departure and conduct health screening using an app on their phone.

A complete signage package for the app can been created for a builder’s job site. This part of the program also includes staff training and a complete reporting package for builders regarding trades on site.

Reopening sales centres and decor studios

When builders are allowed to reopen sales centres and design studios, these spaces will have to function differently and be safer for everybody, yet still be welcoming.

Another part of this new program for builders is a retrofit plan for existing sales offices. It includes easy installation of materials to add physical distance and innovative COVID-19 branded kits to help them feel safe and more comfortable in their homebuying journey.

COVID-19 changed the way sales consultants connect with prospective homebuyers and close a sale. Early on, Ryan Design developed a proprietary virtual selling system so that homebuilders could continue doing business. For many, this system has led to more new-home sales than anticipated after their sales office closure.

This customizable and innovative turnkey COVID-19 safety program for new-home builders by Ryan Design is a way to plan for a safe and secure reopening. With this program, both builders and homebuyers can feel safe and comfortable when it’s time to reopen.



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The Power Seat – building industry CEOs call for government change

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The Power Seat – building industry CEOs call for government change

The Power Seat is a new feature series in which we put one pointed question to a select, specific audience.

We asked CEO level executives among the homebuilding community:

“You have been invited to a meeting with representatives of municipal, provincial and federal governments, and it’s your turn to speak. What do you say to them?”


This year is one of continual growth, which presents the opportunity to respond to the current and future challenges Ontarians face. All levels of government project an increase in Ontario’s population of 2.6 million #homebelievers by 2031. Change is where need meets opportunity.
We need more housing supply and choice across Ontario, and that means housing can be a cornerstone solution to climate change, the employment skills gap and the economy. Instead of viewing growth as a problem, let’s view it as the change opportunity for the type of future, communities and neighbourhoods that Ontarians want to call home.

Joe Vaccaro
CEO, Ontario Home Builders’ Association


All three levels of government need to work collaboratively, rather than in silos, and with one agenda, rather than competing ones. With a housing affordability and supply problem impacting the GTA, we need solutions-oriented collaboration.
We need to make it simpler to bring new homes to market by streamlining the process, faster to build new homes by reducing approval times, and fairer by making sure fees and taxes are equitable

Dave Wilkes
President and CEO, BILD


Help us do our job to create new housing. We have a shortage of housing because of the lack of supply. Don’t look at new housing as a golden goose that you can keep laying on more and more municipal charges. Right now, about 24 per cent of the cost of all new housing is going to some level of government in the form of taxes, levies, charges and fees.

Gary Switzer
Chief Executive Officer MOD Developments, Toronto


The three levels of government, as well as builders and developers, may all have different constituencies, but our objectives are remarkably similar.

Affordable housing works for all of us. Good planning works for all of us. Good design works for all of us. Building Green buildings works for all of us. Governments working together with developers works for all of us and can help facilitate all of this.

At The Rose Corporation, we accomplished exactly this, working with York Region, the Town of Newmarket and the federal government (CMHC). Together, we are now building a sustainable, complete and better overall community for having worked in close consultation with each other.

Daniel Berholz
President, The Rose Corporation


The largest issue surrounds climate change, GHG emissions and resilience in new housing. Over the next decade, these may be some of the biggest changes our industry will face. Our building code is about to be changed to begin steering the industry towards net-zero homes.

Government needs to support the R&D side of the construction industry so that new and better products can be developed. Net-zero homes are achievable. There are a number of builders that have already constructed a discovery home and are looking at the ability to market this in a production capacity. Although from a technical perspective this is achievable, it will come at a significant cost. Net-zero homes will not be cheap.

The bigger question, then, is, will such initiatives be affordable? This is what governments will have to balance. When they regulate such a high minimum standard, our industry will be forced to meet the requirements. This is where R&D pays back. We need materials and products that are approved and available at the best price points possible to adopt into our building program.

Government should keep a close eye on the timing for mandating high standards of construction, and be mindful that affordability must be a top priority in the implementation.

Johnathan Schickedanz
General Manager, FarSight Homes, President, Durham Region Home Builders’ Association


Housing affordability is one of the most important issues facing Canadians today. TREB remains diligent, along with other real estate boards and associations across Canada, in urging all levels of government to remove barriers and reduce the cost of homeownership.

With all levels of government in Canada, plus reputable international bodies acknowledging that we have a housing supply problem, and specifically the affordability pressures facing the GTA, it’s imperative for the growth of our city and region that we have flexible housing market policies that will help sustain balanced market conditions over the long term.

The time is now and policymakers need to translate their acknowledgment of supply issues into concrete solutions in 2020 to bring a greater array of ownership and rental housing online. As always, TREB will be there to help policymakers have the right impact on the market and Canadians.

John DiMichele
CEO, Toronto Real Estate Board


The bottom line is this: Unless we can shorten the time it takes to bring developments through the approval process and to market faster, demand is going to continue to outstrip supply.

There have been some very positive enhancements the provincial government has put through to try and reduce these timeframes, by reducing red tape and other changes, and we’re grateful for that.

But in many cases the Province and the municipalities do not see eye to eye on how policies should be applied, and this constant fighting continuously thwarts the positive efforts and mires the process.

We have to work together – the politicians, building industry and public – to accept growth, have growth pay for growth, and not for unrelated municipal spending as well. We need to plan to have adequate supply of all types of housing, but especially what is missing in our urban areas today – the two- and three-bedroom midrise condos – the “missing middle.”

 cl_feb2020_the_power_seat_bob_finniganBob Finnigan
Principal and COO of Acquisition & Housing, Herity, Toronto


It’s vital that all three levels of government work together to address the housing affordability issue by increasing the supply of housing to meet demands of growth in the GTA for decades to come.

Sustained infrastructure growth requires multi-level government support partnering with private enterprise to foster innovation in procurement and delivery and that the planning approval process is streamlined to avoid increased costs which impact housing affordability.

The cities in the Greater Golden Horseshoe need to actually adopt and implement provincial policies on development densities near transport nodes. Ultimately, the homeowners carry the burden of the increased costs from a lack of land supply, approval delays and development charge increases.

Niall Collins
President, Great Gulf Residential, Toronto


Canadian economists and politicians have spent the better part of the last decade sighing with relief and sharing kudos for having skirted the U.S. housing crisis. Meanwhile, north of the border, Canadians are on a rollercoaster ride, as a result of government intervention and other factors. We’ve experienced record-high housing prices, record-low interest rates, economic downturns, and domestic speculators and foreign investors pushing people out of their homes because they can’t afford to live there anymore. We’ve seen housing inventory drop, and new development hindered by red tape and mounting development fees.

We need to keep up with housing demand to maintain sustainable housing values. It’s a complex issue with many moving parts.

To Mayor John Tory: Eliminate the municipal Land Transfer Tax, or at the very least, cap it. With Toronto’s ever-increasing property values, this tax is prohibitive in an already unaffordable market. The prospect of having to pay double LTT is deterring some move-up buyers from listing their homes, further straining the already low housing supply. How do you intend to stimulate housing market activity?

To Premier Doug Ford: Domestic and foreign immigration to Ontario is critical to a healthy economy, but as you work to continue attracting the biggest and best businesses to the province, where will you house the employees and their families? Housing supply is critically low, with developers stuck behind red tape and buried under development fees, preventing them from building the homes Ontarians so desperately need.

To Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: Canada needs a National Housing Strategy that addresses inventory and affordability in our cities. Many Canadians, especially Millennials, new immigrants and those employed in the so-called “gig economy” feel homeownership is becoming less tangible by the day. While politicians of all stripes acknowledge the mounting urgency of affordable housing, few are offering any timely or compelling solutions. Focus on creating supply and affordability in a sustainable way, instead of continuing to support corrective measures that have constrained Canadians from participating in the economically beneficial practice of homeownership.

Christopher Alexander
Executive Vice-President and Regional Director, ReMax of Ontario- Atlantic Canada



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Best in energy-efficient builders to be celebrated at EQ Awards

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Best in energy-efficient builders to be celebrated at EQ Awards

EQ Awards

EnerQuality, celebrating 20 years as the leader in energy-efficient certifications, is preparing to confer its annual EQ Awards in Toronto on Feb. 28.

“We are excited to be launching a refreshed version of our classic awards, bringing more networking, recognition and excitement for our builders who have worked hard to build a better future for our communities,” says Corey McBurney, president of EnerQuality.

In 2018, EnerQuality labelled its 100,000th energy-efficient home, released the new Energy Star Multifamily Highrise (New Construction) Pilot Program and continued its mission of helping builders and consumers save money while lowering their carbon footprint.

“To continue to spread the word and recognize the achievements of the industry, EnerQuality will proudly be launching the EQ Awards Magazine,” says Shannon Bertuzzi, vice-president, market development, at EnerQuality. “Many aren’t aware of the voluntary investment our builders make towards building healthier communities. We hope this commemorative magazine will continue to shine a light on their contributions throughout the year.”

For this year, EnerQuality also introduced a People’s Choice Award, created to involve the public in acknowledging those who are pushing boundaries in energy efficiency.”

Award categories and finalists include:

Building Innovation Lowrise

●  Minto Group
●  RND Construction Ltd.
●  Reid’s Heritage Homes
●  Sean.ca
●  Urbandale Construction


Building Innovation Mid/Highrise

●  Minto Group
●  Molinaro Group
●  Times Group


Energy Advisor

●  Mark Rosen, Building Energy Inc.
●  Rob Johnston, Building Knowledge Canada
●  Sacha Klein, A&J Energy Consultants
●  Michael White, Pradeep Samaroo, RGL Consultants


EnerQuality’s Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year – Large Volume

●  Great Gulf
●  Mattamy Homes
●  Minto Group


EnerQuality’s Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year – Mid Volume

●  Acorn Developments
●  Activa
●  Arista Homes
●  Doug Tarry Homes
●  Sifton Properties
●  Urbandale Construction


EnerQuality’s Energy Star for New Homes Builder of the Year – Small/Custom

●  Corvinelli Homes
●  Howick Homes
●  Jeffrey Homes
●  Marz Homes
●  SanDiego Homes
●  Lucchetta Homes


EnerQuality’s Energy Star for New Homes Champion

●  JoAnn DiCarlo, Remington Homes
●  Optimum Home Team, Union Gas
●  Doug Tarry, Doug Tarry Homes
●  Ted McIntyre, OHB Magazine
●  Tyler Heimpel, Carey Homes


Green Marketing Campaign – Print

●  Activa
●  Mason Homes
●  Sifton Properties


Green Marketing Campaign – Other

● Acorn Developments
● Arista Homes
● Great Gulf


Hall Of Fame Recipient

● Sean Mason, sean.ca

Sean Mason EQ Award
Sean Mason, recipient of the Hal of Fame Award


Impact Award Recipient

● Tamarack Developments


Net Zero Builder

●  Gatto Homes
●  Gemini Homes
●  Reid’s Heritage Homes
●  RND Construction Ltd
●  Sifton Properties
●  Steve Snider Construction


Ontario Green Builder

●  Acorn Developments
●  Minto Group
●  Reid’s Heritage Homes
●  RND Construction Ltd
●  Sifton Properties


People’s Choice

●  Acorn Developments
●  Minto Group
●  Reid’s Heritage Homes
●  RND Construction Ltd
●  Sifton Properties


Product Innovation

●  Aerobarrier
●  Graphenstone
●  Genius Smart Panel
●  H+ME Technology
●  Velux Active with NETATMO


Builder Achievement

●  Jacqueline Collier, Tamarack Developments
●  Jean-Francois Meloche, Guildcrest Building Corp.
●  Roy Nandram, RND Construction Ltd.
●  Doug Tarry, Doug Tarry Custom Homes
●  Peter Voong, Castleform Developments
●  Jennifer Weatherston, Reid’s Heritage Homes

For more information on the EQ Awards and to purchase tickets, visit eqawards.ca


2017 EnerQuality Housing Innovation Awards announced



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Ontario’s new apprenticeship ratio a boon to home building industry

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Ontario’s new apprenticeship ratio a boon to home building industry



The Ontario government’s plans to change the 40-year-old apprenticeship system is welcome news to the home building industry.

“This is a game changer,” says Rick Martins, president of the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA). “This means our industry will finally have a system in place to close the trades skills gap across Ontario. This means employers can finally bring apprentices into their small businesses and train the next generation of skilled trades workers. This opens thousands of new opportunities for youth, and people looking for new employment opportunities.”


The new one-to-one ratio, a significant change from the current ratio of 3-to-1, will enable home builders and renovators to more easily hire and train new apprentices.

“The existing apprenticeship system in Ontario includes ratios that are among the most restrictive in Canada – this is why it hampers builders,” OHBA CEO Joe Vaccaro told Homes Publishing. “Most other provinces have had a 1-to-1 ratio for years, and as a result Ontario ranks last in Canada in the number of tradespeople with certification. The high ratio limits Ontario’s ability to compete and remain competitive.”

OHBA says it has been recommending lower apprenticeship ratios for about 10 years, to help make Ontario a competitive training and business jurisdiction and removing a major barrier for young people to enter the skilled trades.

“Ontario will grow by more than 4.3 million people in the next 25 years, and with that there will be an overwhelming need for skilled labour in the building and renovation sector,” says Vaccaro. “With this new apprenticeship plan, our members are now going to be able to hire and train the skilled workers they need to build the new housing choice and supply for future #homebelievers.”

For home builders and renovators employing carpenter apprentices, the current ratio of 3-to-1 means a company must have three licensed journeypersons on staff before they can hire an apprentice.

“This ratio may not be a reality that makes sense how builders and renovators operate their businesses,” says Vaccaro. “For example, they may not have the exact mix of employers to apprentices, or they may want to take on more than one apprentice but not have the proportionate number of staff to support additional apprentices.”


5 steps to solving the housing affordability issue in Ontario

Home construction and renovation the largest contributor to Canada’s underground




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In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share

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In His Own Words: Paying More Than Our Fair Share

By Dave Wilkes

What goes into the cost of building a new home, condo building or office development is more than meets the eye. It is not only the cost of the land, the excavation of the site, the materials and labour, but also the fees that municipalities across the region charge homebuilders and developers to construct the infrastructure required to service new development.

Infrastructure includes parks, libraries, roads, transit, sewers and emergency services. Investing in infrastructure benefits existing and new homeowners and those working in offices throughout the region. This investment is paid for by fees, known as development charges, which are charged to builders and developers by local governments across the GTA.

But ultimately, development fees are paid for by the new homeowners and businesses. The fees vary depending on infrastructure needs in specific areas as well as the type of unit being built and the number of people who are expected to live in or utilize the space.

For example, a new one-bedroom condo in the City of Toronto currently is assessed a development charge of $17,138. A non-residential non-industrial building is assessed a development charge of $207.52 per square metre. Current proposals being considered by Toronto would approximately double those charges.

Our members recognize and accept their responsibility for supporting the infrastructure that is required to service new neighbourhoods. But as municipalities across the region look to replace aging existing infrastructure, we are concerned that new neighbourhoods will be asked to absorb the costs disproportionately.

There is no doubt we need to reinvest in our cities, but these costs should be the responsibility of all of us, not just shifted onto those buying new properties.

Transit City, a development project in Vaughan, won the People’s Choice Award at the recent BILD Awards.

The numbers back up our concerns. Altus Group, a leading provider of data solutions to the real estate industry, indicated in a recent report provided to BILD that in Toronto, residential property taxes rose 2 per cent on average annually, between 2009 and 2016, while development charges increased 14.3 per cent on average annually between 2009 and 2018.

Our industry is committed to working with our partners in municipalities to fund growth. But we must ask the tough questions about how we pay for infrastructure in an equitable, transparent manner — and how we ensure that these costs are shared fairly between development charges that are paid by new development and property taxes that are paid by all. We all are responsible for ensuring that we build the type of cities we want.

How we answer the question of who pays for what, and the share of the costs between new and existing tax bases, will define the types of cities we build and the costs of the homes and offices in our cities. We need to find the right balance so that new homes are affordable and not priced beyond the reach of all but the wealthy.

On behalf of those who purchase new homes and offices, BILD intends to ask these questions this year as part of the fall municipal elections.

DAVE WILKES is President and CEO of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD).



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Report : Tarion

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Report : Tarion

Almost Every New Home in Ontario is Protected. Is Yours?

Did you know that almost every newly constructed home in Ontario is covered by the province’s new home warranty?

And that every new home builder must be registered with Tarion? It’s one way you are protected from buying a home from a builder who cannot pass the technical or financial requirements needed to legally build homes in Ontario. Ensuring that your builder is registered with Tarion is key to making sure one of your biggest investments is protected.

Your builder must be registered

Almost all new homes in Ontario come with a new home warranty. The warranty is provided by registered builders. Tarion backstops the warranty in the event that the builder cannot or will not fulfill their obligations. Warranty protection begins as soon as you sign a purchase agreement, and includes protections for your deposit and delayed occupancy. Once you move in, the new home warranty can last up to seven years. If your builder is not registered, it means your home is built illegally. It also means you are likely not aware of the warranty protection to which you may be entitled.

Illegal building puts you at risk

Illegal home building has led to the completion of substandard homes, puts home buyers at risk, and hurts the reputation of the building industry.

When examining illegally-built houses, Tarion representatives often find that the homes haven’t been built to meet the requirements of the Ontario Building Code.

Illegal builders may also be less likely to follow workplace and health and safety laws, which can leave home buyers open to potential liability.

What’s more, when an illegal builder fails to inform the buyer about the mandatory warranty, home buyers may miss out on warranty coverage because claims are filed too late.

In 2015 alone, Tarion paid over $2 million in claims on illegally built homes.

Research your home builder

There are steps you can take to protect yourself from purchasing an illegally-built home. Before entering into any type of purchase agreement, research your builder on Tarion’s Ontario Builder Directory. This comprehensive directory provides a 10-year history for all registered builders, as well as for those who are no longer registered to build homes or have been refused registration.

Don’t be swayed by builders who claim that they have a special exemption or that you don’t need the statutory warranty because they offer their own. Being licensed and providing a Tarion warranty isn’t optional — it’s the law.

Get informed. Exercise your responsibilities and protect your warranty rights. For over 40 years, Tarion has administered the warranty program and regulated Ontario builders. Since 1976, the new home warranty program has enrolled more than two million Ontario homes, and provided consumer protection to millions of new home owners — delivering more than 40 years of building confidence.


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