Older couple - first home

Bricks & Sticks

by Desi Auciello

Desi Auciello is the 2006 GTHBA President, and is also president of Cachet Estate Homes.

We see the potential, you live the results

Date: October 13, 2006

As you have been driving about listening to the radio, you may have heard our association's ads highlighting the way in which land developers and home builders transform land, be it urban infill sites, large or small, or suburban tracts designated for growth by the local municipality within the context of a larger growth plan, into vibrant communities.

The ads pose two questions: "how to build a community" and "how to revitalize a neighbourhood," followed by the recipe, as we see it. The pay-off line of the ads is "we see the potential, you live the results."

If you haven't heard the radio spot, you may have seen the message on the side of a GO bus that you are riding in or by, or seen one of our print ads. If you've still missed it, check out www.livetheresults.com.

The Website features the ads, information on the GTHBA-UDI, formed through the merger of the Greater Toronto Home Builders' Association and the Urban Development Institute/Ontario, as well as some impressive economic impact statistics.  Perhaps most importantly, there's a feedback section.

|We truly want your views on growth and development. But before you react, please try this exercise. As you are driving, walking or otherwise transiting about, take a look at all the unused or under-utilized sites within our urban areas. There are lots of them as you will see when you begin to look. Then, ask yourself whether homes or commerce wouldn't be better than the litter and weeds currently occupying the site.
We look forward to your feedback at www.livetheresults.ca.

Tribute gives back
Over the summer, I highlighted a number of examples of association members giving back to the communities in which they operate. Some other great examples of industry philanthropy came to my attention this week.

On Thanksgiving weekend, with emphasis on the "giving," Windfields Farm and award-winning new home builder Tribute Communities announced a joint donation of $2 million dollars to the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Minister of finance, the Honourable James M. Flaherty was on hand for the announcement which saw Judy Mappin and Noreen Taylor, the daughter and daughter-in-law of Windfields Farm owner the late E.P. Taylor, and Howard Sokolowski, co-founder and chief executive officer of Tribute Communities present the donation to UOIT provost Dr. Richard Marceau and UOIT vice-president of advancement David Chambers at the university's campus in Oshawa, Ontario.
"It's a privilege to give support to the prestigious and beautiful University of Ontario Institute of Technology," said Noreen Taylor. "As a former educator, I especially admire the school's ability to inspire a growing student body."
Howard Sokolowski, chief executive officer of Tribute Communities, said, "Tribute is delighted to establish an affiliation with its neighbour the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.  UOIT is rapidly making Oshawa one of the premier learning centres in North America.

The donation will be used towards offsetting the financial costs required to provide students with the university's leading-edge learning environment including state-of-the-art labs that are equipped with the latest technology and designed to give students the hands-on research experience that will prepare them to make an impact on society when they graduate.

"UOIT is extremely grateful to both Windfields Farm and Tribute Communities for their very significant financial support," said Dr. Richard Marceau, provost of UOIT. "Thanks to the generous contribution of community partners such as Windfields Farm and Tribute Communities, UOIT will continue to provide its students with the latest technology which will allow them to collaborate with their professors in the classroom and the lab, turning innovative ideas into real solutions."

Metrus gives back
In yet another example of extreme generosity, developer Fred DeGasperis of Metrus Developments kick-started Richmond Hill's fundraising campaign for its new Centre for the Performing Arts by making a $1 million donation toward the $30 million campaign.
"By building the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts, we ensure that our culture enriches our community now and into the future," DeGasperis said.