Building the Greater Community in the GTA

Dundas Square Gardens: Podium

The new home building industry is experiencing continuing success, which bodes well for our economy. According to the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD), the land development, home building and professional renovation industry form the major engine of economic growth in the GTA. What you may not realize is that our new home builders are also a driving force in building a better “greater community.”

I am astounded at the generosity of these business leaders who feel strongly about giving back to society by helping charities and non-profit organizations. BILD sets a great example for all of us. This association enlists staff and members to take part in fundraising events for Habitat for Humanity Toronto.

Let’s take a look at some of the other builder-related contributions. Andrew Hoffman, President of CentreCourt Developments Inc., is a member of the Boards of Directors of Ronald McDonald House Toronto and Mount Sinai Hospital Foundation, as well as the founder and director of Hold’em for Life Charity Challenge, which funds cancer research and other initiatives.

The Easton’s Group

Steve Gupta, Chairman and CEO of The Easton’s Group, has pledged to donate $1,000 to Ryerson University for every suite sold at Dundas Square Gardens — and Mr. Gupta will personally top up the final amount to $1 million. As a gesture of gratitude, a lecture theatre in Ryerson’s Ted Rogers School of Management building will be named the “Steve and Rashmi Gupta Lecture Theatre.” Mr. Gupta is also a familiar face on hospital boards, and he is the Chairman of the Rajesh Gupta Charitable Organization, a federally incorporated Canadian charity.

The Remington Group

Chairman and CEO of The Remington Group, Rudolph P. Bratty, received BILD’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012 for his incredible business acumen as one of the GTA’s most successful property developers and his leadership in humanitarian and civic causes. He has served as a director on several boards and supports numerous charitable causes, foundations and organizations. The Remington Group also reaches out to provide philanthropy consulting and has helped clients fundraise more than $2.5 billion. Among Mr. Bratty’s accolades is the Rudolph P. Bratty Exhibition Hall in the Canadian Museum of Immigration Pier 21 in Halifax.

Great Gulf

Giving back is also an integral part of Great Gulf’s corporate philosophy. Each year, the company’s Charitable Foundation donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to an array of worthy causes, with an emphasis on the needs of families and children. Since 200, Great Gulf’s annual Invitational Golf Tournament has raised close to $800,000 in support of the Sunnybrook Hospital Foundation and the Centre for Youth Bipolar Disorder.

Steve Gupta, Chairman and CEO of The Easton’s Group, has pledged to donate $1,000 to Ryerson University for every suite sold at Dundas Square Gardens


Last year in Caledon, Solmar Development Corp. donated the building services to construct The Exchange, a community hub designed to bring those with limited income and the privileged together around food, nutrition and programs that help to eliminate the stigma and stereotypes associated with poverty. Streetcar Developments holds an annual holiday charity party to benefit the Red Door Shelter for families in need, and has donated presentation centre furnishings to the registered charity Furniture Bank to help those in need furnish their homes. Worsley Urban Partners co-founder Dino Longo is also a founding member of the Gelato Cup Foundation, a charity that supports prostate cancer research.

Fernbrook Homes

The developers of Garrison Point condominiums are active philanthropists. Last year, Fernbrook Homes donated substantially toward the Mold-Masters SportsPlex’s twin-rink and Acton Arena expansion, and is a corporate funder of Willow Breast Cancer Support Canada. Cityzen Urban Lifestyle regularly participates in the Scotiabank BuskerFest in support of Epilepsy Toronto. Stephen Diamond, President and CEO of Diamond Corp., sits on the board of directors of Sunnybrook Hospital and was named Chair of the United Jewish Appeal.

These are but a few examples of the selfless work our builders do to create vibrant, healthy communities that surround their homes and condominiums. I am proud to work with so many builders and developers who truly care about so much more than the bottom line.

Barbara Lawlor is president of Baker Real Estate Incorporated and an in-demand columnist and speaker. A member of the Baker team since 1993, she oversees the marketing and sales of condominium developments in the GTA and overseas. Keep current with The Baker Blog at