Chief Planner Inspires Young BILDers

Reprinted from the BILD October Liaison Newsletter

Close to 200 Young BILDers and guests gathered at Corus Entertainment on October 1 for an educational forum called, Shifting Gears. The event was hosted by BILD member, The Real Estate Talk Show just outside their studios.

Five leaders from across the development industry, including the City of Toronto’s Chief Planner and Executive Director, Jennifer Keesmaat, pondered issues centred on the past, present and future realities for developers and aspiring industry professionals.

Moderated by Steve Deveaux of Tribute Communities, the panel also included Darren Steedman of Metrus Developments; Sandra Baldwin of A Lifetime Contractor; Anthony Romanelli of Bratty and Partners LLP; and Stuart Wilson of Altus Group.

The forum began with a keynote address by Keesmaat, who shared her acute observations from a decade of change to Toronto’s planning framework. She touched on new environmental obligations; changes to planning legislation such as The Places to Grow Act; transportation and transit-minded planning; and the passing of the City of Toronto Act. All highlight a paradigm shift that will drive Toronto development over the next decade, she suggested.

Following her remarks, the panellists added to the discussion. Darren Steedman suggested new developers focus their learning around the need to provide sustainable infrastructure. Sandra Baldwin encouraged more women to take up the trades; quoting only 3-4 per cent of onsite jobs are occupied by women in Ontario. Anthony Romanelli highlighted the challenge of interpreting warranty protections provided through Tarion, and Stuart Wilson pointed out that part of the industry’s strength is based on the merits of Ontario’s planning legislation and the quality of our banking system.

The Young BILDers forum, which is intended to engage and provide educational opportunities for young members of the Association, will build on the success of Shifting Gears by holding an upcoming networking event, examining a mentoring program and looking at opportunities to engage students about to launch a career in the industry.

To get involved or find out more, e-mail Mara Samardzic.

To see photos of the event, visit the BILD Facebook page.

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