Category Archives: The Team

88’s ‘Breakfast with Your Neighbors’ Event Was a Great Success!

88’s ‘Breakfast with Your Neighbors’ Event Was a Great Success!

 

Minto 88 Homeowners got up bright and early this past Saturday morning to enjoy a gourmet breakfast, meet their neighbours and have the opportunity to chat with the Minto team of experts!  The event took place in 88’s stunning party room, and what better way to congratulate the purchasers for their new home, then to invite them to one of their very own beautiful amenity spaces!

Paul Martin, our Manager of Performance Audit & Condominium Operations, opened up the event with a warm welcome and he, along with Minto experts from our Construction department, Master Care Department, and Sales Department, provided some important details regarding the building’s Construction, Green features, and Mastercare related items! The Experts wandered through the crowd to answer any of the resident’s questions about their suite and building.20151128_093736_resized

The Minto team was extremely excited to meet our homeowners, hear their feedback and host them in the newly finished party room!

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We were also thrilled to show off the completed time-lapse video showing construction of 88 from 2013 to today. For the last 2 years we had a camera set up to take a photo of the construction site every 10 minutes to compile this beautiful video of our progress. It is quite amazing and something we are very proud of.

Thank you to all those who attended our event! We hope that everyone enjoyed the great food, had a chance to meet a new neighbour, and had their building questions answered.  What a great way to celebrate with our wonderful new homeowners! Take a look at our stunning Party Room!

 

 

 

 

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OHBA Nominations for Minto Communities!

We’re very excited for this year’s OHBA Awards of Distinction Gala – because we’ve been nominated for 7 awards here in Toronto!

Every year the Ontario Home Builders’ Association (OHBA) celebrates excellence in home building and residential renovation across Ontario. The OHBA invites companies to submit entries in their 39 categories. Each entry is judged by a panel made up of individuals from the home building industry, with experience in new home construction, design, and marketing.

This year, winners of the OHBA awards will be announced on Monday, September 28th at the OHBA gala ceremony at Deerhurst. Of all the awards given out at the OHBA’s, the most coveted one is the Home Builder of the Year Award. Not only did Minto Communities win this last year, but we’ve been nominated for it again this year!

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Here’s the list of awards that we’ve been nominated for here in Toronto:

Category: 10. Most Outstanding High or Mid-Rise Condo Suite (4+ storeys up to 800 sq. ft.)

Project: Minto Yorkville Park – Grant

 

Category: 19. Most Outstanding High or Mid-Rise Condo Suite Kitchen

Project: Minto Yorkville Park

 

Category: 22. Best Video High or Mid-Rise Project (4+ storeys)

Project: Minto Westside

 

Category: 29. Best New Home Sales Office (1501 sq. ft. and over)

Project: Minto Westside

 

Category: 33. Best Low-Rise Project Sales Brochure (1-3 Storeys)

Project: Minto Oakvillage

 

Category: 34. Best High or Mid-Rise Project Sales Brochure (4+ storeys)

Project: Minto Westside

 

Category: 39. OHBA Ontario Home Builder of the Year

 

We’re honored to have received so much recognition so far, and we can’t wait to see what the OHBA’s have in store for us! We are anxiously awaiting the awards gala on September 28th where we can get dressed up, mingle with the best builders in the province, and hopefully win some awards!

 

Meet Daniela: Assistant Superintendent at 88

Meet Daniela, our enthusiastic Assistant Superintendent at 88. As Assistant Superintendent, Daniela is in charge of build out and finishes. Build out is the composition of the interior structure of the building, working from framing of exterior and interior walls to mechanical and electrical rough in. Daniela carries this process through to the finishes which include cabinets, countertops, and flooring, to name a few.

There’s a lot to keep track of in a building that’s 35 storeys high, and Daniela does a incredible job at keeping everyone positive and keeping the work on schedule.

first concrete (2)

In her 7 years at Minto, Daniela has been a part of 4 projects – Minto Skyy, Minto775, Minto WaterGarden and 88.  She started her career as a coordinator at Skyy and the hands-on learning she attainedby being able to participate in on site activities helped her gain the experience she needed to move up in her position. She became more confident and transitioned into her role as an assistant superintendent at Minto 775, where she learned how to manage the process, trades, and any obstacles that came her way.

We sat down with Daniela to talk about what it’s like to work on site as an Assistant Superintendent.

 


What’s your favourite part about your job?

To have to pick one particular aspect about my job that I favour is hard. It’s a challenging and exciting environment where I have the ability to be part of a team that creates a massive structure which one day someone will call their home. We construct a landmark in this beautiful city and have the satisfaction of knowing that we were involved in creating it.

Daniela 2

 

What’s the hardest part?

The fast-paced nature of the work is tough, and it can become pretty stressful at times but I think that’s what I also enjoy about it. I don’t think I could ever work in a slow-paced environment.

 

What are you most looking forward to seeing come together at 88?

I’m excited to see it all come together, especially with the amazing water feature– I think Minto always executes water features very well. As all the finishes come together in the amenities and common areas, you start to realize that the final product of a project you’ve been working on for a long time is finally coming into fruition and you feel as though you’ve achieved something great. I’ve gained so much from my past projects and I’ve enjoyed working on this one too; we have a great team, we have a lot of fun, and we get the job done.

last concrete pour

 

 What’s a typical day like?

I normally meet with the labourers and handymen before 7am to go over the plan for the day. Once we’ve mapped out what needs to be done, I ensure that everyone, including the trades, are all executing our plan accordingly, ensuring everyone is on track. There’s always going to be hurdles throughout the day but it’s how I deal with them that makes a difference in our productivity. I also have an iPad that helps me keep track of our daily progress, problems, and deficiencies which allows me do my job more effectively. I’m constantly on my feet, usually getting to most of the 35 floors in the building in one day. It can be quite the workout!

 

What’s it like working in a predominately male work environment?

I have a great relationship with the trades and my team, and there is a lot of mutual respect. To me, it doesn’t make an impact in the way I work or how I interact with the trades on site. We are all working together to achieve a common goal. I’m proud to be one of the few women working in this field, hopefully I can inspire more to follow my lead.


 

Thanks for the update Daniela! It was great hearing more about what happens on-site. The construction of 88 is almost complete and our home owners will be moving in soon! We only have a few suites left at this fabulous condo. Contact us at 416.915.3800 to book your private tour.

 

Meet Tiago and Pedro, Minto’s Managers of Land Development

Meet Tiago and Pedro, two of our fearless leaders behind our Land Development team. They are responsible for everything from advising on land acquisitions at the very beginning of a project to putting in roads, sidewalks, and parks at the completion of a project. Everything that goes along with building a community is looked after by these guys!

Minto Communities Team

Tiago is the Land Development Manager for Low Rise Construction, and Pedro is the Manager for High Rise Construction. For both Low Rise and High Rise, the Land Development team helps the Acquisitions team to advise them on sites in terms of zoning by-laws, planning, and legislation around a certain site. Once the land is acquired, the Land Development team works getting approvals in place from the municipalities, servicing, landscaping, and designing the community. They consider the growth in population, activity and demand on the community infrastructure that the new development brings and works with the municipalities to agree on the necessary requirements to build or revise.

In Low Rise projects, all utility design and approval is coordinated by the Land Development team. They coordinate the trades for servicing the development which then allows the construction team to come in and start building the project.

In High-Rise projects, hydro, gas lines, and sewers are the responsibility of the construction team, and the Land Development team is responsible for coordinating the consultant’s team, obtaining Official Plan and Zoning changes and coordinate the beginnings of construction with approvals and permits.

In Mid-Rise projects like Minto Longbranch and Minto Southshore, Tiago and Pedro work together finding the middle ground in developing a site that had elements of High and Low rise.

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Mid-rise development Minto Southshore

After all of the home building is complete, the Land Development team is back in the community for another 2-3 years finishing the community with roads, asphalt, sidewalks, parks, and anything else needed to complete the neighbourhood. “It’s a long process that has us in a project right at the very beginning and right at the very end” says Tiago.

Another big part of Tiago and Pedro’s job is coordinating with local elected officials and creating a relationship with the community. They present our building plans to the community to ensure everyone is on-board and happy with the plan, listening to the neighbourhood’s concerns and taking them into consideration when developing the project. “It’s important to us to reach out to the community to initiate a good relationship right from the start of a project so that a good tone is set moving forward” explains Pedro.

The Land Development team is also responsible for protecting any heritage homes on a site that a city requires be protected in order to build. They coordinated the careful and meticulous move of the Cox House at Minto WaterGarden to another location on the site to make room for the condo building, and now the Cox House being refurbished for future use.

Cox House
The Cox House at Minto WaterGarden

Pedro and Tiago say that the biggest challenge of their job is maintaining the vision throughout the whole planning process. “You need to understand the end goal of a project and what it can be in the future, and then help it come to fruition” explains Pedro.

While there is a lot of planning and coordinating to do before the project gets off the ground, Tiago and Pedro both agree that the best part of the job is once the project gets to construction. “That’s when all the fun happens” says Tiago. “You finally get to see all the process and planning you’ve been working on come to life.” We’re glad we have two fantastic Land Development Managers making all of Minto’s projects come to life so well!

Meet Roya – Minto’s Sustainable Design Professional

With Earth Week upon us, it’s inspiring to hear about the people that are making a difference in moving towards sustainable living. Minto has an entire Sustainability Team dedicated to incorporating ‘Green Living’ strategies into all of the work we do. We sat down with a lovely member of the Sustainability Team, Roya Khaleeli, to find out more about her work as a Sustainable Design Professional.Roya Minto Sustainability

Roya has been at Minto for just over three years now. She didn’t always work in sustainability though – she started out as a mechanical engineer, working in the automotive industry. But reading the book “Natural Capitalism” (by Paul Hawken) motivated Roya to change her career path. “I was inspired by the idea that there could be a different way of doing business which enables doing good by doing well,” she tells us. After getting her Masters in Sweden in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability, Roya worked as a Sustainability Consultant in London, UK, for over four years. When she came back to Toronto, Roya started her role with Minto’s Sustainability Team. It was a 10 year journey, but she says she’s lucky in terms of timing because there are many more jobs in sustainability now than there was when she started looking into it in 2002.

Roya’s role is focused primarily in the GTA where she works on embedding sustainable design practices into Minto’s communities.  She collaborates with the design teams early on in each project to develop the strategy, which considers the particular market, the local green requirements, relevant third party building standards and opportunities for innovation. “It is critical that we approach our work in a way that is congruent with profitable business,” she says. Having involvement early on in the development process ensures that the green strategies are delivered while still remaining competitive in the marketplace.

Minto Sustainability

Once the strategy is approved, part of her work is to train site staff to ensure the value is communicated to home buyers. “While some features deliver utility cost savings, others provide greater comfort, improved health or community connections,” she explains. “We also believe there are some features that can only be included through the quality of the construction process. Having a well-made air tight envelope is almost impossible to add after the home has been built as compared to granite countertops which can be added at any point.”

So far, Roya’s favorite project has been Minto Southshore. “It was a complex product to build and we set progressive targets for air tightness and we learned a lot in the process.” The team faced the challenge head on and Minto Southshore is what Roya describes as, “a beautiful space that allows home owners to live with a lesser impact on the environment, without even being aware of it. This is one of the main reasons I get so excited about my job.” Minto Southshore built upon the learning gained from Minto Caledonia Towns on the Park project, and Minto Longbranch will now be following in the footsteps of Minto Southshore.

Minto Southshore

As sustainable living is becoming more important in land development, we asked Roya what Green Living trends she sees will become prevalent in home building in the future.  With the growing popularity of electric vehicles, she sees having electric vehicle charging stations on site as becoming more common. Minto already provides the basic infrastructure to support the future installation of electric vehicle charging stations at 775 King, and within the other five high rise projects that have launched since. Beyond improving energy performance, the target of Net Zero Energy buildings and greater water efficiency, another issue she sees becoming significant is a focus on design for better communities. With the introduction of standards such as LEED for Neighbourhood Development and BREEAM Communities (in the UK) she sees attention being directed towards designing communities to be more walkable, encouraging healthy lifestyles, and with greater access to services. On a more personal note, Roya would like to see “more community garden and food growing spaces included within projects; however, this requires demand from the market” which she hopes to see in the near future.

MInto 775 King Exterior Bike Parking

In her spare time, Roya has a number of hobbies that keep her busy. She is an avid tennis player, and just began taking tango lessons. Family is important to her, and she likes nothing better than enjoying really good food with great company. She also supports Habitat for Humanity where she volunteers once a month to build homes in the Toronto area, continuing her commitment to sustainable living.

Interested in learning more about Minto’s commitment to Green? Check out our Sustainability page, or learn more about each project’s Green Features on our Green Living pages on each project’s website.

Meet Matt Brown: Minto’s Product Design Manager

Have you ever wondered why our homes are designed the way they are? Who makes the decisions about why the kitchen is where it is, where the laundry room goes where it goes, and why the exteriors are a certain colour? We sat down with the person who’s behind all these important decisions, Minto’s Product Design Manager, Matt Brown, to find out more about what he does at Minto.

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As a Product Design Manager, Matt oversees the design of all new homes Minto builds in the GTA. He works directly with architectural consultants to make the decisions on how the homes should be designed so that they are visually appealing and efficiently laid out, providing home owners with the best living space at the best cost. His favourite part is getting to be involved in the design and vision of the community, from start to finish, and creating the homes where people will live their lives. As he describes it, “it’s a privilege to get to be part of the decision making that will shape the world in which we live”.

Matt’s favourite high rise building is 88 because of the architectural design of the building that uses the window wall cladding in an interesting way. The colours interweaving the glass casing of the building are small details that are very striking for such a relatively simple design. “The composition is more than the sum of its parts” he explains.

Minto 88 in Toronto

His favourite low rise development is Orchard Park because it showcased innovative designs for Minto and for the market as a whole. The modern brick used in a contemporary colour scheme, the rooftop terraces in a suburban setting, and the ability to interchange the rooftop terrace with your purchase were all new ideas in the market that made Orchard Park stand out.

Minto Orchard Park in Stouffville

As our expert in architecture and home building, we asked Matt what the biggest trend he sees right now in the home building market. His answer: Small. “Because of the cost of housing these days, smaller living spaces are becoming common, across the board for condos, townhomes, and single family homes,” he explains. “But when we go small we have to do a better job of using the space, and this is what Minto does very well, making efficient use of space to give home owners the most bang for their buck.”

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Matt has worked at Minto for over 6 years now. In his spare time he’s also a yoga instructor, teaching classes at Yoga Space in Toronto. He lives in the city in a 610 square foot unit, so he knows all about how to live efficiently in a small space. No wonder we do small spaces so well!

Interested in learning more about our new projects at Minto? Minto Yorkville Park, WestsideQueen’s Landing and Oakvillage are all launching with exciting new designs! Check out our website for more information.

Cozy Winter Living

Winter is definitely upon us, and what better way to embrace the season than to make your home a warm hide-away from the harsh elements outside. Our Minto design expert Scott Biltoft sat down with us to give us some tips on how to create the perfect winter home:

If you’re looking for ways to make your home comfortable this winter, consider the following strategies and learn from the Danish who’ve perfected the art of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) to overcome the long dark Scandinavian winter.

There isn’t an English equivalent to the word Hygge which the Danes use to describe a mood or a way of life that is cozy, warm, and friendly.

For better winter living use colour wisely.  Start with warm wall colours like these from Benjamin Moore:

Monterey
HC-27 Monterey White
Edgecomb
HC-173 Edgecomb Grey
Revere
HC-172 Revere Pewter
Grey Mist
OC-30 Gray Mist

 

 

Accessorize with colours that bring cheerfulness into your home like these from Benjamin Moore:

Blue Grass
CC-640 Blue Grass
Van Courtland
HC-145 Van Courtland Blue

 

Amelthyst Shadow
CC-930 Amethyst Shadow
Strawberry
2003-20 Strawberry Red
Blue Danube
2062-30 Blue Danube

 

Use seasonal throws and cushions to add snuggly warmth on winter evenings with seasonal accessories like these:

Pillow Covers

Mongolian Lamb Pillow Covers from West Elm

Cable Knit Throw

Pottery Barn Cable Knit Throw

Fur throw

Homesense fun fur throws

 

Pendleton Blankets

Pendleton blankets from Anthropologie or Drake General Store

Hygge also includes comfort foods during the winter like chocolate, coffee, sweets – and sharing your home with friends!  Snuggle under a comfy throw, enjoy a hot beverage, and relax during those winter evenings reading or watching your favorite TV shows.

 

Stay cozy & warm,

 

Scott Biltoft

Director, Design Centres