Takeaways from the CanInfra Challenge

If you’ve been following me at all over the past week, you saw the great news from our trip to TorontoBrett FavaroDave Lane, and myself managed to pull out a victory at the CanInfra Challenge. It’s been all over our LinkedIn profiles, and our Twitter accounts, and our Instagram feeds. We were excited, and rightfully so I think. Our proposed project, IceGrid was deemed by a panel of experts to be the most practical and influential infrastructure project pitched at the conference. That felt good, really good.

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CPL Will Help Build Small City Identity

Those who know me well know that I spend way too much time talking about soccer. This post is a soccer post, with some urban and real estate themes. That said, if you have no interest in sports than I’ll start with my conclusion so you can carry on with your day.

Okay, here it is:

The launch of the Canadian Premier League will be huge for assisting in community and culture building in municipalities outside of Canada’s 5 or 6 largest cities. Given that most of our sports landscape is dominated by Canadian teams piggy-backing in American leagues, very viable markets will finally have Tier 1 local teams to rally behind and integrate into the local culture. They will see their teams playing on television and online, and the growth of the league will allow people in far-off municipalities to learn more about smaller cities in our country.

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Director's Notes: It's a Pleasure to Introduce My Business

Last month I went through an exercise to try to redefine exactly what I was trying to accomplish with Urban East. I’m approaching my one-year mark for full-time operations, and it was time to do a mission audit. I worked with Anna Smith with Free Form Events, and had a fantastic session diving into what specifically I hoped to accomplish with Urban East. It’s interesting, as most of my goals tied into my own philosophy on my industry.

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Understanding and Attaining Stakeholder Buy-In

Working out of Toronto this past week has been refreshing. As someone who loves exploring and understanding what makes cities tick, its very inspiring to shake up my atmosphere. Working out of coffee shops I’ve never before seen, and tasting lunch at take-out places I would otherwise never find makes for a very exciting work day.

I also love tapping into development news outside of my bubble, and in Toronto I’m asking everyone that will talk to me about Sidewalk Toronto – the recently-announced initiative spearheaded by Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs.

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Why I So Often Advocate for Downtown Investment

I have been harping on my “downtown thesis” for several years now – basically since I started working in real estate. I remember writing a report for the developer I worked for in 2012, less than 6-months on the job, saying that the west end of the downtown was going to begin taking on a new shape. Today, we have Jag Hotel, the new Fortis Building, the expanded convention centre, and a whole host of new activity. I think this sort of growth is only going to continue.

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