Month: August 2017

Province Commits $127 million to York U’s Markham Centre Campus

Province Commits $127 million to York U’s Markham Centre Campus

Markham Centre’s new York University campus is a step closer to becoming reality. The Ontario government has made a $127.3-million funding commitment to the new campus, which will open in 2021.

“Our government is building the first university campus in York Region and bringing more postsecondary education opportunities to Markham,” said Deb Matthews, Ontario’s Deputy Premier, Minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development, and Minister Responsible for Digital Government.

“A new campus will meet the growing needs of this quickly expanding population and will support Ontario’s highly skilled workforce of the future.”

Within a few years of opening, this new, 21st century campus – located in the vibrant and growing Markham Centre – will meet the rapidly growing demand for access to leading-edge post-secondary education in York Region, with capacity for up to 4,000 students that is expected to grow to 10,000 in future phases.

“This is a thrilling and transformative day for our community here in Markham,” said Michael Chan, MPP, Markham-Unionville. “Our government’s multi-million dollar investment in this beautiful new campus delivers on our commitment to expand post-secondary education options in high-growth locations and will offer thousands of students a broad range of programs from which to learn, experience, grow and prepare for the future, close to home.”

“We have been working in collaboration with York University to get the new campus built in Markham,” said City of Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “I applaud the Provincial government for their financial support making our dream a reality. This new campus will help build a vibrant cultural and academic hub within Markham and York Region. Markham is already home to Canada’s tech and life sciences leaders and this addition of a world class University will allow us to attract and retain some of brightest minds in the world, work with industry leaders on research and development, support and grow our local talent pool and provide opportunities for students to thrive in their local community.”

The new campus is being built on a five-acre site donated by the City of Markham, valued at $27 million in 2016. York Region is contributing $25 million to the project and York University is embarking on a special fundraising campaign to support it.

The Markham Centre campus will offer more than 20 degree programs. In addition, York is working with its academic partner Seneca College to offer several joint programs. The campus will partner with local businesses and industry to provide unique experiential learning opportunities for our students, and will form partnerships with the York Region community to design research programs that meet regional needs.

Buy A Bear… And We Will Match It!

Buy A Bear… And We Will Match It!

In partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation of Canada, Remington is delighted to introduce “Flash”, the 2016 Collectible Bear designed by 7-year-old Noah – a courageous young boy living with Pompe disease. For over ten years, we’ve made these special bears available for purchase, helping the Starlight Children’s Foundation uplift the lives of seriously ill Canadian children and their families.

Noah was diagnosed with Pompe Disease in 2011 when he was only 2 years old. It is a rare genetic disorder that affects muscle growth and, as in Noah’s case, can cause the heart to become weakened.

Flash was inspired by Noah’s love for the colour orange, while the rainbow reflects his happy disposition despite the many challenges of living with a serious illness. The bow-tie also represents Noah, as he always likes to look dapper wherever he goes.

How does your donation help? Starlight Children’s Foundation partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world.

For over 23 years, Starlight Children’s Foundation has been transforming the lives of Canadian children who live with serious illness and their families —from the emergency room to recovery.

While in-hospital, Starlight provides distraction, entertainment and relief from the stress and boredom of hospitalization.

When out-of-hospital, Starlight children benefit from their ‘Escapes’ and ‘Wishes’ programs— giving them an opportunity to leave the ‘sick’ behind, create special family memories and return home with a renewed sense of strength and hope.

Starlight is looking to expand to more hospitals and in more communities across Canada. The need is tremendous—and it is only with the generous support of our donors and partners that we will be able to reach and impact these special children, who so greatly benefit from our programs.

Last year, Remington matched every dollar you donated and with your help we raised over $40,000! This year, Bears can be purchased for $20.00 each. Help us surpass last year’s total and provide much-needed services for sick kids!

To purchase Flash, please call 905.761.8200, e-mail Jodie Scoular at jscoular@remingtongroupinc.com, or send a donation to Remington Homes. Please make cheques payable to Starlight Children’s Foundation.

Our mailing address:

7501 Keele Street, Suite 100
Vaughan, ON
L4K 1Y2

Downtown Markham Wins Gold at Shopping Centre Awards

Downtown Markham Wins Gold at Shopping Centre Awards

Downtown Markham’s amazing first phase of retail captured Maple Leaf Gold for Design & Development at the ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Awards on Wednesday, September 21, 2016.

The two buildings at 169 and 179 Enterprise Boulevard, in the heart of The Remington Group’s 243-acre mixed-use development Downtown Markham, stood apart from the competition for its impressive high-density design, providing the best in live, work and play offerings. Home to 25 stores, including major entertainment and lifestyle tenants like Cineplex and GoodLife Fitness, as well as a variety of dining options, the retail space forms the hub of this new dynamic, pedestrian-driven urban centre.

The 280,000 square foot office/retail building, including 180,000 square feet of primarily street oriented retail space, was designed by Quadrangle Architects in association with GH+A and Petroff Partnership Architects. 

The buildings are also home to the Remington Contemporary Art Gallery, the epicentre of a $20 million public art program. Visitors can enjoy an impressive collection of public art on three levels, including the Underground Art exhibit in the parking garage.

With the opening of the Marriott Hotel and Signature Condominiums in spring 2017, Downtown Markham will unveil an additional 40,000 square feet of retail space. At full build out, the project will boast more than 2 million square feet of retail, in addition to 3.4 million square feet of office/commercial space and be home to nearly 15,000 residents.

The ICSC Canadian Shopping Centre Awards honour the industry’s best and brightest. The program brings information and insight to the entire industry on what it takes to achieve high levels of accomplishment and success. Awards are given for outstanding achievement in marketing and design/development of retail properties and retail store design.

Meet the Man Behind Downtown Markham

Meet the Man Behind Downtown Markham

Published in The VOICE, The Markham Board of Trade’s quarterly Business magazine, Spring 2016. By Sarah Sweet, Photography: Dave Starrett

Just a few weekends ago, Rudy Bratty found himself turned away from a condo presentation centre. The place was packed. “I’m sorry, sir, there’s no spot to park,” an apologetic attendant explained. But Bratty wasn’t the least bit frustrated. “I can’t tell you how happy you make me feel to say that,” he said, before driving off again.

There’s a good reason that Bratty was delighted rather than miffed: the condo presentation centre was showcasing residential options in Downtown Markham, a project being developed by the Remington Group, of which Bratty is chairman and CEO. He couldn’t get in because so many other people were thinking of buying in. “There’s been a fantastic response so far,” he tells me during a recent telephone conversation. “They sold quite a few just that weekend.”

It’s not surprising that Downtown Markham is inspiring a whole lot of interest. The $4 billion, 243-acre project near Warden Avenue and Highway 407 is the most ambitious mixed-use development in Canada. Scheduled for completion in 2025, it will boast 2 million square feet of retail and dining space, between 7,000 and 8,000 residential units in condo towers and townhouses, 3.4 million square feet of office space—insurance provider Aviva is one of the companies that has already signed on— and a new campus for York University.

Those who live and work there will have access to a wide range of amenities and features: transit, art installations, restaurants, a hotel, a movie theatre, and green spaces galore. And they won’t have to sacrifice conscience for convenience— Downtown Markham will end up being the largest group of LEED-certified buildings on the continent, which means it’s green- minded and sustainably designed.

Downtown Markham is just the latest chapter in Bratty’s involvement with the city. In the 1970s, when most development was occurring in places such as North York, Scarborough, and Etobicoke, Bratty saw the potential in local land. “We had the foresight to see what could happen in an area that you needed time to develop,” Bratty explains. And just as he’d thought, when the York- Durham sewer began servicing his land parcels, their value increased considerably. He acquired additional land in Markham and in other growing municipalities, including Mississauga and Vaughan (where Remington is headquartered)—and his company grew as well. “If I had to attribute our success to one thing, it would probably be buying land the right way, at the right time. You make more money in land, in my opinion, than in any other place in real estate, if you buy it right and develop it right.” It’s no stretch to call the man a real estate mogul.

At the end of the 1980s, with land prices climbing, the company turned its attention to constructing houses. Although it represented a new direction for the firm, it was not unfamiliar ground for Bratty.

His father, Donato, an Italian immigrant, established a business that built two or three houses each year, and, remembers Bratty, “I would work from the day I could walk.” His father took him to the building site every Saturday, and even as a youngster, Bratty would pitch in, bringing water to the workers. “I had a great affection for building homes,” Bratty says, “seeing what my dad was doing, and then wanting to do it myself.”

Which is why when he was just 17, he and two other teenagers put together $3,000 each, bought six lots from what was then the Township of North York, and proceeded to build six houses. Although they couldn’t manage the plumbing and electrical aspects of the project, they took care of virtually everything else: “We did the bricklaying and the carpentry work, and we even put the shingles on ourselves.”

The three ended up making a healthy profit, and Bratty was pretty sure he had it made. “I was on top of the world,” he admits. But his father had other ideas: having received little formal education himself, he was determined that his son go to university. “I got a B.A. as quickly as I could,” Bratty says. He then returned to his father and announced, “All right, now I got a B.A. You’re gonna be happy, because I’m educated. Now let me keep on developing and building.”

But a B.A. was not quite enough to satisfy Donato Bratty, and so his son headed off to Osgoode Law School. After he graduated in 1957, he and a partner founded their own firm, which flourished as a new generation of Italian immigrants looked for representation and advice from within the Italian-Canadian community. He stresses that he’s grateful for his father’s advice and direction and has “absolutely no regrets,” but says, “I was really in my heart of hearts a businessman, a developer, a builder.”

When Remington set its sights on home- building in the late ’80s, the focus was on single-family homes. “The concept of a condo was not even in anybody’s mind at that time,” says Bratty. “A driveway, a garage, a front yard, and a backyard were very important.” At first, that’s what he envisioned for the Downtown Markham site: a neigh- bourhood centred on detached houses.

But in the mid-’90s, Don Cousens, then mayor of Markham, suggested the company consider a different approach. He and other members of city council were interested in picking up on a trend gaining traction in parts of the United States, which saw suburban developments engineered to function like urban downtowns thanks to a combination of commercial, residential, and cultural spaces and an emphasis on walkability. Remington also became fired up by the vision, and Bratty now counts bringing it to life as his proudest professional achievement in Markham. “It’s a very fine project that I have to take some credit for,” he says with a chuckle, “but I also say the City of Markham did a great job in how they wanted it developed.”

Bratty sees a bright future for Downtown Markham, and he’s just as optimistic about what lies ahead for the Remington Group. That’s because he knows the company is in good hands: his four sons—Matthew, Chris, Mark, and Michael—all have critical roles within the organization. And Bratty Sr. couldn’t be happier about that. “The greatest thing I have is family—it’s not money, it’s family. We meet every night, here at the office. The last meeting is always a meeting with the sons. They come over every Sunday with their kids—I’ve got eighteen grandkids—and they’re there every Sunday and every holiday at my house.”

As the interview draws to a close, I warn Mr. Bratty that I’m about to ask him a question that he’s almost certainly sick of hearing. “I’m never sick of hearing anything—don’t say that,” he immediately reassures me. So I forge ahead: He’s 83 years old. He’s been working since he could walk. His company’s future seems secure and promising. Is he ever planning to retire? “Oh, yeah, I’m sick of hearing that,” he quips. “And the answer is no. I do not intend to retire, because I enjoy what I’m doing so much… As long as my mind keeps working and my body keeps walking, then I’ll keep on working.”