The Remington Group’s Jason Sheldon Reflects on his terms as BILD Chair

Q&A with Jason Sheldon
Executive Vice-President, Land, The Remington Group, and Past BILD Chair

Your extended term as Chair of the Greater Toronto Area’s Building Industry and Land Development Association came to an end in 2023 and since then, you’ve had some time to reflect. It was a period during which the development industry was very much in the spotlight and faced significant challenges related to the Co-vid 19 pandemic, rising interest rates and provincial policy changes. Still, the need for housing and concerns about affordability were – and still remain – key topics in the Greater Toronto Area, keeping the building and development industries front and centre.

Q: When you began your term back in 2021, what were the challenges, in your mind, at that time?

A: When I assumed the role of Chair in January 2021, we were still very much in the thick of the pandemic. BILD’s key mandates were to (1) keep the industry working as an essential workplace as housing demand soared, and (2) work with our Board of Directors to restore the association’s financial sustainability. I’m proud to say BILD was successful in achieving both.


Q: Given that, what goals did you set for BILD?

A: To cement BILD as a collaborative and respected advocate for the development industry locally, provincially, and increasingly, federally.


Q: What were your greatest challenges?

A: New provincial housing bills introduced (namely, Bill 109 and Bill 23) that significantly changed the land use planning policy landscape as well as the establishment of the province-wide target of 1.5 million new homes against the backdrop of working to ensure government fees were capped; DC and parkland fees were challenged and reduced; tax treatment of purpose-built rentals changed; and identifying land to fulfill growth targets.


Q: What are your thoughts about what was achieved during your tenure?

A: There’s always work to be done, but I am very proud of the work that BILD was able to accomplish, and I believe BILD is in a position of strength going forward.

I was also very fortunate to be a part of the BILD 100 Gala, where company founders and families gathered for a celebration of the industry.


Q: In many ways, a lot of progress was made in terms of making the public at large aware of the planning process and the delays and challenges developers and builders face. That education is often the first hurdle to change.

A: We are in a housing crisis, as now recognized by all levels of government, and BILD will continue the public-facing campaign on the need to add more housing of all types to the GTA to ensure the demands of our growing population are met.


Q: Addressing the need for new housing, what needs to happen in order to facilitate the development and building of this much-needed supply?

A: BILD has succeeded in changing the public narrative and we now see a widespread consensus that increasing housing supply is the solution to the housing affordability challenges. And a significant component of this discussion includes removing the duplication of services, speeding up approval processes, facilitating housing choice, and making it easier to add housing density near transit.


Q: In your opinion, what other critical issues is the industry facing?

A: The policy changes brought forward by the province late last year are a significant impediment for our rapidly growing population; for the economic wellbeing of our region (the economic engine of Canada); for new home buyers; for housing supply and affordability in Ontario; for the provincial objective of building 1.5 million new homes, and for our industry.


Q:  Your tenure was certainly marked by unparalleled events, from the pandemic to surging interest rates and economic uncertainty. What advice do you have for new BILD Chair Katy Schofield as she begins her term?

A: Lean on the BILD team, your Board of Directors, volunteers, and the incredible members of our industry.

A heartfelt thank you to the Bratty family and The Remington Group team for their continued support during my tenure.

The Remington Group’s Jason Sheldon Reflects on his terms as BILD Chair