Author: Remington Group

Bratty Family Gifts $10M to York Markham Campus

Bratty Family Gifts $10M to York Markham Campus

The Remington Group is pleased to announce a generous gift by the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation towards the building of York University’s Markham Centre Campus.

The Bratty Family Foundation is donating $10 million towards York Region’s first public university campus. MCC, which officially broke ground in late September, is scheduled to open its doors in 2023.

“York University is incredibly grateful to the Bratty family and the R.P. Bratty Family Foundation for their generous gift toward the future Markham Centre Campus, and their visionary leadership as supporters of higher education,” said President & Vice-Chancellor Rhonda L. Lenton during a livestream of the announcement from the Toronto Marriott Markham on October 16, 2020.

“This contribution will not only support the MCC’s ability to provide a high-quality student learning experience in newly emerging and high demand programs but facilitate the research, innovation and creative activities contributing to York’s larger mission to build inclusive and resilient communities in one of the fastest-growing regions in Canada.”

In its first phase, the campus will offer up to 4,200 students a range of professionally relevant degree programs and micro-credentials with work-integrated learning opportunities within the community.

“This is the crowning jewel of education in York Region and in Markham,” said Chris Bratty, President of Land Development and Investments for The Remington Group, who spoke on behalf of his father Rudolph P. Bratty and the family.


In honour of the donation, a stunning atrium on the building’s ground floor will be The Bratty Family Atrium.

“For my dad, education was so important because it helps us to understand different perspectives,” said Chris Bratty. “It’s the best tool we have for conflict resolution. York Region is underserved in terms of universities. That’s why we’re so proud to partner with York University to make this campus possible in Markham. This will be a significant building block for downtown core of Markham specifically and we hope it will attract businesses and cultural centres to the region.”

The campus will be located adjacent to the Pan Am Centre on Enterprise Boulevard, in close proximity to The Remington Group’s burgeoning cultural hub in Downtown Markham.

Keep moving to keep healthy

Keep moving to keep healthy

We all know that activity is great for your overall health and even helps boost your immune system. Having said that, you would not be alone if most of your activity while working from home so far has involved short walks to the kitchen for a series of not-so-healthy snacks.

Making things more complicated is that your fitness routine may have involved a gym membership and, as we all know, gyms are not an option at present.

Before you get too settled into a new home-office routine, consider this a gentle reminder to ensure physical activity is still a part of your workday.

Keep it up!

If you used to work out before you went to the office, make a plan to keep doing so. If a midday run to the gym helped keep you energized for the afternoon, keep it up. If you needed to wind down at the end of the day, keep it up. This temporary situation is not exactly a new normal, so it’s best to keep operating as normally as possible.

For those with memberships, the GoodLife Fitness member portal offers at-home workouts. Apparently, they’re relaunching an app next week. Once you sign in, you’ll find a selection of video workouts from beginner to advanced, that focus on stretching, meditation, yoga, bodyweight exercises, core and so much more. Each Monday, members receive  a weekly workout plan by email showing which routines to do each day.

If you don’t have a gym membership, there’s good news. Walking is something humans are biologically engineered to do. Walking at a brisk pace for just 30 minutes a day can help reduce stress and improve heart health. Bonus, if you live in a hilly area or have a route with a series of stairs to climb for your workout intensity!

Feel free to invite the kids (unless, of course, this is your only break of the day). You can make it educational by trying to identify plant and animal species along the way. They can create a journal of what they’ve seen on daily walks or even do a research or art project about what they’ve seen. Or have your kids plan the route and calculate the distance you’ve walked or number of steps they’ve taken. They can log distance travelled or total steps taken at the end of our stay-at-home period. Another great activity, solo or with kids, is a bike ride. Now that things look to be warming up, it’s time to get your bike out of storage, tune it up and hit the road, enjoying less vehicular traffic while you can.

Start some new, healthy habits

If regular workouts were never your thing, maybe it’s not such a bad time to start something new. No need to overdo to start. Plan to do something at the top of each hour of your workday for just two minutes. Jumping jacks for 30 seconds, alternating with 30 seconds of rest. Walk up and down the stairs, do a few laps of the house, stretch. Get a drink of water. Whatever gets you out of your chair.

Here, by the way, is a backed-by-science 7-minute ideal workout from the New York Times. It’s only 7 minutes long (it’s designed to be at an intensity approaching your maximum capacity in order to produce “molecular changes within muscles comparable to those of several hours of running”) so it is described as being “unpleasant” for the duration. Did we mention it’s just 7 minutes long? Do each of the following exercises for 30 seconds, take a 10-second break, then start the next.

There are endless fitness and wellness videos on the internet, not to mention a wealth of challenges. Get a group of your friends or co-workers together and consider committing to one together. Create a meeting request for all participants to remind you it’s time to get moving.

More resources:

10 tricks to help you de-stress

10 tricks to help you de-stress

Reducing stress and anxiety should be a part of your daily routine, now more than ever. If you have just five minutes, here are some ways to take it down a notch. Some of these activities are great to do with the kids!

1. Take a break (and connect)

Brew a cup of green tea, which contains L-Theanine – a chemical that can help reduce the body’s stress response, soothing the soul. Even the ritual of brewing the tea can help calm you. Extend the feeling by making it a planned tea break with co-workers also working from home. Set up a Zoom call and enjoy a visit by the virtual water cooler. Make it a routine with a planned break at the usual time each day.

2. Chocolate indulgence

Yes, we are giving you license to eat chocolate but, everything in moderation as they say. A square of dark chocolate can boost your brain health. Choosing dark chocolate, which has less sugar than milk chocolate, can still tame your sweet tooth.

3. Add a little honey

Winnie the Pooh may been on to something. Add a drizzle of honey to tea, coffee or yogurt. Honey may help to relieve anxiety and protect the brain. It also helps with a quick energy boost.

4. Breathe

Don’t forget to breathe. Try an easy relaxation technique called ‘equal breathing.’ Begin by sitting or lying down in a comfortable position. Your eyes can be open or closed. Inhale for 4 counts, and then exhale for 4 counts. All inhalations and exhalations should be made through your nose, which adds a slight, natural resistance to your breath. Once you get these basics down, try 6 to 8 counts per breath.

5. Put your head down

When seated, put your head between your knees or, if standing, hang your head and arms toward your toes. Having your head below your heart has restorative effects on the autonomic nervous system, lessening your reactivity to the fight-or-flight response. Yoga practitioners: think downward dog and standing forward bend.

6. Release the tension

Try some progressive relaxation, which involves tensing and releasing muscles, body part by body part. You may not have time to do your whole frame in five minutes, but just arms, shoulders, neck, and head will do. Focus on a body part, tense for a few seconds and then exhale and release. Repeat from head to toe.

7. Close your eyes

Shut out your stress simply by shutting your eyes. Think of this as a little sensory deprivation, shutting out the external things giving you grief. Take a minute to close your eyes and focus simply on the darkness of your eyelids. When you open them, the world may seem brighter in more ways than one.

8. Massage your hands

If you’ve been working from home, you’re likely still engaging your hands. And with all this hand washing and hand sanitizer, I’m sure your hands could use a little extra TLC these days. Add a dab of moisturizer to your palm, rub then together and begin to massage each joint in the webbing between each finger, massage each finger to the tip, clench and release your fists, and finally, flex your wrists.

9. Acupressure trick

If you work at a desk, it’s likely you carry some stress in your neck. A quick way to relieve neck tension is with this acupressure trick. With your fingers, find the two divots at the back of your neck where your neck muscles attach to the skull. Press firmly for 15 seconds and release.

10. Get your heart rate up

Getting your blood flowing is a great distraction. Make a point of taking a few physical breaks throughout the day. This one is great to do with the kids. Get the blood and endorphins flowing, by doing burpees, jumping jacks or jogging on the spot for 30 seconds, take a one-minute break and repeat two more times.

Quick ways to refresh your home

Quick ways to refresh your home

We’ve all had plenty of time to be home of late and, for some of us, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore a lot of those renovation projects we’ve been putting off.

In the spirit of making the best of it – and since it really isn’t the best time to plan a major renovation when your home is now also your office, your gym, the kids’ school … well, you get the picture – we asked our experts at Remington’s Design Studio to weigh in with some less disruptive ways to freshen up your home.

De-cluttering is the first step

If you’re not sure where to start, the first step is to de-clutter advises Design Studio Director Paula Avbar.

“Tackle one room at a time,” says Avbar. “This is a great time to ‘spring’ clean. It is refreshing and vindicating. It can give new life to a dingy and ‘tired’ area of your home.

“If you look around, you’ll be amazed how many things are just laying around that you have been walking over for weeks, months, even years.”

While de-cluttering, she adds, give thought to alternate and more practical storage solutions.

“There are many websites that can assist with these ideas,” says Avbar. “And, you can order storage bins, baskets, etc., on-line if you are self-isolating.”

De-cluttering can be a good activity for the whole family. Kids can tackle their own rooms and you can work together on communal spaces.

“If you want to be more ambitious, a fresh coat of paint and re-accessorizing can alter a space drastically,” says Avbar.

In terms of re-accessorizing, there are no shortage of online shops where you can order new throws or cushions, a new vase or clock or some accent furniture.

If you want to keep it even simpler (and cheaper), try shopping within your own home. Consider a simple rearrangement of a furniture layout. And see what furniture or accessories you can swap from one room to another.

“Altering furniture in ANY room can be fun for anyone and gives surprising new life to the space,” says Avbar.

“Have your kids ever wanted to swap bedrooms? Now is the time! Flip-flop furniture, window drapes and accessories. It can be a fun task for them to help with and it passes some time to keep them busy.”

Planning for bigger changes

You’ve swapped furniture and accessories, re-organized and de-cluttered, but deep down know that it was only a short-term fix. You’re still not entirely happy with your home and are considering more significant changes.

“Really think about how you want your space to work for you, what does work and what doesn’t,” says Avbar.

Would you like to be able to see what your kids are up to in a family room while you’re in the kitchen cooking? Would you like to have more counter space now that you’re engaging more of the family in meal preparation?

Does your home need a dedicated quiet space for kids to do homework or a dedicated home office for you?

Is it time for the kids to have their own hang-out room or do you want to see all the toys in a separate playroom? Do mom and dad need a space of their own to relax and unwind? Or does the family need a more comfortable space where you can all gather now that you’ve created a new board game or movie night tradition?

If your list of what doesn’t work for you in your space still far outweighs what does, it’s the perfect time to start collecting design inspiration.

When it comes to creating a dream home, the Internet is our friend, says Avbar.

“Pinterest, Houzz and so many other fantastic websites are there to inspire us,” she says, adding, “I usually always have HGTV on in the background when I’m at home.

“Even if you catch only a few moments of a few shows, you start to get ideas and figure out quickly what your ‘style’ is. And there aren’t just one or two styles anymore. In my opinion, it’s most beautiful when two or three styles are merged to create your own eclectic style.”

Whether it’s a minor refresh or a major renovation you’re looking for, it’s time to start making the most of your home.

Steve’s Perfectly Simple Tomato Sauce

This staple can be used in so many ways. If you have a can of tomatoes and some pasta on hand, you have the beginnings of a perfectly simple meal. Toss in some fresh vegetable, sprinkle with cheese and you’re all set!


1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 28-ounce can best-quality tomatoes, pulsed in a blender (San Marazano, without citrus juice, is my choice but whatever you have on hand will do!)
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 sprig of fresh basil (optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter (optional)


1. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Swirl around the olive oil to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Stir constantly for 30 seconds, just long enough to release the garlic’s fragrance and transform it slightly from its raw state. Do not cook to golden.

2. Raise the heat to high and stir in the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the basil sprig, if using. Remove the basil before serving and swirl in butter.

Chef Ricci’s Classic Ragu Bolognese

Chef Ricci’s Classic Ragu Bolognese

It requires some time and love, but nothing says comfort like a classic ragu bolognese. What’s best, any leftovers can be frozen and stored for up to two months. Though, I doubt there will be much left over!

Serves 4


2 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
4 carrots, very finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 lb. ground veal
3/4 lb. ground pork
3/4 lb. ground beef
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 lb. tagliatelle, cooked and drained
Parmigianno regianno


1. Heat the oil and butter in a 6-8 quart heavy bottomed pot. Continue to cook over medium heat until hot. Add the onions, celery, carrots, garlic. Cook until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 5-10 minutes. Add the meat. Increase the heat to high, and brown the meat stirring frequently for 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook and stir for another 20 minutes.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the milk and cook for one hour.

3. Add the wine, increase the heat to medium high, and bring to a boil. Cook until the wine has evaporated and the alcohol has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, adding a splash of water if necessary to keep the sauce from drying out.

4. Season the ragu with salt. Remove it from the heat and let it cool.

To serve with pasta, add 2 cups of the ragu to the tagliatelle and toss briefly over high heat.

Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation

Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation

In the spirit of the man from whom the organization takes its name, the Rudolph P. Bratty Family Foundation supports many charitable organizations with a focus on family, health and wellness, and cultural initiatives.

Some of its noteworthy benefactors include Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Foundation, St. Joseph’s Health Centre Foundation of Toronto, Markham Stouffville Hospital Foundation, Pier 21 Society, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish, Art Gallery of Ontario, York University Foundation, Hudson’s Bay Company Foundation, Canadian Institute for the Study of Global Anti-Semitism and Policy, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation, Governing Council of the University of Toronto, Varley Mckay Art Foundation of Markham, Toronto Artscape Foundation, City of Vaughan, and Roman Catholic Episcopal Corporation for the Diocese of Toronto in Canada.

The son of a carpenter who came from Friuli, Italy in 1922, Rudolph P. Bratty was born in Canada and brought up in a tradition of deep responsibility to his community. He became one of Toronto’s most successful real estate developers, head of his family’s development company, The Remington Group, and a partner in the law firm of Bratty & Partners. His business accomplishments are paralleled by his deep commitment to many charities. A major financial supporter of Pier 21, which celebrates Canada’s immigrant history, he was a member of the original National Advisory Council. Rudy Bratty embodies the Canadian spirit of generosity.

Downtown Markham Hosts Rogers Hometown Hockey

Downtown Markham Hosts Rogers Hometown Hockey

Thousands of fans descended on Downtown Markham as the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour rolled into the city. The national tour set up camp for two days as the City of Markham showed their love of the game with a three-day Hockey Celebration Weekend.

The Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour featured ball hockey, autograph sessions with Curtis Joseph and Rick Vaive, interactive games, live music and much more.

Hosts Ron Maclean and Tara Slone took to the stage to cap off a weekend of hockey fun prior to the national broadcast of the Winnipeg Jets and Carolina Hurricanes game streamed live from Downtown Markham.

Rudolph Bratty Receives Honourary Doctor of Laws

Rudolph Bratty Receives Honourary Doctor of Laws

Rudolph P. Bratty, CEO of The Remington Group and founder of Brattys, LLP, was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws degree during York University’s third fall convocation ceremony in October. During his speech to graduands of the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, Mr. Bratty stressed that success hinges on a strong educational foundation.
“I suppose it all started about 70 years ago when I finished high school,” said Mr. Bratty. “I told my dad that I wanted to build houses and be a developer and be a small builder, and he said ‘no’, in his broken English … he said ‘you go school.’ I said, ‘Dad, I want to be a builder’, and he said, ‘you go school.’ “So, I had two choices: I go to school or I go to school.”
Following his father Donato Bratty’s directive, he went to school and earned a bachelor’s degree. He then went back to his father for more advice, saying again that he wanted to be a developer, to which his father replied: “You go school.” At that time, Bratty recalls having more “acceptance about going to school.”
And his father had yet more advice about exactly which path that education should take, suggesting he become a professional – a lawyer, a doctor, an accountant – and use his Italian background to help the huge wave of immigrants coming over from Europe at that time.
“So I became a lawyer,” said Mr. Bratty, who obtained his law degree from Osgoode Hall Law School, was called to the bar in 1957 and was appointed to the Queen’s Council in 1970. “Interestingly enough, it is 60 years now that I’ve been a lawyer. My firm still exists, we’re busy as heck … and I’m extremely proud of it.”
And, through The Remington Group, he has more than fulfilled his dream of becoming a developer. Referred to as ‘The Man Who Built Toronto’, Mr. Bratty has established himself as one of Canada’s pre-eminent real estate developers. “Education is so important,” said Mr. Bratty. “Education breeds intelligence, intelligence breeds understanding and understanding breeds resolution.”

The Remington Group salutes Mr. Rudolph P. Bratty and celebrates his success and lifelong commitment to excellence.