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From suburban houses to downtown condos

Last Friday the Financial Post published an interesting article talking about Mattamy Homes and the new office that its founder, Peter Gilgan, is in the process of opening up downtown in the Toronto-Dominion Centre (which just so happens to be my favorite office complex in the city).

At 64 years old, Peter recognizes that his company has changed and the world has changed. He he himself recently moved downtown and now he’s bringing his company with him.

“Our Oakville office [a western suburb of Toronto] is a reflection of what our business was 25 years ago,” he says. “We were a local, west-end Toronto builder. Now we’re the largest home builder in Canada and we’re the largest private home builder in all of North America.”

Come September he will move his finance, legal, IT, human resources and strategic marketing team —  about 100 of Mattamy’s 1,100 staff — into the new downtown digs. He wants to attract “the absolute best talent.”

“The young people seem to really want to work down here. So that’s one reason. The other thing is to make sure the business has the capital to move forward and expand. Well, where’s the capital? It ain’t in Oakville.”

This of course isn’t a new thing for suburban homebuilders. Many in Toronto have made the switch – or at least expanded – from suburban houses to downtown/urban condos. And I’m assuming that’s what is going to happen here.

Still, it’s fascinating to see this trend continue. Young people really do want to live and work “down here.”

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