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Grant Aitken

As a small developer, Central Development Ltd. was looking for a quality, hands-on builder for our boutique project on Bayview in north Toronto. The project was 5 luxury townhomes, and a high-end single-family home on a redevelopment site on the corner at Baytree Crescent.

We selected Superior Construction based on the quality of past references and Gords’ willingness to work with us, his professional demeanor, and knowledge of the likely challenges with this project in a high-end area of Toronto.

We were not wrong. Gord fully supported the permit process the construction and then servicing of the deficiencies. He assisted with the sales process as well. On a small high-end project such as ours, potential buyers wanted to meet the general contractor, and get a feeling for themselves as to whether they were prepared to invest with us. Almost all buyers met with Gord prior to signing a deal.

Over the 4+ years the project moved from approval to build stage, I came to appreciate Gord’s approach in four key areas.

1) His tenacity in resolving issues. There were a number of issues that surfaced during construction, that were not properly considered by the engineering or design companies who had been contracted on the project. An example was water drainage problems on the lot. The engineering design of a single infiltration gallery, below the driveway for storm water run off, was simply too small once we started excavation and saw the run-off problems. Gord, picked up the ball, designed a new system with two larger galleries, and worked with the engineer and city to get those changes approved and built.

2) His dedication to doing things properly. Again, we ran into issues where during the build it appeared the architect had under scoped the drainage capacity for the balconies and terraces, causing a high risk of water flowing under the exterior doors into the units. Again, Gord spotted this issue early on, and upgraded to double the drain capacity by adding a second drain for all balconies, avoiding future issues. A less diligent builder might have just built what the designer spec’d in.

3) His owner-oriented mind set. Again he recognized a short coming in the design with only one furnace and one air conditioner in units that were over 4000’ft, and 4 full stories….the units would have been too hot or cold depending on the season. He helped with a redesign, adding a second mechanical room on the master bedroom level to ensure environmental comfort, year round.

4) Finally, Gord’s positive, professional, attitude dealing with difficult owners and situations. This was invaluable. On this project we had one owner — who was the buyer from hell. Nothing was good enough for him. He wanted to pick finishes from anywhere but our approved suppliers. He brought in his own designer, as decided he did not like ours…causing endless confusion and delays in selecting finishes. As the developer, I would likely have terminated his agreement and sued him had it not been for Gord, managing the situation and dealing with this rude and ignorant individual. Gord kept things moving, managed the relationship with this buyer in as positive a way as possible, and ultimately kept things from really boiling over.

The Baytree town house project was a success. The owners are well taken care of. I do not hear from the owners and have left the resolution of the deficiencies to Gord and his organization.

I find his staff friendly and service oriented. He has a good sense of design and building code given his many years of experience and managing several architectural designers over the years.

I have no hesitation recommending him to other developers for both small and larger projects as he is capable technically, with an engineering background, and great project management skills.

I would be happy to take a reference call as needed.