TORONTO — The Toronto Community Benefits Network recently presented the third Annual Building Diversity Awards (BDA) Gala in celebration of diversity, equity and inclusion.
Held at the Design Exchange in Toronto, all recipients were recognized for one or more steps they are taking that correspond to the Global Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarks (standards for organizations around the world), as adapted by BuildForce Canada.
The 2023 winners are:
- Dream Maker Developments: 2023 Award Recipient – Leading on Diversity Contractors
Dream Maker Developments is a full-fledged, Black-led development firm with over 10 developments including Dream Residences at Yorkdale, a mixed-use site (condos/townhouses/retail) located just across from Yorkdale Mall; Dream Suites @ YYZ, a boutique hotel near Pearson Airport; and luxury custom homes being built in Kleinburg.
- Tridel: 2023 Award Recipient – Leading on Diversity Owner/Client
With nearly 90 years of homebuilding experience, Tridel is a developer and builder of condominium residences in the Greater Toronto Area. They are the partner of Toronto Community Housing Corporation on the revitalization of three communities: Alexandra Park Phase 2, Regent Park Phases 4 and 5, and Leslie Nymark. Each community includes community economic development or Community Benefits initiatives to support residents of the community.
- International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT): 2023 Award Recipient – Leading on Diversity Unions
IUPAT opens doors and provides apprenticeship support to racialized groups.
- Chinyere Johnson: 2023 Award Recipient – Nexgen Builders Mentee
Johnson moved to Canada and continued her career in construction at EllisDon as an assistant project manager where she worked for just over a year since her emigration from Trinidad.
- Brandi Ferenc: 2023 Award Recipient – Community Benefits Champion
Ferenc is a mentor for women in skilled trades and HVAC apprentices at Support Ontario Youth, in addition she teaches HVAC at Georgian College and works as an HVAC Mechanic at Southlake Hospital.
- Building Up: 2023 Award Recipient – Nexgen Builders Employer
As a social contractor, Building Up runs an intensive pre-apprenticeship trades training program for individuals who face barriers to employment.
- Brandi Jonathan: 2023 Award Recipient – Community Benefits Champion
Jonathan is a diversity liaison with CBTU’s In the Trades Apprenticeship program, a federal funded program that provides financial incentives and training support for unionized small and medium-sized contractors.
The gala also included networking, entertainment and speakers such as the keynote Majora Carter, a real estate developer, urban revitalization strategy consultant, MacArthur Fellow and Peabody Award winning broadcaster. She’s responsible for the creation of numerous economic development, technology inclusion and green-infrastructure projects, policies and job training and placement systems. HGTV’s Sebastian Clovis also spoke at the event.