What went down at TL Insider’s Fireside Chat with Greybrook

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As anticipation grows for the city’s reopening, TL Insider has been forecasting what post-pandemic Toronto will look like through the Future of Downtown Summit. The event series has featured an inspiring lineup of city-builders and visionaries in disciplines spanning food, politics, finance and more. On May 18, members joined Sasha Cucuz, CEO of Greybrook Securities Inc., for an important Fireside Chat on Toronto’s comeback from a development investor’s point of view. In conversation with Sasha was Jason Maghanoy, associate publisher of Canadian Business and head of business development at St. Joseph Media.

To understand the future of Toronto’s residential development is to understand Greybrook’s investment philosophy. With over 60 projects currently under way across the GTA and the U.S., Sasha shared with TL Insider the firm’s investment criteria, why they invest in Toronto, and the importance of a planning philosophy that encourages a “live, work, play” approach—something he believes Toronto’s urban planning has embraced wholeheartedly. “It creates a really vibrant place to live, bringing all the amenities of the city within proximity of residential density,” he said. Sasha says this is an important aspect of what distinguishes some cities across Canada, and in the U.S., from a historical philosophy that compartmentalized these necessities and as a result left downtown areas largely deserted after work hours. Most importantly, he shared how vital a role this philosophy will play in Toronto’s post-pandemic comeback.

Later in the virtual chat, Sasha shared his optimism for reopening, walking members through details around some of Greybrook’s most exciting new projects, and specifying which neighbourhoods he feels are destined to flourish.

With Toronto’s comeback being largely dependent on Torontonian’s confidence to return to public spaces, Sasha shared how Greybrook’s recent investment and partnership with Delos, a global pioneer in human health and wellness in indoor environments, to establish their presence in Canada is helping Canadian businesses and real estate owners create healthier indoor spaces that will support a safe return to the city. “It’s all about confidence and inspiring confidence to get people back. I think it’s very important for business leaders in Canada, both in the corporate and development community to set an example at home, as well as globally, and really help inspire confidence,” he said.  Delos’ wholly-owned subsidiary, the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) and creator of the WELL building standard, has been supporting businesses and building owners around the world achieve IWBI’s evidence-based, third-party verified WELL Health Safety Rating, an initiative supported by high-profile ambassadors including, Jennifer Lopez, Lady Gaga, and Robert De Niro, and adopted by large office portfolios, restaurants, sporting venues around the world, even the Vatican. In Canada, leading organizations such as Brookfield properties, Scotiabank Arena, and Greybrook are among the early adopters to achieve the WELL Health-Safety Rating with over 1 billion square feet in Canada registered to achieve the safety rating or WELL certification. A vital step in what Greybrook believes will not only position Toronto for a comeback, but will be critical for the city’s resilience going forward. “We spend 90% of our lives as human beings indoors and it took a pandemic for us to really think about the impact our indoor environment on our health”.   

Members had the opportunity to jump into the discussion during a Q&A session, where topics such as development regulations, the cost of affordability and Greybrook’s partnership with Delos Canada were covered. The event was a unique opportunity to stay abreast of our city’s rapid transformation—something long-time Torontonians are well aware you could miss in the blink of an eye.

To access more virtual Fireside Chats like this, become a TL Insider today for the special rate of $75 (regular price $95).