What Went Down at CB and TL Insider’s Thought Leadership Panel at Artscape Daniels Launchpad

Members joined a panel of experts discussing Canada’s global appeal from a real estate perspective
photography: George Pimentel Photography

Urban centres have faced unique challenges over the course of the pandemic. As Toronto, among other cities, moves forward and focuses on creating a thriving, post-pandemic way of life; the country’s appeal on the global stage is a hot topic of interest. To get a lead on this timely discussion, TL Insider and Canadian Business, in partnership with Greybrook, hosted an informative thought leadership panel on June 14. 

Joining Peter Politis, CEO of Greybrook Realty Group, three panellists whose expertise span real estate development and urban planning, addressed what needs to be done for Canada to remain among the most attractive countries for people, expanding businesses and investment. 

Stephen Diamond, CEO of Toronto-based real estate development company Diamond Corp, and Jordan Robins, EVP and COO of First Capital shared their takes on Toronto’s development boom, its comparison to other cities, achievements and fallbacks. This led to somewhat of a debate over the best practices to ensure urban centres remain livable for residents and their role in fuelling our continued economic growth. Additionally, and supported by audience questions, the panel addressed how to create a path forward to develop and sustain a healthy housing market. 

Jennifer Keesmaat, CEO of The Keesmaat Group, partner of Markee Development and our third panellist raised an interesting point regarding the ways in which development supply and demand are discussed publicly. “In our national discourse, we often talk exclusively about developers,” she said, “though there is a complex web of local regulators that we talk about less frequently.” 

She went on to shine a light on the influence that finance, construction and even local politicians play in determining a development project’s viability. “One of the biggest challenges regarding supply is that we frequently try to point a finger at one player in the system,” said Keesmaat, “though in reality, there is a multitude of players that play a role.” 

Before the night’s end, members connected with one another, and our panel of experts, over wine and canapés during an open networking mixer. The next thought leadership panel will take place in September—complimentary for Canadian Business and TL Insider members. 

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CB Staff