CaGBC Legacy Project – Eva’s Phoenix

Greening Homes proudly teamed up with the Greater Toronto Chapter of the Canadian Green Building Council (GTC-CaGBC) on its annual Legacy Project, part of its National Conference and Expo, called Building Lasting Change, which was in Toronto in June 2016.

We were honoured when the chapter reached out to us to help leave a lasting legacy for a community project.

GTC-CaGBC chose Eva’s Phoenix, which provides transitional housing for 50 homeless youth at a time (ages 16 -24) for up to a full year, and employment and pre-apprenticeship programs for 150 homeless youth annually. It’s the only transitional shelter for youth of its kind in Canada.

Eva’s Phoenix was relocating, and losing access to an outdoor green space. In partnership with GTC-CaGBC, Greening Homes’ crew volunteered their time and skills to ‘bring the outdoors in’ at the new location. They also included Eva’s youth in the entire process: from the initial design charrette – where the youth determined the important features they wanted to see inside their new home – to the final vote on the winning design.

It was a pleasure working on this unique and worthwhile project!

For more visit:

The vote is in! Youth weigh in on our Legacy Project design.

Greening Homes’ lasting legacy for youth home. Assembling and presenting the benchers and planters to Eva Phoenix.

Every year, Greening Homes participates in a worthwhile community project. In 2015, we proudly partnered with the Toronto United Mennonite Church (TUMC) to fully convert – at a much reduced cost – a large single family home into Aurora House, a shelter for survivors of human trafficking.

We also helped the church find companies that were willing to donate material.

Aurora House now offers a home to up to seven survivors of human trafficking for one year. It also offers them psychological, settlement and career counselling. It was built in response to the lack of support services for victims of human trafficking in Toronto.

“The first group has already moved in and are enjoying an attractive, comfortable place to live,” wrote Richard Ratzlaff, Chair of the Building Committee, TUMC in a letter to Greening Homes.

To learn more about this vital house, visit:

Toronto Wildlife Centre

Greening Homes is well aware of the building trade’s impact on the environment and wildlife. That’s why we aim to minimize our ecological footprint as much as possible.

We also love making a difference in our community through volunteer engagement. When Bryan Kaplan, our General Manager, recommended that Greening Homes support the Toronto Wildlife Centre’s building improvement campaign, we jumped at this opportunity to make a difference.

Bryan has volunteered with the Centre for years. In September 2015 he brought along a few of the Greening Homes crew to shore the barn’s basement in preparation for renovations. The barn will become a storage and active care facility for raptors and other winged animals. We were honoured to be there to do our bit. And, in the fall of 2016, Greening Homes returned to help build the Toronto Wildlife Centre’s new aviary.

STOP GAP, Toronto

We are a proud supporter of STOP GAP, a Toronto organization that has a DIY accessibility mandate: remove barriers for people with disabilities, one storefront at a time by building simple ramps. Greening Homes has collaborated with STOP GAP on several builds, supplying tools and equipment, and our crew has volunteered their time.

“StopGap is creating a world where every person can access every space through fun and engaging community projects that raise awareness and remove barriers.” Luke Anderson, StopGap co-founder. 

Read about our Roncesvalles build in our blog, where we helped to build 44 ramps for stores along the east side of Roncesvalles from Queen to Dundas West. We are also proud of our Danforth and Leslieville build, where we helped to produce 41 ramps for access to stores in the east end. To learn more about Stop Gap, visit their website and find out what street they will next make accessible!


In 2012, we had the privilege of working with the High Park community and Mike Holmes to rebuild the Jamie Bell Adventure Playground. The beloved park means a lot to our team and holds many memories for those of us who grew up playing on the slides and swings.

The original castle structure was severely damaged by fire and because of overwhelming public support and the leadership of the Holmes Group, which included us in the rebuild, we were able to make it right for the kids. We met Mike Holmes at one of the community planning meetings and were invited to join his crew for the two-week rebuild of the castle. We jumped at the chance to give back to the community.

The High Park rebuild was used for the series premiere of the “Holmes Makes it Right” television show. You can find the full episode here. You can’t miss our crew throughout the episode with our bright green hardhats!


Shane MacInnes is a Red Seal Journeyman Carpenter and Senior Crew  Member with Greening Homes. In February 2012, Shane joined a Builders without Borders initiative in Haiti to help with a post-disaster relief building project.

As part of our mandate to increase awareness of sustainable building practices, Greening Homes supported Shane by subsidizing a large portion of his trip. We are grateful for Shane’s contribution to this project and are happy to help him share his experience in Haiti with our crew and you.


Greenest City is an award-winning charitable organization that grows local organic food, supports youth leaders and the development of healthy, sustainable communities with a focus on Toronto’s Parkdale-High Park neighbourhood.

Greening Homes facilitated the building of a rammed earth bag rain water harvesting cistern pad for the community group in 2008. The challenge was to reduce the carbon footprint of a project that, if conventionally built, would have required several tons of concrete and steel rebar. Greening Homes proposed rammed earth bag construction, a solution from the natural/alternative building world.

The cistern pad, as built by our crew with help from the community, is constructed using tamped bags of 1/4″ stone. A small amount of concrete parging was added to the exterior of the pad to provide an organic finished look in keeping with the spirit of the project. The HOPE community garden is watered using the runoff from the adjoining building.

See photos of the build on our blog here.


HOPEFEST is a small Ontario music festival put on to benefit Sick Kids Hospital and The Make-A-Wish Foundation. This annual festival takes place in September at Eaglewood Resort and Conservation Centre, in Pefferlaw, Ontario. The 2013 festival raised just under $4000 for the two foundations through a great day of local music, performances and food.