Building for Humanity, one firewall at a time - Metro US

Building for Humanity, one firewall at a time

I often marvel at the expertise of the men and women who actually build all the new homes and condos throughout the GTA. I am particularly impressed with condo building construction considering the depths of the excavations, the height of the finished buildings and the overall scale of the projects.

Following my experience on a Habitat for Humanity building site earlier this week, I am equally impressed with the skill as well as the artistry involved in low-rise housing construction.

Considering my normal tools of the trade are a BlackBerry and a laptop, it was lots of fun putting on steel-toed boots, a hard-hat and a tool belt to work together with a team that included my wife Linda and two lawyers — Tammy Evans and Filip Gavanski — of Blaney McMurtry LLP. The Habitat homeowners that ultimately move into the units we worked on are going to have the best firewalls ever.

Thanks to our Crew Leader George, we learned how to cut drywall (the secret is you don’t cut it, you score it, then snap it), chalk a line, and drive screws with a very cool power tool (guy thing, I know). I’ll admit it took the four of us a full day to do the firewalls for two staircases, but we could probably have done four the next day and eight the day after with the confidence we gained.

As satisfied as my team was, all the other teams of BILD staffers and volunteers from Sears Commercial (Neal Brooks and Mike Babcock), Stevensons LLP (Colin Stevenson) and Eurodale Developments (featuring real builders Brendan Charters and Jim Cunningham) came away with the same sense of accomplishment, whether they were framing stud walls, putting up drywall or on the painting crew.

The beauty of the Habitat model, which is somewhat akin to an old-fashioned barn-raising, is that the community comes together as volunteers with a common goal. Our t-shirts said it all — we were BILDing for Humanity!

For more information visit torontohabitat.on.ca.

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