Nine families move into their new Habitat for Humanity GTA homes

Posted on Nov 10, 2016

Nine local families received the keys to their newly-built homes and the foundation for a brighter future through affordable homeownership in a special Home Dedication ceremony hosted by Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Habitat GTA's CEO Ene Underwood, Board Chair Denis Moir with J-F Courville.
Habitat GTA's CEO Ene Underwood, Board Chair Denis Moir with J-F Courville.

The November 7th ceremony marked the completion of the build project at 357 Birchmount Road in Toronto’s east end, constructed on what was previously City of Toronto surplus land. Over 100 volunteers who helped build the homes, donors, sponsors and members of the community gathered to wish the families well.

Caroline Seto & Tracey Teed Martin (Enbridge Gas) with the Yousuf family.
Caroline Seto & Tracey Teed Martin (Enbridge Gas) with the Yousuf family.

As part of the Home Dedication ceremony, Habitat GTA's Safety Program Sponsors, Enbridge Gas Distribution, First Alert and CSA Group announced an expansion of the program which has provided safety support to Habitat GTA build sites, ReStores and offices since 2013. As a result of this focused attention on safety, Habitat for Humanity recently won Silver in Canada’s Safest Employers awards, presented by Canadian Occupational Safety.

Safety Program Sponsors introduced a new element to the program, focused on the safety of Habitat homeowner families, which will provide all new Habitat homeowner families with a First Alert Fire Safety Kit complete with home fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector.

First Alert, Enbridge and CSA Group have also created a video for Habitat families to educate them about the safety precautions they need to take in their home to protect their families from fire and carbon monoxide poisoning. Following the Dedication, Public Educator, Sherry Ballantyne conducted a fire safety tour of one of the homes and outlined a home fire escape plan.

“Safety within our organization and in the communities we serve is our highest priority. With that in mind, it’s a natural partnership where we work to ensure the highest standards of safety for all Habitat GTA activities on the construction site, in the office and at Habitat’s ReStores,” said Malini Giridhar, Vice President, Market Development and Public & Government Affairs at Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc. “We are proud and honoured to be the official Safety Sponsor in partnership with CSA Group and First Alert.”

Following the dedication, the crowd gathered to witness the naming of the laneway next to the homes in honour of a long-serving former Board Chair of Habitat for Humanity in Toronto, donor and supporter, Jean-Francois (J-F) Courville, Executive VP and COO of RBC Wealth Management.

"I am deeply honoured to be recognized by Habitat GTA in this way," said Mr. Courville. "I know that Courville Drive will be a place where these families will thrive and make happy memories for years to come. I feel so honoured that my long-standing love affair with the broad Habitat GTA family is being recognized in this way. I have been so gratified by the energy of Habitat GTA and its partner families throughout the years."

To complete the celebrations for these families, Enbridge Gas Distribution hosted a community event and lunch complete with a “Smellfie” booth where attendees took photos of themselves smelling the odour of natural gas. This unique smell is intentional so that anyone who smells it can ensure they get to a safe area.

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