The Building Owners and Managers Association of Canada (BOMA Canada) hosted its annual—and first ever virtual—National Awards Gala on October 29, 2020, marking a successful and challenging year for the commercial real estate industry.
The event topped off another important virtual gathering—the thirtieth anniversary of BOMEX, Canada’s Building Excellence Summit. The evening began with emcees joining from afar: President and CEO of BOMA Canada, Benjamin Shinewald from Toronto; and Chair of BOMA Canada’s National Awards Committee and Senior Property Manager at Aeroterm, Anne Marie Guevremont, from Montreal.
The Outstanding Building of the Year Awards
Top honours for Outstanding Building of the Year went to 15 properties that best demonstrated overall quality and excellence. Judging criteria included: building standards, community impact, tenant relations, energy conservation, environmental performance, regulatory compliance, sustainability, emergency preparedness, security standards, and personnel training. Only BOMA BEST certified buildings were eligible to enter.
In the Office category, QuadReal Property Group was the recipient of two awards for Vancouver-based buildings—the first for 745 Thurlow (250,000 – 499,999 Sq. Ft.) and the second for Park Place (500,000 – 1 Million Sq. Ft.). Other award recipients in the Office category included: Wesgroup Properties for 1669 East Broadway in Vancouver (Under 100,000 Sq. Ft.); Northam Realty Advisors Limited for 235 Yorkland Boulevard in North York, Ontario (100,000 – 249,999 Sq. Ft.) and Triovest Realty Advisors Inc. for 700 University in Toronto (Over 1 Million Sq. Ft. category).
In the Suburban Office (Low Rise) category, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc. snapped up the award for 1-8 Prologis Boulevard in Mississauga. Northam Realty Advisors Limited was the recipient in the Suburban Office (Mid Rise) category for Southcreek Corporate Centre in Markham, Ontario.
Wesgroup Properties scooped up two other TOBY awards—one for 287 Nelsons Court in New Westminster, B.C. in the Corporate Facility category and the second in the Medical Official Building category for its Vancouver-based 1128 Hornby – Three Bridges Community Health Centre.
Northam Realty Advisors Limited won another award in the Historical Building category for Queen’s Quay Terminal in Toronto, while Nearctic Property Group got top honours in the Industrial Building category for Vantage Business Park in Edmonton.
In the Public Assembly category, the winner was Alberta Infrastructure for Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre in Fort Macleod, which it both owns and manages, while BentallGreenOak won in the Renovated Building category for 25 Watline Avenue in Mississauga.
On the retail front, BentallGreenOak also earned an award in the Retail – Enclosed (Under 1 Million Sq. Ft.) category for 10 Dundas Street East in Toronto. FCR Management Services LP scooped up the award in the Retail – Open Air category for Shops of Oakville South in Oakville, Ontario.
Rick Hansen Accessibility Challenge Award
Rick Hansen personally presented his namesake award, one of the newest in the CRE industry. The top honour went to East Calgary Health Centre in Calgary, Alberta, for earning the highest Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification score. The building is owned by Beacon Hills Apartment Ltd. and managed by BentallGreenOak. In partnership with BOMA Canada, Hansen also launched the Building Without Barriers challenge during his appearance, encouraging building owners and managers to make their space accessible for everyone, everywhere.
BOMA Canada’s Pinnacle awards recognize role model companies that demonstrate standards of excellence while acknowledging innovation, teamwork, outstanding customer service and commitment to clients. This year’s Above & Beyond award went to Edmonton-based Matco Moving Solutions, while Pinchin Ltd., in Calgary, Alberta, won in the Customer Service category. Paladin Security Group Ltd. (Edmonton City Centre) in Edmonton won the award for Innovation.
BOMA Canada’s two Earth awards recognized excellence in resource preservation and environmentally sound commercial building management. Entrants for both the Earth and The Outstanding Building of the Year awards must also be BOMA BEST Certified. In the Universal category, Dexterra won for the Forensics Services & Coroners Complex in North York, Ontario. Epic Investment Services (Alberta) Inc. won in the Office category for 205 Quarry Park in Calgary.
Net Zero Challenge Awards
Now in its third year, and supported by Natural Resources Canada, the BOMA Canada Net Zero Challenge awards recognize owners, developers, designers, and/or managers of buildings that demonstrate significant progress along the path towards net-zero energy and/or carbon. The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources, addressed the virtual audience prior to Sean Drygas, CEO of Net Zero Challenge sponsor Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power Company, who announced the winners across three categories: Most Improved, Innovation and Best in Class.
In the Most Improved category, top honours went to Warrington PCI for Royal Centre in Vancouver, which achieved an impressive 37 per cent energy consumption reduction. The Innovation award went to BentallGreenOak for Sun Life Financial Centre in Ottawa, which successfully reduced its greenhouse gas emissions across a two-tower complex. In the Best in Class category, Triovest Realty Advisors Inc. won for Mississauga Gateway Centre, which demonstrated outstanding energy efficiency and low carbon intensity.
New Awards for 2021
BOMA Canada introduced three new awards that will begin in 2021.
The first two awards will begin at the local level and local winners will then compete for a national award at BOMEX 2021 in Vancouver.
First, BOMA Canada’s new national Emerging Leader Award will recognize leadership, initiative, and/or service to the commercial real estate community by BOMA members who are 35 or younger. Second, a new Member of the Year Award will recognize a BOMA member who has demonstrated leadership, initiative, and/or service to the commercial real estate community. The Member of the Year will also be recognized internationally at BOMA International’s 2021 Conference in Boston.
BOMA also announced a third new award that will be awarded next year, this one only at the national level. The Elaina Tattersdale Sustainability Champion Award will honour the late memory of Elaina Tattersdale, an enterprise project manager for Morguard Investment. Elaina passed away last year, leaving behind two young daughters, a husband, and a devoted family including her mother and past BOMA Canada Chair’s Award Winner, Cheryl Gray of QuadReal Property Group.
As Cheryl Gray noted at the ceremony, Elaina wanted nothing more than to improve the impact buildings have on our environment. To honour that dream, the Gray family has generously funded the The Elaina Tattersdale Sustainability Champion Award to acknowledge an “unsung hero” in the BOMA Canada membership who is championing sustainability at any level within the commercial real estate community.
Before announcing the Chair’s Award, BOMA Canada paused to recognize and thank the front line BOMA members who have served selflessly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gala attendees viewed a special video tribute and more information on celebrating the heroism of our front line workers will follow in the coming weeks.
To cap off the evening, BOMA Canada Chair Ken Dixon presented the BOMA Canada Chair’s Award to Don Fairgrieve-Park, founding executive and currently executive vice-president of operational excellence at QuadReal. Presented annually, the BOMA Canada Chair’s Award recognizes an individual who has made valuable and long-lasting contributions to BOMA while supporting the industry in a meaningful way.
Fairgrieve-Park accepted the night’s highest honour from Vancouver after Dixon listed his mentor and friend’s many achievements in multiple roles and companies, in addition to serving as Chair of both BOMA Calgary and BOMA Canada.
The gala closed with the official introduction of new BOMA Canada Chair, Stephen Nicoletti, managing director, eastern Canada, Manulife Investment Management, along with an announcement of the BOMA International conference in Boston in July, and BOMEX 2021 taking place in Vancouver in September.