Peter Menkes, president, commercial/industrial, at Menkes Developments, has been named to the Order of Ontario. The distinction is conferred to individuals who have made exceptional and lasting contributions to the fabric of Ontario and the well-being of Ontarians, and is the Province’s highest honour.
“Members of the Order of Ontario exemplify, individually and collectively, the best qualities of good citizenship,” says Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “Through their voluntary service, creativity and the relentless pursuit of excellence, they demonstrate how we in Ontario are working to build a more just and sustainable future.”
In Peter Menkes’ case, that’s literally building sustainable venues for productivity and growth. In a nearly 40-year career with his family company, he has played a guiding role in the development of more than 25 million square feet of commercial, retail and industrial space throughout the Greater Toronto Area.
That includes some of the city’s earliest LEED Platinum office towers, and pioneering projects in Toronto’s prominent SouthCore business district and along the bustling north Yonge corridor. A current 400,000-square-foot development, slated for completion in 2021, is positioned to anchor an innovation, research and technology node in the nascent East Bayfront sector of the city’s vast waterfront lands.
“Peter has been a true leader in the growth of Toronto, both physically and socially. He really kicked off the SouthCore office construction boom with his 25 York project,” observes Michael Brooks, chief executive officer of REALPAC, the association representing many of Canada’s largest commercial real estate companies, funds and institutional investors. “Menkes as a company has been a quiet leader in ESG (environmental, social, governance) and sustainability, for example as one of the first in Canada to adopt the Fitwel health and wellness standard and roll it out to many of its office buildings.”
Peter Menkes joins a select group of 706 honourees since the Order of Ontario was established in 1986. This year’s 21 appointees also include former Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and Brit Smith, founder and executive chairman of Kingston-based Homestead Land Holdings.
“It is a privilege to be recognized among so many remarkable individuals who have had a vast impact on our city and country,” Menkes says. “I am also fortunate to work with so many great people who have been part of these exciting projects.”
“Peter has been extensively involved in charity, recently with the University Health Network, and has been a leader within REALPAC for more than a decade,” Brooks adds. “It’s a fitting award for a first-class individual and true leading citizen of Ontario.”