Family building on a tradition of demolition

From: Haven Developments
Published: Fri Dec 15 2017

The Teperman name has been synonymous with building demolition and tear-downs in Toronto for nearly a century.

You know big change is underway just at the sight of the firm’s orange-and-black banners, familiar signs throughout the GTA.

But now there’s an about-face within the family ranks as fifth-generation Jordan Teperman — great, great grandson of company founder Samuel — pushes forward with a vision to be a city builder and developer.

The well-known signs of Teperman Wrecking Inc. have been seen on hoardings at demolition sites across Toronto since the business was founded in 1918. The company has grown beyond demolition to include waste management, scrap metal and general contracting and is run today by Jordan’s uncle, Sean.

Now the younger Teperman has a vision to be part of urban growth, something which ironically goes hand-in-glove with his demolition roots. Every demolition of an existing structure leads to the construction of something new; it’s how cities grow.

As such his company, Haven Developments, ( with partners Paolo Abate, Anthony Abate, and Nick Tsimidis, focuses on building projects along Toronto’s existing and planned transit routes — another catalyst for development projects.

Typical of their strategy is Six25BV on Sheppard Ave. E., just east of Bayview Ave. and Bayview Village mall at Greenbriar Rd. It’s a compact condominium at eight-storeys with 146 units consisting of one- and two-bedrooms units, some with dens, ranging from 450 square feet to 1,350 square feet. Prices will start in the mid-$200,000 with occupancy targeted for fall 2019.

"We really look at what’s available in transit corridors and we started to assemble this site on Sheppard because it fit," says Teperman. "You can really get to anywhere in the city from here on transit."
Other Haven projects include University Heights at the new Finch West station, on the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension, and Clarkson Village Townhomes at Southdown Rd. and Lakeshore Rd. W., at the Clarkson GO station.

Making the shift to development from demolition isn’t such a leap, says Teperman, noting the family firm has long been approached by clients to build projects after their involvement in the demolition.

"People would call us to get some quotes for demolishing an old business, like Bill’s Garage, because the owner was retiring and no one wanted to take it over," he says. "So we’d get to know about properties for sale.

"And back before Home Depot and Rona, people would come to our yard and pick out salvage items to use again like timbers and fixtures," says Teperman. Those fixtures and scrap metals were mined from the myriad of demolition projects of early 20th century buildings, such as the landmark Eaton’s department store at Yonge and Queen Sts., and the infamous Ford Hotel, at Bay and Dundas Sts.

While the pile of rubble and broken bits at a demolition site don’t look like much to the average person, the Tepermans knew the value of salvaging iron, steel, copper, zinc, lead and aluminum.

"The Mennonites used to come down and pick over the timber beams we had from buildings because they could be reused for their barns," adds Teperman.


The streetscape around Six25BV’s footprint will be crafted to make it pedestrian-friendly, and include retail outlets as well as common areas for owners.

Award-winning architect Stephen Teeple says the plan was to create a structure that would set the tone for the corner.

He says the façade with its V-shaped design adds movement to a static structure. "It’s a dynamic way of turning the corner and rotating up and over," he explains. "It’s form following urban presence. We’re following all the rules about the step-backs, to create a smaller impact, but we’re shaping that corner and trying to make it memorable."

Teeple has also managed to create distinct living spaces.

"We’ve got townhomes with parking which are distinct but part of this," he says. "And then there are terraces, both on the ground level and then different on the fourth and fifth — and then seventh and eighth, looking south with a wonderful view of the city because it (the terrain) slopes away south from there."

Inside, Dan Designer Dan Menchions at II BY IV Design was tasked to bring the shared amenity spaces to life.

"It’s an intimate project," says Menchions noting the California-inspired trend to create both social and private spaces within common areas has also become a staple in Toronto condo design.

As well, there’s an effort to bring the outside in and take the inside outdoors: The rooftop party room opens to a deck with barbecues, as does the yoga and fitness area. A sauna will be attached to the gym. And for owners of smaller condo units, series of outdoor dining areas were designed with dinner parties in mind.

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Company: Haven Developments
Contact Name: paoloabate
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 905-851-1010

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