I realized the other day that I haven’t written about what I am doing now since I left The Lighthouse. I left The Lighthouse without a Plan A or a Plan B. When Wendy and I sat down and talked about Plan C, we actually spent a lot of time talking about selling the house and exploring options to work anywhere.
We talked a bit about moving to her home country of Guyana and I looked at some jobs in Europe. The idea of selling everything and starting fresh was interesting and exciting to us. We have a lot of equity in our home and benefitted from buying long before the real estate boom hit Saskatoon. We looked at moving to Victoria, Nunuvuk, and even Newfoundland after some job offers came up.
During that time I was having conversations with companies staying in Saskatoon, including some service providers. For some service providers, I was a good fit but I wasn’t really passionate about what they did. Just going to work didn’t appeal to me and I wanted to do something that would continue to make a difference.
I had been talking with Tyler Stewart of Stewart Property Holdings. Tyler is creating affordable housing suites out of old buildings that everyone else has given up on like The 525 and 820 20th Street. He also salvaged 340 Avenue D South which is a story that is so incredible that it needs its own documentary/horror film.
During those times, I took some time to think about what I wanted to do and I read some good advice that said, don’t look for a job but rather look for an organization that you want to be a part of.
In talking more and more with Tyler, I realized that rejuvenating buildings and finding people quality housing is something that I care a lot about. There is also the excitement of being part of was is essentially a start up.. His values of affordability and heritage appeal to me.
The exciting thing for me is the opportunity to do something right that will be a part of the city for generations. Some of the properties are already 100 years old and this is part of their midlife rejuvenation. Done right, they could be good housing stock for another hundred years. That and it means staying in Saskatoon.
With new properties, it is the ability to bring in new ideas and make them fit in neighbourhoods, within budgets, and within city guidelines and regulations. In both cases it’s seeing ideas come to light with the result being better homes for people in Saskatoon.
I am also working on the homelessness issue. As Tim Richter, the head of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has talked about, don’t build shelters, build housing units. I agree and the opportunity now is to build housing units that match up with the needs of the residents. For years I have had to make do with what we had. For the first time I am able to work with agencies and build around the needs of people, regardless of their age, mental health issues, or their journey in life.
Anyways, my new job title is Vice President of Community Development and my email address is jordon AT stewartproperties.ca. While I am not in the office a lot, it’s located at 500 Spadina Cres E which is right on the corner of 20th Street and Spadina Cres.