Canadian Contractor

Kaitlin Secord   

Comment: Growing with your space

Canadian Contractor

The basement of my family home was my wonderland growing up.

It was decked out in Toronto Maple Leaf paraphernalia and painted blue and white with a maple leaf border wallpaper running through the middle. My parents and I would spend hours in our basement—playing board games, watching movies or whatever elaborate baton recital I had come up with mere moments before. I celebrated several birthdays, rang in many New Year’s, and hosted countless sleepovers in my basement.

As I grew up, I’d tease my dad about having a space dedicated to such a cursed team. I watched as we did away with our blue and white paint in exchange for a more neutral pallet. I observed my toy area being traded in for a desk for my studies. (Don’t worry, we kept the Maple Leaf collection and are still adding to it to this day!)

We transitioned our sacred family space into something we still find ourselves congregating in when I go home to visit. Coming from a family of sentimentalists, change can be tough. Throughout the redesign process, I realized that growing with your space can be easier said than done.


Christopher Smith of Woodsmith Construction Inc. understands this, as he write on his experiences of renovating basements in Toronto’s east-end. He dives into tapping into the full potential of basement remodels. Can something be done to give your client the space they need now with the possibility of a future basement rental property?   

The future of construction carriers on in this month’s profile. Jack Kazmierski spoke with Natasha Ferguson, the principal and founder of Ethelfox Construct Group. Ferguson shares her journey to becoming a tradeswoman, obstacles she faced along the way and opportunities she strives to provide for marginalized groups coming up in the construction world.

Gordon Wornoff circles back to basements as he profiles three-time CHBA award-winners, Smithwood Builders, on their award-winning basement renovation and the importance of collaboration with trade partners.

In this edition’s CON the move, Doug Picklyk covers SFA Saniflo Canada’s experience in an immersive factory tour in France. If you want to hear even more about this, keep an ear out for an upcoming edition of The Hammer, where I’m joined by Phil Warren and Frederic Boucher to chat more about the trip.

In a new segment, Anna Somogyi poses the question, ‘are you talking the talk or walking the walk?’ when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion in your businesses. She shares some insight as to how you can improve your approach and execution of DE&I.

Up and coming for Canadian Contractor, we are hosting a webinar on going green and the journey of tackling net-zero on August 30. We’ll be joined by a panel of industry experts to share best practice and mutual challenges when it comes to being net-zero ready. I hope to see you there!

As always, I invite you to pitch me your ideas, send me your latest news, or connect with me to chat about the industry. You can reach me at

Until next time, happy reading! 


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