Creating Communities Within Projects

“For many years at Montoni, we focused on industrial projects, institutional projects, office buildings. I always had a passion for residential. And that stems back to years ago, to whenever my sister was living in an apartment building. And I remember walking over one day. It was about 200 units in this apartment building.

And I walked in and I said, “Sis,” I said, “Who are your neighbors?” She looked at me and she kind of went like this, and says, “I don’t know.” I said, “What do you guys do to kind of get together and meet everybody?” “Well, no. There’s no meeting here. Everybody has their own apartment, and they go get their car in their basement, and they go to work, or whatever they do.” And I thought that was, there was something lacking there.

And it got me thinking. It got me thinking that there should be a better way of life. There should be a better way for people to live within a community. And it’s something that I started working on a few years ago, to create a society, a community, within every project, where you could, if you want to, know everybody within the building. That would be through applications. That would be through communal spaces. Having a kitchen, which is a fun area to gather and meet, why not have a kitchen in a communal space? Where you can get together and have a coffee together.

Get to know who your neighbors are. Go on an app, someone can send out a quick message to everyone in the building saying, “Hey, I’m watching a football game or a hockey game Saturday night. Anybody want to join? I got some pizza.” Which is one thing that was lacking for a long time in residential projects.”