Immediate Past REX Awards Honourees


NAIOP Greater Toronto was pleased to honour John Donald, Brydon Cruise and Thomas Schwartz for their extraordinary leadership. Their awards were presented on stage at the 17th ANNUAL REX AWARDS GALA, March 22, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto.

About the Real Estate Excellence Awards   




(Photo)  John Donald, left, accepted the Lifetime Achievement Award from NAIOP Greater Toronto Chapter President, Joel Pearlman of Menkes Developments Ltd.

Mr. Donald, Chairman of Canadian Storage Investment Trust, has been actively involved in the Mortgage and Real Estate Industries for 50 years.

In 1969, John joined Andre Marcil in Montreal. They incorporated Marcil Trust Company and conducted a Commercial Real Estate Investment banking business in North America. Led by Andre and industry leaders Stephen Johnson and Doug McGregor, the company became the leading Canadian Commercial Mortgage Intermediary. It was acquired by RBC operating as the Commercial Real Estate Finance arm of the bank.

In the early 90s John and Gary Samuel acquired Metfin Realty Growth Fund from the Lehndorff Group. They transformed it into Canadian Real Estate Investment Trust, the first publicly listed REIT in Canada.

In 2000 John and Yousry Bissada joined Art Trojan and David Chapman in forming Filogix Inc., a service provider to the mortgage brokerage community, which became the industry utility, processing in excess of $50 billion in residential mortgage loans annually. John was inducted into the Canadian Mortgage Hall of Fame by the Canadian Institute of Mortgage Brokers and Lenders in 2009.




(Photo)  Brydon Cruise, left, accepted the Community Service Award from Scott Chandler of Colliers International, Chair of the 17th Annual REX Awards.

Mr. Cruise is Chairman and Managing Partner of Brookfield Financial and is responsible for originating real estate mergers and acquisitions, as well as debt and equity capital markets transactions.

Brydon has been involved in the community from a very early stage in his career.  Brydon is an active supporter of Right to Play and a committed volunteer with Coast to Coast Against Cancer.  Brydon has completed the Tour for Kids nine times and is currently on the Board of Coast to Coast.  He and his wife, Stacy, also support and volunteer with Wellspring, the network of community-based support centres offering programs and services that meet the emotional, social, practical and restorative needs of people living with cancer and those who care for them. He also served for seven years in leadership roles on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater Toronto.

Brydon’s most ambitious pursuit in philanthropy is the creation of Tecasy Ranch. Brydon, Stacey and children Jamie and Derek have all committed their time, energy and financial resources into creating a 600-acre mountain bike park in the Kawarthas. In three short seasons, the park has grown to over 60 kilometers of trails and 25 cabins that house 100 guests. The purpose of Tecasy Ranch is to provide charities the ability to host fun, safe and inclusive fundraising or team development events in the wonderland that is the Kawartha’s region. 




(Photo)  Jamie Schwartz and Andrew Schwartz accepted the NAIOP Greater Toronto Directors’ Awards in memory of their father, Thomas Schwartz.

Thomas Schwartz, former President and CEO of Canadian Apartment Properties Real Estate Investment Trust (CAPREIT) passed away in August, 2017.

Tom had an exceptional real estate career, starting in 1975. After graduating as a Chartered Accountant, Tom entered the real estate development industry and distinguished himself over the next 40+ years. In 1976, he co-founded Intraurban Projects, which developed new housing projects in mature communities. In 1996, Tom (and Michael Stein) founded CAPREIT, and he served as CAPREIT’s president and CEO since 1998. Together, they built CAPREIT into Canada’s largest multi-family residential REIT, which has more than 50,000 rental units in Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands.

Considered a visionary and mentor who paid a tremendous amount of time considering how the business impacted others, Tom was involved on the boards of many industry and government groups. Among them are: the Greater Toronto Home Builders Association, the City of Toronto’s Housing Action committee, the Ontario New Home Warranty Program, the Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario, the Real Property Association of Canada, and Chartwell Seniors Housing REIT.