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The Fairways Hits a Hole In One!
The Fairways, PCC 199 Condominium of the Year Award Winner
By James Russell | Other articles by James Russell
Precious | ‘preSHes |: adjective – 1. Greatly loved or treasured by someone.
That The Fairways has won CCI’s prestigious Condominium of the Year Award would come as no surprise to Arthur Carson McMaster.
In 1925, the year Mr. Mc- Master purchased an English Tudor Manor style home on land that would someday become The Fairways, he named his summer house ‘Alannah’ or ‘Precious’ in German.
The Board, staff and residents share Anne’s love of The Fairways, not only for the view, but the consistent good governance, plentiful amenities, and sense of community that they have come to treasure. • Perched on six acres and bounded by the Toronto Golf Club on the north-east and the Lakeview Golf Course on the south-west, The Fairway’s name was inspired by its proximity to those two championship courses and perhaps a nod to the numerous residents who, like the Board’s president Mike Read, are committed ‘medalists’ with not a ‘duffer’ among them.
The Fairways, consisting of two towers, each with a mix of one, two and threebedroom suites, gently rises twenty-two storeys into the Mississauga sky. The top two floors of the towers house a total of eleven two-level penthouses, six graced with rooftop terraces.'
“It’s a very enjoyable place to live,” says resident and former Board member Gunter Schroder.
The Fairways grounds, a lush oasis of manicured lawns and scores of towering, leafy trees include a splash pad, an outdoor pool, tennis and shuffleboard courts, whirlpool, tropical fishpond, gatehouse, cobblestone pathways and scores of mature trees. The McMaster House, located on the grounds and a few feet from The Fairway’s front door hosts events, weddings and private functions. Its luxurious interior remains fully furnished since its last resident, Margretta McMaster, a relative of Arthur, passed away in 1968.
“What really differentiates The Fairways is the fact that we don’t just live in our units. We live in the entire building, the entire grounds. We have phenomenal common spaces,” says one Board member Maria Bell.
Inside, The Fairway’s amenities include an in-house hair stylist and esthetician, dry cleaning service, crafts room, gym, an impressive library maintained by a visiting librarian, and a workshop equipped with wood working, crafting and construction tools, and supplies.
The Fairways’ active Finance, Landscape and Infrastructure committees are essential to the Board’s success in creating and maintaining the corporation’s financial health and sense of community. Their tireless Social Committee, made up of residents Linda Bridgewater, Alex Stewart, Joan Read, Marie Kennedy, Pat Everitt and Sam Barnes organised and staffed more than forty social events in 2019, including concert piano recitals, BBQs, Christmas tree concerts, rock and roll dances, cabaret evenings, bridge/euchre groups, shuffleboard league, bingo, Irish pub night, strawberry social, mimosa mornings and monthly coffee get togethers. Their Welcoming Committee, paused in 2020, provided new residents with a friendly-greeting and orientation to The Fairways amenities and extensive grounds.
“The strong social influence creates a path for everyone living at The Fairways to come together as a community. With many friendships made along the way,” Says Maria French, Board member and Social Committee representative. Maria, a ten-year resident of The Fairways, is the Board’s newest member.
Back in 2003, residents formed the Creative Crew. Since then, the Crew has met weekly to donate their considerable sewing, knitting, and crocheting skills while other members of the Crew cut patterns, iron, or donate much needed supplies. Working as a fine-tuned team, last year the Crew created more than a thousand Christmas boxes for seniors and young families who otherwise would have experienced a stark holiday season. A letter to The Fairways from Joel A. Binner, Director of The Salvation Army’s Community and Family Services said in part, “your latest donations of boxes filled with colourful crocheted blankets was most appreciated.”
Although The Fairways has a sizable golfing community of residents, it’s not just the clatter of Drivers and Putters that fills the hallways. The gently flowing notes from two grand pianos suffuses The Fairways with melodies. Both pianos were donated by residents, and both are played often to the delight of residents attending The Fairways’ concert recitals. Not surprisingly, The Fairways’ residents love of music extends beyond the walls of their building. Every year the residents donate money to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music’s Scholarship and Awards Committee. This year’s scholarship was awarded to UofT student Jing Yi (Tina) Jia.
Much of the climate of caring, community and philanthropy can be attributed to the leadership and effective fiscal management of The Fairway’s seven-member Board of Directors, made up of Allan Bishop, Secretary and Treasurer; Anne Wouters, Vice-President and Amenities; Ed Heide, Health/Safety/Environmental; Monica Bell, Communications and Landscaping; Maria French, Social; Craig Bradbrook, Infrastructure; and Mike Read, President. The Board is single minded in its commitment to the residents, staff and the community they call ‘home’. “Our biggest challenges have been projects and the financial consequences of those,” says the Board’s Secretary and Treasurer Allan Bishop, commenting on the need for ongoing repairs given the age of their buildings, “We’ve have many very large projects that we’ve had to engage in, as well as a number of medium and small projects that we’ve had to engage in over a number of years and still maintained the integrity of the reserve fund.” Victoria Jablonski, The Fairways’ Condominium Manager and a veteran of the industry, adds, “The Directors are all exceptional in their communication. They take accountability, ownership and pride of their individual portfolios and support the team collaboratively and flexibly. Residents are listened to, concerns are followed up on, and we’re always looking for ways to improve efficiency and approach. I believe that Fairways’ success is largely attributable to clear/transparent communication, and strong leadership.” The Board and management communicate primarily through e-blasts and delivery of hard copies to those residents who lack email. There are also cork notice boards in their laundry rooms and electronic boards in the elevators and lobby. The Fairways’ Newsletter, their full-colour flyer, is distributed twice monthly and features community updates and quarterly financial information packages. Virtual town hall meetings and The Fairways’ resident portal are employed extensively by the Board and management as additional communication vehicles.
Victoria came to The Fairways in 2020 with fifteen-years of industry experience having worked her way up from security guard to Condominium Manager. The Fairway is her fourth managerial posting. Working under management are The Fairways’ two full time maintenance technicians, a full-time superintendent, a full-time front desk receptionist and three part-time librarians. Contracted staff include two full-time cleaners, their 24/7 gatehouse security team and an office administrator.
“The Fairways is a tightly knit community,” Victoria adds, “and everyone here truly cares for and supports each other. It’s unique in this way, and I believe this positive communal energy is a draw to many of the residents who move here.”
The staff at The Fairways agree. “It’s how much residents and owners engage and care for each other,” says Lilian Kangu, Office Administrator who’s been at The Fairways more than seven years. “The Fairways continues to uphold traditional values like maintaining courtesy and respect,” adds Brian Fisher, Maintenance Technician at The Fairways for fourteen years. As with any 42-year-old building, maintenance is a weighty budgetary line-item and capital expense. Recently The Fairways has:
- Replaced their roof deck
- Rejuvenated their lobby, fishpond and cobblestone driveway
- Begun applying a new coating to the two tower’s brick facings
- Replaced their badminton court with a putting green
- Replaced their makeup air units with the assistance of a crane
- Repaired the garage slabs and painted
- Completed repairs to the fire system
- Resurfaced their tennis court
- And much more
Ever aware of The Fairways’ environmental impact, upcoming projects include a solar initiative, the installation of electronic vehicle charging stations and LED retrofits. Partnering with a local landscaping firm, the Board and management are well into their ten-year tree care and maintenance plan.
In an industry where it is easy for a condominium corporation to land in the ‘cabbage’ the Board, management, and residents of The Fairways ‘Eagle’ time and time again to sustain their ‘A-Game’ and thus remain ‘in the zone’. Or, translated for us non-golfers, Mr. McMaster and his cottage ‘Precious’ would be thoroughly impressed by the unwavering success of their good neighbour, The Fairways.
Maria French, Board Member
Delia Lourenco and Brian Fisher, Maintenance Technician