Student Housing & University Real Estate Initiative

The mission of The SHURE Initiative is to improve student lives and enhance the built environment in university neighbourhoods.

SHURE: GTA & Eastern Canada

October 16-17, 2024
York University – Toronto

2023 Event Speakers

Emmanuel Adegboyega
President Executive Board, Residence Hall Association (RHA), SFU Residences
Babak Aghdaee
Associate Partner, Ernst & Young
Partner – HR&A Advisors; Founder – Convergent Consultants, President & CEO – Rowen Foundation
Haydar Al Dahhan
President & CEO, Design Works Engineering Ltd.
Andrew Arifuzzaman
Chief Administrative Officer, University of Toronto Scarborough
Amal Awini
Director of Housing Services, York University
Albert Bendersky
Vice President of Design , BECC Modular Systems
Valerie Blinch
Director, Head of P3 Execution, Fengate Asset Management
Rudy Bocchicchio
Real Estate Investment Advisory, Stormont Partners
Valerie Bruce
Director - Student Housing and Strategic Partnerships, Toronto Metropolitan University
Alex Bruvels
Partner, Capital Markets & Securities, McMillan LLP
Derek Burns
Regional Director, GardaWorld
Zeeshan Butt
Co-Founder & President, Mosino One
Gregg Callander
Interim President & CEO, University of Calgary Properties Group
Caitlyn Clark
Manager, Community Housing, Queen’s University
Jensen Clarke
Director, Head of P3 Business Development, Fengate Asset Management
Ian Crookshank
AVP, Learner and Career Success and Dean of Students, Humber Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning Learning Resource Commons
Anthony (Tony) Cupido, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Research Chair, Sustainable Building Technologies, Mohawk College
Aly Damji
Managing Partner, Real Estate, Forum Asset Management
Joseph Day
Construction Manager, EllisDon
Tomer Diamant
Principal, Teeple Architects Inc.
Sonya Donovan
Managing Director - Real Estate, University of Toronto
Andrew Drexler
Assistant Vice President and Team Director Commercial Financing, First National Financial LP
Jonas Emre
Founder & CEO, Harrington
Paul Ertzly
Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group, Senior Director, Business Property Finance
Jared Everett
Managing Director, University Partnerships, Greystar
Joshua Fortier
Director - Campus Safety, Campus Safety, Security & Emergency Management Department, Sheridan College
Curtis Gallagher
Principal, Canadian Hospitality Lead , Avison Young
Stephane Giguere
Chief Executive Officer / Président-directeur général, Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCH)
Dayna Gilbert
Managing Director, Real Estate Development, Forum Asset Management
Julienne Glorieux
Directrice Bureau des grands projets immobiliers (Director of the Office of Major Real Estate Projects), École de technologie supérieure
David Ian Gray
Founder & Strategist, DIG360 Consulting Ltd
Veronica Green
Vice President, Slate Asset Management
Sal Guatieri
Director and Senior Economist, BMO Financial Group
Murtaza Haider
Professor of Real Estate | Columnist, Ryerson University | The Financial Post
Sandy Harrington
VP - Managing Director - Team Leader London Office, CMLS Financial
Scott Henderson
Senior Manager of the Sustainability Office, University of Toronto St. George Campus
Collette Hart
Director, UnitiWall Corporation
Jason Hingston
Director - Real Estate Development, Meridian
Jason Hunter
Vice President - Students and Institutional Planning, Humber College
Ian Husted
Vice President - Investments, Woodbourne Capital Management International, LP
Tony Irwin
President & CEO | Interim President, FRPO (Federation of Rental-housing Providers of Ontario)
Bakhtiyor “Bob” Isoev
VP, Institutional Partnerships, 4Stay
Adam Jacobs
Senior National Director, Research - Canada, Colliers
Scott Johnston
Associate Dean, Office of the Dean of Students, Victoria University in The University of Toronto
President & CEO, The University of British Columbia Properties Trust
Gary Kenning
Co-Founder, Cloudwifi
Rylan Kinnon
CEO, SpacesShared
Steve Lafleur
, Public Policy Analyst and Columnist
Erik Larson
Senior Vice President - Acquisitions, Blue Vista Capital Management
Viler Lika
Founder & CEO, SingleKey
Derek Lobo
CEO & Broker of Record, SVN Rock Advisors Inc.
Shelagh McCartney
Director, Together Design Lab; Director, +city lab; Associate Professor, School of Urban + Regional Planning, Toronto Metropolitan University
Michelle McCollum
Vice President, Facilities and Sustainability , George Brown College
Shaun McCracken
Regional Director - Student Operations, Centurion Property Associates, Inc.
Principal , PM Strategies Inc.
Brian Minnehan
Senior Vice President and Head of Acquisitions, Blue Vista Capital Management, LLC
Henry Morton
President, Campus Suites
Josh Morton
Vice President, Campus Suites
Neil Murray
Development & Asset Manager , Podium Developments
Ed Ng
Transfer Pricing - Partner, Ernst & Young
Sean O’Neill
Community Engagement & Social Media Officer, Toronto Crime Stoppers
Corey Pacht
Senior Vice President, Investments, Fitzrovia Real Estate
Zach Pendley
Partner & Senior Vice President | Strategy and Transactions - Real Estate , Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc.
Jennifer Adams Peffer
Campus Architect and Director of Architecture, Planning and Project Development, University of Toronto Scarborough
Amanda Pereira
Operations Manager, Greenleaf Pest Control Inc.
Josh Pillsbury
Managing Partner, Summit Commercial Solutions Inc.
Hannah Pollard
Manager - Business Development, Snaile
Mike Porritt
Vice President – International, Advisory Services, The Scion Group
Warren Price
Partner, Urban Strategies
Royston Rebello
Director of Business Development, SkyRise Prefab Building Solutions Inc.
Scott Reid
President, Reid's Heritage Properties
Mark Richardson
Chief Technology Officer, Rich Analytics
David J. Roberts
Director of the Urban Studies Program; Associate Professor, Teaching Stream; Academic Director, Multidisciplinary Urban Capstone Project; Faculty Advisor, Access & Inclusion Peer Programs, University of Toronto
Doug Sales
Commercial Systems Sales - Ontario and West, GardaWorld
Lyle Scott
Principal, Footprint
Charlie Simpkins
Director, Strategic Initiatives & Business Enterprise Office of the Vice-President, Finance and Operations, University of Windsor
Daniel Simunac
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Stonebridge Financial
Chris Smith
Director - Eastern Canada, NRB Modular Solutions
Dan Smith
Managing Director, Student Housing Consultancy
Paul Smith
Chief Administrative Officer, The DMS Group
Guela Solow
Managing Partner, ARK | PETROFF
Sean Sportun
Chair – Board of Directors, Toronto Crime Stoppers
Jennifer Stites
President & CEO, TRU Community Trust, President | Project Manager, Stites Consulting Inc.
Paul Tawfik
Director - Sustainable Infrastructure, Johnson Controls
Ho Tek
Partner, Domus Inc.
Chris van de Water
Vice President - Development, Fitzrovia
Martin Varga
Real Estate Business Development Director, BONARD
Chris Wong
Director, York University Development Corporation
Dima Zreik
Director - Investments, Canada Infrastructure Bank
My name is Emmanuel Adegboyega. I am a Political Science major with an International Studies and Criminology minor. I am the current Residence Hall Association (RHA) President at SFU and a councillor on the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS). My passion is to advocate for students and to be a voice for the voiceless. I am currently in my third year of my degree and I aspire to go to law school after my undergraduate studies.
Mason comes to the Rowen Foundation from his service with HR&A, a globally recognized leader at the intersection of real estate and economic development. In his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rowen, Mason is responsible for the real estate development, public-private-university partnerships, and investment activities of the 2,000 acre multi-use knowledge community ultimately comprising over 22 million square feet of space and housing over 80,000 employees. Prior to leading Rowen, Mason served as the Vice President of Operations at The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a non-profit financing organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he advised on a wide variety of local and international university projects.
As President, Chief Executive Officer, and co-founder of Design Works Engineering, Haydar Al Dahhan has been instrumental in taking the firm from a small, two-person operation in Northern Alberta to a highly respected, multi-national engineering powerhouse in just eight years. Under his leadership, the company has grown to employ over 120 experts in various fields, becoming known for its innovative and integrated approach to engineering and its focus on human-centric teams.Haydar was born in England and raised in several major international cities, which have provided him with a unique perspective and understanding of the global engineering industry.
Experienced, results-oriented, and strategic professional with over 20 years of experience in leading and building Housing and Conference operations in various institutions and provinces. A successful leader of diverse and achieved teams; and an effective driver of institutional change initiatives that enhance the student experience and support the University’s academic mission. Proven ability to build community relations, collaborate with partners, increase service quality and value, and enhance business processes efficiency in an educational environment with a focus on student success.
Albert is a licensed architect, member of Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and top expert in advanced volumetric modular design and construction technologies. Albert has an impressive career with over 25 years of professional experience. He has led various mega-projects in Europe, Middle East, the US, and Canada collaborating with world-renown architects and designers. He has headed national development programs for major international brands and Fortune-500 corporate groups. Currently Albert is focusing on developing cutting-edge sustainable modular technologies. He is a strong supporter of a progressive approach to innovative prefab solutions that can resolve the current housing crisis.
Valerie Blinch is a senior member of the Fengate Infrastructure investment team and is responsible for leading transaction execution, commercial structuring, and risk management. Additionally, Valerie provides support for
business development and fundraising activities of the team. Prior to joining Fengate in 2014, Valerie had seven years of experience as a commercial lawyer specializing in infrastructure and power projects with one
of Canada’s leading legal firms. Valerie holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto and a Bachelor of Law from Queen’s University.
Rudy is responsible for idea generation and execution of Stormont’s investment and advisory mandates. Since joining Stormont, Rudy has focused on the residential sector, both domestically and abroad, with coverage spanning: conventional multifamily, seniors housing, student housing, and land development. Prior to Stormont, Rudy spent four years at CPP Investments, where he focused on the US residential sector, including CPP’s national student housing investment program.
Valerie Bruce is the current Director, Student Housing and Strategic Partnerships at Toronto Metropolitan University. Over her 14 year career at TMU, she has advanced housing operations and administration through a variety of initiatives and protocols. She is very involved within the great student housing community including holding the previous role of President of OACUHO (Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers) and avid involvement within ACUHO-I (Association of College and University Housing Officers International). She holds a MBA with a focus in organizational change management and public private partnerships in student housing within Canada.
Alex Bruvels is an experienced capital markets lawyer with a practice focused on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He provides advice in various industries including real estate investment trusts (REITS), private equity with a focus on real estate funds, technology, resources and energy, cannabis, and health care. Alex also acts for investment funds. As part of his securities and corporate finance practice, Alex advises private and public clients in connection with venture capital financings, initial public offerings, private placements, public equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, stock exchange listings, corporate governance, securities regulatory matters, contested shareholder meetings, and other services.
Gregg spent six years as the University of Calgary Properties Group’s (UCPG) Vice President & Chief Financial Officer before assuming the role of Interim President & Chief Executive Officer in March 2023. He has played an integral role in building UCPG’s strategic financial growth plan and leading the organization’s operational mandate. Gregg has more than 40 years of financial and leadership experience and has served on both public and private companies in a wide range of industries, including commercial, residential, land development, real estate, manufacturing, leisure, and construction.
Jensen Clarke is a senior Fengate Infrastructure investment team member responsible for P3 partnering and project development across Canada and the US. As the firm’s business development and teaming lead, Jensen is focused on a strategic roster of high-profile P3 pursuits across North America. His most recent resume includes the LAX Consolidated Rent-a-Car Facility, Macdonald Block Reconstruction project, Prince George’s County Public Schools project, and Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor Long-Term Care Homes project.
Aly leads the Real Estate business at Forum. Aly is focused on originations and overseeing real estate investments. He leverages his exposure to a broad range of asset classes as an urban developer, institutional asset manager, and operator of value add/opportunistic investments, to drive growth for Forum and its partners. Prior to joining Forum, Aly was EVP, Investments & Asset Management for Hullmark. Aly co-led direct acquisitions and led the firm’s asset management and operations functions. In his 7 years at Hullmark, Aly drove significant growth for the company, helping to increase AUM 15x to just under $1B, and co-led the development of partnerships with large-scale institutional partners including a REIT and a Toronto university.
As a Principal at Teeple Architects, Tomer leads projects in higher education including on-going Student Housing projects at uWindsor and uWaterloo, performing arts, residential and mixed-use development. Since joining the practice is 2008, Tomer has helped guide the design and implementation of award-winning projects including Tyler Hall, Morgan State University’s new 140,000 SF Student Services Center (Baltimore), and Langara College’s 130,000 SF Science and Technology Building (Vancouver).
On June 19, 2023, University of Toronto announced Sonya Donovan joined the OREP team as Managing Director, Real Estate. Previously, Ms. Donovan worked as Director of Real Estate at the University of Guelph. Sonya is leading a team responsible for the creation and implementation of a new real estate entity that will allow for the active management, investment, and development of the University’s extensive land holdings. At Uof T, she is also leading the strategy and masterplan that will guide the development of these land holdings once the new entity is in place. Sonya has held progressively senior roles in commercial real estate, many with Oxford Properties Group, focusing on investments, leasing, and development.
As First National Financial's Assistant Vice President and Team Director in the Commercial Financing division, Andrew is focused on cultivating deep relationships by providing an unparalleled array of value-add advisory services. These services are catered to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities for his stakeholders. Often described as one of the most trusted individuals in a dynamic industry, Andrew’s clients seek him out not only for financing solutions but also for his depth of knowledge and experience. Andrew brings this experience to both term and construction financing across several asset classes including apartment, student housing, retail and industrial.
Curtis Gallagher has been a lead hotel broker in Canada since 2003 completing over $3 billion in investment sale and financing transactions on some of the most prolific hotels in the country such as Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, Hyatt Regency Montréal and Westin Harbour Castle Toronto to name a few. He joined Avison Young in October 2021 as Principal and Canadian Hospitality Lead. His client list ranges from large institutional investors such as Ivanhoe Cambridge, bcIMC and Cadillac Fairview to private equity groups including Starwood Capital Group, KTB Asset Management, TPG Capital, Barney River Investments and Geolo Capital.
Stéphane Giguère, MPA C. Adm./Adm. A., is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Ottawa Community Housing Corporation (OCHC), the largest affordable housing landlord in the National Capital Region. With a portfolio of more than $3.5 billion, OCHC is the fourth largest community and affordable housing provider in Canada. As CEO, Mr. Giguère leads an award-winning organization that impacts the lives of over 32,000 residents in 15,000 homes in the city of Ottawa. He provides strategic direction and leadership to close to 500 employees, 500 contractors and 1,200 volunteers. During his tenure, he has raised more than $800 million in new investments, and more than $1.5 billion in commitment toward new developments, capital repairs and maintenance.
Dayna is focused on leading teams that execute on complex development initiatives that create value through acquisition, design, entitlement, and construction of a variety of asset classes. Prior to joining Forum, Dayna was the Director of Development at Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAPREIT), Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands largest residential rental asset manager. Dayna led and managed all new development, along with building the department, where she established a short and long-term pipeline for future asset growth on existing land in all portfolios. Prior to CAPREIT, Dayna was the Director of Development at Fieldgate Urban, a new arm of the real estate developer, focused on mid to high rise development.
Julienne is a dynamic and passionate manager, working on construction megaprojects, recognized for her strategic thinking, her mobilizing teamwork, and focused on anticipating issues and finding solutions. She knows how to take advantage of the strengths of the multidisciplinary teams that support her.
David Ian Gray is a national advisor to retail executives and a recognized expert on retail and consumer trends, landing in Rethink Retail’s Global Top 100. David has consistently produced high-impact knowledge for over 26 years that separates substance from hype, causes from symptoms. He provides fresh counsel in Canada to senior leaders on defining customer-relevance, rethinking customer-experience and tailoring roadmaps for evolving their retail and DTC concepts. Widely sought for comment by business media, David presents regularly on critical shifts in the retail ecosystem and the reasons for them.
Veronica joined Slate in 2020 and is responsible for the overall project execution of several of Slate’s mixed-use developments in Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton. Veronica is involved in all aspects of redevelopment – her expertise pertains to policy and project feasibility including site specific planning and investment strategy. Prior to Slate, Veronica worked in research and consulting and held senior roles in the Ontario Premier’s Office and the Office of the Official Opposition in Ottawa.
Sal Guatieri is a Senior Economist and Director at BMO Capital Markets, with three decades experience as a macro economist. With BMO since 1994, his main responsibilities include analyzing and forecasting the U.S. economy, Canadian and U.S. housing markets and commercial real estate markets, and he is responsible for the Department’s economic forecasts prepared for regulatory and stress testing requirements. Prior to joining BMO, Sal worked at the Bank of Canada and received his master’s degree in Economics from Queen’s University in 1990.
Murtaza Haider is a professor of Data Science and Real Estate Management at Toronto Metropolitan University. He also serves as the research director of the Urban Analytics Institute. Professor Haider holds an adjunct professorship of Engineering at McGill University. In addition, he is a Director of Regionomics Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in the economics of cities and regions. Dr. Haider is the author of Real Estate Markets: An Introduction (2020) and Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (2016).
CMLS Financial is one of Canada’s largest independently owned mortgage lenders, with ten locations nationwide. Founded in 1974, the company provides various commercial lending services, advisory services, residential mortgages, and institutional services. Sandy has a long history of providing clients with trusted advice and successful strategies for their real estate investments across the asset classes for both construction and permanent debt, including CMHC. Sandy has financed hundreds of properties in Ontario and across Canada, with project financing for new developments, and acquisition financing and is recognized with particular expertise for student rental properties with many successful financings from $5M- $130M over the
Scott is responsible for oversight of reporting, policy, data, engagement, and communications initiatives at the Sustainability Office at the St. George campus. Working with his key stakeholders – students, faculty and staff – Scott acts as an advocate and leader for impactful sustainability at U of T.
A professional engineer with broad knowledge, keen interest and dedication to caring for planet earth, are what drive his motivation to deliver sustainable change across U of T, and beyond. Scott joined the University in 2021 from Pratt & Whitney Canada, where in his most recent position played an active role in developing and embedding Sustainability across the corporation for over a decade.
Collette Hart is an enthusiast of Thermally Resilient Rainscreen Construction. She brings her 15+ years of industry knowledge to anyone that will listen with passion, humour and honesty. A proud founding member of RAiNA (Rainscreen Association in North America), and Co-Chair for their Education and Training committee where she continues to advocate for the Canadian (and female) audience.
Jason Hingston as Director of Real Estate Development, leads the growth and structuring of Meridian Credit Union’s Commercial Real Estate portfolio with specific focus on the Land Development and Construction sub-segments currently exceeding $3.8B in authorized loan facilities. With 12 years of experience in the real estate industry developing policy standards and leading a high performing team of real estate analysts and lenders, Jason has a proven track record of delivering creative financing solutions resulting in satisfaction of specific borrower needs resulting in high growth levels for Meridian. Over his career, Jason has been involved in all segments of commercial real estate finance throughout Canada.
Jason Hunter has more than 30 years of experience in the postsecondary sector including a combined twelve years as Dean of Students at the University of Toronto and Humber College. Jason was appointed Vice President Student and Community Engagement at Humber in 2013, and into his current role as Vice President, Students and Institutional Planning in 2018. Jason holds an MBA from the University of Alberta as well as a MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. Jason has broad responsibility for Institutional Research, Strategic Enrolment Management and a range of student services including housing and residence life.
Ian Husted joined Woodbourne in 2014. He serves as a vice president on the real estate investment team focusing on underwriting and structuring student housing and apartment transactions. He also leads Woodbourne’s student housing asset management team and oversees the strategic operations of this portfolio. Ian holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Mathematics from the Occidental College, and is a CFA charterholder.
Adam Jacobs is the national head of research for Colliers Canada. He has appeared in numerous publications and media outlets including BNN, the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post. He was previously in leadership positions at Cushman and Wakefield and Oxford Properties. He holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. His interests are the fundamentals underpinning real estate including demographics, the labour market, and the investment environment.
Our mission at UBC Properties Trust is to build a financial legacy and create innovative spaces for learning and living at UBC. We have been active for over 30 years and are a private company wholly owned by UBC. UBC Properties has built over 12 million square feet of space for UBC in Vancouver and Okanagan and have become one of the largest developers in the province. We have created 32 residential rental buildings providing 1700+ homes for UBC faculty, staff, students, and the general public. Our team develops highly complex and innovative projects for UBC, including Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Student Union Building (The Nest), UBC Aquatic Centre, Tall Wood and The Exchange Residences.
With nearly 20 years dedicated to advancing technology solutions across North America, Gary has been pivotal in bridging the gap between complex tech challenges and practical applications. His involvement with many high-tech organizations, ranging from startups to large corporations, showcases Gary's commitment to innovation and the evolution of technology. In 2014, he co-founded Cloudwifi, quickly establishing it as Canada's go-to Managed Wi-Fi provider in the student housing market. Under his leadership, Cloudwifi has expanded its portfolio to now service over 100 student residences, ensuring reliable connectivity for thousands of students across the country.
Rylan is CEO and co-founder of SpacesShared. Rylan has spent a decade working in postsecondary advocacy, policy, program administration, and technology in the public and private sectors. As a partnership and consensus builder, Rylan believes in engaging as broad a base of stakeholders as possible when developing solutions to complex problems. Rylan has experience managing large teams and scaling technology companies.
Steve Lafleur is a public policy analyst with over a decade of experience working for Canadian think tanks. He is a former Senior Policy Analyst at the Fraser Institute. He holds an M.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University. His work has appeared in most major Canadian media outlets including the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Toronto Star.
Erik Larson is a Senior Vice President at Blue Vista, with responsibility for sourcing, structuring, underwriting and executing transactions on behalf of Blue Vista’s real estate equity strategies. Erik’s areas of focus include traditional multifamily, build-for-rent and student housing, in both the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Blue Vista, Erik spent seven years at Cedar Street Capital Partners as Managing Director of Finance, focused on all aspects of multifamily real estate development and ownership, including the sourcing of transactions, deal structuring and capitalization, disposition and asset management. Prior to Cedar, Erik worked in real estate finance at Cole Taylor Bank and Prudential Mortgage Capital Company.
Michelle leads campus planning, facilities, sustainability, and design and construction services at George Brown College. As a public sector leader, Michelle has spent over 30 years in post-secondary, municipal government, and education administration in the UK and Canada driving key strategic initiatives, capital infrastructure development, and organizational transformation. Michelle holds a Master of Business Administration from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, UK, a Bachelor of Science from Edinburgh Napier University, UK and is a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Shaun McCracken is the Regional Director of Student Operations for Centurion Property Associates. Shaun has over 15 years of experience in student housing within both Ontario’s Post-Secondary and Private Off Campus Housing Sector. Shaun has a proven track record of building strong relations with stakeholders, residents and teams to enhance overall experience and satisfaction within the properties operated by Centurion. Shaun’s experience working both in Public & Private Sector also positions him well to understand the needs of our ever changing student population, university stakeholders and private entities looking to invest within the sector to address our current housing crisis.
Over twenty five years of experience in design, development, municipal planning approvals, public policy, community engagement, media relations, and housing. Positions including:
* Ontario Minister of Housing
* Toronto City Councillor
Chair, Planning & Growth Management
Vice-Chair, Toronto Transit Commission
* Etobicoke City Councillor
* Executive Director, Tatry Non-Profit Housing Corp.
* PZM DESIGN, Principal
Graduate Architect
Brian Minnehan is a Senior Vice President at Blue Vista and Head of Acquisitions for the firm’s student housing strategies. In this role, Brian is responsible for sourcing, underwriting, structuring and closing residential equity investments. Since joining Blue Vista, Brian has participated in the financing, acquisition, and development of over $1.5 billion of student housing transactions. Prior to joining Blue Vista, Brian worked in the Structured Equity Investments Group for Eagle Realty Group, a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group; while at Eagle, he participated in the closing of $400 million in commercial real estate assets. Prior to that, Brian worked as an Asset Manager for Boston Capital.
Josh has been with Campus Suites in varying capacities over the last five years, rising from a project coordinator to Vice President. He is responsible for running due diligence programs, contract negotiation and underwriting prospective investments to determine feasibility while taking an active role in the development process. During the design stage of new projects, Mr. Morton provides insight into the lives of the students to help resolve issues before they even arise. He has also proven his worth as an asset manager, helping to strengthen both leasing efforts and property profitability through the use of proptech.
New challenges call for new solutions. As an EY Canada partner, Edward works with public and private sector clients to design and implement novel transaction structures to address today’s infrastructure needs. Edward has been involved in dozens of infrastructure transactions with a combined value of over $30 billion across all types of asset classes. He focuses on providing the kind of robust transaction support and lead advisory services that enable clients to achieve leading-class infrastructure solutions through effective public-private partnerships and alternative service delivery models. Edward is a Chartered Financial Analyst and FINRA Series 79 registered representative.
Police Constable Sean O’Neill is a 16-year veteran of the Toronto Police Service and presently is assigned to the Toronto Crime Stoppers program as the Community Engagement and Social Media Officer. In this role, PC. O’Neill is responsible for tip management protocols, social media development and community engagement while serving our very diverse City of Toronto.
For 14 years of his career, this officer has been serving the community of 31 Division in a multitude of positions from primary response unit, community response unit and as a Neighbourhood officer for the Shoreham court and Driftwood court area.
Zach leads the Real Estate Transactions and Valuations practice for EY Canada. He specializes in helping clients make strategic real estate decisions to address their biggest challenges and capitalize on their biggest opportunities. Having over 15 years of experience, Zach’s been involved in real estate transactions worth over $15 billion over the past five years for both private and public-sector clients. His global experience includes running sales and marketing processes for clients and assets in North America and Europe. Zach is passionate about how technology will change real estate.
Jennifer Adams Peffer, AIA, RAIC, LEED AP is an architect, urban designer and strategic planner, with 25 years of professional practice focused in the higher education planning, design and construction sector. Jennifer brings to her work a passion for excellence in design and place making creating research-driven, student-centered learning environments that incorporate best practices in health & wellness, accessibility, environmental and social sustainability and inclusion. As Campus Architect for the University of Toronto Scarborough, Jennifer leads a team of professionals in the pursuit of these goals and provides leadership toward the realization of new capital projects and campus master plans.
Amanda Pereira, has been the Operations Manager at GreenLeaf Pest Control for the past 5 years. She is always happy to help customers with their pest issues and is an expert in Pest Control in Multiple Dwelling units; specifically College and University Resident Living. She is a proud Golden Hawk graduating with an Honours BBA (Marketing) from Wilfrid Laurier University. When she isn’t protecting the health and safety of her clients from vermin, she enjoys reading, hiking and enjoying what nature has to offer.
Mike Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. His work includes the development of academic integration programs now in place today within residential programs at McGill University (Quebec), Trent University (Ontario), Winona State University (Minnesota) and Appalachian State University (North Carolina). Combined with his experience in market analysis, planning for new construction and major renovations, he contributes a wealth of knowledge both in the Canadian higher education and residential landscape and the US student housing sector.
Warren Price, an Urban Designer and Partner at Urban Strategies, is trained as an architect and has 25+ years of professional experience in urban, campus and community design and planning. This includes all aspects of project development such as; facilitation and coordination, site contextual analysis, detailed design and vision concepts; master plans; transportation oriented development plans; and urban design and streetscape design guidelines. Warren has a thorough understanding of the design and planning issues facing post-secondary educational institutions today. He helps institutions define planning directions and realize development priorities.
One of the principals of Reid’s Heritage Homes, Scott Reid is the founder and President of Reid’s Heritage Properties. Throughout his 20+ years with Reid’s Heritage Group, Scott has been involved in multiple aspects of the business. He previously served as Vice-President, Construction for the group’s Reid’s Heritage Homes division, which builds new homes in communities across Ontario, with product ranging from single detached homes, townhomes and mid-rise condominiums, to custom estates and active adult communities. Thanks to his experience and industry insight, Scott identified an excellent growth opportunity by leveraging Reid’s expertise into the underdeveloped new rental property industry.
Mark J. Richardson is the Chief Technology Officer at Rich Analytics, and the volunteer Technical Lead at He has 20+ Years of consulting-experience with public-sector clients at all-levels of Government in Canada, and was part of the City of Toronto’s Open Data Advisory Group which helped define the City’s first official Open Data Master Plan in 2018.
David Roberts is the Director of and a professor in the Urban Studies Program at UofT. He completed his undergraduate degrees in business administration and political science at the University of Washington and worked as a social worker with homeless and refugee youth in Seattle before coming to UofT as a graduate student in the geography department.
Doug Sales is a highly accomplished sales professional with over 15 years of experience in the field Security System Integration. Currently, Doug is the Senior Director of Commercial Systems Sales, GardaWorld. In this role, he is responsible for driving revenue growth, managing sales teams, and building strong customer relationships. Under his leadership, the company has seen significant growth and success in the highly competitive Security System Integration industry.

With more than 25 years of experience in sustainable design, development, and operations, Lyle has a broad (and trusted) perspective on the best sustainability strategy for his clients. A trained mechanical engineer specializing in energy efficiency, facilities management, and sustainable development, Lyle is the founding and managing Principal of Footprint. Providing leadership to the growing Footprint team, Lyle’s greatest strength is collaborating with architects, engineers, and developers to create the most appropriate sustainability solution. Having worked as both a facilities manager at the Hospital for Sick Children and as a developer and contractor, Lyle’s well-rounded experience is very valuable for clients.
Charlie leads the University of Windsor’s business enterprise and alternative revenue generation strategy, including oversight of real estate and development, capital project procurement, commercial deal negotiation and risk management. Charlie brings a diverse background from the private sector, having held progressively senior roles at A.C. Nielsen in Montreal and Movati Athletic in Toronto. As a Senior Analyst at A.C. Nielsen, he led a client service team that supported consumer packaged goods manufacturers in eastern Canada and the northeast United States, including MolsonCoors, British American Tobacco and L’Oreal.
Dan Smith is Managing Director at Student Housing Consultancy, a leading global real estate advisory specialising in student accommodation. Our experienced consultants work with investors, asset managers, operators, developers, universities and Purpose-Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) industry partners to add value through a range of consultancy services. We offer project-based consultancy or retained advisory to add knowledge, resource and most importantly, value.
Paul Smith is a real estate professional with over 30 years of experience in design, construction and management of large facilities and property portfolios. His background includes Consulting Engineering, Contracting and Property Management in various roles leading to his current position as Co-Founder and Chief Administrative Officer with The DMS Group, one of Canada's leading Property Management organizations focused on delivering innovative solutions to clients in the private, not for profit and public sectors. Paul has co-led the growth of DMS over 20 years in service lines including: Multi-Residential Property Management; Student Housing Management; Commercial Property Management; Land Management; and Project Management.
With nearly three decades in the Corporate Security Industry, Sean is a true security afficionado and has been recognized globally for his industry achievements. Sean is Vice President, National Accounts & Community Engagement at GardaWorld. A dedicated Community Safety Advocate, in 2002 Sean joined the Toronto Crime Stoppers Volunteer Board of Directors, where he is currently the program’s Chair. Sean has been a steady influencer and change champion in the security industry throughout his career and has developed many crime reduction strategies and awareness campaigns targeting Organized Retail Crime. Sean’s innovative vision has been the focus of Harvard University’s School of Business.
Jennifer is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 years' experience in the design and construction industry. Her experience includes healthcare, transportation, institutional, and community development, having held roles as owner’s representative project manager and design team project manager. Through effective communication and the application of process driven project management principles, Jennifer has successfully led multi-disciplinary project teams, including major projects, delivered through both traditional and alternate project delivery methods.
Paul Tawfik serves as Director at Johnson Controls. Paul has more than twenty-five years of business and project development experience with an outstanding track record in helping governments renew their real estate assets and optimize their building maintenance, rehabilitation and energy budgets. Under the leadership of Paul Tawfik, Johnson Controls has successfully contracted for an excess of $1 billion dollars of infrastructure service work across North America. His extensive experience in energy retrofits enables him to bring innovative ideas to lower the total cost of ownership of facilities. He also brings knowledge of renewable technologies, such as biomass, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and geothermal.
Chris van de Water has over 15 years of real estate development experience. He began his career as a Civil Engineer, working on large format retail and Master Planned developments. After completing his MBA at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, Chris spent nine years with Oxford Properties, working on residential and retail development projects across Canada. In mid-2023, he joined Fitzrovia, one of Canada's fastest growing purpose-built rental residential developers as Vice President of Development.
Chris is a respected real property, planning and development executive who works on wide-ranging transformative initiatives that strengthen York University as a GTA community builder. He recently led a process to create a new Keele Campus Vision and Strategy that positions York with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new transit oriented neighbourhoods on its campus over the coming decades. Previously, he provided key strategic and project management support in York's successful bid to establish a new campus in Markham Centre, and worked on other pivotal projects includes the delivery of purpose build private sector student housing, a new athletics stadium, and a subway extension that serves the university and surrounding community.
Dima Zreik is a Director on the Canada Infrastructure Bank’s investment team focused on financing the decarbonization of buildings across Canada. Bringing almost 20 years of experience in project finance, Dima is currently responsible for originating, structuring, and executing investments as part of the CIB’s Building Retrofit Initiative. Dima is a strong believer in sustainable financing and investing in climate-smart infrastructure projects that contribute to a smaller environmental footprint.

About: SHURE is a unique platform that brings all types of real estate impacted by the university environment into focus, including the myriad of on-campus buildings (academic, athletic, retail, self-storage, cold storage, housing, mixed-use, office) and off-campus buildings (conventional multifamily for-rent, residential, private student housing, purpose-built student accommodation, faculty housing and mixed-used).

Indeed, Canada’s population is rapidly growing, driven by general immigration and a surge in international student enrollment. Canada has become a popular destination for students in global regions due to its high quality of life, stable government, and world-renowned post-secondary institutions. Many students seek to live on-campus or near the university for these reasons. In addition, due to the above-average quality of life in many university neighbourhoods, members of the public and commercial entities are seeking out properties in the proximity of the academic institutions. For these reasons, there is a significant lack of available real estate in university environments. SHURE is the premier platform that brings together all the stakeholders in the university environment in this engaging and productive business development exchange.

With the mission to improve student lives and enhance the built environment in university neighbourhoods, SHURE GTA & Eastern Canada will convene on October 16-17, 2024 at York University. Attendees and participants will represent the most active university real estate executives  (including property trusts and boards of trustees), commercial real estate developers, institutional investors, capital sources, and other owners in the market. 

In addition, SHURE will bring together the most innovative firms working in property technology and campus technology. 

“SHURE is a not-to-be-missed event for professionals and executives who work in or support university real estate and student accommodation,” Andrew Parr, Associate Vice-President – Student Housing and Community Services, The University of British Columbia.

“I wanted to personally thank you for this amazing  event.”

– Jonas Emre, Founder & CEO, Harrington Housing


“Thanks for putting together a great conference.”

– Neil Murray, Development & Asset Manager, Podium Developments


“My thanks for such a wonderful event.”

– Valerie Bruce, Interim Director – Student Housing and Community Care, Toronto Metropolitan University



The following is a list of topics that will be covered in each of three separate tracks. For an in-depth look at topic breakdowns, speakers and additional learning opportunities, please request our full agendas here. Agendas are subject to change.

OCTOBER 16:  University Real Estate & Master Planning

Thesis: Universities are often the most impactful municipal landlords, boasting a robust portfolio of academic, athletic facilities, retail and housing assets. Learn from property trust executives, university leadership and other stakeholders about master plans and campus visions. 

OCTOBER 17 TRACK 1: Housing for Student Accommodation

Thesis: Multifamily developers and purpose-built student housing executives are approaching the housing crisis and lack of supply as unique opportunities in today’s investment environment. Learn from institutional investors, pension funds, and private developers about their plans to support new housing supply in university environments.


OCTOBER 17 TRACK 2: SHURE Property & Campus Technology Xchange

Thesis: Technology that touches or improves the operating environment of buildings for landlords and tenants or enhances day-to-day life at the university. Learn from smart building innovators, including heating/cooling, internet connectivity, marketing/leasing executives, transportation stakeholders, and more.  

Request Full Agenda

Please note only corporate email addresses will be accepted. We will use your email address to verify that you are a real estate and/or university professional.


This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service