ELM’s evolution has been an ongoing entrepreneurial apprenticeship. We have built our expertise and progressive way of seeing by exposing ourselves to different experiences, partners, projects, challenges and opportunities.
Building off of a proficiency in the trades, this phase laid the foundation for our management focus, expertise and way of seeing.
ELM’s roots can be traced to 1985 when two partners formed a glazing contractor in Toronto, Ontario. Bolstered by widespread construction, their business thrived. Enthusiastic about project management, one partner, Elliot Steiner left the trades for general contracting. That enthusiasm led to our first construction projects in Canada and the USA. By 1989, we were being awarded contracts from firms such as the Bank of Montreal and Tim Hortons in Canada, and Lenscrafters in the USA.
Following the real estate market collapse in the early 1990’s, ELM continued to thrive despite the circumstances. We were not deterred. We moved forward with courage and confidence, taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities available to the brave. We believed there was much less risk in buying at significantly discounted prices. So we did. During this time as well, we tackled greater complexity across industrial, commercial and investment projects in Canada and the U.S., which further matured our way of seeing.
Supported by a growing services business and industry partners, we reinvested financial and knowledge capital into property investments. Doing so expanded our circle of competence into the residential space. During this phase of our growth, we fine tuned our management values and approach and our downside avoidance mindset.
Building on our growing expertise in development and core competencies in construction, we began assembling and developing lands with a particular focus on the Greater Toronto Area. Leveraging our construction expertise, ELM’s commercial portfolio began to emerge, alongside the regular delivery of new homes in and around Toronto.
In this phase of our evolution, our clients and partners began to face the repercussions of the 2008 financial crisis in full force. We stepped almost exclusively into varied distressed development situations — executing on challenging construction opportunities and putting skin in the game to recapitalize otherwise sound projects. We amplified our investment advisory role, applying our expertise and precedents to determine project feasibility. And we honed our attention to detail and delivery of both buildings and returns. Working within that type of pressure further matured our skills and reputation. It cemented our resilience, grit and determination for excellence at every step.
This is where all of the learning and experience comes together – our heritage from the first four phases of our evolution, our knowledge and our way of seeing. Our commitment to going all in and getting the job done consistently guides us towards trying new things and owning them confidently. We continue to combine our strong foundation of experience, savvy and lean efficiency to build great buildings and deliver stellar long-term returns.