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Moulded in the Community

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Nestled in a verdant pocket of Southern Ontario, Woodbridge is a captivating town that exudes history, charm, and natural beauty. With a population of over 100,000 people, this vibrant community is known for its diverse cultural mix, bustling commercial districts, and picturesque green spaces. Woodbridge is home to Maystar General Contractors Inc.

The company, founded over 25 years ago, started out as a small general contractor with a handful of employees. While this in itself is not necessarily unusual, Maystar has grown into a large corporation serving the length and breadth of Ontario. Incredibly, the company has overseen and completed over 200 projects in this period, solidifying its reputation as one of the foremost contractors in East Central Canada. Completing contracts on time, on budget and striving to go beyond expectations are the standards expected by its wide variety of clients across a multitude of sectors including health care residential, recreational, aquatic, commercial educational and industrial.

In recent years, the importance of health and safety in building has increased significantly in Ontario, Canada. There has been a growing recognition of the need for high safety standards within the construction industry, and this has led to the implementation of stricter regulations and guidelines. These measures have been put in place to protect workers from accidents and injuries, and to ensure the safety of the public.

At Maystar, the importance of health and safety hasn’t gone unnoticed. The company has spent much time and effort into developing procedures that ensure its employees feel safe and secure in their working environment. For Alexa Leo, Project Coordinator at Maystar, facilitating safety training for employees is of utmost importance. “First and foremost, we make safety our number one concern. We want to ensure all of those working feel safe and have knowledge about the health and safety regulations in the industry. We provide training, conduct toolbox talks; we have joint health and safety committees both in the office and on our construction sites.” While many companies make similar claims, Maystar has the credentials to back this up. The company is COR (Certificate of Recognition) accredited which fully verifies the implementation of its Occupational Health and Safety Management System in the workforce. In essence, this accreditation demonstrates that Maystar’s health and safety system has been fully established and thoroughly applied to everyday duties on the job.

While getting to grips with the newest safety requirements can be a challenge posed to any business in the construction industry, it is not the only issue that companies face today. For instance, the omnipresent challenge across the construction landscape is the shortage of skilled workers. For those at Maystar, it is vital that the issue is identified and acknowledged for what it truly is, a lack of education. As Alexa explains, the knock-on effect is felt right across the industry. “There has been a major shift in the labour industry in Ontario and not as many people are going into the construction field. This shortage can really have a negative impact on all construction.”

The statistics back up Maystar’s concerns. According to a report by the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON), the province is facing a shortage of 100,000 construction workers by 2025. The same report found that 60% of construction companies in the GTA are having difficulty finding skilled workers. These statistics demonstrate the severity of the shortage of skilled building workers in Ontario and the urgent need to address this issue through investment in training and apprenticeships, something that Maystar have been quick to latch on to. For Alexa, these programs provide a springboard for those looking to begin a career in the sector. “We welcome co-op students and apprenticeships into our workforce here at Maystar. We like to promote the skilled labor market to students while they are still in school. In doing this we can provide a hands-on, education oriented, experience for all of those who are interested in coming into the construction sector. This encourages students to accelerate when entering the skilled labor field.”

While apprenticeships will play a big part in attracting young jobseekers to full time employment in the industry, it is important to look forward and incorporate new technologies also. Those at Maystar are keenly aware that, in the age of social media, other methods may prove to be just as fruitful. Social media has become a crucial tool for businesses to attract potential employees to the building industry worldwide and Ontario is no exception. With the shortage of skilled workers, it’s vital for companies to use all resources to cast a wider net in a bid to attract the highest quality candidates. With the goal of ensuring it remains the leading choice for customers in the region, Maystar has recognized this and, as Alexa shares, the company use social media effectively when attempting to get its message across to a wider audience. “Social media is one of the main platforms we use to communicate about the industry, post news, announcements, and educational posts. It has proven to provide great exposure to all of those interested in the construction world. It allows us to post progress on our jobs, highlight new projects, and show off our company culture.

In addition to grasping the latest technologies and delving into the necessities of the modern-day zeitgeist, Maystar is, and has been, involved in some impressive work, rooted in the community. The company has built up a well-earned reputation for delivering the highest standards, consistently and effectively. This is evidenced by the number of successful projects it has worked on. One such project is the York Region affordable housing project for which Maystar General are the general contractors. The project, which is being led by the Region of York, involves the development of a range of affordable housing options, including rental and ownership units. This major initiative is tasked with addressing the shortage of affordable housing in the region and, according to Alexa, the project was a privilege to be involved in. “It will consist of, ninety-seven-unit, affordable housing building. The building will contain a non-residential ground floor and a mix of one, two, and three-bedroom rental apartments. The project will also include an indoor amenity space, a rooftop patio area and surface parking. We take immense pride in projects such as this. It has a positive effect on the community and will hopefully positively impact further developments in this area.”

This community minded ethos was also evident in the excellent work Maystar delivered back in 2012, at Vaughan Civic Center. With a total area of 325,000 sq ft, it is one of the largest Civic buildings ever built in Canada. This LEED Gold certified building was an incredible project for Maystar and, as Alexa shares, showed just what the company was capable of. “The building was notionally divided into three blocks with one block standing two stories and the other two blocks standing 4 stories. Each block was centered around a glass atrium. The exterior cladding incorporates terracotta and double and triple glazed glass curtain wall. Granite was utilized for the exterior landscape and interior finishes. Interior spaces are finished in exposed concrete, oak panels, terrazzo and oak floors and carpet tile.”

Other projects Maystar has been involved in include Leaside Retirement Community and The Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Building. Both projects are currently underway and are prime examples of the skill and professionalism that Maystar delivers. With Viva Retirement Communities redeveloping its premises in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood, Maystar was called upon to deliver. The development is comprised of two seniors’ rental retirement properties and the design will be a combination of the north, south and east facades of 150 Laird Drive which is a heritage site since 1928. It is a project that will improve the amenities of the much needed service in the Toronto area. While, in another example of the technical expertise in-house at Maystar, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre will be getting the addition of the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre. This facility is primed to care for a plethora of brain disease including Strokes, Dementia, Alzheimer’s, and ALS. The building will occupy 115,000 sq. ft. of new construction along with renovations to 5,000 sq. ft. of existing space. In addition, the centre will have inpatient units for adults and youth that will offer advanced clinical facilities such as home-like single patient suites, a gym, a classroom, and an outdoor courtyard.

The construction industry is not forgiving. To excel in the industry, a company needs to be skilful, competitive and, above all else, aware. Maystar is that rare entity; a corporation that has a community ethos. With its development of the highest safety standards and a commitment to bringing expertise and professionalism to local projects that enhance and benefit the local community, it is easy to see how the company has grown over the past quarter of a century. With OSHA accreditation, high employee retention rates and community projects, it is not difficult to understand how Maystar has cemented its reputation as a corporation that is both moulded in the community and committed to the future.

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