Minto Communities GTA
Communications by Minto Communities GTA on developments regarding COVID-19. Periodic updates will be accessible here.
Latest revision – April 8, 2020. Please check back for ongoing updates.
Minto Communities is committed to providing open communication relevant to our Toronto operations regarding COVID-19 throughout the duration of this situation.
As a community builder, local employer and as construction professionals, the health and safety of our homeowners, employees and trade partners is of the utmost importance to us. This is something we prioritize on a daily basis – and will continue to throughout this stressful time. The wellbeing of the community and the lives we impact is at the core of Minto’s vision – building better places to live, work and play.
As part of our civic responsibility, we are committed to standing united with the local and global community in taking recommended precautions. In light of this, we have amplified health and safety measures for our staff and homeowners. Learn more on the following:
For our Prospects & Homeowners
Presentation Centre: Visits are temporarily by appointment only. Please contact us by phone or email, click the link below for access to all our project contacts.
Design Centre: Our Design Centre showroom is temporarily closed to the public until further notice. If you have an appointment already scheduled, a representative will be in touch with you directly to reschedule or make alternative arrangements.
Q. Is Minto Communities remaining open during this situation?
April 8 - As of April 6, 2020, the Ontario provincial government has deemed construction activity of homes that have already received a building permit as an essential service. As such, Minto Communities is continuing construction activity on homes for which we already have building permits and proceeding with modified operations and protocols that prioritize the health and safety of our employees and trade partners. Office and other staff are working from home where possible, to carry out key activities that support home building and help prepare for and coordinate the homes that will commence once the effects of the pandemic lessen.
In order to prioritize health and safety, some services we offer have been temporarily suspended or altered while others, such as Sales and Design Centre appointments, are being conducted digitally. House construction involves a great deal of background preparation, planning, ordering and coordination, and in the meantime, we are committed to continue these activities safely and where feasible through remote work. This practice will best position us to fully remobilize and commence homes for all those awaiting keys once the direct effects of the pandemic have lessened and government authorities deem it safe to do so.
We know many homeowners are counting on us to complete their homes and are committed to do so, even if they take longer than originally anticipated.
Q. Is Minto Communities continuing to have staff work on site during this situation?
Minto Communities is committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of illness by prioritizing the health of our employees, homeowners and Trade Partners above all else.
In situations where we have deemed them to be safe and our employees and trades personally feel comfortable in the work environment, certain construction and support operations will remain on site. Other employees are able to work in isolation from home or site offices. Many of our customer-facing staff are continuing their roles via email to maintain the same level of communication without any of the in-person risks. We are here for you to answer questions.
Q. What specific measures have you taken to keep your workforce safe?
No one should have to choose between their job and doing what is right for their health and that of the community. A number of our staff are working remotely from home or in isolated offices (typically one at a time), including our customer-facing and support teams. On site, we have implemented additional hand-washing stations, have supplied increased protective equipment, and have encouraged reduced hours and split shifts to those working on site to minimize social contact.
Other provisions in place apply to Trades as well as Minto staff. Some of these include a maximum number of personnel permitted in a closed home at a time and a Minto team member is only allowed in the home alone. The closure of our site offices to Trades and the public has been put in place to minimize gathering.
Most importantly, no one is permitted onto a Minto construction site if they have recently travelled abroad, have close contact with someone showing symptoms or have symptoms of any illness themselves. While these measures will significantly slow production, we stand by this decision to prioritize our employees’ health and safety.
Q. Government and many companies are trying to help Canadians out financially at this time. Are you changing the deposit structure or deferring deposits at times?
At this stage of the pandemic, we are not making any changes to the deposit structure. Deposits help us secure the materials that are ordered to build your home. While the pace of construction is expected to be reduced during this situation, in some cases construction may still continue to take place.
We will continue to work with and adhere to any government provisions made to help ease Ontarians through this situation, which continues to evolve. The deposits provided will ensure that we will be able to proceed with construction once the Covid-19 Pandemic ends.
Q. I am interested in buying a new home. How are releases and home purchases being handled right now?
At this time, you can contact the Sales Centres by phone or email to discuss availability and if you choose to do so, you are able to move forward with a sale. We have postponed many of our lot releases at this time and will continue to monitor the situation. Please contact us directly if you have any questions
For our Homeowners who have not moved in
Our Customer Experience team is providing ongoing updates via email, depending on the stage of construction of your home, and where you are in your home owning journey. Specific information has been shared with homeowners who have upcoming:
- Design Centre appointments
- Frame Walks
- Essential Homeowner events
- Pre-Delivery Orientations
- Closing Dates
In alignment with the social distancing recommendations made by health authorities and in concert with Tarion guidelines issued about the COVID-19 situation, we have limited or altered several of our processes to help safeguard staff, trades and homeowners. At this time, our commitment is to focus on activities that are critical to the construction progress and that are required to be able to give the keys over to our homeowners who are anxious to take possession of their new home. We will continue to provide relevant updates to homeowners as you progress through the journey, or as the situation changes.
The likelihood that this situation will result in a change or delay to occupancy/closing dates continues to increase. We will be in touch by email if your home is affected.
Please ensure we have your current contact information. If you have not received any updates or have any questions, please contact your dedicated Customer Experience team at [email protected].
Your cooperation is requested
If you are experiencing cold/flu-like symptoms, have been in contact with someone else who has been ill or have recently returned from travel outside of Canada and are scheduled to come for your key pick-up, please inform the Construction Team when they reach out on your day of possession and we will make alternate arrangements.
Q. Do you anticipate a change to my closing date as a result of the COVID-19 situation?
The vast majority of our homeowners who are awaiting keys to their new home should anticipate a change to their closing date as a result of the pandemic.
The measures we have already taken (detailed earlier) to ensure our employees and Trade partners feel safe at work will require a change to most occupancy/closing dates.
For the majority of our Ontario purchasers, this means their Agreements of Purchase and Sale, specifically their Statement of Critical Dates, will be subject to a temporary pause, referred to by Tarion as an "Unavoidable Delay". Once an Unavoidable Delay period has been initiated by written notice, Minto Communities will be responsible to provide a new occupancy/closing date once the disruption to construction caused by the COVID-19 is over.
We know this is a time of great uncertainty for all, but we are committed to keeping communication open.
Q. Are any closings still happening?
Mar 26 | Closings over the next few weeks, in cases where the homes are nearly completed, may still be accommodated, however it is important to note that the situation is changing daily and will be assessed in an ongoing manner.
At this time, Minto Communities’ lawyer’s office remains open and ready to facilitate your closing, as does the Land Registry Office. In this unprecedented situation, it is important for homeowners to touch base with their legal representation and financial institutions to confirm their schedule and capacity to provide the necessary documents, funds and paperwork to our lawyer. Typically, preparation for closing includes meeting with your lawyer or lender to sign paperwork. As per usual, Minto’s lawyer will make available all the documents required to close within 5 business days prior to the scheduled closing.
Q. What can I expect for my appointment to select exterior colours or any structural options at the Sales Centre?
Appointments to select exterior colours or structural options mostly apply to single family homes. If this is the case, your in-person appointment will either be deferred or you can make by phone and digital means. If it is deferred, it means the Construction team does not require that information at that time. Should the selections be needed, rest assured we will provide you with means to see the see the selections appropriately before having you finalize any decisions.
Q. What can I expect for my upcoming structural or framing appointment with the Design Centre?
With the Design Centre currently closed for appointments, structural and framing appointments are being accommodated over the phone and Skype. The Design team have created a package for you to review prior to your selection appointment demonstrating the options.
Q. What can I expect for my upcoming finishing/colours selections appointment?
Mar 26 | At this juncture, new finishing selection appointments are being deferred. Some homeowners who had started this process will work with the Design Centre to finalize digitally or on the phone.
Q. What can I expect for my upcoming finishing/colours selections appointment?
At this juncture, finishing selection appointments are being deferred during the situation.
Q. What will happen to my Meet Your Builder or Frame Walk appointments?
As a precautionary measure, we are temporarily not conducting any frame walks or site walk through appointments in order to minimize traffic. However, we are fully committed to ensuring that you are part of the homeowner journey and we will continue to provide you with e-mail notifications to keep you updated on the progress of your home. Namely; when construction has commenced, when the roof is on, and kitchen is installed. We also have a dedicated Customer Experience team who can provide you with updates as we proceed with the construction of your home. They can be reached at [email protected].
Q. What changes are in effect for the Pre-Delivery Orientation (PDO)?
In support of social distancing and in light of Tarion’s recommendations, we are dividing the PDO process into three:
- Prior to closing, Minto Communities MasterCare warranty staff will conduct a pre-delivery inspection on behalf of our homeowners, documenting any noted items that need to be repaired. A copy of this list will be sent to the homeowners along with a number of photos, including one of your kitchen and home exterior.
- After closing, the homeowner will conduct their own pre-delivery inspection and provide the list to MasterCare, who will combine it with theirs and submit it to Tarion. We ask that this submission be conducted within 5 days of your closing. Tarion is in full support of this process and will honour deficiencies identified after closing during this situation. Please also refer to Tarion’s COVID-19 memo regarding pre-delivery inspections here.
- An important part of the orientation is the chance to ask questions and for Minto to demonstrate the features and functions of your new home. Once the situation with COVID-19 has improved, we will schedule a time to meet with you in your home.
We recognize some homeowners may prefer to see their home prior to closing and hope you understand our decision to minimize social interaction in every instance. A construction site is a network of people and materials coming and going from various sources and we prioritize the well-being of those on-site by limiting interaction.
Q. How are closings and key pick-ups being handled?
As per usual, on closing day our Construction team will be in touch to confirm the time you can come and pick-up your keys, which is typically around 4 PM. Keys can be released as soon as our lawyer indicates that the transaction has closed.
Key pick-up will occur at our Construction site offices. If you haven’t visited previously, their location will be provided to you in your correspondence with the team as you arrange pick-up time. Despite the sign on our Site Office door stating the office is closed for all appointments, key pick-up is the exception. We will allow homeowners into our office one person at a time to sign the form confirming you have received the keys and then provide you with the house keys in an envelope. Congratulations, you now have keys to your new home!
Q. Can a homebuyer get out of a deal?
We remain committed to building your home and as such are proceeding forward with all homes under contract through a finalized Agreement of Purchase and Sale. Homeowners still in their rescission period are able to obtain a mutual release by providing a letter from either a lender or legal institution to our sales office.
For our Homeowners who have moved in
Our MasterCare Warranty team continues to respond to any safety-related urgent service request or emergency, such as active water leaks or complete electrical power loss that is not related to a hydro power outage. Otherwise, service work day appointments will be rescheduled with our team reaching out to those affected as their appointment approaches. All our site offices are closed. If you have any questions, please contact the MasterCare team in your community here: 1 (855) 646-8601.
Q. If you have an emergency - what do I do?
Once you have taken possession of your home, if you are experiencing an emergency such as loss of heat in the winter, a full loss of power not related to a hydro event, or an active leak, please call the MasterCare Emergency line at 1 (855) 646-8601.
For any other urgent requests, please email your MasterCare office here.
Q. How are 30-Day, Year-End and Second-Year repairs being handled?
In light of the COVID-19 situation and the recommendations being made by government, Tarion and health authorities, Minto Communities has paused all non-essential appointments as our way of participating in helping to prevent the spread of illness.
This includes the postponement of non-emergency service appointments such as the one you have coming up. We are committed to rebooking with you once the situation begins to resolve.
Please know we will be proceeding a limited number of after move-in warranty service work days, where repairs are urgent and with consent of homeowners.
We remain committed to rectifying any warrantable items in your home and hope you will understand our decision to err on the side of caution and prioritize the health of our homeowners, trade partners and employees.
Ultimately, we understand that for a social distancing strategy to work, everyone has to participate to the fullest extent possible. Individuals on our community sites are frequently in contact with a large number of trades, homeowners, materials from a variety of sources and colleagues on any given day. We feel this step is crucial to help prevent a potential reduction to our workforce, which could potentially impact repair capacity and scheduling. We apologize for any disappointment this decision may have caused.
For our Trade Partners
We have been in touch with all our Trade partners with specific information to facilitate their health and safety. This includes closing all our Construction and MasterCare site offices until further notice. As a precautionary measure, and in line with recommendations to minimize social gathering, we are temporarily requesting that all check-ins to our site offices be conducted by phone. If you have not received an email from us, please contact your site team.
Q. How is Minto Communities keeping staff and trades personnel safe on site?
- Social Distancing will be maintained at all times including staying at least 6-8 feet apart at all times.
- There will be a limit of one trade per house at all times.
- At no time will there be a trade in the house if a Minto employee is inside and vice versa – no exceptions.
- Construction and MasterCare offices are closed. Trades are asked to check-in to the site by phone, email or text.
- Contact information for the Construction and MasterCare representatives is posted outside site offices.
- Trades are asked to proceed directly to their designated home each morning instead of the site office for instructions.
- Additional hand washing stations for employees and trades have been added in designated areas throughout the sites.
- There will be some restrictions to certain activities and tasks. Trades are asked to speak to the Site Super/Foreman for details.
Doing our part
In the few cases where you are meeting our staff in person during this situation, we want to assure you that we have taken measures to ensure their health and the safety of those they come in contact with.
Q. What measures are being taken to reduce the spread of germs?
In addition to vigorous hand washing and other measures, additional hand washing stations have been set-up throughout our sites for staff and trades. We have also increased the frequency of cleaning at each location, and ensured a commercial grade cleaning solution.
Q. Is your staff coming into work?
Where possible, a number of our employees are working remotely and using digital means to collaborate and communicate with colleagues and homeowners. Where working from home cannot be facilitated, our staff are working split or modified shifts with strict measures to minimize in-person social interaction. Our commitment is to prioritize health and safety and we are prepared to adopt further measures if necessary.
Q. Do you require your staff to self-isolate if they have recently travelled or are feeling unwell?
We ask our employees to keep us informed if they have travelled to affected areas or have been in close contact with someone who has been ill. Those who meet that criteria will self-isolate for the recommended period to ensure there are no symptoms developing before returning to work. Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is required to stay home.
Letters from our Leaders
Minto Communities remains committed to standing united with you and the global community to help prevent the spread of this illness.
We understand this is an uncertain time for everyone. Through our more than 65-year history, we have proven that resilience, having deep ties to the broader community and the ability to adapt are hallmarks of Minto. We will be here to support all of our homeowners, employees, trade partners and the communities we serve throughout and after this situation.
We wish you and your loved ones good health.
Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.