Late last year, we introduced our Best & Brightest Awards Program (or “Besties” for short) that celebrates our employees who demonstrate and embody our five core values: Collaboration, Innovation, Excellence, Accountability, and Passion. Each of the five winners receive $2,500 worth of FCR units, an official certificate, and 5 additional vacation days.  

All employees were given the opportunity to nominate their colleagues and the winners were chosen by our carefully appointed selection committee. The five winners were announced at our Celebrating Our People Townhall that took place in late November.  

This Besties came as an expansion of our longstanding Values Awards Program where we’d historically focus on one value for the year and award a single individual who showcased that value best. Here at FCR, we don’t let hard work go unnoticed and the goal of this expansion is to improve upon and grow our efforts in recognizing our best and brightest people.  

2022 Best & Brightest Awards Winners: 


We believe in having one team with one cohesive purpose that works toward achieving a common goal. We know that our best work is done with the help of our peers, and we recognize those who champion collaboration within their own team and across the business. Our Besties Collaboration Award went to Lisa Takahashi, Senior Property Manager.

Lisa has been a great support. She truly embodies the collaboration and one team value. She can be called at anytime for advice, bounce ideas off her or just vent. Lisa has joined the ED&I council and has played an active part in spearheading our ED&I mission with others on the council. She is a great example of a collaborative team player at FCR.


We give our staff the freedom to challenge the status quo and drive innovation in the workplace. They are given the opportunity to create positive change and we celebrate those who are always looking for new ways to modernize and progress our business forward. The Besties Innovation Award went to Lucas Durofil, Marketing & Communications Assistant Manager

“Whether it is about finding new and innovative ways for FCR to lease space to driving efficiencies in the Marketing department, Lucas’ innovation is known by everyone who has worked with him. One in particular was bringing the concept of virtual staging to FCR where he’s created an efficient and inexpensive process to get the job done. He’s a terrific candidate for this award, and incredibly deserving of the recognition.” 


We encourage our people to strive for excellence and we value those who are the absolute best at what they do. We’re proud of the quality of our people, especially ones who exhibit greatness and merit in their role and area of expertise. The Besties Excellence Award went to Dimitra Papadopoulos, Director, Operations – Eastern Region

“Dimitra is not only a great team leader but an awesome co-worker. She always makes people in her team feel appreciated for the work they do and is excellent at connecting people in her team. Dimitra always gives her 110% at any project she works on. As a Director, she always makes sure the work is well done and that everybody is happy. We can count on her good work ethic.” 


Part of being an excellent team member means your peers can count on you and trust that you’ll deliver what you promised. We highly regard those who hold themselves accountable and are responsible for meeting deadlines, hitting targets, and achieving goals they committed to. The Besties Accountability Award went to Alexandra Cork, Senior Manager, Accounts Receivable.  

“Alexandra most definitely exemplifies the value of Accountability. She is so efficient at her job that it seems no matter what you throw at her, she can handle it and will provide exactly what you need and will deliver when promised. She takes care of so many things, and somehow, she is able to stay on top of every single one of them. You can always count on Alex, no questions asked and no need to follow up!” 


We celebrate those who are passionate about their role and love what they do. These individuals lead with enthusiasm, have strong motivation, and go above and beyond the standard. A passionate employee is one who genuinely cares and is positively dedicated to their work. The Besties Passion Award went to Brittany Yong, Assistant Project Manager

“Brittany has been a key part of the Central Construction team for over 8 years. She has been instrumental in coordination of new technology & innovation such as Procore and Open Space. Brittany plays a significant role in ensuring everyone in the department feels welcomed, included, and celebrated. She works with enthusiasm, motivation, humour, humility, and a great desire to continually learn and do the best job possible. She is a pleasure to work with and continues to be a rising star while demonstrating the FCR values.” 

Our five values govern everything we do, guide our actions, and inspire us to be our best and brightest. As a leader in Canada’s commercial real estate industry, we strive for excellence in all aspects of our business, and it starts with our people. 

We’d like to congratulate all five Best & Brightest Awards recipients on this well-deserved achievement. Their hard work and commitment to showcase our values has not gone unnoticed and we celebrate those who have gone above and beyond to do so. We’re extremely proud of our team – congratulations to our “Besties”! 

Looking to be a part of our dynamic team? Explore careers at First Capital here

From early spring to late fall 2022, we partnered with MircoHabitat to sustainably transform an outdoor patio space into a green urban farm. Taking place at our head office in Liberty Village, we set up several planting pots lining our top floor terrace, growing over 15 varieties of vegetables and herbs, including Oregano, Thyme, Mint, Rosemary, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Peppers, Beans, Tomatoes, Arugula, Swiss Chard and more. We’re proud to share that our Urban Farm harvested over 500 edible plants and 103.64 lbs of vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs. All were donated to Second Harvest (Canada’s largest food rescue organization) and redistributed to local food banks to help combat food insecurity in our neighbourhoods. 

This sustainable initiative contributes to the greening of spaces; creates local, ecological, and resilient food systems; helps support our local community; and encourages biodiversity in our urban area.  

Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability at FCR encompasses all aspects of our Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) practices. Our values and our sustainability program guide our actions and supports our strategy of creating thriving neighbourhoods to generate value for businesses, residents, communities, and our investors. This project is a part of our 2020-2024 ESG Roadmap and is the next step in continuing our long-term sustainability goals and initiatives of achieving net zero by 2050. 

Image of the garden the gardener and our logo on the building

Beginning in April 2022, our ESG team began their partnership with Microhabitat and kicked off planning for our first-ever urban farm that would take place from June to late October. Once the planting pots were installed and assembled, the Microhabitat team held in person and virtual workshops for our staff that provided an overview of the project, outlined the importance of urban farms, educated them on sustainable consumption awareness and the environment around food, and how they could make their own urban farms from home. By doing so, we were able to cultivate further sustainable change by informing, inspiring, empowering, sharing skills, knowledge, and building meaningful collaborative relationships with our staff by reconnecting them with nature. 

Over the course of the season, our urban farm grew an abundance of vegetables and herbs for those in need. MicroHabitat’s team provided weekly visits, tended to the crops, harvested them, and winterized the garden at the end of the season.  

Impacts of our MicroHabitat urban farm 

  • The Environmental impact includes:

  • Greening our outdoor spaces

    Reducing our environmental footprint

    Reducing heat island effects (Cities have an average temperature of 5 to 10 degrees Celsius higher than the outlying areas. This phenomenon, known as a “heat island”, is due to the high concentration of built-up areas that absorb and re-emit heat from the sun)

    Improving local biodiversity

    Supporting pollinators with the presence of melliferous (honey producing) plants

    100% ecological cultivation

    Holistic approach with natural fertilizers, ecological automatic irrigation system, no use of chemicals

    Ultra-local production that reduces food loss and greenhouse gas production by limiting transportation

  • The Social impact includes:

  • Mobilizing teams around a sustainable development project

    Raising awareness and promoting healthy, local, and sustainable food

    Improving the feeling of well-being and performance at work

    Supporting Second Harvest – Canada’s largest food rescue organization

  • The Economic impact includes:

  • Added value to the property

    Employee engagement

    Team-building opportunity through education workshops

    Innovative and sustainable positioning

    Improvement of eco-responsible practices

MicroHabitat believes in urban farming for change. Their mission is to build a healthier society and world by reconnecting people with nature and their food. They do this by transforming unused spaces into urban farms. MicroHabitat believes in creating greener and more resilient cities through urban agriculture. Their ultimate goal is to cultivate cities to consume better and live better. 

First Capital would like to thank MicroHabitat on the success of this sustainable pilot project. With over 500 crops harvested in a single season, our urban farm exceeded our expectations and provided an abundance of fresh produce and herbs for Second Harvest; giving back to the communities in which we operate. Since 2021, we’ve carried out several additional fundraising initiatives in support of Second Harvest donating over 939,000 meals. Click here to read how we achieved that.   

We recognize and understand the importance of preserving our world and improving the environment we live in, and our urban farm is just one step on our ESG journey. Read more about our ESG goals and initiatives here and be sure to check out our 2020-2024 ESG Roadmap here

Greenest Employers Logo

We’re pleased to share that we’ve been recognized for the first time as one of Canada’s 2022 Greenest Employers by Mediacorp Canada and The Globe and Mail. Now in its 15th year, this special designation recognizes the employers that lead the nation in creating a culture of environmental awareness in their organizations. These employers have developed exceptional sustainability initiatives – and are attracting people to their organizations because of their environmental leadership.

From our properties to our corporate practices, we’ve been at the forefront of environmental awareness in the Canadian Real Estate industry for over a decade. We’re always building out our ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) programs, and regularly rethinking and upgrading our policies as showcased in our yearly ESG reports, 2020 – 2024 ESG Roadmap, and Tenant Sustainability Operations Guide to name a few. This honourable recognition speaks to our primary ESG goal of becoming sustainable and environmentally conscious in every aspect of our business – which in turn is integral to our overarching strategy of building thriving urban neighbourhoods.  

Photo of Melissa Jacobs on green background

“Sustainability initiatives, whether they focus on creating a healthier indoor environment, reducing our carbon emissions, or developing community engagement programs, all further our company’s purpose of having a positive impact on our tenants and communities”

Melissa Jacobs, FCR’s Senior Director, ESG 

Over the past decade, our ESG initiatives have evolved. Back in 2006, one of our first ESG-based initiatives was our commitment to construct our new buildings using LEED Standards – a globally recognized designation of environmentally responsible design and construction practices. We were the first Canadian retail developer to do so and have since expanded on this commitment that now exceeds 3.8 million sf of LEED certified space across our portfolio – a proud achievement indeed.  

Place Viau
FCR’s Place Viau located in St Leonard, QC is LEED certified

Not only do our ESG commitments cover our construction and development practices, but they also extend to our biodiversity and carbon footprint goals. In fact, last year we strategically installed 3 beehives on the rooftops of several buildings that have continued to thrive in their environments and increase the area’s biodiversity. With last year’s installation, we now have a total of 11 beehives and plan to install 5 more this summer. Bees are essential to the survival and future of the world’s ecosystems and food supply. As a result of harsh pollutants and scarce green space in urban settings, bee populations have struggled. With the help of initiatives like ours, the bee population across Canada has steadily increased in the last 5 years. By introducing more beehives within our properties, we are excited to see those numbers rise one hive at a time.  

In preparing for the future of sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint, our goal is to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. As part of our strategy to achieving this goal, we’ve invested in LED lighting systems across our portfolio. In fact, we’re proud to share that in 2020 we completed our five-year initiative to convert our parking-lot lighting to energy-efficient LEDs. This will reduce our properties’ annual parking lot electricity expenditure by over 50%! It is initiatives like these that bring us one step closer to achieving our 2050 net zero emissions goal. 

Not only are we investing in initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint, but we’re also providing ways for our neighbourhoods to do so as well. In fact, we’ve invested in projects like our Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations initiative to install EV chargers across our entire portfolio by 2024. Just last year, we installed a total of 90 EV charging stations that brought our total up to 250 and in keeping up with our 2024 target we plan to install over 200 more this year and next. By installing EVs at our properties, we’re providing the necessary infrastructure, making it easier for our neighbourhoods to choose EVs and reduce their own carbon footprint.  

We’re also spreading our sustainability efforts into local communities as well. Our employee-led, non-profit Thriving Neighbourhoods Foundation recently partnered with Second Harvest to help fundraise and support the food-rescue organization in major cities across Canada. This event raised an outstanding $281,000, which provided 562,000 meals for Canadian families facing food insecurity. These funds rescued and redistributed over 780,000 pounds of food, and as a result, prevented 2.9 million pounds of greenhouse gases from entering our atmosphere – the equivalent of taking 400 cars off the road this entire year.  

Many of our initiatives including our FCR Thriving Neighbourhoods Foundation, beehive implementation, EV Charging Stations, and LED lights have come as a result of our 2020-2024 ESG Roadmap. This five-year roadmap outlines our strategically detailed plans and aligns a series of actions and measurable goals that allows us to hold ourselves accountable and stay on track to reach our ESG targets. What’s especially unique about this roadmap is that it’s integrated into every area of our business, allowing for us to move more cohesively and have a profound impact on our neighbourhoods and the environment.  

Marryanne on a green background

“The greening of FCR has hardly peaked and needs constant refining. Sustainability is a journey and we’ve only just begun.”

Maryanne McDougald, FCR’s Senior Vice President, Operations 

Being recognized as one of Canada’s 2022 Greenest Employers not only speaks to our ESG excellence, but also our talented employees, tenants, shareholders, and other stakeholders who help us along this sustainable journey. Each step we take towards a more environmentally sustainable future, means a better, cleaner, promising future for all. 

We’re proud to be recognized for our extensive ESG efforts over the past decade and would like to thank Media Corp and The Globe and Mail for this honourable recognition. Learn more about it here

Please see below a list of our ESG Resources: 

All things ESG 
2020-2024 ESG Roadmap 
Tenant Sustainability Operations Guide 
2020 ESG Report 
Beehive Program 
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations initiative 
WELL Health-Safety Rating 

Introducing 1071 King Street West: First Capital and Hullmark’s new mixed-use development featuring an iconic flatiron design, a neighbourhood park, a convenient new extension of the West Toronto Railpath, and more! The completed building will span 14 storeys, comprised of 227 purpose-built rental residential units, an abundance of amenities, and approximately 6,000 square feet of new retail space fronting along the busy King Street West corridor. This stylish development is designed to pay homage to Liberty Village’s industrial history, while incorporating modern architectural elements that are sustainably focused. We’re proud to be a part of the neighbourhood’s ongoing growth and revitalization, with 1071 King Street West creating a new gateway into Liberty Village.  

rendering of the new development at 1071 King st W Toronto. Seen from King st. with people walking by.
Rendering of 1071 King St. West

Our Partnership with Hullmark 

When we first purchased the property, our initial interest was sparked by its strategic location in the middle of our larger Liberty Village portfolio and its proximity to our head office. In addition to being one of the last remaining development sites along this dense corridor, the site has terrific transit adjacency, vehicular access, and great proximity to neighbourhood amenities.  

In 2018, we partnered with Hullmark, a private real estate investment and development firm specializing in mixed-use developments in downtown Toronto. 1071 King Street West marked our first strategic partnership with Hullmark, having recently finalized our second joint venture partnership with the acquisition of 102 Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village. Hullmark also owns and manages several properties in the Liberty Village neighbourhood, so our aligned vision for the area makes for a successful partnership. 

Hullmark is excited to partner with First Capital on this new flatiron project! We look forward to bringing new residential and retail opportunities to the Liberty Village neighbourhood, and look forward to seeing this project come to fruition.

Charles Arbez, Director, Development at Hullmark  
rendering of the new development at 1071 King st W Toronto. 

Viewed from the walking path you can see the building as well as passing cars and TTC
Rendering of 1071 King St. west from the Railpath

Iconic Design Features 

In designing the building, we were inspired by the property’s unique triangular shape bounded by King Street West to the north and the Metrolinx GO Train corridor to the south. Together with the design architect BDP Quadrangle, we decided to take advantage of the site’s shape and develop a new iconic landmark for Liberty Village. 

Did you know there’s only a handful of flatiron-shaped buildings in Toronto? 1071 King Street West will be the first of its kind in Liberty Village. 

Paying homage to the rich industrial history of Liberty Village, this stylish building will feature a red brick facade and punched windows – respecting the neighbourhood’s heritage character. Not only does the building’s façade pay tribute to the area’s brick and beam warehouse-style buildings, but it also helps to mitigate heat loss, reducing the building’s total energy consumption and ecological footprint. Additionally, this project will incorporate a geothermal system that will provide sustainable heating and cooling for the entire building. First Capital is committed to incorporating ESG principles in all of our projects as outlined in our 2020-2024 ESG Roadmap

Did you know geothermal systems harness the earth’s natural underground temperatures and results in net zero emissions? 

In addition to its historical design and ESG focus, 1071 King Street West will also feature key public realm amenities including a new public park and community gathering spot. It will also tie into a planned extension of the West Toronto Railpath that will better connect the neighbourhood and increase its accessibility to the city’s west end. The planned Railpath extension will conveniently link Liberty Village to the new SmartTrack GO station planned near First Capital’s King High Line project to the west. Ultimately, the project will take advantage of this unique public amenity and connectivity opportunity, attracting more residents to the neighbourhood.  

rendering of the new development at 1071 King st W Toronto.

Aiding Toronto’s Housing Supply Shortage and Rejuvenating Liberty Village 

This iconic flatiron landmark will work to better serve the neighbourhood through its integrated city mobility, new retail space for everyday shopping, and the introduction of purpose-built rental housing amidst Toronto’s ongoing housing supply shortage. 

1071 King Street West is part of our significant Liberty Village portfolio which includes over 500,000 sf of retail and commercial GLA, along with over 500 existing rental residential units. To complement and enhance our portfolio, we identified a further need for well-designed, amenity-rich residential rental space in Liberty Village. 1071 King will differentiate itself given its unique design, public realm, and convenient location.

Jennifer Arezes, Vice President, Development, First Capital 

This project aligns with our super urban strategy of creating vibrant mixed-use neighbourhoods that meet the needs of everyday urban life – bringing together people, public spaces, retail shopping and services, public art, and access to public transportation. Our 1071 King Street West flatiron development is our next pursuit in doing so as we continue our contribution in helping Liberty Village thrive. We couldn’t be more excited for the future of this neighbourhood and are proud to be a part of its ongoing growth. 

Currently, we expect to begin construction by the end of 2022 and anticipate the completion of this project by 2025. 

More updates to come! 

A special thank you to the following Project Team:

Richard WittBDP Quadrangle
Michelle XuerebBDP Quadrangle
Carlos AntunesKirkor Architects  

Chris FolletWSP
Pouya HagshenasWSP  

Construction: Terry OlynykMultiplex  

Transportation: Warren Chow – BA Group  

We’re proud to share that First Capital has once again been named one of Canada’s Top Small and Medium Employers for 2022 by Mediacorp Canada and The Globe and Mail. Now in its 9th year, Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers is an editorial competition that recognizes the small and medium employers (SMEs) that offer the nation’s best workplaces and forward-thinking human resources policies. Companies are evaluated based on leadership in employee culture, benefits & total rewards, communication, training & education, and community involvement

We’re honoured to have been named one of Canada’s Top SMEs for the third year in a row. This speaks to our ongoing goal of fostering a rewarding, inclusive, enthusiastic, and supportive workplace – where everyone is able to bring their best selves to work and are given the necessary tools they need to succeed.

– Michele Walkau, Senior Vice President, Brand & Culture
Everyone is welcome stairs
Our “Everyone is Welcome” stairs at our offices in Liberty Village – an ED&I initiative!

This recognition covers a number of our programs and initiatives including our extensive benefits package, employee-led ED&I Council, ESG initiatives, and FCR Thriving Neighbourhoods Foundation. It also covers the progress we’ve made in our People & Culture programs and practices, including our highly sought-after Summer Intern Program, COVID-19 support resources, learning and development, employee engagement program, social media strategy, community involvement, and overall wonderful company atmosphere. 

Some of our staff posing for a group photo in front of our fountain.
Some of our staff at our FCR Thriving Neighbourhoods Foundation Fall Fundraiser in support of Second Harvest! 

Being recognized as one of Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers for the third consecutive year is rooted in the excellence and talent among our 350+ employees nationwide. Our employees are at the core of our success, and we wouldn’t be who we are today without them. 


To learn more about this recognition here: Canada’s Top Small & Medium Employers 2022 

Since the first cohort joined us in 2017, we’ve had many talented young professionals come through our intern program who kicked off their careers and ultimately made their mark in the Canadian Real Estate industry. We’re looking for the next generation of budding Real Estate professionals to revolutionize and push our industry forward. Do you have what it takes?

Our Intern Program gives interns access to enriching opportunities to start and accelerate their careers. First Capital interns have the unique opportunity to gain real, meaningful work experience, all while gathering insights into the areas of our business that are most relevant to them. Our program is uniquely hands-on, allowing our interns to shadow and work alongside our leaders on exciting new projects and strategies. This gives them real work experience they can put on their resumes and tools they need to succeed in their respective fields in the Real Estate industry.

Did you know we received over 3800 applications for 13 positions we had in our Summer Intern Program in 2021?

In addition to day-to-day assignments, interns have access to a series of learning and networking events, practical job searching skills, and mentorship sessions from our leaders. Some of these include weekly departmental information sessions to explore new areas of the business, ongoing socials to network and grow connections, end of term Capstone Project presented to the Executive leadership, and much more. In fact, our most recent cohort was treated to an end of term “Intern Day”, where they attended a presentation of our ESG Beehive Initiative, a career building workshop, and were provided a delicious team lunch. Our goal is to provide all our program graduates with a good grasp of our business, a career search plan, and lots of great friends and connections.

This program spans from May to August and we offer positions in virtually all departments including Asset Strategy, Investments, Leasing, Development, Information Technology, Marketing & Communications, People & Culture, Finance, Legal and many more. There’s truly something for everyone!

Portrait of Andrew

In the summer of 2021, I join the First Capital REIT internship program as a Leasing Intern! This experience has taught me various skills of negotiation, creative thinking and working with a collaborative hardworking and highly knowledgeable team. First Capital has exposed me to a team with one common goal – To establish thriving communities that go beyond the standard framework of a regular landlord.

I was later brought on the team as a leasing coordinator once the internship concluded. The First Capital Team has been a great support and guide for my career path within the real estate sector.  Special thanks to my Senior Leasing Manager, Leah Feeley who has been a great mentor and superior through this journey.

– Andrew Chiaino – FCR’s Leasing Coordinator

“In the summer of 2021, I began my internship with First Capital as a Marketing & Communications Intern. As a fresh graduate from Wilfrid Laurier University, I was given the right tools and learning opportunities needed to further my career beyond my academic knowledge and experience. Thanks to my outstanding mentors at FCR, I have gained invaluable marketing skills in strategy, campaigns, creative writing, graphic design, and so much more.

In the fall of 2021, I was hired on as a full time Coordinator and am extremely grateful to be part of such a dynamic, collaborative, and positive team that helps me reach my career goals – I look forward to my future here at FCR!”

– Sophie Dewitte, FCR’s Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Portrait of Sophie
Portrait of Thao

“My 2021 summer internship with FCR has been a wonderful learning experience. I worked with the IT department and was guided by my incredible mentor Brad Edey, Director of Data & Automation. I have applied a lot of what I’ve learned in school while also learning advanced skills from fellow interns, co-workers, and mentors.

FCR has an excellent and diverse workplace environment. Aside from my technical training, I was really impressed and felt educated during their Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion informative sessions and weekly Power Hours for interns.

Upon completion of my summer internship, I was hired on as a full time Data & Automation Analyst – I look forward to my future here at FCR!”

-Thao Tran, FCR’s Data & Automation Analyst

CEO’s Capstone Project 

Each summer, our interns also take part in the CEO sponsored Capstone Project that ties all the foundational elements of the internship program — practical work experience, collaboration, research and innovative problem-solving. Students work together across their disciplines and look for ways to drive creativity and innovation within our portfolio of mixed-use real estate. This special project spans the entirety of the program and is presented to our Executive Leadership Team at the end of the four-month term. Talk about real work experience!

students presenting
Our 2021 Interns presenting their Capstone presentation to our Executive Leadership Team

Why First Capital? 

At First Capital, we offer a dynamic and diverse environment that allows for all our employees to grow and be successful. Our goal is to change the face and pace of Real Estate, and that all starts with our team. We’re serious about Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, are passionate about our Environmental, Social, and Governance goals and initiatives, and have an extensive Public Arts Program. In 2021, we partnered with The Globe and Mail on their Women’s Collective, was recognized as one of  , and named one of the top honourees for The Globe’s Women Lead Here Annual Report.

Need help with your resume? Check out our blog on resume trends, tips, and tricks you should be thinking about here.

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