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Three Partners, One Rule, and a Leap of Faith

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This story begins in a Moxies restaurant in Ontario. That’s where two men and a woman, who barely knew each other, decided to start a restoration business with nothing but enthusiasm, respect for each other, and a short-term plan on the table. The year was 2013, and that leap of faith marked the start of a journey called Edge Group. The company provides General Contracting and performs Building Restoration Services, focusing on building envelope and parking structures. Notably, Edge Group specializes in large general contracting projects, window and railing replacement, curtain wall, masonry, stone, concrete, balconies, sealants, waterproofing, asphalt, generator replacement, watermain repairs, etc. for the commercial, industrial, institutional, and multi-residential sectors.

In February, Tania Stalteri, Franco Di Giacomi, Ward Stevens, and their team celebrate ten years of business success, partnership, and, most importantly, friendship. This business relationship was, and still is, founded on a straightforward rule: whatever the project, they would pursue it only if all three partners are in agreement. “Ten years later, we are friends. We are business partners. We own a recreational property together, which, I think, speaks to the magnitude of the family that we’ve created here at Edge Group,” says Tania Stalteri, one of the company’s founders.

But let’s get to know the Edge Group’s trio a little bit better.

Coming from the property management industry, Stalteri jokes about initially being the “black sheep” of the group. However, after managing repair and restoration projects for high-end condominiums in downtown Toronto for almost 15 years she was far from a novice in the field. Through the property management company, she owned with her business partner, Stalteri met Franco Di Giacomi, who today acts as the company’s President. Di Giacomi has over 25 years of experience in the restoration industry as an estimator, and it was his involvement that brought Ward Stevens into this new venture. The potential within the group was evident from the beginning and for Stevens, the third partner of Edge Group, it made perfect sense for him to bring his 30 years of project management experience to the table.

Edge Group takes its name after Edgemore Drive in Toronto, the road where Stalteri grew up. When the company opened its doors in Vaughan in 2013, it didn’t have any clients. The three partners started tendering jobs, with Di Giacomi doing estimates and bringing in new tenders, Ward looking after the project management side, and Stalteri dealing with business development, financial and marketing. This hard work paid off and, only a short time later, while sitting in their tiny office on Whitmore Road, the three received a game-changing call. They had been awarded a project at the University of Toronto. “It was a big project, and we were all excited. We had one employee, so we were scrambling to get a workforce. This job became our baby,” says Di Giacomi. “So, the three of us would check down there; one time, I called Tania, said, I need a wheelbarrow and material down here. So she went into the warehouse, backed her little SUV, made a ramp with a 2’x4’ and wheeled the wheelbarrow into the trunk, loaded the material and drove to site, when she arrived the site foreman said, how did you get that in your car? We all laughed”.

“The future is looking bright and eventful for Edge Group, whose founders are constantly on the lookout for new ventures.”

The first year was a tremendous reputational success for Edge Group, also recognized by its competitors, who subcontracted work to the company. Year on year, Edge Group continued to grow, and it now counts between 30 and 80 people at any given time, including staff and subcontractors. Stalteri, Di Giacomi, and Stevens created a great company culture based on mutual respect and a strong commitment to safety, encompassing staff, subcontractors, partners, and customers.

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One of the most remarkable projects carried out by Edge Group is the restoration of a 1960s chapel in Ontario. The work included, but was not limited to, the removal of the existing roof and the installation of a new one, the restoration of the steeple, stone and mortar repairs including the cleaning of the steel and the coating and recladding of the wood components around the windows and dormers with new copper.

Another outstanding project is the multi-scope restoration of a building, to be completed in 2023. This work includes the modernization of the elevators, the replacement of windows and doors, the installation of split heat/air conditioning units in each suite including drywall and painting repairs, and the re-waterproofing of the garage roof deck, etc. For this specific project, Edge Group is responsible for the administrative work, most importantly maintaining its schedule, site safety, project communication, and exceptional execution of all components for the occupied property. It marks a considerable step forward for the company.

In 2019 the three partners took yet another leap of faith by setting up an office in Burnaby, BC, Edge Group WEST. Coming from Ontario, the company did not have the same level of contacts and community. This posed a very real challenge, and the team were very aware of that, but they knew they could count on the support of at least one local client to tender for projects. However, what they didn’t know when they signed the lease agreement for the office was that Covid-19 was just around the corner. “We signed our lease in October of 2019. We got our keys three days before March the first. We went in there in three days and did a whirlwind of that office and opened on the first and shut down on the 13th because of COVID. It was unprecedented times.” says Stevens.

The British Columbia office reopened its doors on the 22nd of June 2020, and against all odds, those first few months were a huge success. The future is looking bright and eventful for Edge Group, whose founders are constantly on the lookout for new ventures.

In October 2022, they launched another company called TruSeal Injection, which will operate across Canada and in Florida. The company offers negative-side waterproofing, which consist of injecting underground building structures, whereby the exterior membrane has failed. This is particularly efficient when buildings are in proximity and/or overburden cannot be removed. The waterproofing system allows for the repairs to occur when traditional membrane installation is not a viable option. Edge Group was already providing this service to inject the University of Toronto’s tunnels, during this time, Koster’s representative approached Stalteri, Di Giacomi and Stevens with the proposal of contracting work in Florida. “We were so grateful for the opportunity, and I believe that’s a testament to who we are as people,” says Stalteri. So, Edge Team took yet another leap of faith and is formally launching in Florida this April 2023!

We can safely say that Stalteri, Di Giacomi, and Stevens have come a long way from that meeting in Moxies, but this has never been a solitary journey. On the contrary, it has been a journey of respect and mutual sharing. As proof of that, when they founded TruSeal Injection, the three partners invited their junior staff to be part of the team. “Companies can do great things. But if you don’t have the people behind you, your own staff, the dedication, loyalty, the eagerness, the ambition, from the other layers of your team, it doesn’t work,” says Stalteri.
“So, we are very grateful for all our team, from the warehouse crew to our project managers, to our assistant controller to our estimators to our admin and our field staff. We are very, very fortunate.”

To celebrate this milestone, Edge Group has donated to Habitat for Humanity, as a thank you to our industry professionals and clients, including a build day this summer with the entire Edge Team!

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