Historically, the General Contracting sector has always been a busy one. With many companies adopting a multi-disciplinary approach and offering a wide range of services, it can occasionally lead to a sort of ‘race to the bottom.’ Companies bidding to out-do each other in terms of scope and price. While some may find their way with this model, it inevitably leads to a place where the end product is compromised, and the customer is unhappy. For GTA General Contractors, however, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Founded in 1991 by local, skilled carpenter Dino Nafar, the company has a rich history and success that is built on skill, quality, and positive relationships. With over 500 completed projects across more than 40 communities in Ontario, it appears that the company may be on to something.
GTA General Contractors is a leading design-build and general construction company operating across Ontario. While the company primarily works with clients situated around the Golden Horseshoe in communities such as Toronto, GTA, Niagara, Hamilton, Durham, Muskoka, Waterloo, and Simcoe County, it has also worked on some larger projects in Windsor, Ottawa, and Sudbury. For Tyler Maynard, Vice-President and Head of Marketing and Business Development at GTA General Contractors, the company is only just getting started. He believes that the key to the company’s success is through a combination of excellence, dedication, passion and honesty. “We are highly focused and dedicated on delivering innovative, detail-oriented and transparent construction solutions.” Evidently, it is working for the people of Ontario.
GTA has completed a wide range of projects across the commercial, hospitality, industrial, institutional, and public sectors. Maynard explains while much of the company’s completed work comes from commercial clients, GTA is well equipped to excel in any field. “We complete a lot of projects in commercial, offices, retail, restaurants, and hospitality, heavy and light industrial and daycares as well. However, we take pride in our ability to cater to diverse project needs within all sectors. This includes a comprehensive set of essential services to the construction industry such as general contracting, project management, design-build, pre-construction consulting and custom millwork fabrication.”
In such a crowded sector, Custom Millwork & Design is one of the areas where GTA truly stands out. With an in-house millwork fabrication facility measuring around 12,000 square feet, the company is capable of going above and beyond for its clients. This facility, according to Maynard, allows the company to “further streamline and enhance our customers’ projects with better quality, better service, and an in-house team of very experienced carpenters.” However, construction is key to the services GTA provides. With a highly experienced team who are equipped to handle projects of “varying complexities and scales from initial project initiation to completion,” the company has the ability to oversee every aspect of the construction process. For Maynard, this level of in-house skill allowing the company to deliver the highest standards on every level. “The benefit of our team is that we can ensure that our client receives quality craftsmanship, timely execution, and adherence to their budget. We can do this because we have specialized project management professionals who have a deep understanding of the unique requirements of commercial construction projects.”
With a wide range of services and a highly experienced team, GTA is leading the field. Above all else, however, is the company’s desire to ensure its clients are secure and happy throughout a project. Its project management service ensures that all project elements are seamlessly integrated and coordinated, resulting in a streamlined and efficient process while it also offers clients value engineering, a process where costs are managed while maintaining excellence. “If a project goes above the client’s budget expectations, our team will do their best to optimize the costs without compromising the quality by offering innovative strategies with cost-effective options.”
Unsurprisingly, the company has experienced steady growth since its foundation. This has increased hugely in recent times. For Maynard, it is about more than pure expansion. The real benefit is the reputation GTA has earned in the industry. “Over the last couple of years, we have experienced immense growth and have established ourselves as one of the leading commercial construction companies in Canada.” This success and reputation comes from an unwavering commitment to surpassing client expectations and delivering exceptional value and service. As he goes on to explain, the company has prioritized flexibility and innovation, ensuring its clients receive a best-in-class experience. “We have continuously embraced improvement and innovation. Our team understands the importance of staying at the forefront of industry trends and adopting cutting-edge practices by leveraging our extensive expertise and knowledge.”
The company customizes construction approaches to suit the unique requirements of each individual project the team undertakes, thus allowing GTA “to consistently deliver outstanding results and ensure optimal client satisfaction.” In turn, this has led to GTA working with very high-profile companies and successfully completing standout projects. Some of the brands who have chosen GTA General Contractors as their preferred design and construction partner include Five Guys, Gyu-Kaku, Burger King, Atlantic Packaging, August Group, Fatface, Sunpan Trading, Fjallraven, Cambria, GHD Engineering, Simply Smart Childcare, Sportsnet Grill, Marriott Hotels, CBRE, and many more. One of their most recent projects is the new CKTL & Co restaurant in downtown Toronto. The project involved a high level of creativity and attention to detail. Maynard describes the Stock Exchange themed restaurant, which keeps patrons on their toes with fluctuating prices that respond in real time to the popularity of menu items, as being a revolutionary concept and one that the company had to use all its skill to complete. “It is a remarkable establishment, and it was an innovative concept that we were able to bring to life in collaboration with the award-winning restaurant consultant team, the Fifteen Group. It was important that we made sure that every detail reflected the concept’s unique vision. The lounge of the restaurant showcases a modern and sophisticated interior design with magnificent textures and sleek finishes that emanate a sense of luxury.”
One standout project that GTA is exceptionally proud of was the Linx Kitchen and Social, located in Barrie. Abe Nafar, President at GTA General Contractors, spoke about how this is Canada’s largest indoor golf simulation and lounge, with high-end dining and corporate accommodation. Nafar explains that this project is the prime example of the benefit of value-engineering. GTA had been brought in by a client who was over budget based on the design they had. Through the company’s value-engineering, GTA completed the project while keeping the same look, feel and functionality of the place. The team reduced the cost of the project by about $400,000, and construction alone on the 10,000-square-foot project was ultimately valued at $1.3 million. According to Nafar, this particular project is a testament to the quality and dedication of his team. “This is one of the projects within the hospitality and entertainment [sector] that we are quite proud of – especially due to the fact that the project was essentially built and completed through Covid.”
Another project that GTA has shown their strength and experience was in one of Toronto’s largest daycare development projects for Simply Smart Childcare. Simply Smart Childcare & Montessori School stands as a prominent establishment within the thriving Bloor West Village community, serving as one of Toronto’s largest and newest daycare facilities. This notable project encompassed a comprehensive range of tasks, including interior demolition, structural alterations and enhancements, building fit-up, installation of new millwork, replacement of all windows, implementation of new electrical and mechanical systems, integration of life safety and emergency access systems, addition of a new elevator, creation of a rooftop playground, installation of safety railings, and various other essential components.
Maynard, in reflecting on this project, remarked, “Simply Smart Childcare & Montessori School exemplifies our commitment to delivering exceptional solutions that address the unique requirements of each undertaking. The project required meticulous attention to detail and collaboration across various disciplines to ensure a safe, functional, and aesthetically pleasing environment for the children and staff. We are proud to have contributed to the growth and development of the Bloor West Village community through this outstanding childcare facility.”
Through the successful execution of this endeavor, our team demonstrated its expertise in delivering high-quality construction solutions while prioritizing the safety, functionality, and overall satisfaction of our clients.
Another project that GTA was exceptionally proud of was 35 Britain St. in Toronto, ON for August Group. Nestled within the vibrant Moss Park neighborhood in Toronto, 35 Britain Street stands as a testament to the enduring charm of century-old brick and beam buildings. This area has experienced remarkable growth, thanks to significant redevelopment initiatives. The neighborhood showcases an impressive blend of high-rise residential buildings, modern office towers, and unique boutique office spaces, complemented by vintage retail shops. It has also become a hub for creative workspaces in Toronto.
In close collaboration with the esteemed August Group, a local commercial real estate investment team, GTA General Contractors played a pivotal role in the successful development and delivery of this project. This partnership facilitated a seamless integration of the entire construction process, ensuring a cohesive and efficient execution that exceeded the client’s expectations.
Nafar, reflecting on the project, stated, “Working on the renovation of 35 Britain Street was a remarkable experience. We were entrusted with transforming this century-old brick-and-beam structure into a modern multi-level office space that adheres to current Ontario Building Code standards. It required meticulous attention to detail and a comprehensive approach to address all aspects, including new structural elements, mechanical and electrical systems, accessibility features, elevator installation, and all-new finishes throughout. Our team embraced the challenge and achieved a remarkable outcome that seamlessly blends the building’s rich heritage with contemporary functionality.”
“The lounge of the restaurant showcases a modern and sophisticated interior design with magnificent textures and sleek finishes that emanate a sense of luxury.”
Through the complete renovation of this iconic building, our team showcased our dedication to excellence and our ability to bring historic structures in line with modern standards. The successful transformation of 35 Britain Street stands as a testament to our commitment to delivering exceptional results while honoring the architectural heritage of Toronto’s ever-evolving urban landscape.
With an impressive portfolio of successful projects and a commitment to excellence as standard, it seems as though the future is very bright for GTA General Contractors. While Maynard and Nafar are well aware that the construction industry can be a volatile one, where fluctuations and change is never far away, the sense, according to Maynard, is that GTA is on a significant upward trajectory. “With our solid track record and a reputation for delivering high-quality construction solutions, we are well positioned to capitalize on the continued growth in the construction industry.” Despite all this, one thing is clear. This is a company who prioritizes growth, client satisfaction and experience. As Maynard signs off, he explains that every success the company has had, and every step forward it has taken, has been because of the successful relationships GTA has nurtured throughout its history. “Our main goal, however, is to cultivate long-term strategic partnerships that are founded on trust and transparency. We achieve this because our commitment to excellence, client satisfaction and community impact remains unwavering, and we continue to evolve and innovate. From humble beginnings, we’ve become one of the most recognized up-and-coming forces in the industry in Ontario, trusted by clients across various sectors.”