Interview with Paul Johnston in a recent profile of “Movers and Shakers” in the GTA
GTA condo sellers give lowdown on highrises, low-rises.
Paul Johnston, Right at Home Inc.
Although he’s a relative newcomer, Paul Johnston has created a niche by specializing in sales of unique new and resale urban homes for the past six years.
Johnston promoted club and DJ events while he was studying film and communication at McGill University in Montreal and became one of the first rave promoters in Canada. He often redesigned venues for the events and when he returned to his native Toronto, he decided selling real estate would best serve his passions for design and architecture, working with people and marketing.
“I was determined to focus on a market that had never been mined,” he says. “I always believed in marketing and never marketed in the conventional way. I told people, ‘If you have a compelling property, I want to be involved in it.’”
Johnston, a devotee of modern architecture, has become aligned with developers creating “sensible, utterly contemporary infill” and involved in everything from the acquisition of the land to the choosing of architects and designers.
“Toronto has reached a point where there is an appetite for relevant contemporary architecture greater than what’s available. I am working with builders and developers who are passionately pursuing distinctively contemporary projects. It’s so refreshing to see.”
While much of the attention has been focused on highrise, Johnston predicts a huge part of the growth will be intensifying existing neighbourhoods with smaller scale, end-user homes.
“Perhaps we do get the kind of housing we deserve and the appetite for highrise towers has been astronomical, but people also want to live in homes closer to grade, closer to the street in neighbourhoods they are already familiar with,” he notes. “We have some neighbourhoods that already rock. Let’s add some rocking houses.”