Chris Stapleton is a real estate extraordinaire who is raising awareness about Toronto's affordable housing issue through his work. We sat with him to learn how he is addressing this issue and how he is carving a unique position in this sector.
Tell us about the Moving Day Cold Brew project and why you started that initiative.
The Moving Day Cold Brew is a project that aims to raise awareness about affordable housing and support organizations addressing the issue, like Saint Clare’s, an organization providing affordable market rent housing in Toronto. The initiative started as just small housewarming gifts that I would give to my clients. I wanted to give something unique and aligned with my values. Coffee is something that I love, so I researched creating my own cold brew as a way to give my clients energy and share something they would enjoy when moving into their new place. While brainstorming the concept, I thought about furthering my impact by partnering with an organization tackling affordable housing, a worsening issue that Toronto needs to address. I came across St Clare’s, a non-profit creating inclusive communities that provide affordable mixed housing. They’ve won design awards and are very boots-on-the-ground in their initiatives. As a professional in the sector, it’s an issue I cannot ignore. My industry helps anyone and everyone who needs a house, not just affluent people. The relationship with St. Clare's has been evolving and I'm excited about the opportunity to scale this to cafes and raise even more awareness about their work and to help shift my industry towards a more inclusive mindset.
Being in Real Estate comes with certain stereotypes, some would say. How do you integrate your past influences into your professional life, when they may be perceived as conflicting concepts?
Luckily, Toronto is shifting away from 'outdated' stereotypes and more people are embracing their past influences. In this city you can find chefs who wrestle, marketers who play in bands, and doctors with tattoos. It's interesting how influences from one aspect of your life can help foster new ideas in a totally different area. I see this as an advantage and embrace all my past influences because they make my perspective unique and make me who I am. Skateboarding in Toronto allowed me to spend a lot of time in different neighbourhoods, interacting with their people and really understanding the nuances between different neighbourhoods. I take advantage of this knowledge in my work frequently.
#ProgotiAlly is a blogpost series about up and coming professionals who are giving back to their community and addressing social issues in new creative ways. Stay tuned for more interviews of people who are changing their industries for good.