So what makes our neighbourhoods great places to call home?
- We develop complete communities with the amenities people want
- We respect the local environment and ecosystems
- We put our homeowners first
With these three planning philosophies in mind, we master-plan our communities to become great places to call home. If you’re considering building a new home with Activa, here’s what you can expect to find beyond your front door.
We develop complete communities
A complete community is a planning concept that ensures all residents across a wide range of incomes, regardless of their cultural background or demographic profile have their basic needs met.
To us, developing complete communities means developing a neighbourhood where everything is within reach – including close proximity to nature, schools, shopping, transit links, and other must-have amenities. We often donate large pieces of land for public use so that our homeowners can enjoy a complete community – like in Doon South, where we dedicated nearly 200 of our 365 acres to open space and natural habitat.
In addition to providing great amenities nearby, developing a complete community also means offering a diverse choice of housing options at different price points. This means a single detached home, an accessible condo, and an affordable townhome, all in the same neighbourhood. A community is complete when there are options for everyone, which is something we build into our long-term plans.
Our work isn’t done once the land is developed and the homes have been built. We stay active in the communities we build long after residents have moved in by partnering with the community organizations and non-profit partners that support these neighbourhoods. Whether it’s providing funds for a community block party, or helping an elementary school reach their goal of building a new playground, Activa is proud to be present long after moving day.
We respect, maintain, and enhance
There is a misconception that when a new community is created, the local environment, ecosystem, and heritage attributes will suffer – but, quite simply, this is not the way we build. We conduct detailed environmental, archaeological and heritage studies to learn more about the natural area before a shovel ever hits the ground, and use this information to develop solutions to protect (and improve) the area surrounding the community. We also work hand-in-hand with experts on the environment and culture, like the Grand River Conservation Authority, Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, to make sure our communities are built in a sustainable way.
In many cases, the process of developing a community can enrich and restore the natural ecosystem in the area. Take Vista Hills for example! Before we began co-developing this community, the area was mainly cash crop farmland with very little biodiversity. We added a clean water collection system, improved the water quality through better filtration and flood protection, planted thousands of trees, shrubs and flowers in the parks, boulevards and SWM ponds, gave each of our homeowners a $250 planting voucher to landscape their homes with plants that were indigenous to the area, and distributed a stewardship brochure to provide homeowners the tools they need to protect the natural areas in their community. All of these changes helped enhance biodiversity in this neighbourhood, making Vista Hills an environmentally sustainable community that can serve the growing demand for housing in Waterloo Region.
We put our homeowners first
While both developing and building in our communities, our first priority is to ensure that these neighbourhoods are enjoyable to live in from the very beginning – not years later once the community is complete!
To do this, we schedule weekly street cleanings in all of our neighbourhoods under construction, so our current homeowners aren’t overly inconvenienced by dust from construction. It’s also why we work to build our parks during the earlier phases of construction, so that our homeowners can start enjoying the outdoors right away.
Finally, when it comes to constructing our houses, we build them in groups of five. For us, it means completing entire streetscapes as quickly as possible, without sacrificing the quality of construction. For you, it means that our teams are putting the proper focus on your home, instead of spending their time travelling from site to site. It also means that in most circumstances you won’t be living next to vacant land (or a loud and dusty construction site), and your neighbourhood will feel “finished” sooner.
Great developers build great communities
If you’re looking to build a new home, you’re likely excited to pick your favourite floorplan and choose your design finishes, but we encourage you to spend some time researching how the new community you’re about to call home has been developed – reading posts on ActivaLearn is a great place to start! Think about things like:
- How has the environment and local heritage been protected?
- How has the developer planned the community amenities, like parks, trails and greenspace?
- Are there different housing options in this neighbourhood that will support your family as it grows, or if you decide to downsize in the future?
- How does the developer support the families within the community, both during and after construction?
After all, your developer will greatly impact how much you enjoy living in your neighbourhood now, and for generations to come.