Monday, 25 July 2011

Fulfill Your Dreams, and Have a Great Career in the Trades

Women Transitioning to Trades George Brown College flyer, by wobuilt.comPoster: Women Transitioning to Trades
Moving On celebration

Friday May 7, 2010
5 - 5:45 Food and reconnect
5:45 - 6:30 Guest spakers & video
Georgina Quartaro - Dean, School of Work and College Preparation
Elida Huignard & Martina Ernst - Wo-Built Inc.
Dee Smith - Home Improvement Technology & Services
Nadine Sookermany - Parkdale Project READ
Dixon Hall Video
6:30 - 7:00 Gifts and Thank Yous

Women Transitioning to Trades is a George Brown College program (funded by the Ontario Women’s Directorate) that is designed to make the skilled trades and technician training accessible to women who are looking for safety, support, independence and control in their lives.

This program works with you to help you identify and assess your skills and career goals as well as the skills and training required for a wide variety of skilled trades.

If you are interested in exploring the world of trades - this is a fantastic program.
Women Transitioning to Trades Program

We were looking through some older files and came across an event last year we were invited to speak: George Brown's Women Transitioning to Trades.

We hope many of the young ladies from that course were able to fulfill their dreams to have a career in the trades.

We wish them all the best and much success.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment

Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the EnvironmentSummer: Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment
Credit: MS Office ClipArt: Floral Leaf Green

It Is Summer Time: Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment

It is summer, hurray. It is the silly season for news. So why not talk about something light – my composting Red Wiggler worms. Like any proud pet owner, I am very going to boast how well they are eating my fruit and vegetable leftovers. They are verifiable eating machines. And like any other pet owner, I worry: are they too warm, too cold, do they have enough oxygen, do they like their box, should I put air conditioning into their box, shall I buy gourmet apples, would music help …

But joking aside, I have often been asked why I would do vermicomposting at home, in my apartment, something so yucky (my mother’s words). It is actually really clean, but I guess worms can cause a certain emotional response.

Well, it is all about doing your bit for the environment, even in on a small scale. I do not have access to a garden to do proper composting and getting my little wigglers was the next best thing. Also, as a sidebar, I need to eat more fruit and vegetable and since I refuse to go shopping for my worms, I need to consume suitable quantities myself to keep them alive. So I eat more healthily, do my bit for the environment and feel good about it. And those worms are actually quite interesting; it’s like having a strange terrarium.

Being a contractor with an emphasis on green of course we would encourage all our clients to implement green measures, such as day lighting, sun shading, heat sinks, heat recovery units and even solar, geothermal and wind power. Of course solar and wind get really exciting when you can convince your neighbours to put solar cells and wind mills on their roofs as well.

Large scale installations are so much more effective. For example, Partners in Project Green: the area around Pearson airport is an eco-business zone which includes four municipal jurisdictions – the Region of Peel, City of Toronto, City of Mississauga and City of Brampton. Here businesses implement green measures to help their bottom line.

But we also get excited about smaller community projects such as Project Neutral. These projects inspire people to change their attitudes and in their own way try to do as much as possible; change light bulbs to energy efficient ones, change their appliances, upgrade their insulation and much more.

But back to my worms. They may not be mainstream, but in their way they help me be more green.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build
links: From Worms to Green Building Carbon Neutral Neighbourhood Project Launch in Toronto Green Design and Build - Wo-Built's Presentation

+ feedback on the web

Screenshot: Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment
The Composting Daily, Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Published by

Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment - Summer: Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment

RT @wobuilt: Feeling Green and Doing My Bit for the Environment - from composting worms to big projects #projectneutral
@Squirm Cathy Nesbitt, Toronto

@Squirm many thanks. The worms seem to be doing splendidly. Trying to keep them cool during the heat wave. #vermicomposting

That's great. Many thanks @Squirm Your blog was included in The Composting Daily! #vermicomposting

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Our Business Model Innovation

Business Model Generation Sketch, by Wo-BuiltPhoto: Wo-Built's Business Model Sketch
2011 @

"Business model innovation is about new ways of creating, delivering and capturing value"

Alexander Osterwalder
Author, Speaker and Advisor on Business Model Innovation

Our business model in review based on Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder

Recently I came across a great YouTube video about Business Model Design by Alexander Osterwalder. A different way of looking at Business Models based on their bestselling book Business Model Generation. It’s a language that is more tangible and visible and based on 9 building blocks, segments with different value propositions and relationships. The nine blocks are Customer segments, Customer relationships, Channels, The offer, Key activities, Key resources, Key partners, Cost structure and Revenue stream. What I liked about it was the apparent simplicity to show a business model in one picture, to be able to change and add components without having to start from scratch each time.

So we immediately started to put our Business Model together showing all our offers. It’s a work in progress, but the interim is shown above. I am not going into detail, but it showed us where we need to build up resources, partners and distribution and marketing channels. It showed where we need to concentrate our efforts and clearly showed the relationships between our offers and how we can leverage overlaps.

On further review we started to use the same model for each of the segments to develop them in more depths. This time we use it as a project management tool. But we found that we need to rename some of the segments to give a coherent picture. For example the Channels segment, which communicates and announces the offer to the customer segment, has now on the right side of the model success measurements, success implementation and key interactions. Success measurements ensures that the performance of the channels are monitored and tracked, success implementation shows the end results (number of contract signed for example) and key interactions shows the overlap and leverage between channels (for example sales meetings and Speaking engagements, both can be educational and sales).

Why are we on the look out for new ideas for business models and try to use them for us? The answer is simple: even though we are a construction company in a very traditional field we want to be on the cutting edge of business practices, technology and social thinking to build and grow a company that is fit for the 21st century. Many of the old paradigms are changing and we need to find the tools to work within our changing environment.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

+ feedback on the Web:

Our #Business Model in review thanks to #bmgen - building and growing our #construction company in 21st century
Tweeted by @wobuilt 19 Jul

Retweeted by TantienHime

Alex Osterwalder
@wobuilt great!
@business_design in reply to @wobuilt19 Jul via TweetDeck
Mentioned in this Tweet

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Our Corso Italia Neighbourhood Involvement

Wo-Built at Venus Creation in the Neighbourhood First Anniversary Celebration, Corso Italia, Toronto, by wobuilt.comPhoto Collage: Our Corso Italia Neighbourhood Involvement
Wo-Built at Venus Creation in the Neighbourhood First Anniversary Celebration
Sunnyville Grill (1218 St. Clair Avenue West,Toronto), June 29, 2011
2011 @

Corso Italia was a happening place last week and it started all with the 1st Anniversary celebrations of Venus Creations, a grassroots community initiative by founder Joe Furtado. Following is our tribute, which will be published in the Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood magazine.

Big thank you to Venus Creations Founder Joe Furtado

Venus Creations, Joe Furtado’s brain child to help the neighbourhood merchants, celebrated its’ first anniversary in great style last week. The evening of festivities were hosted at the Sunnyville Grill by Viviana Reppas and her son Louie Reppas; and the generous spread, which included a very tasty Moussaka, was absolutely delicious. The cake kindly sponsored by Anna-Maria Deleo of Tre Mari Bakery was stunning to look at; the Venus Creations Logo, a surprise for Joe, was amazing; and the cake tasted sublime. The flower arrangements by Isabel Amaro, Amar Flowers were beautiful and added much to the atmosphere of the venue. We at Wo-Built Inc were honoured to be the facilitators of the event.

The evening kicked off with a heartfelt celebratory toast, Champagne generously provided by Joe himself, to thank him for all his hard work to make Venus Creations into the success it is today. Venus Creations was founded by Joe to help merchants in the area to weather the hard times brought on by the streetcar construction and the recession. His original idea to encourage merchants to help and support each other and generate business for each other has developed into a sense of community which will strengthen the area. The Venus Creations Magazine encourages participation by the merchants to contribute articles; it announces events and serves as a directory for services.

It was great to see so many friends and supporters celebrating this achievement and sign the special poster which was given to Joe at the end of the evening. Joe is a champion of the area and our main speaker, Tony Bolla of, summed up Joe’s achievement very well when he paraphrased Margaret Mead’s quote “A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” We wish Joe and Venus Creations a very happy and successful second year.

Martina Ernst
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

What do grassroots initiatives such a Venus Creations do? It is all about building relationships that will strengthen, in this case, the economic viability of the area. People will get to know each other; they refer business to each other, tell their friends and neighbours; and most importantly buy from each other. Maybe even advertise together, form partnerships and alliances. It is promoting the area from within. It is creating a sense of togetherness, trust and community and it is also nice to meet your neighbours socially. A strong core group is key to help revitalize any business area.

We fell in love with Corso Italia and we are happy to support and help community and business initiatives such a Venus Creations both with the personal touch and via Social Media. Let us know what you think about the area via Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. We like to share good thoughts and thanks to our social media friends, especially Corso Italia BIA and its Coordinator Brad Watkin, we are able to spread the word about the area and its great features.

Wo-Built's Team

Big Thank You to Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood, by wobuilt.comBig Thank You to Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood
Martina Ernst' Article, page 18, July 2011, 14th Edition
2011 @

Why Venus Creations in the Neighbourhood Is Doing Great Work for Our Community?
the Friendship of Neighbours in Business

Thursday, 7 July 2011

East York Mirror: Wo-Built Home Builder with New Affordable Initiative

Wo-Built Home Builder Advetorial, The Mirror, June 23, 2011Wo-Built Boutique Home Builder Advetorial
The Mirror, Thursday, June 23, 2011, page 14
Credit: East York Mirror

Recently we kicked-off our marketing campaign for our new ValueXeptional Classic 2nd Storey Addition initiative in the East York Mirror.

We had two reasons for choosing East York, Toronto as our first area – one, the area’s building stock consists of a large number of bungalows and two, more importantly, we like the area, it has a friendliness and community feeling about it.

Wo-Built boutique home builder

As boutique home builders we are experts at designing and building additions, extensions and large renovations.

We offer a complimentary "Dream House" assessment which will determine your needs, wants and possibilities. In the words of one of our clients, "Thank you to Wo-Built and everyone who did such great work on our little house - we will never forget the great experience of our renovation and the truly exceptional folks that made it happen!"

We are all about creating both space and "wow" factors with architectural component. We are also about giving customers the most value for their money and in the face of having so many similarities, we came up with our new ValueXeptional Classic Second Floor Model Initiative. This is a second floor structure with architectural and design features such as master bedroom with either cathedral or coffered ceiling, an en-suite bathroom with large shower area, skylights and light pipe, and where possible green construction.

Design and Build of second floor (excluding all finishes) is affordable at a starting price from $167,000 plus HST due to our fast track processes. Finishes contract is separate.

For more information about the services offered by Wo-Built visit or call 416-402-2679.

The East York Mirror
Thursday, June 23, 2011, page 14

Renovate with ValueXeptional Classic Second Storey Addition
A Second Storey Addition: New Construction Approach

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Canada Day and Corso Italia Festival on Our Home Turf

Corso Italia Festival, July 2-3, 2011, photo-collage by wobuilt.comPhoto Collage: Celebrating Culture, Music and Food at Toronto Corso Italia Festival
St. Clair Ave West (between Westmount & Lansdowne Avenue), July 2-3, 2011

Happy Canada Day ! #toronto
@wobuilt 1 Jul

Everyone's invited! --> FREE Canada Day BBQ in #CorsoItaliaTO!… #HappyCanadaDay
@CorsoItaliaTO RT by @wobuilt 1 Jul

Off to the Annual BBQ at Earlscourt Park (near #corsoitaliaTO) hosted by Councillor Cesar Palacio. Great weather for it. #toronto
@wobuilt 1 Jul

Back from my walk along #CorsoItaliaTO. Lansdowne-Dufferin. Lots of fantastic stuff happening 4 the festival. Come early-lots of fun #toronto
@wobuilt 2 Jul

Last few hours of the #CorsoItaliaTO festival. It's hot and people enjoying the fun music. Come and join in the fun. #toronto
@wobuilt 3 Jul

We had great fun over the Canada Day weekend here in Corso Italia. It started off with a BBQ hosted by councilor Cesar Palacio at Earlscourt Park on Canada Day and continued with the Corso Italia festival throughout the weekend. We had great turnouts to both events and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. We had people dancing in the street to the fantastic sounds of lively bands, lots of great eats and of course the heavens smiled on us and gave us superb weather. If anyone followed our tweets throughout the weekend you might already have a feel for the joy.

We were here throughout the weekend just to soak up the atmosphere. On top, it was the kick-off for our Corso Italia Festival Special Offer: sign up for a design and build for an addition and we pay the permit drawings. We wanted to share with our potential clients the joyous occasion. Our friends at Agio Ristorante co-advertised with us and helped us spread the word.

We are often asked why we like Corso Italia so much (Perché ci piace Corso Italia così tanto?). After all, as a general contractor we can have our office in any part of the city. Usually we say, people are friendly, we like the community spirit, great restaurants, everything you need to run an office and life is available on this traditional High Street. But on reflection it goes a lot deeper than this and it has to do a lot with deep rooted emotions. The area is very European – lots of patios where you can meet your friends and neighbours. The architecture is still very human scale, for better or worse the larger developers have not arrived here yet. Corso Italia and adjacent Business Improvement Areas have lots of green spaces and parks, everything is in walking distance.

We envisage us staying in the area for a long time. We value our ties with the surrounding businesses and residents. Our door is open for anyone who wishes to discuss design or construction related issues. We would like to invite home owners to visit our office and the surrounding businesses.

Wo-Built's Team
Wo-Built Inc. - Innovative Design and Build

Celebrate Culture, Music and Food at Corso Italia Festival
Design and Build for an Addition with Our Special Corso Italia Offer