Who doesn’t love a blank slate?
For Derek Goring, that blank slate comes in the form of a 520-acre urban property in the heart of North Toronto.
As Executive Vice President of Development at Northcrest Developments, the real estate arm of a large Canadian pension fund, Goring is heading up the process to imagine and create a new future for the lands of the former Downsview airport.
“We need to undertake a master planning process to create a vision for what the future of the lands could be and get buy-in from stakeholders and the city of Toronto,” says the 2001 Mechanical Engineering & Management grad. “Eventually the site will become a series of vibrant new neighbourhoods.”
Goring has been working in real estate since “accidentally” landing a job as an analyst at a real estate company shortly after graduating.
“I quickly came to love the industry and never looked back,” he says. “It’s very rewarding to work on creating new parts of the city I live in and watching how people interact with these new places. Every project is an opportunity to try something new and different, so no two projects are ever the same.”
Goring, who added an MBA to his resume in 2009, has worked for both public and private development corporations and has been involved in much of the transformation of Toronto’s waterfront over the last 15 years.
Most recently, he led a team that spent five years redeveloping a vacant brownfield industrial site on the east side of downtown Toronto. The $10 billion East Harbour project will include a new commercial centre, transit hub, road connections and flood-proofing infrastructure.
He urges students to keep career visions and options open.
“Don’t be afraid to avoid specializing when you’re starting out. Breadth of experience early on in your career will make you a better professional in the long term. Creative ideas come from different perspectives coming together.”