As another year is quickly drawing to a close, I find myself reflecting back on the blessings and challenges of 2014. Human nature seems to compel us to focus on our failures or things in our lives we wish were different. We tend to view the glass as half empty and it can be challenging to remember all the positives that have occurred in our lives.

Since we tend to be reflective at this time of year, perhaps this would be a good time to look at our city with a fresh perspective. Most of us have had the good fortune to visit other cities as tourists. We marvel at all of the amenities that city has to offer and how lucky the local people are to live there. Between the hustle and bustle of everyday life and the trials and tribulations we face on a regular basis it is easy to forget how wonderful home is. London boasts beautiful parks, world class hospitals and educational institutions, outstanding arenas and recreational facilities and a plethora of organizations that support families and individuals who may be struggling.

The annual Business Cares Food Drive is a good example of how generous, compassionate and empathetic Londoners are. Each year the London Home Builders Association helps in the effort to collect food and donations for the Business Cares Food Drive. Last year alone the LHBA collected fourteen thousand pounds of food and more than $28,000 in cash. It is really heartwarming to see people organize and contribute to a program that ensures those who have fallen on difficult times are looked after. London is indeed an excellent place to live and raise a family.

From our industry’s perspective we also have much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the structure of building codes and regulations, the stakeholders of industry professionals, government officials and staff and the manufacturers and suppliers that allow our industry to build homes that we can be proud of. The result is that Canadians are among the best housed people in the world.

The construction of a new Canadian home has been carefully developed over time to suit one of the most demanding and varied climates in the world. Recent building code changes relating to energy efficiency have raised the bar yet again. Newly constructed homes are more energy efficient now than they were even just a few short years ago. Increased insulation values, superior building envelopes, high performance windows and state of the art heating, cooling and ventilation equipment have created comfortable, energy efficient, healthy and durable homes. Canadian construction techniques and building products are the most advanced in the world. Many countries including Russia, Morocco, South Korea, Trinidad, Poland, China and others are looking to the Canadian system to improve their own housing systems.

New houses are built with comfort and lifestyle in mind but a house does not become a home until you add personal touches. The type of flooring, wall colour, furniture selection and placement are a few of the things that can personalize your home. I am often asked what I think about doing a particular renovation. Normally my response is that only you know what will improve the lifestyle of your family. What other people think does not matter – you should be comfortable with your renovation.

So enjoy your home – make it a place of refuge, respite and sanctuary. Make it your personal haven where you laugh, share dreams, create memories, shape traditions and most of all feel secure.

From my home to yours, I wish you a safe and joyful holiday season and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

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