It’s that time of year! For the ninth year, the longstanding developer Minto has built (and furnished) a home, creating a buzz-worthy fundraiser that sees millions raised for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Find out more about the lottery, and buy tickets, on the CHEO Dream of a Lifetime site.
Here, five things that caught our eye about this year’s house, which is located in Stittsville.
It’s net zero
That means it produces as much energy as it consumes. This was accomplished by choosing electricity (over gas) for all the utilities, incorporating other energy-efficient elements throughout, and adding solar panels to the roof. It’s not the first net zero home for Minto, but it’s the first time they’ve done it for their Dream Home lottery.
Brent Strachan of Minto Communities says that they see net zero becoming the industry norm in the future; as such, they will continue to invest and experiment in this area to get it to a point where it is affordable to the average homebuyer.
There’s local art
… and many pieces have unique backstories. Like the large abstract piece in the downstairs sitting area: it was done by 14-year-old Anja Zimonjic, a friend of Tanya Collins, who did all the interior design work in the house. Anja was helping designer Tanya in the initial set up, and there was a spot that needed a framed piece. Tanya knew Anja was a talented artist, so she approached Anja with a few parameters — reds, texture — and soon Anja was selling her first piece of art.
“She delivered, and I think she did a great job,” says Tanya.
It’s certainly an exciting moment for Anja. “I’ve been painting for a few years now and I never would have imagined that one of my paintings would end up in the CHEO dream home,” says Anja. “I am so happy that I got to work with Tanya Collins and be a part of this great cause.”
Also on display is artwork by former CHEO patient Phoebe Hatt and a piece by CTV host Leanne Cusack.
The main floor is wheelchair accessible
That’s not only a plus for the 30,000 people who visit the house; it also means that hallways and bathrooms on the entertaining floor are spacious and accommodating. The Minto Dream Home team would love to, someday, create a house that is fully wheelchair accessible.
There’s a charging station for electric vehicles
To align with the net zero goals of the house, the grand prize includes a Nissan Leaf Plus — a sweet electric vehicle. And what’s an electric vehicle without a charging station?
It’s raised $60 million for CHEO
From fancy EOS machines — 2D and 3D imaging devices that don’t rely on radiation — to family-friendly spaces that help make those young patients comfortable, the funds from the Minto Dream Home lottery has made a big impact. Dan Champagne of the CHEO Foundation recalls Nick Francis, a 16-year-old who has made steady progress since he was hit by a car in 2015. He talks of a young girl born without the ability to bend her joints; who, after years of care at CHEO, was able to touch her face and, eventually, tie her shoelaces. And then there’s the simple fact that anyone who has been to CHEO knows: if you have to watch a young one in distress, there’s no better place to be.