Volume 30 - Winter 2019

40 Years Of Townline



“Forty years ago, having a truck full of tools and a windsurfer on the roof was my personal nirvana,” jokes Townline president Rick Ilich. “But my tools and toys fell by the wayside as I learned about economic cycles and the challenges of growing a business.”

“It was my good fortune to work in the same community I lived in,” he continues, “which meant I often built homes for people I was in some way associated with. I learned early on to respect the importance of relationships.”

“It’s easy to see how those early lessons became the foundation of our customer experience mandate today.” 

2020 marks 40 years since Rick first pulled his truck into an empty lot to build a home under the Townline flag. It’s an important milestone – for the company, and the man. “I won’t lie,” he chuckles, “old does come to mind! But it’s hard not to be proud, and excited for the future.”

In many ways, this is a contemplative time for Rick. “In any business or personal pursuit,” he reflects, “it’s easy to be persuaded to chase the elusive unicorn – going after stories of great reward. But you have to find what you perceive as balance, for your community, your company, your family and yourself.”

“I’ve found that our vision of building and providing good value, good quality, and thoughtful livability has always resonated as our primary purpose,” he continues.  “And I’m very proud that we’ve stuck with these simple values.”

It Takes a Team

This is also a time to reflect on the Townline team. “Nowadays, Townline and Team are synonymous,” says Rick. “Our cohesiveness allows for creativity. By continuing to look for solutions, and not being afraid of the heavy lifting that comes with change, we will continue to set Townline apart from the pack.”

As a team, Townline is constantly tackling the tough issues faced by all cities and communities. “Our social conscience is about society overall,” says Rick. “Affordability, safety, inclusion, tolerance, urban loneliness – they’re all on the drawing board. Environmental impact is discussed on every project we do – plastics and carbon footprint are very much on our agenda today.”

He says simply: “We always want to be part of the solution in bringing good to our communities.”

Family Values

From the start, Rick and the Townline team have evolved as an organization with a strong moral compass. “The values my family and I live by are no different than those our company is built upon,” he muses. “Thoughtfulness, passion, respect, integrity, accountability (to name a few) – these are not just our values, they are our behaviours. It’s how we conduct ourselves, and what we expect from every member of the Townline family.”

“That’s always been the Townline Way,” says Rick. “We believe in delivering quality, and our Thoughtful and Mindful Project Delivery Checklist ensures this happens for every project. We believe in caring for our customers, and we do that through our Customer Experience Program. It all goes back to our founding philosophy of respectful relationships. Our customers are at the core of everything we do. ”

“In a wider context, we believe in engaging with our cities and communities and giving back in meaningful ways, from social housing
to philanthropy.”

Leading the Way

“We’re not just building homes – we’re building communities,” comments Rick. “Townline is dedicated to improving the living experience of vertical neighbourhoods. And we’re leading the way in working with cities to reduce barriers and improve multifamily living.”

“Townline has always been known as a creative solutions provider,” he elaborates, “whether it’s homes for ownership or rent, or for social housing as part of our TL Housing Solutions mandate to aid any and all social service providers to house seniors, those with physical limitations, the homeless, veterans, or income-tested renters.”

“Our input and influence are only growing as cities look for partners and solutions for building complete, well-rounded communities for all geosocial and income levels.”

What does that mean for his company? On the eve of their 40-year anniversary, Rick is proud to say:  “Townline is an entity that will live long past me.”   

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