Open House. Open House on Sunday, November 19, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Please visit our Open House at 1319 Ruddy CRES in Milton. See details here

Open House on Sunday, November 19, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Then get ready to fall in love with this modern 4 BR, 3-bath family home in Milton's idyllic Beaty neighbourhood where pride of ownership abounds. From the eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and S/S appliances, walk-out to the expansive backyard deck to imagine sipping coffee there or entertaining friends. Back inside, the adjoining living room is a perfect place to relax by the fireplace. Versatile dining room is set for everyday meals or special occasions. Lighting has been updated throughout and bathrooms renovated. Laundry room is on the 2nd level. Past the primary BR's generous walk-in closet, you will find the spa-like ensuite with soaker tub. Fully finished lower level's rec room with wet bar is perfect for game day or movie nights. Enjoy a town & country lifestyle with nearby schools, library, parks, plazas, sport centres, hiking trails, apple farms, transit & easy access to highways. Love your home. Love your neighbourhood.


New property listed in Beaty, Milton

I have listed a new property at 1319 Ruddy CRES in Milton. See details here

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Then get ready to fall in love with this modern 4 BR, 3-bath family home in Milton's idyllic Beaty neighbourhood where pride of ownership abounds. From the eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and S/S appliances, walk-out to the expansive backyard deck to imagine sipping coffee there or entertaining friends. Back inside, the adjoining living room is a perfect place to relax by the fireplace. Versatile dining room is set for everyday meals or special occasions. Lighting has been updated throughout and bathrooms renovated. Laundry room is on the 2nd level. Past the primary BR's generous walk-in closet, you will find the spa-like ensuite with soaker tub. Fully finished lower level's rec room with wet bar is perfect for game day or movie nights. Enjoy a town & country lifestyle with nearby schools, library, parks, plazas, sport centres, hiking trails, apple farms, transit & easy access to highways. Love your home. Love your neighbourhood.


Open House. Open House on Saturday, November 4, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Please visit our Open House at 1319 Ruddy CRES in Milton. See details here

Open House on Saturday, November 4, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Then get ready to fall in love with this modern 4 BR, 3-bath family home in Milton's idyllic Beaty neighbourhood where pride of ownership abounds. From the eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and S/S appliances, walk-out to the expansive backyard deck to imagine sipping coffee there or entertaining friends. Back inside, the adjoining living room is a perfect place to relax by the fireplace. Versatile dining room is set for everyday meals or special occasions. Lighting has been updated throughout and bathrooms renovated. Laundry room is on the 2nd level. Past the primary BR's generous walk-in closet, you will find the spa-like ensuite with soaker tub. Fully finished lower level's rec room with wet bar is perfect for game day or movie nights. Enjoy a town & country lifestyle with nearby schools, library, parks, plazas, sport centres, hiking trails, apple farms, transit & easy access to highways. Love your home. Love your neighbourhood.


Open House. Open House on Sunday, November 5, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Please visit our Open House at 1319 Ruddy CRES in Milton. See details here

Open House on Sunday, November 5, 2023 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Still haven't found what you're looking for? Then get ready to fall in love with this modern 4 BR, 3-bath family home in Milton's idyllic Beaty neighbourhood where pride of ownership abounds. From the eat-in kitchen with granite countertops and S/S appliances, walk-out to the expansive backyard deck to imagine sipping coffee there or entertaining friends. Back inside, the adjoining living room is a perfect place to relax by the fireplace. Versatile dining room is set for everyday meals or special occasions. Lighting has been updated throughout and bathrooms renovated. Laundry room is on the 2nd level. Past the primary BR's generous walk-in closet, you will find the spa-like ensuite with soaker tub. Fully finished lower level's rec room with wet bar is perfect for game day or movie nights. Enjoy a town & country lifestyle with nearby schools, library, parks, plazas, sport centres, hiking trails, apple farms, transit & easy access to highways. Love your home. Love your neighbourhood.


The Flying Officer


Story by Van Hansen, as published in the Nov / Dec 2011 issue of Canadian Aviator 

Matt Kennedy, RAF

The “target for tonight” was proving proving to be no such thing. Inside the hut that served as the sergeants' mess, pilot Matt Kennedy's Royal Air Force (RAF) crew stared at the briefing board in disbelief. A briefing at 11:30 hours could mean only one thing. The next day, April 5, 1945 they would fly their first daylight operation (op).

RAF 205 Group operated their B-24 Liberators from Southern Italy primarily at night, unescorted, with each aircraft navigating to the target individually. Kennedy's crew was part of 40 Squadron, which together with 104 Squadron made up 236 Wing at Foggia Main.

From the other side of the airfield, B-17s of the 15th U.S. Army Air Force (USAAF) flew missions against the same targets, but in formation, during the day, escorted by P-38 Lightning and P-51 Mustang fighters.

Waves of B-24 Liberators of 15th AAF fly through bursting flak over the oil refinery target area in Ploesti, Romania

The RAF camp was a primitive slum-like collection of tents and the crews became a scruffy lot, alternatively living in a dust cloud or bog-like muck if there was any rain. Rations were meager and not too tasty but despite the living conditions esprit de corps remained high.

At the briefing the target was revealed to be Monfalcone, a shipyard in Northern Italy which repaired German submarines and built motor torpedo boats.

In their heavy woolen flight suits, harnesses, and lifejackets, Kennedy and crew were issued parachutes. Climbing into a truck in the hot sun, they rolled out to their bomber, designated G for George.

"I never liked that aircraft, because it was a bit of lumbering beast. Most of our Liberators had a faired-in nose because we didn't need a front turret at night, but George had the front guns so it was a bit heavier and slower," says Kennedy.

The ground crew was ready with the boosters. Kennedy and Engineer Dave Bremner did a cockpit check, then started No. 3 engine first, the starboard inner as it ran the hydraulics.

While the B-24 had dual flight controls, the RAF operated with only one pilot, with the engineer in the right seat. Kennedy had taught his engineer, navigator, and bomb aimer how to land.

Bomb aimer Maurice Harmes checked the racks carrying two 1,000 pound, and ten 500 pound bombs, with fuse wires in place.

The heavy bomber rumbled forward on the airfield that was built out of well-rolled local soft rock and topped with pierced steel planking. Lifting off at 13:45, and leaving the squalor of filthy Foggia behind, Kennedy executed a turn to port, heading out toward the sea. With the 15 planes from 40 Squadron, there were about 100 bombers on the op, a maximum effort for the group.

As usual, Harmes was bugging Wireless Operator Jim "Mitch" Mitchell to get some music on. Mitch tuned in to American Forces Station Bari, and Tommy Dorsey's Orchestra filled the headsets.

Some smoke flares were dropped and rear-gunner Stan Mansfield lined up his turret to measure the drift, passing the information on to navigator Cyril King.

The music stopped abruptly as Mitch was having trouble with the intercom.

Half an hour from the target, Harmes left his waist gun position and started forward on the narrow catwalk which ran over the fuselage keel beam through the bomb bay. His lifejacket snagged on a bomb rack. It inflated and trapped him there. The bomb-bay doors opened and Harmes could see all the way down. Finally the doors closed again. Mitch had been testing them. Spotting Harmes, Mitch rushed over to help.

On approach to the target the crew was happy to see the USAAF P-51s providing fighter cover. Twelve anti-aircraft batteries made for medium flak, with greasy black puffs of smoke filling the air. They spotted a Liberator from another wing leaving the target below them with its port inner engine on fire. Each of the wings was assigned a different bombing height, with 236 Wing and G for George at 10,500 feet.

The Monfalcone Shipyards take a pounding from B-24s

Over the target, Harmes was in position on his stomach peering through the bomb site. But to give direction to Kennedy with the intercom out, he would raise his right leg for turning to starboard, left for port, and both for straight and level. King stood on his navigation desk and with his hands relayed Harmes' signals to Kennedy through the astrodome.

Aiming point was the jetty and after the bombs were away Kennedy held straight and level for 30 seconds so they could take a target photo, timed for impact. Turning 180 degrees, Kennedy put them on a heading for home. The flight back was uneventful, and they landed at 1728.

At the briefing they found that their signals had worked because they had the best target photo, which was used to plot the bombing results for the squadron.

"As a crew we got very close, and we probably knew one other crew fairly well, but you really didn't want to know the rest in case they didn't come back one night," Kennedy says. "At the time I was 20 years old, and we were all about the same age.

As far as we were concerned, you never thought about the danger. In fact it was like an adventure. You always figured it was going to happen to the other guy. Now that I'm older of course I realize how stupid that was," says Kennedy.


B-24s in Consolidated-Vultee Plant, Fort Worth TX circa 1943

With world tensions escalating, the U.S Army Air Corps (USAAC) was looking for a second manufacturer for the Boeing B-17 bomber. Consolidated Aircraft Corporation was approached in 1938, but offered instead to develop a new, more advanced bomber. The first aircraft, XB-24, made a successful flight in December, 1939.

The B-24's "Davis wing" offered a high aspect ratio (long length of the wing compared with the chord or breadth), with greatly reduced drag over then-current designs. This gave the B-24 higher fuel efficiency and longer range. Its two adjoining bomb-bays were each as large as the B-17's single bay. New innovations included roll-up bomb bay doors and tricycle landing gear used for the first time on a large aircraft.

For all the advantages of the new design, it was less stable than the B-17 and more difficult to fly.

The only aircraft able to provide cover for convoys in the mid-Atlantic, the B-24 is credited with many U-boat kills. Other roles included reconnaissance, tanker, cargo, and personnel transport.

B-24s were built by Consolidated at plants in San Diego and Fort Worth, by Douglas at Tulsa, North American in Dallas, and Ford near Detroit.

From 1940 through September 1945 more than 19,000 were built making it the most produced heavy bomber, and most produced multi-engine aircraft to date. Of these 2,100 served with the RAF, and 1,200 with the RCAF.

In August, 1943 all five plants switched over to the B-24J, which was the variant made in the largest numbers, and which the RAF called the Liberator B.VI.

"With the Lancaster and all the British planes, they took a bomb bay, put wings and engines on it, then as an afterthought they stuck the crew positions on," says Liberator Pilot Matt Kennedy. "On the Liberator, you go up on the flight deck, there's a carpet on the floor, the seats are really nice and comfortable, and there's bulletproof steel on the back. The American design provided more crew comfort."

B-24 Cockpit


In-flight hazards both in training and then on ops, other than those presented by the enemy included several engine failures, and a lightning strike. Putting a large number of bombers over the target at one time in an attempt to overwhelm the defenses created its own problems and during ops the entire crew had to be constantly on the lookout to avoid collision or being bombed from above. "We would be flying over the target and you look up and there would be a plane above you," says Kennedy.

On the night of April 25, 1945 Kennedy's crew participated in what turned out to be the last RAF bombing op of the war, a marshalling yard near Salzburg, Germany.

On the way back from a re-supply mission to the British Army on May 7 they heard on the radio that the war in Europe was over. At that time they believed they would have to take their bombing ops to the Far East. Given the option to convert to Lancasters or transfer to 70 Squadron, staying on Liberators, the crew transferred on January 10, 1946. By the end of March they were told that 70 Squadron was being disbanded and the crews were being split up.

"This was an emotional time. We had bonded as a crew, relying on each individual to keep us all safe from harm," Kennedy says.

For a few months, Kennedy flew with East African Headquarters Communication Flight in Nairobi, Kenya flying the Hudson VI, which had been converted from bomber to transport.

At the rank of Warrant Officer, Kennedy was released from service on August 7, 1946, and said his goodbyes. After arriving home he rejoined the Edinburgh City Police, ultimately reaching the position of Acting Sergeant in the Criminal Investigation Bureau.

Kennedy got to fly again in 1955 when he was commissioned as a Flying Officer in the Royal Canadian Air Force Reserve after immigrating to Canada. On a cross-country trip from Hamilton, Ontario in a DHC-1 Chipmunk, Kennedy got too close to the American side, and was intercepted by two USAF F-86 Sabres. Coming along-side, they gave him long scrutiny, saluted, and then peeled away.

He flew about 20 hours each summer from 1955-57 until the Diefenbaker government did away with the Arrow fighter and also his flying program. Kennedy's most recent flying was in 2006, in a Stearman biplane in Palomar, California. 



Pilot Matt Kennedy had been a police clerk in Edinburgh, Scotland when he volunteered with the RAF.

On October 28, 1944, he reported to no. 76 Operational Training Unit (OTU) where members of the air crew trades assembled in a drill area and the order was given to crew up.

The first person to join Kennedy's crew was Jim Mitchell, wireless operator. "He was Scottish, I was glad to meet him," says Kennedy. They met another Scot, flight engineer Dave Bremner, who had been an apprentice at Leith docks in Kennedy's hometown.

The boys then got talking to bomb-aimer Maurice Harmes, the most colorful character to join the crew. Kennedy says, "Maury was a real ladies man. With slicked-back hair and sporting an Errol Flynn moustache." 

Harmes asked if air gunners Stan and Charlie Mansfield could join them. The first thing that Kennedy noticed about the Mansfields, other than the fact they were identical twins, was that they were small, the ideal size for gunners.

The last one to join them at the OTU was navigator Cyril King, from Luton, outside of London. "King was a quiet, bookish type, and a real gentleman," says Kennedy. Ron Tarrant was added to the crew later as a waist gunner.

"In spite of the haphazard way crewing was done, we ended up with a happy, efficient crew who got along well with each other," says Kennedy.


Matt and his wife Sheila settled in the Bronte East neighbourhood of Oakville, ON and raised five children. Matt worked as a manager at the Ford Motor Company, for 35 years until his retirement.

He also volunteered for many years in various roles including Commander, Search Master, and Quartermaster at the Town of Oakville Water-Air Rescue Force a unit of the Canadian Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The Kennedy's were married for 63 years, when Sheila passed away on September 10, 2016.

Matt was born on Christmas Day, and he passed away on Valentine's Day, 2017 at the age of 93.


Matt Kennedy at Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum


Let's talk Wills & Estates with Amanda Groves

Amanda Groves hung out her shingle on Dundas Street in Waterdown, ON four years ago. As a lawyer, she had already gained extensive experience working for a few years at other firms in Southern Ontario specializing in wills and estates. 

Today at Groves Law she continues to practice in this area as well as real estate, corporate and commercial law. 

Van Hansen interviewed Ms. Groves in her office.

Hansen: I saw you posted a couple of weeks ago “Awake and watching the CBC coverage” (of the Coronation). 

Groves: Yes, oh my God, I woke up at four o’clock in the morning to see that. My mother-in-law is born in England, she didn't even wake up to watch it. Yeah, that was a long day. 

Hansen: And your Twitter profile shows that you are “Obsessed with the news. All of it. All the time…”

Groves: My favourite thing about Twitter is that you can follow individual reporters. So anytime there is a really big case in Ontario, you’ll have them live tweeting from the courtroom, as it’s happening. 

I will follow say four different journalists, and each will have a slightly different point of view on what the judge is saying. So it’s like an eyes on the ground perspective of what’s going on. 

Hansen: How did you get your start in law? 

Groves: Well, as a child I did well in school and I liked reading and I liked thinking and it was just a career that I kind of thought, gee, what can I learn if I stay in school for awhile?

And the nice thing about law is you can take anything in your undergrad as long as you do well enough and get into law school.

So I took history as an undergrad because I like learning about history and I'm glad that it worked out that I got into law school because I did not have a backup plan.

Western University

Hansen: What do you like best about your career now?

Groves: I really like the people the best. You meet a lot of different people, you see a lot of different scenarios that they are in and it's like having little peeks into their lives and learning what is important to them and what they value—so you can help them.

Hansen: I have some questions about wills and estates. The first is when should someone update their will?

Groves: I generally recommend people taking a look at their wills every five years—or if a major life event happens.

And if a client is not sure they can come in and we can determine whether or not they need to make changes at that point.

Wills don't expire they don't void out automatically so it's not like it's going to disappear on you. However, your will may not say what you want it to say now.

Consider if your executor is still people you talk to. Are your beneficiaries still in the same proportions you wanted the inheritance to go to? If you have a major life event, if you get married, maybe you have grandchildren, you want to put them in your will.

Those are examples of times where you might want to just take a look to make sure that it's still meeting your needs.

Hansen: In what situation would somebody need more than one will?

Groves: While most people have one will, there are circumstances where you might want to have multiple wills.

Now sometimes couples will ask if they can have joint wills. There is no such thing as joint wills; husband and wife for example each get their own wills.

Multiple wills is a probate (tax) savings tool. The probate fee is about 1.5% of the estate. When you have what’s called a non-probatable asset, it’s a way to potentially pay less probate fee to the court.

So if you have a certain type of asset like privately held shares, or say an artwork collection that you know will never require probate to be able to pass it on to the next generation—if you have a secondary will, you can put non-probatable assets into it, so if you have to probate the first will, you don’t have to include the value of those non-probatable assets in that secondary will.

So it’s really just a (tax) savings tool which is the number one reason why most of the time people would need multiple wills. 

Scrabble board with words Interview Lawyer Amanda Groves Wills & Estates

Hansen: In the event that someone wishes to exclude a family member from their will, is there anything they need to do to ensure their wish is realized?

Groves: It always depends on the circumstances. So number one, if you are an adult that does not have any dependents, most of the time you can do what you want with your money.

Now if you have dependents for example minor children, or if you have a married spouse and you exclude your dependents from your will and the will is challenged the dependents would likely prevail, even if you are estranged or going through a separation—you have to leave them the equivalent of what they would be entitled to under a separation agreement.

If you had a non-dependent family member, say an adult child or sibling, parent, or someone who is not reliant on you for funds that you wished to exclude you can leave them out of your will, then it’s just a question of making sure you put yourself into a defensible position.

So sometimes what people will do is they will just leave that person out of their will, so they will draft it tightly, you know, I leave everything to child A and child B and then outside of the will we put a provision in another document that says, you know, I have deliberately not put child C in my will for reasons that are known to me or for, you know, estrangement or whatever language the client is comfortable putting in.

Another method is something called a forfeiture clause. So for example if you leave child A and child B the majority of your estate, but maybe leave a smaller amount, say $50,000 to child C, and then at the same time put a clause in your will that says forfeiture, which means that if any individual who inherited under your will argues your will, then they lose their inheritance. So therefore, child C, she has the option of either saying, okay, I take my $50,000 and run, or I take my $50,000, try to argue this in court, knowing if I lose I don't get my $50,000 anymore.

So this is an encouragement for them not to bring a claim there. 

Hansen: What does it mean to designate a power of attorney?

Groves: There are two types of powers of attorney (POA)—one is the power of attorney for personal care, which is the healthcare decision maker, and one is the continuing general power of attorney, which is your financial decision maker. 

Hansen: For POAs, how is timing an issue with regards to someone’s (legal) capacity?  

Groves: You have to have the capacity to be able to sign both those POA documents.

The person signing a document for the financial power of attorney, that's a higher capacity level than the healthcare power of attorney. However, there still is a level for both of those, and it's important to have those done while somebody has capacity to make them.

The number one reason is that if an individual loses capacity during their lifetime and they can't make financial decisions anymore, then there's no automatic person to take over those appointments.

What happens in that case is the public guardian and trustee (PGT), takes over that person's life. At that point if you wanted to step in place of the PGT to make decisions if your family member had lost capacity and the PGT took over, then you have to make an application to the PGT to be able to become the substitute decision maker (SDM) in place of the public guardian and trustee. That process is going to take months if not a year and it's going to be expensive.

And you would have to pay for a bond which is going to cost probably a couple thousand dollars if not a couple hundred dollars every single month that you're acting in place of that person.

On the other side if you do not have a health care decision maker the only way to be able to be appointed as an SDM for health care is to apply to the court to become appointed as a guardian of that person. So again, that is an expensive procedure and it's going to take a lot of time as well.

So if you just have the POAs set up ahead of time, then you already have the control of who your substitute decision makers will be. 

Hansen: What are some things to keep in mind when selecting your POA?

Groves: When it comes to the powers of attorney, I always recommend that you think of somebody who would be good for your money when it comes to the financial decision maker and someone who's going to be good for health care when it comes to the personal care decision maker. And it doesn't have to be the same person and you can also have multiple people, right?

So sometimes if you know you want to name your spouse first up and you have two kids as a second up decision maker, as long as your two kids get along you can name both of those guys to be your backup decision makers.

On the other hand, if your two children do not get along, you being in some kind of financial or emotional or health care crisis is not the time that they are suddenly going to be able to agree and make decisions for you.

You need to take a look at what your family dynamics are and pick the best people who are going to be able to advocate for you financially wise and advocate for you health care wise. 

Hansen: What is important to you outside of your work?

Groves: Outside of work I have really good friends, and my family is important. They live close by so we still do like Sunday dinner at my mom's house with my sisters and their spouses and their children. 

And my spouse, my animals, we have a dog and two kittens in my house. My husband and I are really into hiking. We have a little cottage and we like to go up there in the Summer and just kind of enjoy the outside time as much as we can and get as much fresh air as we can too.

Amanda Groves JD with diplomas on the wall

Amanda Groves, JD

- Please note this story has been edited for length and clarity and is for information purposes only.     Always seek independent legal advice -


Jen & Van Hansen are Real Estate Brokers at the boutique brokerage Apex Results Realty Inc. serving Halton | Hamilton, and surrounding areas. Say hello.. move forward with more™


Authentic Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah talks about Authenticity in this exclusive excerpt from his keynote at Canada’s largest Real Estate Conference & Trade Show, TRREB REALTOR® QUEST on May 18, 2023 at the Congress Centre in Toronto.

In Trevor’s intimate and compelling conversation he shares his expertise in communicating effectively with individuals, and how to make connections that resonate with others. 

Trevor Noah is a Comedian, Emmy-award winning Host of The Daily Show, and Author. 

Cheryl Hickey, ET Canada Co-Host, Host of Family Home Overhaul on HGTV, is the keynote moderator. 

Van Hansen attended ‘A Conversation with Trevor Noah’, and shares with you the ‘Authentic Trevor Noah’ video, plus an abridged transcript of the presentation.


Cheryl Hickey: On social media or on your stand-up tours you're so authentic. Here. He's incredibly authentic.

And... yeah. It can be really difficult in a world that is trying to keep up and the trends are changing in your world that's happening.

Trevor Noah: Right.

Cheryl Hickey: What are some key things that you think people could take away with to stay true to themselves and to stay on their path?

Trevor Noah: I think authenticity always has to be juxtaposed with context

You are never going to be your most authentic self with everyone nor should you be. I don't believe in that.

You know people like be yourself in the office! Hold on.

Figure out who yourself is. Figure out who your office is. See which parts of you match. That's good. 

I've met many people who are too authentic in the office. They need to relax. 

I think authenticity is context based. 

Okay. You know. You are most authentic or should be with yourself.

And then as those concentric circles go outward there's different types of authenticity.

So you'll a different type of authentic with your partner or your spouse.

You'll be another type of authentic with your kids. You'll be another type of authentic with your family, with your friends, with your colleagues, with people you live in the same town with, city, country, world.

But I don't think you're just trying to just be you all the time with everyone without context.

I think that makes people you know, it's why people are a**holes a lot of the time?

Genuinely, because they just go like "Well that's what it is". Yeah, you didn't need to say that. 

"Oh well I just wanted be authentic." Yeah you were authentically not nice. That's what you were.

It's like you didn't need to say that in that moment. You know?

So, you know, if you're going to be one of those people who did well, "I just tell it like it is".

Oh then I'll tell you like it is you're not liked in most places. And you're not actually achieving the thing that you're trying achieve. 

And it's not to be liked but it is to try and find some sort of cohesive way way of being authentic. You know?

So I think in every space I'm trying to be as authentic as I need to be. It doesn't mean that you're being fake.

You're acknowledging that you're existing in a space with other people. You know?

Like I listen to music the way I listen to it, but when I'm in a different space I might be cognizant of the fact that somebody's close to me and so I'll turn the music down to a certain level.

Or I'll turn it... because I understand that you're here. It doesn't mean that I'm not being authentic. It just means that I'm acknowledging my authenticity might brush up against yours.

You know the way I would drive my car if there was nobody on the road? It's very different to how I drive when the rest of you are there with me.

You know because I acknowledge, I'm like this is not my authentic driving.

I don't drive at like a speed limit. The lines mean nothing to me!

Are you kidding me? If I was alone on the road, I would just be cruising. I would go backwards sometimes.

Trevor Noah Quote "Authenticity always has to be juxtaposed with context", text on image of setting sun

Cheryl Hickey: But nobody says that by the way. Because it's very cool right now, and you all know this. It's very cool to be your authentic self. But I think you talking about...

Trevor Noah: That's ridiculous! Who says this?

Cheryl Hickey: Everybody! But nobody says, I think it's the first time would you agree, in a long time that someone's like, you need to be aware of your surroundings?

Trevor Noah: Yes.

Cheryl Hickey: I don't think people say that Trevor; they don't.

Trevor Noah: You are existing in relation to others. If you're on a desert island, you're stranded like Tom Hanks, then you can be friends with a volleyball.

Do it, go crazy, have a good time. Because that is the situation you're in. That is authentic. You know?

But once you are in a space with other people it changes. You know? 

There are cultural norms you have to be aware of, depending on the space you're in, depending on the place you're in. And it doesn't mean don't be authentic. It means find your spaces where you can. 

And what happens over time, I'm sure you know this, when you work in office with people as you get to know them and that's why I'm saying context is important.

As you get to know them you start to reveal layers of yourselfand they do the same thing and that is natural. That is what we do as human beings. You know you don't just start off like that. 

Have you ever met like a dog that's been rescued? Like if you go to a pound or you go to any place with a shelter, right?

You'll meet an animal. Most of them are shy. Most of them are afraid, you can feel this in them.

And then you start showing them love, you start caring for them and all of a sudden that dog starts jumping on you and it starts barking and it starts running around.

It's like, yeah that's the same dog. It's not that it's not authentic. It was authentically afraid and now it is authentically happy and enjoying the love that you're showing it. 

Both are true. When people say be your authentic self, it's like which part of my authentic self?

Sometimes I'm nervous, sometimes I'm scared. Sometimes I'm grumpy, that is authentically me.

So I'm just gonna come in the office kicking trash cans. "Shut up!" That's authentic. "I'm having a shitty day. Welcome to real Trev".

No, no. Deal with your shit at home. Understand that in this space your authenticity is affecting other people.

Or if you know the people well in the office, and they know you well, then you can connect. I'm having a tough day... It's context. You should have enough EQ to understand the context.

How long have you known people? What is your position in relation to them.

You know how many bosses I've met who'll be like, "Yeah Trevor, I always tell jokes in the office, and it goes well".

I'm like, no you're the boss. Relax.

"How do I bring more humour into the office?" You don't, you're the boss.

Alright, because when you're a boss, you work in a different context to other people.

Understand your position in relation to them. Understand that they may be afraid of you. Understand that they don't know if they can voice their true opinion. Understand that. And the context builds over time.

And I think you have to have a certain amount of emotional intelligence to process that, but that's what living in a society is all about.

But try and be yourself in as many places as you can, try and grow. And I think that's what building a relationship and communicating is all about.

But please, save your authentic self for the situations that deserve it.


Jen & Van Hansen are Real Estate Brokers at the boutique brokerage Apex Results Realty Inc. serving Halton | Hamilton, and surrounding areas. Say hello.. move forward with more™


A Conversation with Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is a comedian, Emmy-award winning host of The Daily Show, and author. He was keynote speaker at Canada's largest Real Estate Conference & Trade ShowTRREB REALTOR® QUEST 2023 at the Congress Centre in Toronto. 

Cheryl Hicky is ET Canada Co-Host, and was the keynote moderator. 

Van Hansen attended 'A Conversation with Trevor Noah' this May, and presents an abridged transcript of the presentation here.


Cheryl Hickey: I'm just so excited to sit down with you. I know that you spent some time in Toronto with your Netflix special so my question is this, are you looking for a home? And what kind of home are you looking for? Like, do you need a stacked dishwasher? Do you want a pool? I know some real estate agents that...

Trevor Noah: I like this, this is full service.

Cheryl Hickey: I just want to know. 

Trevor Noah: This is full on, this is the Canadian hospitality I've been promised.

Cheryl Hickey: What do you need?

Trevor Noah: You're going to help me find a home?

Cheryl Hickey: I will drive you.

Trevor Noah: Okay, okay.

Cheryl Hickey: I'll take you where you need to go.

Trevor Noah: Alright, I'm in, I'm in, I'll take it.

Cheryl Hickey: Do you love Toronto?

Trevor Noah Instagram Post Comedy Tour in Toronto

Trevor Noah: I do, I've had a great time out here. I love Toronto I've loved all of Canada and in all the time I've been lucky enough to come out here I've really enjoyed myself, you know, every place has a different vibe to it you know Toronto has like a very polite bustle as I like to call it you know.

I found I really enjoyed Vancouver. It's got like a beautiful, you know, just like an energy to it. And then Montreal is very French. It's lovely. So I've really been lucky to not just enjoy myself, but be welcomed every time I come to Canada.


Cheryl Hickey: Your path to success from stand up to even acting in a soap and then certainly to The Daily Show has been so incredible and what a journey it's been to watch and to see. And perserverance seems to be a thread throughout it all. Can you talk about or share some ups and downs and struggles that you've overcome throughout that time period that maybe the team here can learn from?

Trevor Noah: Ups and downs! Life is ups and downs. It is a constant journey of ups and downs, becauseI think we forget the great paradox of every success is that you are higher up for the next down, you know. 

I grew up in a country that was finding itself in a new democracy. I grew up in a family where my mother was a single mom who was forced to be such because of the country's laws that restricted people of different races being together. 

I grew up in a familv that was try ing to make ends meet. And so there were many times when we couldn't eat or there were many times when we struggled just to make ends meet-but then there were many times when we were laugning when things were going well and my grandmotner was cooking the food that my mom and my aunt and evervbody was able to cobble together.

So the ups and downs are constant in life you know I always tell people every single moment, every single failure. is the reason I got to my success.

It's a weird thing to accept you know, one of the phrases I use for myself is let everything in life be an answer to a question you already have.

What I mean by that is, oftentimes we only see something that is happening to us to be good or bad And what we often fail to do is let the bad, or let the thing that is happening to us be an answer. Just an answer to a question. 

Should vou be doing what vou're doing? Do you have to work on your resilience? Are there answers that you can garner from this? Are there lessons?

The greatest paradox in life is that resilience only comes from come sort of adversity. It's tough but it's true you cannot become stronger without some sort of resiliency you know it's like when you go to the gym the reason you become stronger is because you have to lift weights and you have to it's terrible but that's the reason you become stronger you know if it's not terrible in the gym then you're not going to become stronger you're having a good time but it's not going to make you stronger.

Cheryl Hickey: So all those people on Instagram and stuff are faking it that they're having a good time? 

Trevor Noah: Oh yeah, definitely. Yeah, they're not. 

Cheryl Hickey: I just want to make it clear.

Trevor Noah: Or they've convinced themselves to now enjoy the adversity, which is a good thing.  

Cheryl Hickey: Which is a really good thing. Fake it till you make it. I'm a person who loves working out. 

Trevor Noah: Yeah, there it is. And so I think, you know, in all of my journeys, stand-up comedy is constatnt failure. That's what stand-up comedy is. It's you trying to tell an audience jokes and every time they're not laughing, you're failing and then you're gaining and garnering infromatino for what you then wish to say the next time you're in front of an audience. 

You know, every business venture I entered into that didn't work pushed me to the area that it did and so yeah I think that's the hardest thing to accept in life is that you are not trying to achieve constant success, but what you're trying to do is use your failures as information that become the seed that grows your next success. 

And that's really difficult to understand and achieve because of how debilitating some of your failures might feel. 

Cheryl Hickey: For sure. Who do you get that from? Were you born with that soret of insight in your soul or was that from your mom?

Scrabble Board with words Host Comedian Author Trevor Noah Keynote

Trevor Noah: No, I think definitely from my mom. Yeah. I saw my mom do everything yo know so my mom's a real estate agent a lot of people don't know that.

It's true and one of the reasons my mom got into real estate was because she loved the idea of creating a few areas in our world and in the world that she felt hadn't been fulfilled. So one was owning property in areas that black people have been excluded from for a very long time.

That was always our dream was to not drive an hour to get to school and to work. You know, that was one of the dreams that my mom was able to achieve. And then beyond that, it was just like finding a way to provide sustainable and affordable housing to people who couldn't necessarily access it. And that's really the position you're in when you're in this job. 

You are the person who is trying to connect somebody with an answer. You are the person who is trying to connect somebody with what they wish for, what they can get, what they hope to et, where they're going to start their life, what they're going to do. You know what I mean? And I would watch that journey. 

How my mom got into it was just by being a secretary. You know, that's how she started. And she tells me the storv of how she worked at a real estate agency and her boss was just like a full-on drunk. He just partied hard and he would come in drunk every day. And because of that, he never did his work. 

So she had to do his work, which is a terrible situation to be in except for the fact that she now learned in an environment where she wouldn't otherise if she had a really efficient boss and she only had to do the part of her job that she had to do that would have been it forever.

But instead now here she was handling title deeds and here she was understanding what needed tobe moved around and what land surveyor needed to do what with which parcel of land and here she was understanding what needed to be appraised and how it needed to be appraised, et cetera.

She was learning. And then because of that, she was like, well, now that I've done the learning, maybe I should go and get mv license and actually apply what I've learned. But that was an adversity that she then turned into a gift. And so that's definitely something that I've inherited.


Cheryl Hickey: Another gift, what I read in your book that she you that I thought was so clever is drivingaround neighbourhoods, looking at homes and creating, helping you foster imagination. How important has that been in your life?

Trevor Noah: Oh, it's been one of the most important things. I even say in the book, you know, people always tell you to dream and to imagine, but you can only imagine what you know. It's a real conundrum. It's a paradox. You know?

And so one of the best things vou can do for anvone in life is to explore the possibilities of what youare able to think about, you know? What are the ultimate constraints of your mind.

That's why reading is so fantastic because it's almost the explosion of your imagination up against somebody else's. It's that compounding effect.

Trevor Noah keynote photo taken from the audience

So my mom used to do that. She'd drive me around. We would come back from church every Sunday and what my mother would do is instead of just driving us home she would drive us to really really nice neighbourhoods. right?

And these were predominantly white neighbourhoods where we would never be able to afford to live there, like never and we'd get there and they had these massive walls. You couldn't see the house onthe inside. And then what my mom would do is, we'd park the car and then we'd just I'd point at a house and I'd be like, that one!

And we'd walk up to the wall and then my mom would lift me up onto her shoulders like a little periscope. And then I would look over the wall and then she would say, what do you see?

And I'd be like, they have a tennis court! And they've got a swimming pool! And they've got rose bushes! And I'd just describe the whole thing and then she dropped me down and she's like okay let's go to another one and then we'd look at another house.

I always imagined what it was it must have been like if you were on the inside, because you were in the house at your pool, and you just see a very tall child just like popping up over your wall you'd be like is that an eight or nine foot tall seven year old child? What is happening here? And why are they describing my yard? That's essentially what it was.

But what I loved about that is that it just showed me what was possible. It showed me what was out there. It showed me a world that I may never have access to, but yet knew existed.

Cheryl Hickey: She gave you that whole if you see it you can be it. She was like no, this is there.

Trevor Noah: Just to know that it's there. I live in New York City and I speak to people today who have still never left their borough. You'd be shocked at how many people live in Harlem and have never been to Times Square. My mind was blown by that. And yet that is common around the world.

There are so many people who do not understand or do not know what exists in the world because nobody has just held their hand and lifted them over a wall to see something.

Cheryl Hickey: That's right. What a gift she gave you!

Trevor Noah: Yeah, absolutely.


Chery Hickey: A big bart of realtor's jobs of course, is connecting with people and connecting with families and you are one of the best at it--you're really aood at communicating and bringing peopletogether. What do you think some keys to that kind of communication are for people who arelistening, to get to the families, to get to the neighbourhood?

Trevor Noah: I think the first and most important thing when getting to know anybody is to be interested.

I find in my experience that's been the difference between every great real estate agent I've ever met and every real estate agent who just feels like they're going through the motions. It's them being interested. Sometimes you walk into an open house and it feels like you're a breeze flowing from onedoor to the next. And you're just like, okay, but thev're not interested.

People take for granted what an emotional journey buying or renting a home is. It's the place you will exist in. I think people really take that for granted, and I find that's the difference between great real estate agents and, you know, people who are just doing the job.

There are people who will ask you, they will listen to you, they will want to know, how do you enioy living? What do vou wish to achieve? Where are vou trying to get to?

You know, okay, you may not be able to get what you want now, but can we get you close to that? Can we find the gap that can be bridged?

Sometimes the person doesn't even know that there is something that they want because they're basing their wants and their needs on everything that they've experienced beforehand.

You know, the only style you know in a house is the style that you've been exposed to. It's when somebody else takes an interest in you and savs, have vou ever seen this style of home? And you'relike, I don't know.

And they're like, well, let's see it. And let's see what you like about it. Let's see what you don't like about it. They're interested in you as a human being.

And I think that's the thing people should never forget. You're dealing with human beings. It doesn't matter who it is. It doesn't matter if it's like a Hollywood star who's in movies or you know, it's just somebody off the street who's coming to you because they want to find a place to stay. They're a human being. Everyone is.

And so if you treat them accordingly with a certain level of interest, an interest that you would hope somebody would pay to you, you will find that you'll connect with them in an interesting way.

And I found oftentimes, I found the mistake most people make is thinking that every transaction is concluded on the day that it begins when in fact, a transaction may be concluded in 20 years from now.  You don't know. You genuinely don't know.

I always say, specifically in the world of real estate, because I love seeing houses, I love going and seeing where will I stay, what will I do, what will I not do, et cetera, et cetera.

I've always loved the realtors who are, they're just like, they're patient with you, they care, they understand that you're not wasting their time, you're trying to find the place.

And I know it can be annoying, I'm sure it is. There's someone being like, well, I don't know about this, I don't know about this, I don't know about this. You don't know about anvthing. Yeah, but that's what it is, yo know.

And I find that veah the best ones are always the ones who they almost like take a take a mental note and they start knowing you. They'll start saying to you "I don't know if this is for you I know the pictures look like that, but knowing you I don't think it's your vibe.

Yeah, and it's just them being interested. What is it that you enjoyed in the places you enjoy and what is it that you didn't enioy in the places you didn't enioy? And I find that beyond even business connects you with human beings. 

Trevor Noah seated giving keynote in Toronto

Cheryl Hickey: Would you be a good real estate agent? I mean it begs the question.

Trevor Noah: I think so. I think so. Yeah. Are you kidding me? Yeah, I think I'd be fantastic at it.

Cheryl Hickey: I feel like we should go and try and sell a couple houses.

Trevor Noah: I promise you I would be fantastic at it. You know why because I love it itself. Yeah, and that's the most important thing when I walk into a home I'm enioying it more than most real realtors who are showing me around, you know?

I want to know how and why it was built why it's shaped the way it is why did the architect design it the way that they did. Why is this room here, in that room there who chose carpet? Why do they always choose carpets? All these things are in my head when I'm walking around.

I really enioy it. And I think that's one of the most important things. And I enioy fulfilling that need.  I think that's one of the greatest joys vou can experience. There's nothing greater than finding somebody who needs something and fulfilling that need have you seen how happy people are when they get the right home?

Not when they're pushed into buving a home not when they're like tricked into it not when they've been like bamboozled. Oh, we've got multiple offers. You've got to act now! The best realtors are the ones who've said to me like hey yo relax, relax. Hey. it's okay relax. You know?

Cheryl Hickey: So, our time is up. I have one last question, which is when are you moving?

Trevor Noah: When am I moving?

Cheryl Hickey: Here.

Trevor Noah: To Toronto?

Cheryl Hickey: Yeah, for a bit.

Trevor Noah: Okay.

Cheryl Hickey: Right? Okay. I feel like it's the question.

Trevor Noah: Okay. Well, I mean, I would have to live in a neighborhood that's close to Jamaican patties so..

Chery Hickey: So we can do that. We absolutely can do that.

Trevor Noah: I find a lot of my real estate decicions are baced on food. That's like my keyword when I search—food. Yes. Close to great food places. That's me. So if you can find me some Jamaican food. Oh, you've got amazing Jamaican food in Toronto I know that. Something like that?

So Where is the warm part of Toronto right? That's another thing I'm looking for.

Chery Hickey: We'll work on that part, how about that.

Listen, a wise man once said that the greatest gift you can give someone is to be chosen and I am so grateful that you chose to be here with me, have this conversation and to be here with everyone else. And by the way that wise man is Trevor. Trevor Noah everybody!

Trevor Noah: Thank you everybody!

Video camera at back of auditorium BTS after the Trevor Keynote


Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

From Penguin Random House Canada:

The compelling, inspiring, and comically sublime New York Times bestseller about one man's coming-of-age, set during the twilight of apartheid and the tumultuous davs of freedom that followed.

Trevor Noah's unlikely path from apartheid South Africa to the desk of The Daily Show began with a criminal act: his birth. Trevor was born to a white Swiss father and a black Xhosa mother at a time when such a union was punishable by five vears in prison. Living proof of his parents' indiscretion, Trevor was kept mostly indoors for the earliest years of his life, bound by the extreme and often absurd measures his mother took to hide him from a government that could, at any moment, steal him away.

Finally liberated by the end of South Africa's tyrannical white rule, Trevor and his mother set forth on a grand adventure, living openly and freely and embracing the opportunities won by a centuries-long struggle.

Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man's relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.

The eighteen personal essays collected here are by turns hilarious, dramatic, and deeply affecting. Whether subsisting on caterpillars for dinner during hard times, being thrown from a moving car during an attempted kidnapping, or just trying to survive the life-and-death pittalls of dating in high school, Trevor illuminates his curious world with an incisive wit and unflinching honesty. His stories weave together to form a moving and searingly funny portrait of a boy making his way through a damaged world in a dangerous time, armed only with a keen sense of humour and a mother's unconventional, unconditional love.

Book Cover Image, Trevor Noah's Born a Crime