Toronto Star: “Serving up a shot of help”

Ping-pong tourney will aid builder’s charity targetting homeless youth, food banks

by Ryan Starr

Sometimes, it’s not simply a matter of how the ball bounces.

Next week’s SMASHED2014 ping-pong tournament, for instance, aims to effect change with proceeds from the fundraiser this year going to the new charity Lifeline, a project of GTA builder Lifetime Developments.

“It came from a desire from the principals of the company and our family members — including my wife and sister-in-law — who felt there was more we could be doing,” explains Brian Brown, Lifetime vice-president.

After years of discussion, Lifeline was launched this past summer to support to existing programs and organizations that help Toronto’s at-risk communities with an emphasis on homelessness, food bank services, and counselling and education services.

Smashed’s third annual ping-pong fundraiser on Friday, Oct. 24 at Muzik nightclub, Exhibition Place, will feature a singles competition and a less-heated mixed-doubles competition. Once the tourney wraps up, the ping-pong tables will be opened up for everyone to enjoy as they party with DJs in dress-code-compliant tennis whites.

“We’re hoping to see over 400 people there,” says Brown, who adds this year’s sponsorship involvement has already pushed the fundraising past the $30,000 raised last year.

If ping pong sounds like all fun, however, Brown warns returning participants — particularly those in the singles category — are taking it seriously. “I’ve heard some of the people who competed last year have actually hired coaches.”

Lifetime Developments has been a part of some of Toronto’s most high-profile condo projects, including Karma and Indx (T.O.’s top-sellers of 2011 and ’12), and the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences.

“We take a holistic approach to our developments. Not just building a building, but understanding how that building affects the community and the neighbourhood,” Brown says

At Karma, for example, for every person who registered to receive condo information, the developers donated money to three local charities.

Lifetime Developments staff, as well, are encouraged to get involved in the communities where the company builds, including by joining residents associations and BIAs. “We want them to really understand what’s involved in building a community,” Brown adds.

For more information about SMASHED2014, visit; to learn more about Lifeline go to

Toronto Star Homes (October 17, 2014)

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