We build strength, stability and self-reliance.

Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario and Makers are proud to unveil a single family home built to passive standards in Key Ceremony 

August 26, 2022 - Brant-Norfolk, ON – Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario (Brant-Norfolk Chapter), the County of Brant, and production consultancy Makers Inc., have completed an unparalleled new project, an affordable and environmentally conscious home as part of the Upstart Project and will be having a Key Ceremony today, August 26, 2022, at 11:00 AM. The home is located at 28 Willowdale Street, Oakhill, Brant County, ON and the Key Ceremony can be attended in person or virtually via the Habitat Heartland Ontario Brant Norfolk Facebook page.

Habitat Heartland is grateful to CMHC for their incredible support of local builds. 


“Our government believes that every Canadian deserves a safe place to call home. Across the country, we are working with Habitat for Humanity to build the safe, appropriate, affordable housing necessary for healthy and sustainable communities. Here in the County of Brant, the investment in this new home will make a real difference in the lives of one hard-working family – a place they can proudly call their own .”— Chad Collins, Member of Parliament for Hamilton East- Stoney Creek 

The Upstart Project is committed to helping families build strength, stability and self-reliance through sustainable and affordable homeownership in the community. The Project's first build is now completed in the County of Brant, a single-family home situated on a grassy 1,000-square-metre lot near the Brant Conservation Area and the Grand River. Through innovative and thoughtful construction practices, the home is respectful of the surrounding environment and provides lasting sustainable benefits to new homeowner, Kayla and her family, as well as the community.   


"Right from the beginning of our builds, the Key Ceremony is our singular focus; moving future homeowners into their homes. Thank you, Makers, for being our partner on this exciting project built to passive standards. Kayla and her family will be able to live in an environmentally responsible home with affordable utilities and clean air." Alan MacKinnon - Chair, Board of Directors, Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario.  

Habitat cannot build homes without the support of community partners. Future homeowners across the Habitat Heartland region benefit from Financial Literacy training provided by Libro.  

"Our very best wishes to those who are starting the next phase of their lives as homeowners. At Libro, we have a purpose beyond profit, and we are proud of our growing partnership with Habitat for Humanity. We share a vision of providing access to adequate, safe, and affordable housing for all and firmly believe that success in community impact comes from partnerships and collaboration." – Jordan Moat, Libro Regional Manager, London Elgin Oxford.  

The County of Brant and Makers partnered with Habitat to bring their expertise and connections and helped make the dream of this project come to life.  

"The Upstart Project has the potential to become a global solution to housing everywhere. Our vision is to see this model grow and scale to allow affordable, healthy and efficient homes to get built faster. The completion of this first home is just the beginning," said Sumit Ajwani, founder, Makers.  

“On behalf of County Council and the community, we would like to congratulate Kayla and her family on their new home in the County of Brant. The County of Brant was pleased to partner with Habitat for Humanity Brant-Norfolk and offer a residential lot in the Oakhill community. The County is a special place to live and the community takes care of each other. I would like to thank Habitat for Humanity for choosing the County and for helping families to build a strong foundation in this community.” – Mayor David Bailey 

While other Habitats in the United States have been built to Passive House design, the Upstart Project is Canada’s first Habitat single-family home built to Passive House standards. The collaboration between Habitat for Humanity, Makers and education partners and researchers at the University of Waterloo has served as a model for other builders to integrate Passive House elements, sustainability and resiliency in affordable housing. The true benefactors are future generations to come. Building materials and techniques were selected to reduce the carbon footprint of construction and pass on up to 90 percent energy savings to Kayla who bought the home through Habitat. 

The location and lot dimensions on Willowdale Street allowed the team to build a comfortable and efficient single-family home. In addition, the design utilized prefabricated components for much of the construction. This approach lowered the cost of materials and simplified the building process for volunteers, as the project brought together trades and non-trades people to help build a community.   

New homeowner Kayla said, “Without Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, I would never have the opportunity to bless my children with a safe and secure place to call home. Habitat for Humanity has provided me with the opportunity to pay into a mortgage of my own instead of paying endless rent payments to my landlord. Thank you Habitat for everything you have done for my family and I.” 


Libro employees enjoying a day on the Willowdale build site

Kayla's family

About Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario

Habitat for Humanity Heartland Ontario believes everyone has the right to the confidence, security and hope a home provides. Affordable homeownership is key to building strong, equitable and thriving communities. By mobilizing volunteers and community partners, Habitat Heartland provides opportunities for families in Brant, Elgin, Middlesex, Norfolk, Oxford, and Perth counties to achieve affordable and sustainable homeownership. For more information, please visit www.habitat4home.ca 

About Makers

Makers is the largest producer collective in North America with a growing team of 40+ producers who work together to bring ideas to life. Makers works with ideators across all industries to creatively lead projects in advertising, entertainment, events, innovation, rapid prototyping and construction.  Makers has worked with more than 70 global and local clients across all industries from Canada Goose, Mastercard, Mattel, Pepsi Co., Amazon and World Wildlife Fund, to some of the top ad agencies in North America.  Makers is reinventing the role of producer by working with producers who are interested in purpose-driven work, effectively making the producer the entrepreneur and the work human-centric. There is no other company in the world like it. 



Al MacKinnon – Chair, Board of Directors [email protected]  (519) 701-5659

Lynda Henriksen, GM Philanthropy and Brant-Norfolk Chapter [email protected]Donnie Baker, Social Media and Marketing Associate [email protected]