Two industry leaders in Toronto’s commercial real estate sector will be honoured with NAIOP’s Real Estate Icon Award on April 9.

Michael Cruickshank and Robert Eisenberg, the co-founders of York Heritage Properties, have been part of the industry for more than 40 years. The duo has been heavily involved in the restoration and renovation of historical buildings in Toronto, as well as establishing some of the city’s most well-known communities.

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It’s for these reasons that the business partners have earned the title of “icon” in Toronto’s real estate community.  

“The Icon award is meant to recognize those that have transformed and helped make a difference to the Greater Toronto commercial real estate scene over the years. And this criteria immediately brings to mind Robert and Michael,” Scott Chandler, the Chair of NAIOP’s Real Estate Excellence Awards, told Toronto Storeys in an email.

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“They have been more than just active participants in the Toronto CRE industry, they have helped shape the city’s key neighbourhoods.”

Specifically, both Cruickshank and Eisenberg are founding members of the St. Lawrence Market and Liberty Village Business Improvement Areas. Their community involvement runs so deep that they can even be credited with coining the name “Liberty Village.”

Cruickshank is also the chair of the Stanley Thompson Society and a major contributor to Eva's Initiatives for Homeless Youth in the construction and relocation departments.

While Eisenberg is involved in both community and environmental initiatives. He's also the founder of Sistema Toronto Academy and the Rescue Lake Simcoe Coalition and a published author.

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The real estate veterans co-founded York Heritage Properties in 1980. Since then, the company has been committed to restoring and renovating heritage structures and older buildings with notable architecture. Some of their properties include 10 Alcorn Ave., 11 Church St., 70 Bond St., and 161 Liberty St. 

One of their landmark renovations, however, is The Toronto Carpet Factory in Liberty Village, which has since partnered with Hullmark Developments.

“Bob and Michael [are] visionaries and leaders in the preservation of Toronto's architectural heritage, paving the way for the now-numerous landlords and investors who have proven there is a socially-responsible and economically profitable path to adapt older buildings for modern use,” Chandler said. “In doing so, Bob and Michael have been positive catalysts not only for heritage in Toronto, but important community builders.”

Cruickshank and Eisenberg’s names were put forward for the Icon award by Michael Emory of Allied. They were then selected as this year’s honourees by past Toronto NAIOP presidents and board members who reviewed the submissions.

The 2019 REX Awards Gala will take place at Sheraton Centre on April 9. In addition to honouring Cruickshank and Eisenberg with the Real Estate Icon Award, NAIOP will also present a special honour to Michael Pittana, who is this year’s recipient of the Community Service Award.

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NAIOP is a commercial real estate development association for developers, owners and investors. The organization provides advocacy, education and business opportunities to its members and recognizes their achievements.

Visit NAIOP to get tickets for this year’s REX Awards Gala.