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About

We are in business to build careers.

Building Up is a non-profit social enterprise improving Toronto’s environmental efficiency and affordable housing stock to give people experiencing barriers to employment paths to successful careers in the trades.

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Watch CBC: The National's story about three of our graduates, to get a better sense of the Building Up mission and how we are changing lives.

Vision

Break cycles of systemic inequity by ‘levelling the playing field’ with the holistic supports our participants need to build careers they can thrive in.

Mission

Provide people with barriers to employment the suite of training and support they need to access upward wealth mobility via long-term careers in the construction industry.

Our Story

Building Up traces its roots back to BUILD Inc in Winnipeg, where a group of individuals recognized the impending surge in energy upgrading for Manitoba housing. Driven by a desire to bridge this work with communities striving to break the cycle of poverty, they established a non-profit business model. This innovative approach not only addressed housing upgrades but also served as a platform for training and employing residents.

Inspired by the scarcity of skilled tradespeople and the lucrative opportunities within the industry, Building Up seized the chance to make a difference. Winning $100K US from Michael Bloomberg’s Foundation in an international business competition marked a pivotal moment, allowing BU to kickstart its mission.

Initially focusing on toilet retrofits for water conservation and plumbing training, we gradually expanded our services and participant support. Today, Building Up boasts multiple businesses, a comprehensive program and training center, a dedicated team of case managers, trades people, and counselors, and a remarkable track record of training nearly 800 individuals.

Keys to success

Personal relationships

Skills can get you a job. BU support is designed to help you thrive in a career. We’re a mission-driven community of coworkers that promote our participants’ professional growth through personal relationships.

  • 1:1 Coaching
  • Mentorship
  • Long term wrap-around support

Holistic Long Term Support

BU maintains an ecosystem of resources to support our participant’s transition from trainee to tradesperson, including:

  • In-class foundational hard and soft skill building at our Training Centre
  • Real life employment and on-the-job experience through our Social Enterprise

Social Enterprise

BU is a contractor that takes on work to provide training + employment opportunities and to support the transition from in-class learning to construction careers. Keys to success include:

  • Support for life

We work with

Trainees

Trainees

BU offers everything you need to land and excel in a career in the trades, including paid training, exposure to multiple trades, on-job site training by experienced tradespeople who know how to support you, tours of multiple construction unions, and coaching along the career path that is best for you.
Springboard the rest of your life
Housing Providers

Housing Providers

Whether you’re improving energy efficiency, upgrading suites, preparing units for new tenants or renovating your community spaces, BU is a reliable, quality contractor that also helps you make meaningful contributions in your communities.
Partner with us
Employers and Unions

Employers and Unions

Providing skilled, driven workers and apprentices for your trade or construction projects. Our referral process involves a thorough 4+ month assessment overseen by experienced site supervisors, ensuring candidates possess vital qualities for a successful trades career. Also, we offer a one-week free trial to assess our candidates' suitability for your team. You incur no cost or hidden agency fees.
Recruitment Support

1-year warranty on all of our labour
Licensed contractor in the City of Toronto.
All required insurance + WSIB Health and safety policies.

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(647)-594-6191
116 Industry St, Unit 208, Toronto, ON
Mon - Fri 09:00 - 17:00