Iggy Kaneff: a lifetime of building new communities

You may recognize the name, but not know exactly what Iggy Kaneff has accomplished in a lifetime of building new communities.

The Greater Toronto Area was not built in a day. It’s taken several decades for it to evolve into the thriving diverse region it is today. Many of its neighbourhoods were first imagined by visionary city builders who took a chance, purchased some property, assembled a team and went to work designing and constructing homes and business spaces.

As a salute to these visionary home building and land development industry trailblazers, BILD bestows its annual Lifetime Achievement Award to one member who has dedicated their life to building communities across the GTA.

In years past, this recognition has been given to builders such as last year’s recipient Monarch Developments’ past president Colin Parsons. BILD’s Lifetime Achievement Award has also highlighted the immense impact of well-known builders such as Greenpark Homes’ Chairman and CEO Carlo Baldassarra, Lebovic Enterprises Ltd.’s Joseph Lebovic, The Remington Group’s Chairman and CEO Rudolph Bratty, as well as Angelo, Elvio and Leo Del Zotto, the brothers at the helm of Tridel.

This year’s recipient is Ignat “Iggy” Kaneff, CEO and chairman of Kaneff Group of Companies.

A strong believer in building communities and a generous philanthropist, Kaneff has helped to improve the lives of many right here in the GTA and in his hometown in Bulgaria over the last 65 years. For this and much more, Kaneff we will present him with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 36th annual BILD Awards on April 28.

Born in Gorno, Ablanovo, Bulgaria in 1926, he came to Canada in 1951 and founded Kaneff Properties in 1956. A BILD member since 1959, Kaneff is currently CEO and chairman of the Kaneff Group of Companies. He has built thousands of family homes, highrise residential apartment units, as well as retail commercial plazas and office buildings in the GTA.

An avid golfer, Kaneff has also developed and built six golf course properties, including the first-class Lionhead, Royal Ontario and Royal Niagara Golf Clubs. For 45 years, he has been hosting an annual tournament that has raised more than $1.5 million for Community Living, a Peel Region organization supporting children with intellectual disabilities.

Over the years, Kaneff has also generously donated to many other charitable organizations and campaigns, both through personal contributions and the I. Kaneff Charitable Foundation, established by his wife, Dimitriana, in 1986. His philanthropic efforts have benefited educational, health, social services and arts causes at home and in his native Bulgaria where he has built a new kindergarten school, a modern community centre to serve local villages and a state-of-the-art university student centre at the University of Ruse.

There are many city builders in the GTA who have dedicated their lives to creating lively communities and every year we celebrate them and share their story. To learn more about the BILD visit bildawards.com


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