REALTORS Care® Spotlight: Chris Dunlop is Opening Doors to the Future in Toronto

The entrance of BGC Toronto Kiwanis is welcoming and bright. You wouldn’t know that, just over a decade ago, the re-purposed, century-old church had asbestos, dangerous crawl spaces, and walls covered in lead paint. Thanks to a $7.5 million capital campaign led by REALTOR® Chris Dunlop, Broker/Owner of Royal LePage Estate Realty, the building was completely gutted and renovated to provide a healthy and safe haven for Regent Park youth.

When you enter the facility, you are greeted by a plaque that reads ‘Opening Doors to the Future: Chris Dunlop – Real Estate Broker’. “This organization provides children and youth with dreams,” says BGC Toronto Kiwanis Executive Director, Greg Gary. “Those dreams don’t happen without someone like Chris Dunlop being involved.”

BGC isn’t the only youth organization that can thank this Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2023 nominee for investing in its future. A few blocks further north, the Cabbagetown Youth Centre has just re-opened after its own Dunlop-led capital campaign and extensive rebuild. Its future has been further secured by merging with BGC Kiwanis Toronto, thanks to Dunlop’s leadership.

Caring about the youth in his community has been a lifelong focus for Dunlop, who saw through his work in the charitable sector the impact that mentorship, safety, and supportive environments can have on marginalized youth.

As a board leader, Dunlop helped redefine the Toronto Kiwanis Club’s charitable focus, leading to initiatives such as the construction of an accessible playground, and an arts-funding program to help youth process mental health challenges experienced during the pandemic.

“When you raise that dollar and you give that dollar, you know that dollar’s not just going to benefit the children and youth today, but it’s going to benefit the children and youth tomorrow, and next year, and next decade, and for many years to come. And it’s great to be involved in something that’s going to have that kind of impact over the long term,” says Dunlop.

When Chris isn’t dedicating his time to the youth of Toronto, he can be found leading his brokerage and putting charitable giving at the center of operations in their three east-end Toronto locations.

Dunlop’s efforts to motivate and guide his team’s charitable work has turned his brokerage into a national leader for the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation; an organization that has raised and directed over 41 million dollars to women’s shelters across Canada in their 25-year history.

The Royal LePage Estate Realty team works tirelessly to ensure that local shelter organizations Nellie’s Shelter, Scarborough Women’s Centre, and Red Door Family Shelter are supported. The most visible of those efforts are their charitable events, including the annual Garage Sale for Shelter, which raised $20,000 in 2023 alone. During the pandemic, the event was transformed into a virtual ‘Unplugged for Shelter’ concert, to ensure funding would continue for these critical community organizations during this difficult period. Last year, the brokerage raised over $75,000 for these shelters, and looks to do even more in 2023.

Events are only the tip of the iceberg for Dunlop and his brokerage. Seventy percent of the staff participate in the Shelter Foundation’s commission donor program; a participation rate 6-times the Royal LePage national average.

“For those three shelters, the work that has come out of this brokerage has been the difference, quite frankly, between keeping their doors open and or not. And they are open, they are providing support to women in the community and children leaving an abusive housing situation and starting a fresh life,” says Lisa Gibbs, Executive Director of the Shelter Foundation.

Chris’ drive and focus is why he was recognized as the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s 2022 Philanthropist of the Year and later named to their Board of Directors, where he looks forward to supporting other brokerages across Canada with their own charitable efforts.

“I think that so many REALTORS® are deeply involved with charitable work and community work because it’s our nature to want to help people, it’s our nature to want to make a difference and I’m proud to be part of this community and part of the giving back.”

REALTORS Care® Spotlight shares stories of how featured nominees of the Canadian REALTORS Care® Award 2023 are working to make their communities a better place for all. Be on the lookout for more inspiring spotlights throughout the year.

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