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June 4th, 2014 · No Comments

Freeman finds support of community events a key success

By Chantilly Post

Brian Burchell/Gleaner News

Located at 2 Vermont Ave., this is a very early Annex dwelling, the homestead of Patrick McGregor, who owned a large tract of land here in 1870. Learn more on the Annex Historical Walk on June 8. Brian Burchell/Gleaner News

Giving back to the community for 42 years has helped to make Freeman Reality a successful real estate company.

This locally owned family brokerage hosts and funds community events free of charge throughout the year, following the precedent of an earlier Freeman generation.

Barry Freeman opened Freeman Reality in 1972 when the act of giving back to the community first began. Today, the Annex family-owned brokerage is run by the brothers Elden and Daniel Freeman, who have learnt the importance of giving back to the community from their father, Barry. “In terms of community, my father was always involved,” Elden Freeman said. “He instilled in us this idea of giving back.”

Freeman Reality’s philosophy is to give back to the community that has always given back to them. “In this area, community is important,” Elden said. “They support us.”

One of the most popular events is the Historic Walk of Seaton Village, led by community history expert Marilyn Spearin. The tour starts at the Freeman Reality offices and then covers the unique history of homes located between Bloor Street West to Dupont, and Christie Street to Bathurst for an hour and a half. With approximately 1,200 Victorian homes dating back to 1860, the area holds much history and interesting sightseeing. For example, 699 and 701 Markham St. are the two oldest houses in the neighbourhood, built in 1860.

Two Vermont Ave. was the residence of Patrick McGregor, a Scottish-born lawyer who owned a bulk of land from Bathurst Street to Manning in 1870. The house is now divided into apartment suites, but still holds its unique character.

The next Historic Walk of Seaton Village will take place on the afternoon of June 8th. For more information and a brief account of Toronto’s history visit

Freeman Reality also hosts a Mystery Bat & Moth Night in the Park led by moth expert David Beadle and Bill-Bat-Boy, an expert on bats for over 20 years. This hands-on event, previously held in Vermont Square Park, explores the variety of species of moths and bats that engage children of all ages. “I think it’s extremely important for the kids to take the time to see the amazing world we live in,” Bill-Bat-Boy said. “To take the time to not only see nature, but understand certain behaviours.”

Moth expert David Beadle has been a part of the Bat and Moth Night for two years now.

“[This event] just creates more awareness, most people don’t know much about moths, or how important they are to our environment,” Beadle said.

Another popular event is the annual pumpkin sale held with St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club, where all proceeds go to support the club. The previous pumpkin sale was held during St. Alban’s Fall Harvest Festival, just before Halloween. “[Freeman Reality] purchased all the pumpkins for us, delivered them, and had them dropped off,” said Anna Sturino, director of operations at St. Alban’s Boys and Girls Club.

Events like these are important for St. Alban’s because they allow the club to network with local businesses. “A lot of the local businesses are parents or users of the facility,” Sturino said.

The money raised from the pumpkin sales support art, music, aquatics, and physical creative programs at the club.

This year, Freeman Reality will be sponsoring pony rides at various schools in the downtown area. They will also be continuing past events such as the historic walks, Mystery Bat & Moth Night in the Park, and community skating.

All information about events can be found via social media at

Tags: Annex · General