Words by Don McVie
Residents of Lakeview in Mississauga’s southeast corner have invested a great deal of energy in recent years envisioning a major retrofit for their post-industrial waterfront community. Inspiration Lakeview is a large and ambitious process to further the City’s plan to redevelop over 200 acres of lakefront real estate. The scale is such that cynics might be forgiven for wondering just when we might actually see shovels in the ground. Well, it looks like good news is on the way.
An enthusiastic developer and aspiring community builder named Shawn Keeper and his team at Dunsire Developments have the hoarding up and are starting to take registrations for an interesting four-storey live/work project, right at the pivot point of Lakeshore Road at Ogden Avenue. Called “The Anchors,” this looks like a handsome combination of urban vibe and affordable yet upscale housing and commercial space that should be welcome in the heart of Lakeview.
Keeper grew up on Vancouver Island and is a graduate of Waterloo University, where he studied civil and structural engineering, and management science. He now makes his home in Lakeview and seems genuinely committed to investing himself in his new community. Keeper understands the theory of construction.
Over the years, he has worked on many projects for industry leaders including PCL and Mattamy Homes, where he learned a great deal about how to build great buildings and about respecting the needs of his clients. He exudes commitment to people from every pore.
Aside from his enthusiasm for his work, Keeper is completely dedicated to community service, particularly for children. In 2011, in memory of his mother who was a teacher and a pianist, he founded a national charity, Lights Camera Imagine, dedicated to providing visual and performing arts experiences to children with disabilities or facing serious illnesses.
People around Keeper are inspired by the manner in which he weaves the enthusiasm and pride that comes from his community service into his day-to-day business at Dunsire.
Dunsire has two projects underway in Lakeview: The Anchors and Barca Verde, a project to build semidetached homes on Haig Boulevard. Keeper also has projects on the go in Meadowvale (Crown Collection) and in Kitchener (Mill Creek).
Keeper and his team worked directly with local ratepayers to achieve early consensus about how the new projects should look and feel. Getting to “yes” would seem a great deal easier if a project’s ideas are agreed on before going into the formal planning process.
It appears that great things are coming to fruition in Lakeview—people all over the city will want to keep an eye on this prize.