About Us

Mission Statement:

To provide a hands-on learning environment that opens pathways into the building trades and promotes a passion for good building. The School serves the community by providing building expertise, laboratories for learning and a forum for sharing new ideas.


Threshold School of BuildingTHRESHOLD School of Building is a registered charity that was incorporated in 2001. We are dedicated to practical and sustainable community development in the Hamilton area. We teach basic building skills and organize active participation in affordable housing and community projects.

THRESHOLD’s activities fall into 3 primary areas:

  1. Ready To Work (RTW) – an intensive 12 week construction trades program that includes job-site experience and support for at-risk and marginalized youth aged 15-30;
  2. General Home Maintenance (GHM) – an affordable 9 week program that teaches the general public methods of home repair in order to maintain their own homes; and,
  3. THRESHOLD Construction Program – a new social enterprise employing RTW graduates and specializing in custom deck, fence and shed construction.

Successes to Date:

  • Trained and mentored over 500 new construction trades workers
  • Delivered 55 community building projects for local charities, non-profits and neighbourhood associations.
  • Trained over 650 new and existing homeowners in hands-on basic home maintenance techniques.
  • Chosen by Virgin Unite Canada Inc. in 2015 and 2016 as one of 12 non-profits across Canada to receive funding through the RE*Generation initiative 
  • Identified by Workforce Planning Hamilton in 2015 as one of the top ten local best practices for improving the soft skills of job seekers.
  • Partnered with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, the City of Hamilton and Hamilton Community Foundation to deliver the Neighbourhood Home Improvement Program in 2013 & 2014 – a 26-week work experience for 21 unemployed individuals.
  • Hamilton Community News Reader’s Choice Award for deck construction in 2011, 2012, 2013 & 2014.
  • Trained 38 Custodian and Maintenance Repair persons and Superintendents for CityHousing Hamilton
  • Partnered with Banyan Non-Profit Management Services to construct new cabins and other facilities for a children’s camp north of Peterborough.
  • Highlighted as a success story in Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008)
  • Partnered with YWCA to deliver three “Women in the Trades” training and mentoring programs.
  • Partnered with Hamilton HomeStart (mortgage assistance program) to provide participants with home maintenance training.
  • Partnered with HOAP (Home Owner Affordability Partnership) to renovate houses for lower income families and to provide them with home maintenance training.
  • Logged over 5000 volunteer hours at various community building projects.

To date we have delivered twenty-five Ready to Work programs for Service Canada through the Youth-Skills-Link Project. As well, we have delivered many other specialized Ready to Work programs for the United Way, Hamilton Community Foundation and Six Nations.

Board of Directors (2017):

Chair Jeff Wingard Structure Consulting
Vice-Chair Darrin Laidman Corus Entertainment
Treasurer Theresa Castellan BDO Canada
Secretary Csilla Gnadt Native Women’s Centre
Director Shane van Engen DGIG
Director Sajid Pathan Business Analytics Consulting Group
Director Alfonso Bruno City of Hamilton
Director Gary Wiebe Habitat for Humanity
Director Pat O’Neill City of Hamilton

Threshold Group ShotAdministrative Staff:

Executive Director John Grant
Program & Job Development Shelly Ferreira
Administrative Assistant Kathy Payette

Teaching Staff:

Instructor Dan Myler
Instructor Alec Miletich

Instructor/Construction Supervisor

Jonathan Carby
Part-time Instructor Matthew Dowsett