About Us


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


Building for the Future


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 – our social enterprise employing RTW graduates and specializing in custom deck, fence and shed construction.

Successes to Date:

  • Partnering with Hamilton East Kiwanis Non-Profit Homes Inc. to renovate residential units for families in need of affordable housing
  • Trained and mentored over 550 new construction trades workers
  • Delivered over 60 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, 2016, 2017 and 2018 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 and 2014; a 26-week work experience for 21 unemployed individuals
  • Trained/tested over  50 Custodian and Maintenance Repair persons, and Superintendents for CityHousing Hamilton
  • Hamilton Community News Reader’s Choice Award for deck construction in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • 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 the Ontario Government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy (2008)
  • Partnered with YWCA to deliver three “Women in the Trades” training and mentoring programs
  • Partnered with HOAP (Home Owner Affordability Partnership) to renovate houses for lower income families and to provide them with home maintenance training
  • Partnered with Hamilton HomeStart (mortgage assistance program) to provide participants with home maintenance training
  • Logged over 5500 volunteer hours at various community building projects

To date we have delivered thirty-six Ready to Work intakes 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, Canada’s Employment Action Plan and Six Nations.

Board of Directors (2019):

Chair Alfonso Bruno York Region
Vice-Chair Pat O’Neill City of Hamilton
Treasurer Abena Andam CIBC
Secretary Csilla Gnandt Native Women’s Centre
Director Jeff Wingard Structure Consulting
Director Gary Wiebe Habitat for Humanity
Director Dave Allchin Hamilton Police Services
Director Chris Harrison Harrison Architecture
Director Suzanne Brown SB Consulting Group

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 Charlie Burns
Part-time Instructor Matthew Dowsett