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 our diverse 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 essential building skills and knowledge in an inclusive, supportive and safe environment, providing opportunities to apply those skills through participation in community and affordable housing 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 youth aged 15-30 who face barriers to employment;
  2. General Home Maintenance (GHM) – an affordable evening program that teaches the general public methods of home repair in order to maintain their own homes; and,
  3. THRESHOLD Construction – a 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 700 new construction trades workers
  • Delivered over 80 community building projects for local charities, non-profits and neighbourhood associations
  • Trained over 725 new and existing homeowners in hands-on basic home maintenance techniques
  • Chosen by Virgin Unite Canada Inc. from 2015 to 2020 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  60 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 fifty-five Ready to Work intakes for the Government of Canada through the Youth Employment Strategy (YES) and the Youth Employment Skills Strategy (YESS). 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.

Threshold Group Shot

Administrative Staff:

Executive Director John Grant
Job Developer Shelly Ferreira
Program Coordinator Kathy Payette

Teaching Staff:

Instructor Alec Miletich
Instructor/ Construction Supervisor Joe Slomka
Instructor Jeremy Warr
Part-Time Instructor Dan Myler
Part-Time Instructor  Matthew Dowsett

Board of Directors (2022):

The TSOB Board of Directors is aware and concerned about equity, inclusivity and social justice.  A subcommittee for inclusivity meets regularly to provide governance to the Board on issues of diversity and inclusion.

Chair Suzanne Brown SB Consulting Group
Vice-Chair Phil Bender Miller Waste Systems Inc.
Treasurer Silky Handa GFL
Secretary Lynn Foye City of Hamilton
Director Dave Allchin Hamilton Police Services
Director Mike O’Hagan Hamilton Police Services
Director Suzanne Muir HWDSB
Director Rashpal Thind RSTA (Design/Build)
Director Suzanne Hampson Burlington Public Library 
Director Esther Link Sam Esposto Architect Inc.
Director Vacant  
Director Vacant  

** If you are interested in joining our Board of Directors, please reach out to the School for more information **

Land Acknowledgement

THRESHOLD School of Building is situated on the traditional territories of the Mississauga and Haudenosaunee nations, and within the lands protected by the “Dish with one Spoon” wampum, an agreement to peaceably share and care for the resources around the Great Lakes.