Sam Mizrahi: Sky-High Ambitions of the President of Mizrahi Developments

Photo courtesy of Sam Mizrahi.

The One skyscraper is in its fifth year of development and will — when completed — become the tallest skyscraper in Canada, standing 308.6 metres tall with 85 storeys. Developed by Mizrahi Developments and designed by British architectural firm Fosters and Partners and Toronto-based Core Architects, The One is set to feature retailers, restaurants, event spaces, and hotel suites in its first 18 storeys and luxury residential units thereafter.

The idea for The One comes from the president of Mizrahi Developments, Sam Mizrahi. Born in Tehran, Iran, before immigrating to Canada with his family as a six-year-old, Mizrahi started his entrepreneurial journey at a young age. Of course, it is The One, nestled in the heart of downtown Toronto, on the southwest corner of Yonge and Bloor, that effectively put Mizrahi on the map.

What does The One represent to you, and what is Bloor Street’s significance?

Bloor Street is really Toronto’s High Street. It’s one of the most important intersections in the country. The One signifies excellence and moving boundaries in a positive way, in terms of achievement. You couldn’t think of a better place [than Bloor] if you’re going to build a one-of-a-kind luxury development that’s going to exceed all the current benchmarks that have ever been envisioned in Canadian architecture and Canadian high-end luxury living.

I wanted every aspect of the development to be exceptional, without compromise. [I wanted] the “number ones” in each sector to be there, whether it’s our retailers, restaurants, hotels, or residences, or [the ones] of glass, steel, interior finishes — we wanted [The One] to become a building with no compromise. 

How do you stay exceptional after over a decade in real estate development?

You have to evolve — I think evolution is key — but you have to be anchored in your core values. You have to be anchored in your core value system of what defined you and made you exceptional, and what made the company, the brand, the products, and the buildings that we’re developing exceptional. But then, you have to evolve that anchor to be current with modern technology and art.

I think it’s always looking at how we can improve our product to make life better and be the best at it. You don’t want to just keep up with it — you want to exceed it. That was our motivation when we first came out: it was to do something differently and to do something that hadn’t been done before.

Success in real estate, although hard to come by, eventually leads to money, fame, and influence. What is your main motivation for this profession?

What drives me is for homeowners and clients — and for anybody that came in contact with our company, our brand, our architecture or developments, or even myself — to say, “Because I met you and because we came into contact with you, our lives were better off.”

Jericho Tadeo | Contributing Writer



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