By ALAN SHACKLETON
Local realtor Chris Dunlop was recently presented with the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation’s Philanthropist of the Year Award.
Dunlop, 53, is the owner broker of record for Royal LePage Estate Realty on Queen Street East in the Beach.
The award is presented annually by the Foundation, which helps provide funding for women’s and family shelters and domestic violence prevention across Canada. The Foundation is in its 25th year and has raised approximately $41 million in support of 200 shelters and programs to help those experiencing domestic violence.
Dunlop, who has been a realtor since 2005 and the sole owner of Royal LePage Estate since 2018, said he felt extremely honoured to be presented with the Philanthropist of the Year Award.
“It was total surprise. I was not expecting it,” he said of hearing his name called out as the recipient of the award at the Royal LePage conference at the Beanfield Centre in Toronto earlier this month.
“We were sitting at the awards table with the team (of Royal LePage Estate realtors) to celebrate success. Then as they were describing the philanthropist award winner I thought they’re talking about me.”
“The reaction of the agents was just so awesome and that made it extra special,” added Dunlop.
“I don’t do it for recognition. I do it because I believe its important and a way to serve our community. I have won many sales related awards over the years, but have never won something so important. Being able to contribute to this means so much.”
He said fundraising and financial support, along with raising awareness of the Shelter Foundation, were some of the reasons cited for his winning of the award this year.
Royal LePage had a conference last year in Winnipeg where Dunlop had a chance to host an event at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights which helped raise funds for the Shelter Foundation.
“We held a reception and tour of the museum for agents at the conference,” he said. “It’s an incredible space. Very powerful and touring it puts things in perspective.”
The event also raised more than $20,000 for the Shelter Foundation.
Dunlop said he always supports Royal LePage agents who are holding fundraisers for the foundation anywhere across the country. He also personally contributes a significant amount to the Foundation.
Those working at Royal LePage Estate office also support the Foundation. “As a company we have a donor program where agents and staff can donate a portion of their pay or commission, and 100 per cent of them do that. It’s a part of our culture. That amount of participation really stands out.”
He said that realtors know the importance and value of a safe home and that’s why he and so many others in the profession are so supportive of the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation.
“Working in real estate we have the privilege of helping people find a place to live and call home, but we also realize that it can’t be called a home if it’s not safe.”
And that’s why working with the Foundation is so important, said Dunlop.
“We do have some power to be of help to the shelters. The reality is domestic violence’s victims are mostly women and children and it’s a very serious issue. I don’t know what would happen to people if they did not a have safe place to go,” he said.
Locally, Royal Le Page Estate Realty supports the Red Door Shelter, Nellie’s Shelter and the Scarborough Women’s Centre.
“They are doing very important work, and this is our way of giving back to the community,” said Dunlop.
Making the presentation of his award an even more special event was that Royal LePage Estate realtors Tory and Jess Brown were presented with the Team Award for their support of the Shelter Foundation.
“That made the whole night so special,” said Dunlop. “For the same company to win two awards that night…Tory and Jess are so humble in what they do for the Foundation. To see them recognized for it was awesome.”
Before becoming a realtor, Dunlop worked for the YMCA in the Ottawa area. In the spring of 2006, he and his family moved to the Beach after relocating to Toronto shortly before that.
“It’s an awesome community. We love it because it is like a small town in a big city,” he said. “There’s lots of great stuff to do close by. We just love our neighbourhood so much.”
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