Here We Grow! Samantha Joins The Toronto Team As Vice President & Real Estate Practice Group Lead

March 28, 2024

By Samantha Martin

Growing up I was always drawing pictures of houses and furniture setups, I was making collages of interior design ideas from pages ripped out of magazines, doodling backyard designs and watching HGTV. Growing up in the city’s west end I was a “city girl” at just six weeks old, exploring different areas across Toronto and being acutely aware of places I really enjoyed, and why. As I got older, I decided I wanted to be a real estate agent when I grew up, but I quickly found out that my lack of math skills would likely hinder my chances, so I turned to my other passion instead – storytelling.  

I took journalism in college and specialized in broadcast and online reporting – my goal was to be a sports reporter. At the end of final year and a successful internship at TSN my job hunt began. I was laser-focused on finding a job in sports when one of my professors sent me a link to a real estate news reporter internship that was fully paid, and my heart swooned at the idea of merging my passions for real estate and storytelling. Fast forward a few weeks and I was reporting on all the latest pre-construction news, attending industry parties and meeting awesome people.  

When my internship ended, I was once again on the hunt for full-time work when the owner of a real estate-focused PR agency I had dealt with reached out and asked if I had ever considered PR, he had an entry-level role to fill and thought I’d be a good fit. I hadn’t considered PR at all, but full-time work is full-time work, so I took the job and soon found myself in the boardrooms of some of Toronto’s most prominent real estate developers presenting campaign strategies and event ideas. “Entry-level” was quite different at that agency than others, clearly, but it allowed me to fully immerse myself in the industry and gain a lot of the key skills that have helped me get where I am today. After working at that agency for a couple of years I spent six years growing as a communicator and growing my industry knowledge which led to my role at CreateTO, the City of Toronto’s arm’s length real estate agency. CreateTO gave me the public sector experience I was missing while working alongside some of the brightest minds in real estate – I got to learn about policy and the entitlements process, work closely with City staff on incredible projects and then share the stories through earned media, and I spent a lot of time learning and taking part in meaningful community engagement.  

CreateTO is where it all connected for me, I finally understood it. My childhood doodling of backyard designs was my interest in landscape design, my house sketches were my interest in architecture, and my fond memories of not just moments but the physical space around me when those moments took place is my connection to placemaking and citybuilding. I may not be able to design any of the cool projects I work on, but I can damn sure tell their stories in unique ways through all channels available, and I think it’s incredibly cool that many of these projects will outlive me and be places that contribute to the fond memories of others for years to come. I love what I do, and I’m so excited that on this new adventure at K&P I’ll be able to better serve clients through the intersectionality of my experience and push past the boundaries of what people think PR is.  

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