Our HistoryRon Hopper Real Estate Ltd. Brokerage
My experience in the Real Estate and Appraisal business began in 1967 in my first year of a three-year business course at Seneca College titled “Real Property Administration.” My instructor that year was Owen Williams, AACI and in my final two years A.R. May AACI or Tony as he became known to my wife and I. Tony helped me land my first job in the appraisal field with Canadian Real Estate Research in Toronto. Myself and David Hurst were the low men on a ladder that included, D.K. Mashke AACI, H. A. Noble AACI, G.D. Allen AACI, J.L. Millisiewicz AACI, Frank Clayton (Senior) PhD And Robert Zavislake MA. Needless to say there was a wealth of knowledge beyond Seneca College. I spent most of my time with (Deeter) Mashke and he was very patient with me and was a true gentleman. David Hurst AACI and I are still friends and Frank Clayton went on to become recognized as one of Canada’s leading housing experts. At the time Frank and his wife Karen were next-door neighbours to my wife Karen’s first cousin. Over the years I would meet Frank at a conference where he was the guest speaker and he would admonish me if I called him Dr. Clayton, he was just my friend Frank.
I moved on to the City of Mississauga to become a municipal tax agent. Mississauga updated their assessment base in the late 1960’s. I was hired because Bruce Freeman AACI, my boss, expected the Province to keep its promise and introduce market value assessment in 1974. Terry Julian became clerk of Mississauga and when he retired he built a home in Pike Bay. I’ve run into him a couple of times and its smiles all around. Before long it became evident that the Province was in no hurry to introduce market value assessment (it was introduced in 1998). The best man at our wedding Gary Lamden was working for Picken & Mason, an industrial / commercial realtor in Don Mills. I was hired as an appraiser and mentored by W.L. (Len) Mason AACI. Peter Mason was the president of the company and later became the president of the largest real estate board in the world (Toronto) at the ripe old age of 35. It was a great time and Peter and I became shareholders in MUTAX ltd a property tax agency firm. In 1976 I was asked to prepare and present a brief on property taxation to the Blair Commission. It was well received by all parties. It is or will be presented on this web site and provides an interesting look back on a problem that had been ignored for too many years, fairness.
The farmer’s daughter from Wiarton and the boy from Tillsonburg wanted to raise their children in a small town environment and on January 1, 1984 (acknowledge Mr. Orwell) I started to work for GTO Real Estate in Owen Sound as an appraiser and sales representative. Ralph Gowing AACI introduced me to appraisal in Grey and Bruce counties, (limited comparables and a geography that changes drastically from east to west and from north to south). Ralph’s son Kelly and his wife Loreen are good friends. In the fall of 1987 we opened Ron Hopper Real Estate Ltd.
In 1989 I was elected president of the Owen Sound and District Real Estate Board. Wayne McIntee was the past president and I learned a lot from him and travelled with him to the Canadian Real Estate Association annual meeting in Vancouver along with the president of the Grey Bruce Real Estate Board, Wayne McIntee.
In 1998 (when market value assessment was finally adopted) I was appointed to the Assessment Review Board, Ministry of the Attorney General for the Province of Ontario on a part time basis for two terms (6 years). I enjoyed my time at the Review Board and made many new friends.
In 2006 we hired two new appraisers, Megan Hopper and my future son-in-law Bill Norton. Our office was growing and in the fall of 2012 we purchased our current premises on 2nd Avenue East across from Owen Sound’s City Hall.
Looking back, I have a great deal of respect for all of my mentor appraisers, real estate brokers and ARB members. It is almost like they are looking over my shoulder and for that reason I try to conduct our real estate and appraisal business in the manner that I was taught, with honesty and integrity.
Ron Hopper, AACI, P. App, Broker