Back in the 1970s, when I left a job at the Mississauga Times to work for the Toronto Real Estate Board, I was tasked with writing a farewell column to readers. A veteran reporter at our competition had just written a similar column, in which he thanked dozens of prominent local and national politicians and celebrities. But I had only been working at the Times for four months and didn’t have an impressive list of contacts to thank.

So I wrote that I couldn’t thank everyone I worked with at the Times, not because I didn’t have the space but because I hadn’t yet learned all their names. To make fun of the other columnist’s name-dropping, I thanked Mick Jagger and Margaret Trudeau, because “as far as I know, they have never said a bad thing about me.”

Well, now it’s time to say goodbye to REM’s readers and the shoe is on the other foot. The list of people I’d like to thank is too long to include everyone who helped me shape the editorial content of REM for the last 33 years. But here are some who made a significant impact.

It starts with the dozens of freelance journalists REM hired over the years. Susan Doran had a story in the very first issue of REM and has written hundreds of articles for us since then, rarely missing a month. Kathy Bevan was REM’s ace reporter for several years, chasing down stories even when the subjects didn’t want to be interviewed. One year during the Western Connection conference, she cornered a real estate board EO in an elevator when he tried to escape her questions.

Many thanks also to Toby Welch, author of more than 100 REM features, and other long-time freelancers Diane Slawych, Mario Toneguzzi, Danny Kucharsky, Yvonne Dick, Don Procter, Sohini Bhattacharya, Dennis McCloskey, Connie Adair, Steve Maxwell, Myles Shane, Tony Palermo and the late Lloyd Manning.

REM wouldn’t have gained the credibility it has in the real estate industry without the contributions of many current and former Realtors, who filled our pages with advice and observations, and didn’t shy away from controversy.

Marty Douglas wrote more than 250 columns, originally called Western Perspectives and then Metes & Bounds.

Barry Lebow, who helped REM score a contract to produce a magazine for a mortgage broker’s association, wrote dozens of columns and more recently began producing videos that he shared with REM readers.

Dan St. Yves, a former real estate agent in Kelowna, has been writing a monthly humour column for REM since 2000, never missing a month.

Carolyne has provided as many Recipes for Realtors columns as we could use. She is also the most prolific commenter on all REM stories, offering her take on the industry’s latest news. (And thanks also to our other most frequent commenters, Brian Martindale and PED.)

I also owe a debt of gratitude to Ross Wilson, Debbie Hanlon, Stan Albert, Ted Greenhough, Mark Brodsky, Chris Seepe, Aiman Attar, Peggy Blair, Aaron at TRES Labs and the late Albert Teichner. They all provided a wealth of information for Realtors – click on the Columnists and Advice for Agents tabs on this site and check out their stories, and those of many other guest columnists.

The most-read stories on REM were consistently those dealing with legal issues, and we were blessed with many excellent legal writers. They include Natalka Falcomer, Don Lapowich, Mark Weisleder, Martin Rumack, Bob Aaron, Shaneka Shaw Taylor, James Cook and one of REM’s biggest supporters, Avi Rosen. Many thanks to you all.

Our print magazine had a resident photographer – Marko Shark, who then turned the task over to his son Elijah. Thanks for all the great images guys. And thanks to Craig Hodge and Darla Furlani, who provided REM cover shots from the West Coast.

Thanks to those who provided REM with their video content: David Greenspan, Richard Robbins, Toni Sing and Jenny Wun, Shawn Bell, Nicole Attias and many others.

To everyone who sent me a story about a new office hire or charitable endeavour in their community, thank you. Thanks to all the boards and associations who sent us editorial contributions and distributed the print edition of REM to their members. Thanks to the staff at CREA, who supported us throughout the years, even though they often didn’t care for what we wrote and were annoyed that we refused to put Realtor in capital letters.

And finally (yes, I know the music is playing and they want me to wind this up), a word about the people at REM. Art director Liz Mackin had great patience in putting together most of the print issues over the years. Thanks also to graphic designers Shawn Kelly, Yee Truong and Eilidh Harding.

It was great working with “Uncle Barry” Holmes, and later sales director Dennis Rock. When Dennis retired, his daughter Amanda came on board and immediately became the most popular REM staffer at trade shows.

Thanks also to hard-working production and distribution manager Mila Purcell (who got me hooked on Brother Jack McDuff) and production co-ordinator Judy Cupsky.

I wrote about Heino Molls and the launch of REM when he retired. We lost Heino in 2019 and I’ve thought about him every day since.

William Molls took over as REM’s publisher and CEO and has made a valiant effort to keep it going during the pandemic, never straying from our philosophy of providing quality editorial content and not selling out, when it would have been easy to do so. Thanks for all your support, Will. Your dad would be proud.

Okay, that’s enough, except for a personal plug: although I will be “mostly retired”,  I’ll continue writing about Canadian real estate in my column at Realty Times. And I look forward to seeing what a new team will do with REM.

25 COMMENTS

  1. Happy “mostly” retirement Jim. So glad this crossed my page – a blast from the past and good memories. Reading your column I still recognize so many of the real estate names from back in the newspaper days. So sorry to read Heino is gone. We had lots of laughs downstairs after REN went out every week as I recall. Wishing you all the best. I retired “totally” a year ago and highly recommend it! Life as a grandma, golfer, pickleball player suits me well. Hope you find it equally as fulfilling and busy. Send my warm regards to Connie and all. Cheers to you!

  2. Thanks for the mention, Jim — I always enjoyed working with you and appreciated you giving me the opportunity to write a regular column and for all the support you gave my various endeavours over the years. I keep a framed copy of your cover story of my first novel in my office — really appreciated it. I hope you enjoy retirement — well deserved! Thanks again for everything!

  3. Thank you Jim for your major contribution to the real estate industry over the years. You were the rock a cornerstone in our industry. Steady reliable dependable publication. Great job working with all those great writers compiling articles and sharing them with us. Sure appreciate it all these years. All the best in your new endeavors.

  4. Thank you for this quality publication. I enjoyed reading it and always learned something valuable. I’ll miss it. Wishing you the best in your next chapter.

  5. Thank you Jim for all you’ve done for the industry and the profession over the years. All the best and I’m certain that we will all be continuing to read your column.

    • Hello, John

      Many years ago I was a contributing article writer at RealtyTimes. I was invited to provide a regular Canadian column. At the time I didn’t consider myself capable of providing the type of material RealtyTimes was looking for so I recommended Jim Adair who has been providing Canadian content ever since.

      I had wonderful comments on the residential material I did supply and with permission an article was even printed in a published book by the RealtyTimes leader of the day.

      Jim has been an excellent choice to represent Canadian real estate at RealtyTimes.

      Carolyne L 🍁
      Lifestyle and gourmet maven with a giant, successful real estate career history worth sharing…

  6. This is a very sad day for the Canadian real estate industry and so many of us who have had the pleasure of working closely with Jim Adair. Jim, we go back a very long way, and through it all you have been a knowledgeable and supportive professional while also showing a very empathic and generous character. I know your retirement is well deserved and we all wish you many years of happiness in your next chapter, but there’s no denying that your absence will be deeply felt. All the best in whatever the future holds in store.

  7. Thanks Jim, for your decades of professionalism! Sorry to see you go, but all the best for your retirement!

  8. Jim, in a nearly 50-year freelance writing career, my stories were published in over 65 publications. You and REM were among my favourites to write for. I always considered you a friend, a colleague, and a boss. In that order.

    Good luck with your 7–day weekends as you cruise the flea markets, garage sales, and record stores for vinyl records.

  9. I’ve been a fan since the first day I found a copy in my mail slot at Realty World, many, many years ago. I’m so grateful that I approached you about the nutty columns I was putting into a newsletter for my office, which grew into over two decades of columns here.

    You have far survived every other editor I’ve ever worked with or for, and and by far and away you were the best to work with.

    Thanks for seeing the possibility of my questionable levity for REM, and for all your support over the years. Enjoy retirement, it was my pleasure and privilege to share even some small part of REM’s history!

  10. Sorry to see it all come to an end Jim. You are the best editor I ever dealt with as I unsuccessfully tried to slip some of my garbage past your scrutiny. You never failed to get it right, to separate the wheat from the chaff. Enjoy your retirement years to the fullest. Time to de-stress:-)

  11. Will miss this publication. Celebrate your work and contribution to the industry Jim. Ted’s comment says it well, “wherever life takes you”

  12. Jim, thank you for the few opportunities we had to interact and share material. I appreciate your mentioning me in your list of thanks (I am assuming I am included in “many others” :-)). I always enjoyed reading REM. The world is changing so much and our two industries (real estate and journalism) have been particularly affected.
    Often, when one door closes and another opens it is a blessing in disguise and I hope you open an even better door than the one that is closing.

  13. Congratulations on your retirement, I’ve only been reading REM for just over 5 years but it’s been a great resource, thank you!

  14. Jim you and I have had the pleasure of working together as colleagues and then as friends for over 40 years. Today is a milestone indeed, and we all owe you a huge debt of gratitude. You have been the voice of reason, authenticity and wisdom. Never one to grandstand your talents, you have been the stability and voice behind REMs stellar reputation. I want you to know that out of the thousands of people who have crossed my path, I hold you Jim in the highest esteem. Your support over the years will never be forgotten. A brand new chapter awaits you and I know it will be special. Heino would be the first to applaud you. Your friendship with your dear friend has been the silver lining in all of it. With much love and respect

  15. Jim, thanks for everything over the years. You have been gracious and kind, and working with you has always been enjoyable. All of us at EXIT Realty will surely miss you and REM, both mainstays in our industry–something we could rely upon. Happy retirement!

  16. Thanks Jim for your exceptional contribution to the industry. REM is the only publication I have read consistently throughout my entire career that ironically spans the full life of REM as well. The insightful, interesting, humourous, brave, informative and meaningful articles have taught me a great deal and on many occassions were the basis of office discussions. Thanks for a job well done and best wishes in your new endeavours.

  17. Thank you Jim for always being approachable with story ideas. When we started Right at Home Realty with a new and unusual model you featured us. You never shied away from ‘new’ keeping REM relevant.
    Best wishes on your ‘retirement’.

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