For Rei Carcani, taking on the role of KESKUS Project Coordinator was a perfect fit.
“I know the importance of having a place for the newer generations who haven’t had a chance to go to their homeland, an opportunity to experience the culture and find out what it’s all about,” he said.
Rei, who was on a student co-op placement from Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) (formerly Ryerson University) has been on board with the project since May, and will complete his time with KESKUS at the end of this year. He is a third-year civil engineering student specializing in structural engineering and plunged into this project with great enthusiasm.
TMU provides its engineering students with a “professional year.” Senior students take 8-16 months out from their studies to cement their learnings for application of practical knowledge gained during the professional year, to their final year of studies.
Rei believes preserving language and culture is vital
Rei said the building of KESKUS intrigued him from the moment he found out about it through the school’s student portal.
“The values of this project align with what I believe in,” he explained. “I think your language and where you come from is very important.”
Rei, 22, came to Canada with his parents and brother from Albania at age 8. He is fluent in Albanian and the family speaks the language at home.
“This project enabled me to both learn about the construction business and help build an important community resource that will preserve the Estonian culture. This adds to the multicultural fabric of Toronto, now my home town.”
Key member of project team oversees many tasks
Rei loved his role with KESKUS, and said he really enjoyed working on site. He acted as assistant to development manager David Kalm and worked with project lead Ellen Valter, tackling a myriad of tasks in the complex construction of the new home for the Estonian community.
“Rei demonstrated his dedication to the project every day," said KESKUS Development Manager David Kalm, "he arrived on site very early to be there for the time the trades arrive to perform their work. As the constant eyes and ears on site, Rei was critical to the quality assurance process.”
“The level that he's at with the Civil Engineering program from Toronto Metropolitan University means that he was able to confirm all activity on site against the design drawings and specifications, and he did this every day,” continues David, saying that Rei also monitored adherence to the inspection and testing process for compliance - one of the steps necessary to ensure that the structural strength of the building meets requirements.
Rei is very taken with the design of the building, from the complexity of building over TTC tunnels, to the heritage portion of the building. He says there is a lot to consider when there are various components to the construction, as it makes for a great learning experience from all the trusted and experienced professionals collaborating on the project.
“Architect Alar Kongats’ design is amazing with the way the building is shaped like the borders of Estonia featuring a Nordic style with numerous green spaces,” he said. “It’s going to be such a beautiful building, and I know the community looks forward to its completion.”
When not on the job, Rei is an avid reader and likes to stay active in sports such as basketball and soccer. He enjoys spending time with family, including his young niece and nephew.
Construction is progressing smoothly
Rei reports that the construction is progressing at a rapid pace, with foundation work now complete and excavation work to follow.
“A lot of the work that is going on at this time is underground, so you can’t really see what is happening from street level, but this is one of the most critical times for the project.”
David notes that “In a very short time, Rei became an integral part of the KESKUS construction management team!”
Rei says that everyone on the KESKUS team was welcoming, and he sees firsthand the commitment that all those involved have in creating the very best building possible.
Would he like to come to the building when it’s completed?
“Oh yes, 100%, I’ve learned so much about the Estonian community, I would love to be invited to come to events at KESKUS. I will always feel connected to this building and proud to be associated with it!”!
Get involved and help support KESKUS
Please join our growing list of capital campaign donors to take KESKUS construction through to opening, everyone's help is needed. The KESKUS International Estonian Centre’s donor categories are Kalevipoja laud for gifts over $100,000 (including naming rights for specific areas), Koidula gild, which is from $50,000-99,999, Viru vanemad for gifts of $10,000-$49,999, and Kungla rahvas for gifts up to $10,000. KESKUS generous leadership donors are listed here.
To make a donation, please call +1.647.250.7136 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations may be made as a family gift, or in honour of an individual or family. Donations from Canada, U.S. and Estonia will be issued a tax receipt.
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