Archive for September 2012

Elvis Has Left The Building

The Mincom New Choice Realty Ltd. Brokerage office on Old Kingston Road in Ajax is a pretty active place. Located in the Historic Village of Pickering you would think the pace would be … well, a little slower. Not so! The phones are ringing, people are chatting and the energy in the place is contagious. This is the home of The Stacee-Free Team. It has been about a year since this office last slowed down and that was to say goodbye to their colleague and friend Garry Free.

When Garry passed away suddenly on Labour Day weekend last year he left behind a group of colleagues that had become a “family” and a lot of memories. If you had the good fortune to meet Garry, you know he was quite the character. To be honest, he was often more than one character. If you visit the Mincom New Choice office you may feel that Garry is still in the room attending the Team meeting ? as each item on the agenda is checked off someone will pipe up with, “Well, you know what Garry would say,” which leads to more “Garry” quotes.

Here are a few favourite memories from The Stacee-Free Team

“In 2010 I phoned Judy Stacee to ask if she would be interested in accepting me as a team member at Mincom New Choice Realty. She stated I would need to talk to Garry and answer a suitability questionnaire before any decision was made. An appointment was set up for the questionnaire and a meeting with Garry was arranged shortly after.

When that day arrived I showed up early, wanting to create an impression that I was eager. Garry was in his office seated at his desk, working on some papers amidst a pile of files. He greeted me warmly and proceeded to ask me questions about why I wanted to join Mincom New Choice. He asked about my contacts and my past work experience. He went on to say that I would be an asset to the company.

As the months went by, Garry always had something encouraging to say and always greeted me and other members of the team with a genuine caring attitude. Garry included team members in his business activities whenever possible. I accompanied him on several listing presentations where I got to observe how he handled the client’s questions and explained how Mincom would sell their home.

Leads were distributed to the team and he was always available to answer questions and offer support. On one occasion Garry and I went to look at a commercial condo in south Pickering. After we had gone through the property he handed me the keys to his new Lexus and asked if I would like to drive back to the office. Garry was very proud of his car and took very good care of it. Needless to say I was a little nervous about driving it for fear of something going wrong.

Garry was always very thoughtful and caring when it came to the business dealings of the team. He truly wanted everyone to be as successful as he was. It came as a huge shock when he suddenly passed away. Since his passing, I have missed his input and humour at the team meetings and his words of advice and encouragement.“

John Martin • Sales Representative

“Garry loved music ? singing, playing and definitely listening. He would often leave a message on my voicemail at night with a song he thought I should hear. He introduced me to some great stuff and vice versa.

I have lots of great stories/lines/memories of our time together, both
personally and professionally, although a few of them can’t be shared in polite
company. Others will remember his kindness. He was always ready to help
people if he could, to help with real estate questions/problems etc. He was all these things and more, and he was a cool guy to hang out with, listening to some great music, singing along and occasionally having a jam session in his living room.”

Jo HeadShot Jo – Ann Rucinski • Photographer/Admin

“After Garry’s passing I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a few of his past clients. Everyone remembers his patience and attentiveness. He always had the time to just sit and chat and he made you feel like you were part of his family. I will always miss his big hugs.”

kathyLapointe_headshot copy-1 Kathy Lapointe • Sales Representative

My Daily Memories of GarryDon Carter

• Daily Joke
• Daily Wit
• Daily Advice
• Daily Inspiration
• Daily Smile

Don Carter • Sales Representative

“I was Garry’s “apprentice” for about 12 years. At the beginning it was Student and Master but that soon turned into associate/friend. He was always available when I needed help and encouragement. I loved accompanying him to listing presentations and offers, always learning something new even after 12 years. He occasionally used the expression, “I won’t always be here for you” and laughed when I got mad at him for saying it. Well you’re not here in person Garry, but you’ll always be here in Spirit and my life is richer for knowing you.”

Anna Anna Stinson • Sales Representative

“Garry was the Ultimate Salesman. He left behind a legacy second to none. When I first met him, I was not impressed. But as I grew to know him I realized that Garry was a man with many sides and that he really was a ‘character’.

Garry often said he wished he could have been a cowboy. I don’t know why, because he couldn’t ride a horse! Then I found out that some of his favourite singers were Whalen, Willie and the boys. He often quoted these singers in his day-to-day life and in our business. He knew that sharing their profound lyrics with whom he came in contact often brought a smile to their faces. He really was the Ultimate Salesman.

Garry would sometimes enter the room and give a little wiggle and a shake, hum a few bars and yell out, “Has Elvis left the building?”

We all miss him.”

JUDY head shotJudy Stacee-Cleaver • Broker of Record

Garry will be remembered for many things, including some of the characters he liked to portray, especially his Denny Crane persona (the William Shatner character from the TV show Boston Legal). Garry liked to think of himself as “The Denny Crane of Real Estate” and Garth Riley was able to capture him in character while taping his TV show.

Durham Region’s Best Kept Secret

Psssst … want to know a secret?
There is a hidden world in the Durham Region. It’s a beautiful world of forest trails, beaches, wildlife and adventure. But, if you don’t know it is there you can easily miss it.

Jo-Ann Rucinski knows about the trails and walks them all the time. Jo-Ann, or as most know her, “Mincom Jo”, is not a person who enjoys crowds or loud parties. She prefers to spend time getting to know someone one-on-one, reading a good book or just in her own company. This does not mean she is not adventurous. She is one of the most adventurous people you will ever meet, loves to travel to exotic places and has just recently returned from an Arctic adventure. That is a story for another day and if she ever gets her 1000+ photos sorted you will read about it here.

Jo - Ann Rucinski

Jo – Ann Rucinski aka: Mincom Jo

Oddly enough, Jo first discovered the trails when she was living in Belleville. While visiting friends she heard “rumours of a beautiful trail in the middle of downtown Oshawa.” Jo loves “walking for therapy” as she puts it, and decided to find the mythical sounding trail. Once she discovered it, she was overcome by how quickly she felt transported from the city. Walking the trail  became a habit whenever she visited Oshawa.


Oshawa’s Trail system totals almost 27 km of paved surface that provides opportunities for walking, running, cycling or rollerblading. This particular trail is called the Joseph Kolodzie Oshawa Creek Bike Path and it is 7 km from start to finish. Because of the “downtown” location, it also provides a safe and environmentally friendly way of getting to and from work, school or shopping.

Joseph Kolodzie Trail

When it came time for Jo to move to Pickering one of the first things she did was investigate the walking situation. Of course she hoped to find trails in Pickering similar those in Oshawa. She was not disappointed. As it turns out there are actually more than 350 kilometers of recreational trails intertwining throughout the Durham Region. There is a trail for you no matter what your needs according to

“From the waterfront trails to the rolling hills of the Oak Ridges Moraine, Durham Region abounds with excellent recreational opportunities. Throughout the seasons, walk, jog, hike, cycle, cross-country ski, snowshoe, in-line skate or even ride along our trails on horseback. Our trails will lead you through a variety of pleasant landscapes. Explore urban centres, small hamlets, wetlands, lush green forests, and reconnect with the fresh outdoors.”

Jo on a bridge

Bridge on trail

The path and bridges are very well built and maintained. Benches and picnic tables are generously placed along the sides of the path. Grass is trimmed and waste receptacles are emptied regularly. The paths are monitored by police officers on bicycles so safety is not an issue. Don’t be surprised if you bump into bunnies, deer or salmon. And it’s a bird watcher’s paradise!

You can find your perfect trail by checking out this brochure or clicking any of the following links…

Pickering • Ajax • Whitby • Uxbridge • Scugog (Port Perry)OshawaBowmanville, Newcastle, CourticeClarington

Until you choose your own magical adventure path in the Durham Region enjoy some of what Jo sees on her walk.

Walking with Jo





 Beach Flowers