Realty Life

A Life By Design – Peter Brooks

May 16, 2023 Stories and Strategies Season 2 Episode 27
Realty Life
A Life By Design – Peter Brooks
Show Notes Transcript

Life never moves in a straight line. There are always twists in the road, potholes, roadblocks…

Peter Brooks knew he had an entrepreneurial spirit so at a young age he bought a fast-food chicken franchise… but they never taught him how to properly cook so that didn’t fly. 

Then he changed careers to TV camera operator, but that wasn’t his real focus either. 

So, he got his real estate license and was successful but it still wasn’t his ultimate calling. 

He knew what that was – Design. Today Peter leads Bedford Brooks a full-service design and renovation firm based in Toronto specializing in residential and commercial design.

Guest: Peter Brooks

Ken can be reached at:

Peter Brooks (00:00):

Way back in my early twenties, I guess I started, we bought a franchise, a chicken wing franchise. It was all franchised. It was a new franchise, but they never really taught us how to cook a chicken. Yeah, we had people lining up the door. But you send out a couple of raw chickens.

Ken McLachlan (00:21):

They're not going to line up anymore, are they?

Peter Brooks (00:24):

They're not going to line up.

Ken McLachlan (00:31):

Hey everyone, it's Ken McLachlan and welcome to The Realty Life podcast. This is a podcast that I do, I have done for, I guess, a couple years now that really, I think it's kind of unique. It's the sense that we're not really trying to sell anything or focus on real estate or things like that. But really is a conversation that I'd like to have with people that I know, that I get to know, that are telling us about the journeys of their life, how they got to things, how they got through things, how they discovered things, what got in their way, what strengths did they encourage from, how can they encourage other people to grow? And so I'm, I'm really excited today because this is a friend of mine that I've known for, I'm going to say 30 years or 25 years or whatever, or a long time. And he's done a lot of work for me. I, I've knew, I've known him through I think two or three different stages of his life. And right now he's a really first class designer in Toronto. And I knew him back then when he wasn't a designer. But we're going to get to know all about him. And I'm going to welcome today Peter Brooks. Peter, welcome.

Peter Brooks (01:38):

Hey, Kenny. How are you?

Ken McLachlan (01:40):

I'm wonderful. Are you? Yeah,

Peter Brooks (01:42):

This is like, I'm in your living room, actually, I think I'm in your bedroom. But this is really an honour. I'm so honoured to be a guest and I'm saying before I, I've listened to most if not all of your podcasts, and I got to tell you, I'm floored at how many guests are so inspiring. I'm thinking, okay, you're finding me on here and the pressure's on. Let's

Ken McLachlan (02:01):

See if Well, no, no pressure. We're going to have some fun. We're going to learn. I want to learn, have people learn about you. I know a lot about you at all great things. Wow. And your journey. And I've been part of your growth and that. But before you got into real estate, what the hell were you doing? Well,

Peter Brooks (02:18):

Listen, before I got to tell you though, cause I know this may come across in the podcast because I got, I'm, I am really uncomfortable. I like, I'd much rather be the interviewer here, Ken. I love, I'd love listening to other people's.

Ken McLachlan (02:29):

Well, that makes it perfect, Peter. Okay. Does it?

Peter Brooks (02:31):

Yeah. Well, so I'd rather just hear about your life. Anyway, what's happening?

Ken McLachlan (02:34):

That's, that's the next time

Peter Brooks (02:35):

Around. What's next with Ken? Yeah. But yeah, so tell me again, ask me again. So what

Ken McLachlan (02:39):

Did you do? What did you do? I mean, when did you get into real estate? When I met you? What year?

Peter Brooks (02:44):

I got into real estate in 1989. Perfect. Time of crashed.

Ken McLachlan (02:48):

Oh yeah. You and your brother were got involved, Steven, right? That's right. My brothers and I. This is what I remember. You came in the business and you spent the first, you and Steven spent the first two months, three months, four months, devising these elaborate plans about how you're going to change the business and do things. But you didn't get out there and work. You just made these

Peter Brooks (03:09):

Six months, Kenny six,

Ken McLachlan (03:11):

Was it six months? Oh my God,

Peter Brooks (03:13):

Yes. Yeah. God bless my brother Steve. Yeah.

Ken McLachlan (03:15):

And what were you doing? What, it's probably state of the art stuff today, but what was it back then that you were doing?

Peter Brooks (03:21):

Well, it's more my brother and my twin brother, Steven. He really had this idea of just, and what we are doing now is sort of where you can point out schools and the walking distance and just all that good information. He was trying to just add all that. And it got to a point where I was kind of fed up and thought, well, I've got to make some money. So that's when I sort of separated and said, I've been do an open house. Did an open house. And that's kind of where my career started. We sort of parted past in that sense. But yeah,

Ken McLachlan (03:47):

So it was six months of doing that and it cost you a lot of money and then you

Peter Brooks (03:52):

Six months of,

Ken McLachlan (03:53):

Well, it was very interesting to watch. I've never met guys that spend their first, this isn't a dig, spend their first six months in the business doing analytics and trying to devise things and not actually getting on. That's definitely, and I remember talking to you guys and saying, get the hell off your ass and work. No, no, we're putting together this plan and stuff like that. But that's not to say you guys were No, that

Peter Brooks (04:14):

Was again, that again, that was my brother Steve. I thought he had, he's such a powerful guy. He's a great

Ken McLachlan (04:19):

Guy. I

Peter Brooks (04:20):

Thought, okay, Steve, he's a great guy. So I thought, yeah, you've got this. I'll just sort of tag along and see what happens. And then it was time to, okay, let's work. And

Ken McLachlan (04:29):

So what did you guys do before you getting into real estate? How the hell did you get into real estate?

Peter Brooks (04:34):

Oh, Christ. Let me tell you, I can go way back because I've had a couple of different journeys. As you said at the beginning. You probably don't know this, but way back in my early twenties, I guess I started, we bought a franchise, a chicken wing franchise. And my partner in that was Leo Cahill. Remember Leo Cahill? The coach of the,

Ken McLachlan (04:55):

Yeah. Out of here. Of course

Peter Brooks (04:56):

I do. Right? Yeah. Became the general manager. And we had this franchise. We thought this franchise was great. And I had found some money, went to the Better Business Bureau Bank or something, got a loan. And I just loved putting that restaurant together, designing the restaurant. We got the first beer license. We had people lining,

Ken McLachlan (05:14):

Where was this, Peter?

Peter Brooks (05:15):

This is in Plaza and Rexdale. It was all franchised. It was a new franchise, but they never really taught us how to cook a chicken. We had people lining up the door. But you send out a couple of raw chickens, Kenny,

Ken McLachlan (05:33):

They're not going to line up anymore. They're

Peter Brooks (05:35):

Not going to line up. And that happened six, eight months maybe.

Ken McLachlan (05:38):

So how did you get into chicken? I mean, why chicken?

Peter Brooks (05:41):

Well, that's the question I'd love. I love, because I was looking for something to do. I raised a bit of money from a little landscaping thing and I want to do something. And I thought, let's do franchise. And that came up and I met with Cahill and we just went from there. Chickens, I have no interest in a chicken. What am I doing? I love, well,

Ken McLachlan (06:00):

You into some business, didn't you?

Peter Brooks (06:01):

Yeah, I wanted design. I love designing the restaurant.

Ken McLachlan (06:05):

How long did that last, Peter? What

Peter Brooks (06:07):

A good, solid eight months, Kenny, I think.

Ken McLachlan (06:10):

Really? Yeah. Okay.

Peter Brooks (06:11):

So I packed, I had a brand new 1979 corvette back then. I packed it up and I drove to Calgary and then I drove out to Vancouver.

Ken McLachlan (06:19):

And did what?

Peter Brooks (06:21):

Well, I landed at my uncle's place and sort of kept hunting for work and didn't know what to do. I think he finally just got fed up with me. And he worked at a small, well, it was a local intelligence station called C K V U. And he got me a job in the carpenter department. And it was like, this

Ken McLachlan (06:36):

Is Calgary or Vancouver? This is Vancouver. So

Peter Brooks (06:39):

Back then, it was like a City TV. Remember the old days when you could, the reception would become a host. And so I sort of quickly worked my way up to becoming a cameraman studio cameraman. And we had, imagine this, we had a two hour live show five days a week. So we'd get wow bands through that and to be a cameraman. It's just a blast.

Ken McLachlan (07:01):

This is the eighties, Peter?

Peter Brooks (07:03):

This is the eighties, yeah. Kenny. That's early, early eighties. Yeah.

Ken McLachlan (07:08):

Okay. Yeah. So you did that for five years. For five years,

Peter Brooks (07:11):

Yep. Yeah. I was also a studio director as well for a while.

Ken McLachlan (07:15):

So what was that like? I mean, you went from being a chicken guy. Okay. I mean, how do you get from being a chicken guy to being a camera guy? Other than starting in the carpentry department? I guess that's all you do it. You just learn on the field, right?

Peter Brooks (07:29):

You do. Yeah. And I actually, I remember my first gig on camera, the live camera and 100 Huntley Street came up. Remember those guys? David Mainse?

Ken McLachlan (07:39):

Yeah, I remember

Peter Brooks (07:40):

Him. Yeah. So I'm live, it's live. I'm on the camera. I've got these headsets I have on now, and I'm, I'm all over the freaking place. It's like, oh my God, I'm, I'm calling the director. I said, take me off. He says, Nope. Yeah. And after he had a meeting, he says, Nope, I know you, you've got a passion of this. After that, I stood in the studio, I put something on a stool and I just dolly around it, around and around and around it. And I like to think I became a think great cameraman.

Ken McLachlan (08:10):

Absolutely. You were good. I was very get you this for, you did this for five. Did you like Vancouver or,

Peter Brooks (08:16):

I loved Vancouver.

Ken McLachlan (08:16):

Victoria or Vancouver Victoria, wasn't it?

Peter Brooks (08:18):

Yeah. I spent some time of course on the island, but I loved Vancouver. I had a little TR6 sports car and I scuba dived a lot every weekend. And it was a blast. I loved it. It was great. Yeah.

Ken McLachlan (08:29):

Yeah. And this is a Toronto, you're born and born and raised in Toronto, right? I

Peter Brooks (08:32):

Was born and raised on Bedford Brooks. Oh, sorry. Bedford Park Avenue. Hence the name Bedford Brooks. Yeah. Oh

Ken McLachlan (08:38):

My gosh. We're going to get into that soon. Yeah. Yeah. So you're in Vancouver, you're doing the gig of, you're working your way through the studio. Studio manager. Yep. And a camera guy. So how did you get out of that? What happened,

Peter Brooks (08:51):

Kenny? It just,

Ken McLachlan (08:52):

What made you, it

Peter Brooks (08:52):

Was a funny thing and I loved it, but I thought from that point I would become a director. And then this young kid who's brilliant, came in and he was older than me, but young. But he was a young director and he was one of those guys that knew everything about everything and watched every movie. I thought, I'll never be that good. And stupidly comparing myself to someone else, I thought, I'm going to go back home. And I was really, I think we can never regret what we do, but my gosh, I look back on that and what a silly thing to do. Just

Ken McLachlan (09:24):

To, do you think you would've, the, in hindsight, would that been a career that you would've wanted to follow that business, the broadcast business, and

Peter Brooks (09:34):

Loved it? I would've loved directing. In fact, in my real estate career, I met a lot of people in that field. One of my favorite clients.

Ken McLachlan (09:42):

What would you have liked about it, Peter? What? Just the creative part of it, or the

Peter Brooks (09:46):


Ken McLachlan (09:47):

The discipline or, yeah, I

Peter Brooks (09:48):

Would, no, I would've been into creative director. Yeah. And there's a lot in that. That's Cameron. That's just, that's creative. One of my good friend's, family, friends, he was, he's a cinematographer, one of the world's renowned cinema photographer. A good friend for homie. In fact, they had a home in the Hamptons that we'd go to every year and

Ken McLachlan (10:08):

Yeah, I remember that. Yeah, I remember that. So you guys being down there Yeah.

Peter Brooks (10:11):

In a new Jaguar, if you remember that story. Yeah.

Ken McLachlan (10:14):

But this is what, this is all around. What are you driving now, Peter, by the way.

Peter Brooks (10:17):

It's all about

Ken McLachlan (10:19):

What kind of Honda are you driving now?

Peter Brooks (10:22):


Ken McLachlan (10:22):

Got, so it's all about cars. You got the Jag, you got the TR6

Peter Brooks (10:27):

I, I'll tell you, I have a love for cars. I don't really actually love cars, but I don't follow what the cars are. But before, how I raised money for the chicken free restaurant, I used to buy and sell cars. So I would own these. I've own so many cars, but only moved for a week or two. I had a 79 Corvette and, sorry, 69 pet, all kinds

Ken McLachlan (10:48):

Of, so let me set the table a bit. You don't come from money, do you? No. You're not, you have, don't have a family that here's my, here's the steak and all that stuff. You have everything you've got in your life. You have to earn it.

Peter Brooks (11:00):

Right? I, that's for sure. I'm, I'm the last of six kids and my parents were very well educated. But imagine this my, at 32, my parents had six kids. So even though we, I don't mind. Can you imagine? But we lived in a great neighborhood, but we had the sort of the shittiest little house. But we also, my grandparents lived on 100 chap, so we'd go there

Ken McLachlan (11:23):

Every I know that house. Yeah.

Peter Brooks (11:24):

Yeah. We go there every Sunday and we went to Yorkin Baptist's church every Sunday. And I would be, so, in my mind, I lived there. I lived at Chaplin. I wasn't in that chaos.

Ken McLachlan (11:34):

I got it. I got it.

Peter Brooks (11:36):


Ken McLachlan (11:36):

You were of the kids, you guys were the youngest or Yes. Yeah,

Peter Brooks (11:40):

I'm the youngest by five.

Ken McLachlan (11:41):

Okay. So what was it like growing up with the whole family thing? What was it? Chaotic? Because I think you had a unique family. I've met your mother. Yeah. Yeah. A wonderful, wonderful lady. I didn't meet your dad at all.

Peter Brooks (11:53):

Oh, my father's.

Ken McLachlan (11:53):

But you had a

Peter Brooks (11:54):

Very charming, but again, six kids at 32. But very smart, very charming. My mother is a powerhouse. I love, I miss my mother dearly. But it was chaotic. It was crazy. And even back then, Kenny, I kind of knew I was a designer. Cause I would be the guy.

Ken McLachlan (12:10):

So how did you know that, Peter? How did you know that?

Peter Brooks (12:14):

When I was a kid, even seven or eight, if somebody was coming over, I'd be hiding the shit on the sofa as a punishment, God bless them. My parents would make me stand in the corner of the kitchen and I'd be cleaning the counters and putting things away. Well, they'll like me now, but I've always known.

Ken McLachlan (12:34):

So back then, yeah, back then you, so you came back to Toronto. Yep. Right? Yep. And you're fresh from being the cameraman in the broadcast business and all that. And you arrive in Toronto, what are you doing? What? What's happening?

Peter Brooks (12:48):

So we started buying and selling homes and in the eighties. So

Ken McLachlan (12:52):

That's what she did.

Peter Brooks (12:53):

Yeah. It was so easy. I mean, it was, back then we had fixed a little owned several on Lake Shore, right? On Lake Ontario, on Lake Shore Drive, on Ring Promenade, many in Riverdale. And back then some of them even flip the paper. Dunno, shit. That's a great term.

Ken McLachlan (13:08):

So yeah, back then. So how do you get into that business? How do you figure out that I'm going to buy and sell real estate? Cause I mean, I guess a lot of people were doing it back then. It was a very natural type of thing because the market at that time was crazy, like nuts,

Peter Brooks (13:23):

Right? Yeah. So a no brainer. You start with one and you make a little bit of money and you start another one.

Ken McLachlan (13:29):

How long did you guys do that?

Peter Brooks (13:30):

Oh my gosh, I don't know. My timing's way off. Maybe six, eight years. I dunno. So

Ken McLachlan (13:37):

You made a lot of money doing that, didn't you? But

Peter Brooks (13:39):

That was our livelihood. So yeah, again, looking back on it, I mean, good to have kept a few,

Ken McLachlan (13:46):

Well, that we all have that hindsight. Yeah.

Peter Brooks (13:49):

My gosh.

Ken McLachlan (13:50):

But did you made money and that's what staked you to get into the real estate business. And how did you transition from being, playing the game to being orchestrating the game in the sense that I, you buying and selling real estate and all of a sudden you decided that you wanted to be the agent of people that buy and sell real estate because you wanted to save the commission on your own deals, or what was it?

Peter Brooks (14:12):

No, no, no. This is really when the market crashed and we had a house in 89. Yeah. We had a house on Woodcrest that's in Riverdale, Toronto. And we had, our home was on Hampton Avenue. So we just got out of the water. We sold Woody Crest and kept Hampton and said, okay, what are we going to do? We're like a lot of people out there, Kenny. Well, let's get our real estate license and see how that goes.

Ken McLachlan (14:32):

I know.

Peter Brooks (14:33):

And that's really what I love about real estate there. The people there are so attractive and there's just so many different kinds of people.

Ken McLachlan (14:40):

They're wild,

Peter Brooks (14:41):

Right? They,

Ken McLachlan (14:42):

They're wild.

Peter Brooks (14:44):

They are wild. And some of the stories, it's

Ken McLachlan (14:46):

Incredible. How did we meet Peter? Remind me how we came to in business together.

Peter Brooks (14:53):

Well, I mean, you were at Hallmark. Yeah. Right? So that's just in on paper. I think you were at Hallmark, right? When I joined Hallmark?

Ken McLachlan (15:00):

Yeah. I When did you join, what year?

Peter Brooks (15:03):


Ken McLachlan (15:04):

Yeah. So I was in the ownership group at the time in managing. So did you walk in or did you phone, because I wouldn't have known you. I

Peter Brooks (15:12):


Ken McLachlan (15:13):

Remember. Anyway, you were probably referred from somebody, people that we were connected with. I remember you and Steven up in the office though, doing your work and developing your business. And what was it like for you, other than the first six months? What was the business, what did you feel about the business?

Peter Brooks (15:29):

That, that's sort of a loaded question. I mean, I love the business because it's really, like I said, it just attracts all kinds of personalities from every walk of life. And I find them incredible people, incredibly generous. And that's really sort of keeps the juice going, and certainly you're always meeting people and meeting new folks and the commissions were pretty good and all that good stuff. No, there's a lot of things I loved about it, but there was a time that it was, I sort of had enough of it. And not to put it down in, anyway, looking back on it, I wish I could have, I probably could have woven in my life now, the design life into my real estate life.

Ken McLachlan (16:11):

I, I don't know if you recall that. We had a conversation about that.

Peter Brooks (16:15):


Ken McLachlan (16:16):

Do you remember that?

Peter Brooks (16:17):

No. No. I won't remember this conversation, Kenny.

Ken McLachlan (16:20):

Well, we had a conversation, I remember sitting with you in the Riverdale office and you said to me that I want to do both. There's a point now in my life that I want to do both. I want to be a designer and I want to be a real estate agent. And I said to you clearly, and I says, you can't do that. You cannot be success. My opinion, if you're going to be a designer, just do it. Jump in, trust it. You're very good at it. If that's what drives you, if what is your passion? You got to commit to it. You can't do half and half. Be a part-time real estate agent. Be a part-time designer because you're going to fail at both. And I remember that conversation with you and you went away, Peter, and you had the guts to come back and say, I'm going to be a designer and I'm going to do it. And you walked out of the real estate business because of that. And I was proud of you for doing that, proud of you for making that decision. And I'm proud of you, f proud of you for trusting your passion and what you wanted to do. Because most people would want to have a little piece of everything. But you had the balls to actually get out there and do it. And you may not remember that conversation, but it's clear to me that day.

Peter Brooks (17:31):

Well, that's amazing because I mean, you have actually influenced me more ways than, and I certainly, when I see, I took that advice very dear, dear to me. Because when I quit, I quit. And people say, well, hang onto your license. Hang your license. I said, no, I'm done. You're done. I'm done. Maybe I could use my license to buy and sell my own homes, but no, I'm done. If I need a realtor, I'll hire a realtor.

Ken McLachlan (17:57):

Yeah, you're fine with it. So what was it like? I mean, those first years, you have a company called Bedford Brooks. Yep.

Peter Brooks (18:02):

Design. Yep. Bedford Brooks

Ken McLachlan (18:04):

Design. And we're going to talk a little bit about that at the end here. I want to lead that. I want, I want to know, so you had the nerve, and this is the real crux of the whole conversation today, I think, is that you had the courage to actually follow your passion and to make that commitment and jump in full blown, listen, I'm burning the bridges. I'm going there and I'm going to be a designer and I'm going to do the best I can because that's what I want to do in my life. That's the journey I want. And you did it. So what was it like? I mean, was it scary? Was it,

Peter Brooks (18:37):

Listen, Kenny, it sounds like I just jumped in, but I had wanted to be a designer for a long time. And I remember when I turned 40, I think maybe 10 years into the business, I was at the back of RE/MAX Hallmark on paper in the back parking lot. And I had this breakdown. I started weeping and crying. I said, I can't do this anymore. I can't, I can't do this anymore. And it's not that I didn't love it in so many ways. I just needed to change. I needed to be who I was, who I am. But it still took me another eight years. And I was,

Ken McLachlan (19:14):

Well, these things aren't easy. Yes. And your timing was perfect because what you did was perfect timing on how you went about it. But the point I want to reiterate is the courage to actually do it. There are so many people that don't follow their dreams, don't follow their passion, don't have that eight year period of in their gut that I want to do something, but I'm afraid to do it. But you didn't have that thing. You actually took it and did it. I was

Peter Brooks (19:39):

Going to remember something that Kent Shepherd said once, and he said, there's a lot of people out there that they have their bows and their arrows, and they're lining up their shot at the target, and they're pulling back the arrow and looking at the target, and they'll pull back the arrow and look at the target again. And he says, sometimes you just got to take the fucking shot. I know. So I know you jump in there and you take the shot. And I've admired you, Kenny, because you take a lot of shots and you move on to the next thing quickly. We could turn this around because I love,

Ken McLachlan (20:08):

Well, we'll have another conversation. But this is really a lesson I want people to hear about your life. And your life is really, you took that shot, Peter, when it was important to take it. I did. And you had the courage to do it. And so that to me is amazing. The story of this conversation, I think is actually stepping up and doing something. So you got the company going. You worked on, I think you, were we a bed? Were you in Broadview to start with or did you move there?

Peter Brooks (20:36):

Well, we had the, we've not right away. No. I had to work at probably the first year or two. It was Starbucks because that was the first one that had the internet connection. How

Ken McLachlan (20:44):

Did you go about getting business? What did you do?

Peter Brooks (20:46):

My first job was a bathroom on Grenadier in Hyde Park. So I did this, I put everything in it. I was just, and back then it was like, here's run the owner, here's the sink, come back and here's the faucet. Come here's like, oh my Christ. And I thought it was spectacular. And when I put some tulips in there and I got this message and when the owners came back, they said they opened the door. And I wish I'd kept it, but it was such a beautiful blowing message about how they're just elated about their bathroom. I ended up doing during the rest of their home and the other home. And they've actually become good friends. So that's what makes it tick now being designer is a lot of people look at it as very glamorous. And we get to go up shopping and we go to these events.

Ken McLachlan (21:33):

Yeah, it's hard work.

Peter Brooks (21:34):

It's hard work. Anyway,

Ken McLachlan (21:35):

That's tremendous. Listen, not let's talk for a minute. I'm going to talk about Faye, your wife. Yes. Okay. So you met Faye and I, you know how much I love Faye. I convers

Peter Brooks (21:45):

Conversation always goes this way. Let's talk about Faye.

Ken McLachlan (21:48):

I love her. I love, she's tremendous. I knew Faye before you knew her. Yes. Okay. Cause she was a receptionist at our company front anyway. Yep. And she's a big part of, obviously a big part of your wife life and your beautiful daughter. Yes. And your son. Yes. Older son. Yep. So what's that relationship like working with Faye?

Peter Brooks (22:10):

It's the best and I absolutely love it. We love it. There's never, I mean, sometimes obviously you're taking work home, but yeah, my work is my life. It really interferes it. We have her own time, so if she needs to do some checkup or got, so I think it's amazing. And we love each other dearly and we respect

Ken McLachlan (22:28):

Each other. I know. It shows. Yeah.

Peter Brooks (22:29):

It's really

Ken McLachlan (22:30):

Amazing. And how old's your daughter now?

Peter Brooks (22:31):

She'll be eight in October. Wow. Son will be 31.

Ken McLachlan (22:36):

I know. Isn't


Yeah, I remember. Yeah.

Peter Brooks (22:39):

Yeah. He's incredible. And Romi, of course, we all love, she of course

Ken McLachlan (22:42):

We love Romi. Huge

Peter Brooks (22:43):

Part of our life. She's a big part of our family. She comes to all of our family event. She takes care of our dog when we're in Greece for the summer. So

Ken McLachlan (22:53):

Yeah, it's been pretty good, Peter. But it's not by accident. Right?

Peter Brooks (22:56):

I look at my life, my gosh. I spend the summers I, my flight's book June 4th for Greece, and I come back, yeah. End of August. And that is a huge thing. And I still work

Ken McLachlan (23:07):

There. Where do you go to Greece? Where are you?

Peter Brooks (23:09):

We're on a, in little village called Gappay on the island. Lesbos.

Ken McLachlan (23:13):

Oh, I know that. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It's watched YouTube stuff about that. Yeah, it's a great island.

Peter Brooks (23:19):

It's third largest island. You're always welcome Kenny. But

Ken McLachlan (23:21):

Yeah, there you go. You heard it. It's on tape. Yeah,

Peter Brooks (23:24):

There we go. But we bought her a ya's house, your grandmother's house. And we're restoring it, so I'm not Oh, wonderful. Yeah. So that's my design. I'm just Wow. Digging it, man. And we have, so

Ken McLachlan (23:35):

I, how do you just do this stuff, right? You don't source stuff out, you help people. What's your business primarily now? What do you do? What

Peter Brooks (23:46):

I, I'd

Ken McLachlan (23:46):

Say tell

Peter Brooks (23:46):

Us about it. Primarily residential real estate. And that's a lot of condos, a lot of homes and no, a typical would be sort of that typical Riverdale type home where we'd do the, got either the whole thing or the main floor basement. And we do a lot of kitchens. We do certainly do quite a number of commercial. We've done more Remax offices than anybody in Canada

Ken McLachlan (24:07):

Would say. Yeah, you've done us. Yeah.

Peter Brooks (24:08):

Should I tell you a story about the PA Avenue?

Ken McLachlan (24:11):


Peter Brooks (24:11):

Of course. Talk quickly. So you and your generosity, and I love you for this, you gave us the first project, our first commercial Remax project goes the office on tape. And of course when you're at real estate office, you're going to start gutting out Friday. And you have to have that up and running Monday morning. The That's right. It guys come in the tell and you're up and you got a temporary desk. Well, it's like Friday nights and I'm dressed in my little designer outfit and I'm waiting for the demo guys. And don't they not fucking show up? I know I'm calling. Did you hear this story?

Ken McLachlan (24:44):

No, I remember some of it though. Go ahead.

Peter Brooks (24:46):

So I'm calling. I'm calling, I'm calling nothing. So I call my brother Paul, Paul comes with this little S U V and I take my shirt off and I gut it out tape with my brother Paul, till three in the morning at one point. Remember Alex?

Ken McLachlan (25:02):

Yeah. Big

Peter Brooks (25:03):

Guy. Big handsome. He comes in there and he looks like, he probably looks at me and says, this guy's going to fall apart. He just comes right up to me, gives me this big bear hug and says, Peter, you've got this. Oh wow. So it almost brings tears to mine is now. But that's sort of, that's designed, you don't stop.

Ken McLachlan (25:21):

Well, you do it. And that was your first commercial project. Really?

Peter Brooks (25:25):

That was my first readings.

Ken McLachlan (25:26):

I remember that. Yeah. Yeah. And I don't remember the story that you just told. Yeah. But I remember the results, which are excellent. That stayed with us for so many years. But yeah, that you also did my house as well, my condo.

Peter Brooks (25:40):

I did. I did your house, then I did your other condo, and then I did the penthouse condo. And that was a lot of fun. Yeah, I, that was just, so you tell me, I'm really, my whole thing is I believe that environments affect your life. Truly affects it. And so you tell me, how did you like living there? Was it, I

Ken McLachlan (26:02):

Love living there. I told you that many times. I mean that to me. And I look at my research today was looking at your website and I opened it up. I haven't looked at it for a while. And here's the picture of my living room and your website, the front page. And it was, wow. Was that ever beautiful? I remember sitting, oh yeah. It was gorgeous sitting there. The sofa didn't fit in cause you had to cut it in half. You had to do this and that. You remember that. And just the great things that, the things we have to do to be where we are today to make it that you had to fight through to get where you are, to have a business and do the, I mean, listen, every business has its ups and downs. Yeah. Right? Sure. And that's the whole thing about it. But to be able to work through that stuff. And I know you have a business partner now, you in your

Peter Brooks (26:48):

Design. Christine Spencer. Christine Spencer, she is absolutely incredible. She comes from a corporate background. So she has all those, the terms. And she's so much nicer than I am Kenny.

Ken McLachlan (26:59):

So, no, you're pretty good, Peter.

Peter Brooks (27:01):

No, actually I, I'll be very straight with my clients. I'll introduce myself. I'm Peter. This is Christine. I'm the asshole. She's the nice one.

Ken McLachlan (27:09):

Well, you're the good asshole because you've done a great work. So I'm really proud of you and the journey you're having. And what's next for you? What's going to happen the next five years?

Peter Brooks (27:18):

Well, certainly the life in grace is a big part of my life. And honestly, this is my life. I absolutely love what I'm doing. We improve our process constantly, always, every day we're improving. Our motto, I guess is be passionate, be honest, and be kind. I love that. I want to do more of that. I want to be that.

Ken McLachlan (27:42):

So you really always step up, Peter. We have meetings with the furniture people.

Peter Brooks (27:49):

Yeah, furniture back,

Ken McLachlan (27:50):

Remember? Yep. And you're always, when there's a cause, I mean, remember we done a lot of Miracle Nights together. You were dressed up as a native dancer.

Peter Brooks (27:59):

You're the sailor. We're so, I was the sailor. I think we had three callbacks, didn't we? Three years in a row.

Ken McLachlan (28:05):

I know why. But we had a blasting. But you're, the point is, you're always first to step up. It's not just the work aspect of it, but you're like, if somebody in the community needs something, you're there for

Peter Brooks (28:17):

You put me in a, you tell me I'm going to be in a little half naked Indian costume I'm in. So I'll step up.

Ken McLachlan (28:24):

Okay, well I'll keep you again. It's on tape. Okay. So we back going

Peter Brooks (28:28):

The village people come back. I

Ken McLachlan (28:30):

Know. Well, we do it. There's a purpose for it. But listen, the point is, is that you're always stepping up and making a difference. And I'm proud of you. I'm proud of the influence you have in my mind. You're a person that really follows their passion, did their work, and are continuing to make a difference in the community. You're very straightforward with people. You're very honest. You're a loving guy. Your family's very really important to you and your work. You do fantastic work. And that to me is important. But it's not just the work, it's everything about how you are in life. So I want to congratulate you. I want to wish you the very best of your life going forward. I'm so happy to be part of it. Peter, it's honor for me to know you, to have you as a friend, to love you as a friend, and to be there with you. Because I know all I have to do is pick up the phone and say, Peter, I need you, or I need help. And you would drop everything to come to me and make sure I'm okay. I know that. And that's what I love about you. And

Peter Brooks (29:27):

I would the same. I think about you. I think about you all the time. Some ways you don't want to know about this, but you are a remarkable human being. And I'm serious, Kenny, next time we're going to turn this around, it's going to be the podcast we podcast. And I'm going to welcome my very first cast, Ken McLachlan. Okay.

Ken McLachlan (29:45):

I'll do that. You should do it. And our producer here, Doug, will help you with setting that up. I love doing a designer. Listen, Peter, how do people get ahold of you if they want, talk to you about using your company, your team, for design and help. How do they get ahold of you?

Peter Brooks (30:00):

I'd love that. Well, the company's Bedford Brooks Design. And I always encourage people to go through their Instagram account cause we've got some good stories there. And definitely once you know the name Kenny, it's, it's Google Us, you'll find us Bedford Brooks Design. And yeah, we'd love

Ken McLachlan (30:16):

To, is there an email address that, can they email you or

Peter Brooks (30:19):

Ken McLachlan (30:22):


Peter Brooks (30:23):

Brooks. Yeah. If you want to sort of circumvent me, you can always go right to Faye Faye at Bedford Brook Design.

Ken McLachlan (30:29):

Well, it's all the same story. Peter, this has been great. I really have enjoyed it. This going to, people are going to enjoy listening to this. It's going to make a difference for their lives. And I'm glad you were able to share this and to step out and have a conversation. And I want to ask you something. It wasn't so bad, was

Peter Brooks (30:45):

It? You know what, buddy? You made this really comfortable, it was fun. I loved it. I would just keep going. I say, yeah,

Ken McLachlan (30:51):

Well, we could keep going, but our audience, we didn't do it part two later on. But our audience, our 30 minutes is what we tend to do at all times to span. But I appreciate you. I love you lots. And listen, reach out to Peter Brooks and his team, Faye and Chris Christine, right? Christine. They're tremendous professionals at what they do. They will make you happy in the job they do for you, design work. And it does. It matters where you're living, the design of it. And listen, I'm a client of Peters. I've referred people to Peter and Faye, and they're, every one of them has been happy. So I encourage you to do the same. So Peter, thank you for being here. Thank you for everybody for listening to this podcast really late. It's important to me to meet people like Peter and have you meet people like Peter out there. So thank you for it, Doug. As always, your stories, your podcast producing has been tremendous. So

Peter Brooks (31:48):

Thank you, Doug. He's amazing. Yeah.

Ken McLachlan (31:49):

So next time, till next time, have a great one. Make a difference for people and be happy.


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