Pioneers in Drywall for Three Generations
The Rinomato Group is a family of construction industry companies headquartered in Woodbridge, Ontario and serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). It includes a drywall installation division called Torino Drywall, a homebuilding division under Country Homes, and a property management division that runs Tonlu Properties.
The company was established in 1958 when Tony Rinomato, a young 18 year old immigrant from Torino Di Sangro, Italy, became one of the first drywall applicators in Canada. Tony started doing drywall on his own, and eventually incorporated Torino Drywall in 1964. “He wanted to name his company after his hometown, and it’s ironic because Torino means little bull, and he really was a little bull,” says Anthony Rinomato, General Manager of the Rinomato Group of Companies and Tony’s grandson.
Tony Rinomato built Torino from the ground up with little more than a dream and a dedication to hard work. He put in sixteen-hour days, at times even sleeping over in bath tubs at job sites to get an early start. As his success grew, he expanded his operation to include homebuilding projects. He had two sons and a daughter, and by the mid-eighties, they were beginning to help him with the business. His daughter, Elem, started working with him at Torino Drywall; his eldest son Ernie Rinomato took over the homebuilding operation, and the other son, Tony Jr., established and ran the commercial and industrial land development and property management portfolio.
The Rinomato Group is a family company, built on family values that extend well beyond upper management into all levels of the workforce. The company’s leadership believes that its true worth can be traced to its family culture. With almost five hundred people on the payroll today, the company has grown into something quite substantial, and the Rinomato family still manages the company with a focus on transparency, honesty, and a commitment to its people; Rinomato Group employees are considered members of the family.
The owners are committed to being active members of the workforce, and the company has a long recognized track record for having an engaged leadership who make themselves available to customers when needed. As a result, the company has built long-lasting partnerships with clients, some of which have been working with Rinomato companies for fifty years. Rinomato Group customers and partners know that they are not just buying a product; they are not just joining a partnership; they are entering into a big family.
The company has always deeply valued the voices of its customers. From the very beginning, its founder built his success by talking with and listening to the people on whose homes he was working. Taking the extra time and paying the necessary attention to those who were putting their trust in him built confidence and a reputation of trust. Today, the company not only continues to honour this philosophy but is finding new and innovative ways to take it further.
It reaches out directly to its customers, while using a third party to ensure anonymity and solicits feedback on every aspect of the home buying experience. They then analyze the collected data to make sense of how customers feel about their experience with Rinomato companies. It can then adapt based on the results. “Most of our customers are buying from us for the second or third time,” says Anthony Rinomato. “They see that we’re there for them throughout the entire process. It’s important that they trust us; we have such a good reputation and positive customer feedback that word of mouth is the best advertising and promotion of our product. Country Homes is proud to have over a 90 percent customer referral rate. This is a result of empathy to our customers and hard work.”
Torino Drywall is primarily a drywall installation company, but it offers a wide range of related services. Torino crews provide all of the wall assembly services required in constructing homes, as well as high-rise and low-rise buildings. This includes the installation of interior and exterior framing, wood and metal blocking, insulation and sound barriers, drywall, and all the taping and sanding to complete the project. Torino Drywall is also looking into innovative technologies to incorporate computerized wall assemblies into its services.
The company has worked on many prominent projects that have left their mark on Toronto including: Onni Group’s Westlake project, consisting of three high-rises; the fifty-five-story Four Seasons hotel in Yorkville; Liberty Group’s World On Yonge with two high-rises and a mall; and the Pan Am Games project, containing the athlete’s village and residences, working on hundreds of high rise buildings, thousands of low rise houses and creating hundreds of thousands of homes by wall assemblies throughout high rise and low rise development.
Country Homes, Rinomato’s homebuilding division, builds high quality homes primarily throughout the Greater Toronto Area. Having built and developed more than three thousand low rise homes over its sixty years, the company has developed a reputation for quality work and distinctive design. It approaches each project with a unique architectural objective, resulting in beautiful homes and communities. “We see the nobility in building homes,” says Anthony Rinomato. “We do not just build the home for our purchasers; we build for future home buyers of each home, the family and friends that visit our homeowners and the community. Building a home is more than putting up four walls and a roof, it’s about building a trusted brand, a neighbourhood and a community where families can make their own memories and build something special together with us.”
The company’s dedication to improving communities is further demonstrated by the significant investment it has made in updating its construction practices and adapting the products and materials it employs toward being more environmentally conscious. As the industry continues to innovate in this area, the company continues to apply more environmental considerations to every aspect of its business, including standard LED lighting in all of its homes, electric car charging rough-ins and thanking each new homeowner by planting trees across Canada in their honour. The company is preparing for ongoing growth. Currently, the company provides its services within the GTA, but it has plans to expand this to customers across Canada.
The company’s commercial and industrial work consists of many projects that were strategically chosen to help add to the vibrant communities where they were built. Tonlu Properties builds plazas, shopping centers, and other marketplaces that help communities develop and grow.
The company is now in its third generation of family ownership, and the Rinomato family is proud of the many successes it has achieved over its sixty-years. “My grandfather has taught us to live like you’re going to win, don’t live as if you are trying not to lose. There’s a difference. It’s all not logic or risk; it’s making the most positive out of everything that life throws at you, it’s having a passion for a fulfilled life,” says Anthony Rinomato. That passion for fulfillment is what drives the Rinomato family to continue to innovate and excel. It’s a proven philosophy and one that they plan to share with their ever-growing family across Canada and beyond.
The current leadership is excited to hand the reins to a fourth generation one day, ensuring that the legacy of the Rinomato family, and their continuous growing group of companies, lasts long into the future. It also means maintaining their service to the community. “We plan on continuing our growth, creating more jobs for families, creating more homes and communities as well giving back time and financial support to those across the world in need,” says Anthony Rinomato. “It’s a challenge, balancing work, community, and family, but to overcome any struggle, it comes back to our founding philosophy of hard work, honesty and perseverance.”
This commitment to hard work is the Rinomato tradition, rooted in the initial success of the company’s founder as he worked exceedingly long hours building the company from a dream into an empire. Honesty, integrity, and hard work are the core principles that have driven every step of its progress. The company’s ownership leads by example. Each of them started their careers in labour positions sweeping warehouses and doing the work at every level. Having started in these jobs and worked their way to positions of management, the leadership is keen to pay attention to the workforce and their individual insights at every level.
“We listen to our employees,” says Anthony Rinomato. “We value their ideas. That’s helped us with growth. We take the time to hear what they believe. They have an important voice in our company, and they can see that their insight has meaning and value. It’s listened to and executed on. As our company has grown, so has our family.”
For sixty years, The Rinomato Group has built a name that customers, employees and partners can trust. Through a commitment of honesty, integrity, and hard work, Tony Rinomato built a legacy that has passed through three generations. Each of the companies in the group has seen significant growth; this success is credited to every customer, every partner, every employee, every friend and each family member as they are all a part of the Rinomato Family.