“Developers shape the world we live in and therefore should be accountable to their surroundings. We want to lead the industry in our prioritization and commitment to sustainability,” says Mazyar Mortazavi, BVG ’95, President and CEO of TAS, a Toronto-based development company. For 15 years, Mazyar has been the creative force behind award-winning urban projects that showcase innovative design, that integrate into the existing community and that are built to last.
Mazyar is actively involved with a variety of not-for-profit and community groups. He is a member of the Artscape Foundation and Operating Board and also serves as an instructor at George Brown College’s Institute Without Boundaries. In addition, Mazyar is the Chair of the YPO Canadian Regional Conference taking place in Toronto in 2016.
“There is nothing more valuable than being able to be engaged, to create a relationship with the world around us,” says Mazyar. “That is the over-riding theme for me and Bayview Glen played a role in this.”
“Bayview Glen was like the Wild West when I was a student, because there was no embedded school culture,” he recalls. “Foundation and framework are important but it is equally important to create a learning environment that is empowering, not prescriptive – and that’s what Bayview Glen did back then. I hope they are still doing it now!”
Mazyar remembers many of his teachers, including Mrs. Reid, his history teacher, who taught him how to take notes and be organized in his thinking. “I use those skills every day,” says Mazyar. “I also remember Terry Guest, who was an incredible facilitator, encouraging people to think beyond what should be done and see things differently, to create impact. Our French teacher, Connie Brandeis, also stands out in my memory because she created the balance between the discipline of teaching and the power of being a friend and caring mentor.”
“A good private school provides a nurturing environment that should complement the values taught at home,” says Mazyar. “I was fortunate that I did have that care and attention at Bayview Glen. In those days, the school was a mirror of the city of Toronto – multicultural and international. Everyone was accepted and included at Bayview Glen.”
“My classmate, Chris Lal and I took on the task of establishing the volunteer program,” he remembers. “We spent a lot of time thinking about the characteristics of BVG and what set it apart from other schools. Service to the community was key differentiator and a way for us, as children from privileged families, to keep our feet on the ground. That stuck with me and I have always been active in the community as a volunteer, ever since.”
Mazyar met his two closest friends at Bayview Glen, Brendon Pooran, BVG ’94, and Zahid Alibhai, BVG ’95.
“For me, Bayview Glen was not about being prepared for post-secondary studies, but more about being prepared for life,” Mazyar explains. “Understanding that friends and community are what we need for the foundation in our lives – not just acquaintances, but real friends who are shoulders to lean on – and also the sensibility of the world and how we can make a positive difference in it. These are my core values and Bayview Glen influenced them.”
In his final year, Mazyar was Head Prefect and is always remembered for helping to pioneer volunteerism at Bayview Glen. He went on to earn an undergraduate degree in environmental studies and a graduate degree in architecture from the University of Waterloo. In 2009, he was presented with our inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Award.
Bayview Glen is proud to include Mazyar Mortazavi amongst our Notable Alumni.