Charles Sutherland immigrated to Montreal from South America in 1965 with his family. Upon arriving, his family immediately encountered the challenge of finding affordable housing, driving them towards renting for a year; afterwards encouraging his mother to pursue home ownership. Despite the odds, she was able to secure a modest home to raise her family. As he saw his mother working tirelessly to help others afford their own homes, her example to motivate them towards homeownership and its endless advantages lit a flame in his heart that has never died.
Charles is an engineer by training and has a wealth of project management experience. He has worked on impressive and wide-reaching projects like the Rogers Centre in Toronto (formerly the Sky Dome), the Light Rail Transit System in Vancouver and various mining projects in Sudbury. At the start of his career providing affordable housing in Markham, his passion to help low to modest income households achieve homeownership was a venture he pursued in conjunction with his professional career.
While very successful and exceptionally well respected in the engineering and project management field, his passion throughout the years has remained in the non-profit sector. His initial involvement in the non-profit world began in 1977, when he was asked to be part of a church building community in Kingston, Ontario, his hometown at the time.
By 1978, the family had moved to Toronto where he was asked to lead the development team to build Fellowship Baptist Church in Markham, home to a three hundred multicultural and multigenerational congregations. Ten years ago, Charles joined the development team of the church he currently attends, Cornerstone Christian Community Church. The result of the successful, beautiful and extremely functional 30, 000 square feet Community Centre-style church building and facility is home to 500 church members and surrounding community residents. The completion and occupancy of the facility in September 2015 was largely influenced by Charles’ expertise and contribution in Church Building Development.
Charles is currently a member of the Markham Advisory Committee, a multidisciplinary committee that advises city council about the development of downtown Markham. In addition, he is currently the Chairman of the Advisory Committee for the Redevelopment of Old Kennedy (Main Street Milliken)
The Mayor of Markham and the Board of Trade most recently recognized him for being one out of 10 families engaged in contributing to the city of Markham’s continued community excellence.
Currently, Charles has been retained as the development consultant for the Apostolic Pentecostal Church in Pickering, Ontario, a church building and convention centre facility with an auditorium that will accommodate 1,500 people.
In addition to continue to provide a solution for affordable housing in Markham, his future dream is to also create affordable housing in Roatan, Honduras, the birthplace of the love of his life- his wife, Darla Sutherland. Charles has been happily married for 42 years and is the proud father of five adult children. In his spare time, he enjoys a good game of squash, reading and mentoring young adults in the community.