A Family of Entrepreneurs
Posted October 16, 2017
I have run in three elections and during the campaign periods (and again more recently this seems to be popping up) have continued to hear from others that I come from a development family and that it was a bad thing. I come from a family of entrepreneurs and hard workers. I’m proud to have been born a “Litz” and have benefitted from years of family member knowledge, support and always feeling part of something greater.
Here is my family history …
My grandfather Waldemar Litz was born in 1919, in a German village in Russia. Seeking a safer and better life for themselves, he came to Canada with his parents Reinhold (Roy) and Lydia and his brother Reinhold Jr in 1938. Roy and Lydia operated a motel for years in Oshawa. Reinhold Jr. was a successful poultry farmer in the Oshawa area.
Left Photo: Waldemar | Right Photo: Reinhold Jr., Roy, Waldemar and Lydia
My grandmother Lore Hablitzel was born in 1925, in Hildrizhausen, Germany. She came to Canada in 1929 with her parents Ernest (who went by Robert) and Katherine, when she was four. Her two sisters Roberta and Dorothea were born years later. Robert worked as a landscape gardener then eventually started his own business called Artistic Landscaping. In 1936 he received (just one of several) an award at the Canadian National Exhibition Winter’s Garden for the “most artistic and attractive display.”
Left Photo: Lore and her parents | Right Photo: Lore on her Dad’s work truck
Lore, her parents and grandfather Jacob Hablitzel.
My grandparents, Waldemar and Lore met, fell in love, got married and had 5 children. Robert (my dad is the oldest), Rudy, Katy, Gus and Lydia. This has resulted in 16 grandchildren and 23 great grandchildren and counting!
Litz Landscaping was created, owned and operated by Waldemar and Lore.
Not only did Litz Landscaping work for the Township of Etobicoke, they also operated several tree farms and also raised wild boar. Little did our parents realize, but during our weekly family dinners, my cousins and I used to play a game of who can get out of the pig pen alive………..last one over the fence lost!
My dad Robert and my mom Sandy (nee Black) met in Kindergarten and attended the same schools right through high school. They married at the age of 20 and neither one was old enough to have a drink at their own wedding. Rather than spend money on an engagement ring……..they bought a truck and Robert Litz Contracting was on its way! They had three children, Wally, Nina and Becky.
Left Photo: Robert and Sandy a night out! | Middle Photo: Nina and Wally | Right Photo: Nina, Becky, Robert and Sandy
Robert and Sandy’s first home was one room in Robert’s parents office. Eventually they sold their car to put a down payment on a house. Many years later in 1987 they bought property in Wasaga Beach. They built, owned and operated Wasaga Country Life Resort for 18 years. In the year 2000 they built, owned and operated Wasaga Banquet Hall. Sandy looked after running the Resort and Banquet Hall while Robert continued with Litz Contracting. After all those years of working 7 days a week they sold the resort and banquet hall and concentrated on Litz Contracting which has now been in operation for 50 years.
Left Photo: Dad, Jake and Tyler (my boys) | Right Photo: Jake, Tyler and Robert on top of one of Dad’s topsoil piles
Left Photo: Tyler visiting with Mom in the office | Right Photo: Boys being boys!
I was married in 1994. Jake was born in 1997, Tyler in 1998 and Robert in 1999! I was working for a large trucking company in the dispatch office when I found out I was pregnant with Jake. Due to the timing of the boy’s births and the cost of daycare it was decided that I would stay home with the boys and operate a business from home. This was a home based embroidery business that embroidered logos on promotional items for companies. It was a busy time but the best of both worlds being able to work from home and raise the boys.
Left Photo: Jake, Tyler and Robert | Middle: Nina and Tyler | Right Photo: Jake, Nina and Robert
I moved to Wasaga Beach with my husband and three boys in 2003. We purchased 60 acres with intentions of building a home and opening a four season resort surrounding the beautiful 2 acre sky blue pond that existed on the property. At the time we were met with what felt like a lot of push back from the town and a very expensive, lengthy approval process. We finally gained approvals to build a home in 2004 which we built ourselves and continued with the process for the remainder of the property. During the process it was realized that the original plan was not overly supported by the town so we changed our application. We went through many years of the process required to sever our home (built in 2004) and 8 acres, created a new building lot and rezoned a portion of the property Industrial where we built, owned and operated a storage business. We sold the first built home which we lived in for 10 years and built a new home on the newly created lot in 2014. Due to family circumstances we sold this home in 2017. I am currently in the process of building again acting as my own general contractor. I am fortunate that my family life experiences have enabled me to take on a project like this. Understanding construction and development has been a huge asset to me in my role on Council. I look forward to moving into my new home.
I ran in the 2006 and 2010 election for the position of Councillor and in the 2014 election for Deputy Mayor and was successful each time due to the confidence the community had in me which I am very appreciative of. It has been said by a few that I am “too blunt” with how I respond to certain situations. I am who I am and while I may come off as too blunt for some people, I grew up in a family of no BS, work hard, say it the way it is, be honest. I prefer a direct approach as opposed to a long winded lecture.
There’s the history. I’ll let you be the judge as to whether I should be considered to be from a developer family or an entrepreneurial family. I can tell you one thing for sure, I am a member of a wonderful, caring family for which I am truly grateful. It’s all good!