By Jonathan Hiltz

If you’ve ever wanted to see Toronto’s real estate community beat the snot out of each other in a charity boxing match, now is your chance.

On Nov. 22 at CBC’s Studio 40, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, developers and various others in the property community will compete in a charity boxing match called the Toronto Real Estate Rumble.

The boxers have been training for many weeks, getting in shape through various boot camps and strict food regimens to be fit enough to throw a few punches, all in the name of raising needed funds.

James Burton
James Burton

The charitable organizations who are benefitting from this slugfest are the WE Movement and Imagine1Day. These two groups are dedicated to expanding global education through the construction of schools in less fortunate countries, such as Ethiopia.

“It’s the Toronto debut. There are a couple of similar events. There’s Agency Wars, which is the ad agencies of Toronto, and Bay Street Brawl, which is finance companies,” says James Burton, managing partner of Percy Ellis Group of Companies in an interview with REM. Burton is a developer of multifamily rental properties in Toronto and one of the boxers in the real estate rumble.

“Every corner of the industry is (represented in the event). Financing, development, real estate agents, insurance agents, you name it. It’s not focused on one sector in the industry, everybody is welcome,” says Burton.

He says the selection process to be chosen as a fighter was intense. “There were probably 100 people who came out to a four-day boot camp in Riverdale Park. For four days they just kicked your ass and they had people monitoring. They selected the top 12 people from that boot camp.” This group went into a more extensive 10-week training program.

Burton is fighting Michael K. Black from Chris Allen Real Estate.*

Of all the sports that could have been selected, Burton says that boxing was chosen because this type of event has a proven track-record for generating interest from the public. He says he is enjoying his training period even though he has been hit a few times.

“You get into some pretty intense sparring with your own teammates and coaches,” he says. “You get hit and you bleed, it’s intense. You take that first shot straight to the nose and you go, ‘Damn, I really screwed that one up.’”

As fun as the event is, Burton wants to keep most of the attention on the charity. He says they “are focused on developing education around the world for children in need, putting more kids back to school, building schools and preparing teachers.”

Anyone interested in donating and attending the event can buy a seat at one of the contenders’ VIP tables, including Burton’s, by contacting the fighters themselves. As well, people can simply purchase a ticket through the online link to the event.

If boxing is not your cup of tea, any donations for the cause are accepted as well.

The Toronto Real Estate Rumble will be held Nov. 22 at CBC Studio 40. Doors open at 6 pm and the fights commence at 7 pm.


* This story has been updated from a previous version that said Burton’s opponent would be someone else.  A late change was made to the card.



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