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Monday, December 5, 2011

Reasons to be Thankful

By Mark E. Rose (Toronto)

The holiday season is upon us and both Canadian and U.S. Thanksgiving have recently passed. Time moves so quickly for all of us, but we need to take time to reflect and thank those who support us and have made Avison Young the fastest-growing real estate services firm in North America.

Of course, this starts with our clients. Our client list has grown significantly over the past three years as occupiers and investors become aware of our industry-leading client-service model. Avison Young boasts the only holistic approach to solving clients’ needs, and we surround the client's objectives with accountable individuals who face reputational as well as financial risk in the pursuit of service excellence. Our Principal-led culture ensures that the client, the execution team and the shareholders are completely aligned. We do not employ the age-old pyramid structure, where business units report up through layers of managers and are pitted against each other to deliver for shareholders who are not involved in the day-to-day business.

We would be here all day if we thanked every existing and new client earned in 2011, but we can promise that their trust is truly appreciated and will be rewarded through the custom solutions created and delivered by our Avison Young family. Our clients are our lifeline and our most important stakeholders. As recent as last week, the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) entrusted Avison Young with the listing contract to lease HOOPP’s $300-million-plus, 33-acre development (up to 1.1 million square feet of office space and 70,000 square feet of restaurant/service amenities) in the Airport Corporate Centre in Mississauga (please see the Avison Young website for details.) The ground-breaking LEED-Gold development is one of the most prominent and important projects in the Greater Toronto Area and Avison Young is honored to be associated with HOOPP and the development team.

Thanks also go out to our minority investor – Tricor Pacific Capital, Inc. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia with an office in Lake Forest, Illinois, Tricor is a leading private equity firm which, on October 14, 2011, made a minority investment in our common stock. Tricor is the proverbial needle in the haystack as it relates to a cultural match and we look forward to working with the Tricor team to accelerate Avison Young's already aggressive strategic growth plans. Bradley Seaman and Roderick Senft join our Board of Directors to enhance our capabilities and our commitment to leadership in corporate governance.

Finally, we are thankful for every member of our Avison Young family. Not only is our company differentiated by our Principal-led culture, our industry-leading growth rates and our unique client-service model, but we work together as a team to meet all stakeholder goals, deliver results and, most importantly, have fun doing it!

Among many highlights in 2011 at Avison Young, we launched new offices in Dallas, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, stretching our U.S. reach from coast to coast. We also acquired Virginia-based Millennium Realty Advisors, LLC and will be announcing additional acquisitions shortly.

Avison Young is exceeding all expectations as we execute against a clearly defined vision and plan, and we will never forget those who have taken us here and whom we count on everyday to reach our lofty goals.

We thank you all and wish each and every one of you a very happy holiday and a prosperous and healthy new year.

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