Gordon MacLure Gibson

December 1, 2016

To Whom It May Concern

Re : Po Ku

It is with great pleasure and certainty that I write this letter of endorsement for the architectural and building services of Po Ku Design Build.

I first met Po Ku in 1997 when he was building a new home on Glencairn Ave. for my good friend, and business partner at the time, Andy Burgess.  I watched closely as the home took shape and was thoroughly impressed by the end product, enough to consider Po seriously as my dream of building my own home materialized.

In 1999, my wife and I purchased an old home on Forest Glen Cres.  We loved the street and the south-side property, but knew that the house itself would need considerable work.  It had a little charm, but needed to be updated and expanded.  After meeting with a couple of other builders, we decided on Po Ku Design Build, and have never regretted the decision.  Po went well beyond expectations and transformed the comely home into an impressive residence.  The curb appeal became remarkable, and the home was wonderful to live in.  He fused the old and new seamlessly and with strong structural integrity.  We lived there happily for 11 years.

With such a great first experience, we considered on one else to design two subsequent homes.  In 2004, we knocked down out aging home chalet at Osler Bluff Ski Club and hired Po to design a new structure.  While we engaged a local builder to execute the actual build, it is Po’s original design that is, in many ways, the hero.  He conceived a fabulous home on the side of the ski hill that combines the strength of our family’s Scottish heritage with the strong familiar motifs of Swiss alpine design.  It sites so naturally on the slope, functions perfectly in all seasons and the interior beam work in the great room, in particular, still amazes me with its artistic intricacy.  It is always hard to leave at the end of every winter weekend.

In 2009, we were expecting our fourth child when our neighbour’s house on Forest Glen came up for sale.  The beautiful lot was pleading for a new home, and we felt like it might as well be us that constructed it.  The decision was simple, we needed more space for our growing family, and we needed to do another project with Po.  It really is always a pleasure working with him and his interior designer wife Georgiana.  The appeal of a new city home, starting from a clean palette, was simply irresistible.

This new project turned out to be most satisfying.  Living next door afforded us the chance to witness every aspect of the building process.  It also revealed, on a day-to-day basis, what a serious professional Po is.  By early 2011, we were living in a spectacular French Classic home that incorporated just the right modern flare.  Five years later, we remain overwhelmed by its beauty and liveability.  The spectacular foyer and ultra functional and uniquely stylish kitchen are my personal favourite aspects of the residence.

When we choose to downsize, after the next empties, I hope we get a chance to work with Po again on something new and surely special.  I am also proud to call both Po and Georgiana our dear friends, not just simply associates.

I wold be happy to expand on our experiences with Po Ku Design Build with any interested parties, at any time.

Warmest regards,

Gordon Gibson

Cell # 416 409 1163

Stephen McDonald

September 16 2016

For anyone looking for very high quality original build work or substantial renovation I would recommend Po Ku without reservation.  You will not be disappointed – rather, you will be delighted, as much as we have been, as he brings your hopes and dreams to life.

Po Ku is an extraordinarily talented individual. He has a broad educational background spanning interior design, architecture and engineering and brings all that expertise to his craft to create a quality of work that is unsurpassed.

I first met him when he was building a spec house in a lovely part of Toronto. We very much liked what we saw – even though it was in its early stages of construction. We purchased the property from Po at that point and then worked with him to finish it to our specifications. Po was accommodating and quick to respond to our requests and the finished product was absolutely first class. He delivered on time and on budget while keeping us well informed throughout the process.

He is both creative and pragmatic – also a rare combination of traits. He is well-versed in period style and will listen to the preferences of his clients. He is obviously comfortable in working on various styles of architecture. He has excellent relations with first class sub-trades – truly the finest artisans in their respective fields – so the quality of work is always top notch – largely because Po has a high standard that he sets for himself and his tradesmen.

Years later we required some changes to the home as our needs and preferences had changed. We again retained Po to make those changes and he did a marvelous job of coming up with elegant solutions to our ideas and dreams – a barrel-vaulted bedroom ceiling – a Honduras mahogany library – and leather tiled walk in closet – just some of the marvelous things he came up with.

This is all to say that Po is an extraordinarily talented design-build professional and an absolute joy to work with.

Stephen McDonald

Co-Chair Scotiabank (retired)

Jen McDonald

September 16 2016

Here we are again giving praise to our builder Po Ku.

I lived abroad for many years and when I came back to Toronto, I called Po to come along to find us a house.  We needed something to move into quickly.  So building new was out of the question.

When my realtor suggested a more glitzy and high-flying neighbourhood, Po stepped in and brought to my attention a more low-key and verdant neighbourhood steeped in history.  We fell in love with it instantaneously.

We bought a house there that had been ‘renovated’ recently.  The previous architect had stripped the interiors of all original architectural details.  Po proceeded to restore the house’s Tudor Arts and Crafts character that was true to its architectural style.  The outcome was amazing.  We are still loving it.

Through the years, Po has performed a series of renovation to the house, each time making it more current and livable.  A house is an organic entity – it goes through birth, youth, aging and rebirth.  It is a perfectly enjoyable experience to witness the transition and transformation with the expert help of Po along the way.

So here I am, a perfect example of a returning customer.  I would recommend Po to anyone that is seeking the services of a custom home builder with unmatched credentials.

Jen McDonald

Paul Gray

November 20 2016

My appreciation of classical architecture emerged when I did my masters studies in Switzerland and had the opportunity to spent some time in major European cities such as Paris, Rome, and London. At this time, the thought of building a custom home in a classical style had not even crossed my mind, but as time evolved and our children arrived, my wife and I began to realize the limits, from a family perspective, of our multi-story downtown townhouse and started to look for a larger home in our neighborhood.

We live in Toronto and after an extensive search for a home we came to the conclusion that to get exactly what we were looking for we were looking at a major renovation of an existing home. It was at this point that our real estate agent introduced us to Po Ku who had designed and built custom homes for the agent’s parents and brother. When we visited these homes, we were immediately impressed with the timeless beauty of their classical architecture and the exceptional craftsmanship and attention to detail in all aspects of the exterior and interior of the homes.

When Po Ku showed us a brochure of a home he had designed in a French Neoclassical style, it was love at first sight, and we embarked upon the journey with Po and his wife Georgiana, an interior designer, to design, build and furnish our own custom home. It was not without some trepidation as we had many friends who had undertaken major renovation projects on homes they had purchased and many of them swore they would never do it again. I have to say our experience was totally the opposite – we enjoyed our home building experience and the result far exceeded our expectations. We have been living in our home for 18 years and still marvel every day at Po’s exquisite creation that we are fortunate enough to experience every day.

What makes Po Ku so different? He is an artist, but is easy to work with. Po has an encyclopedic knowledge of classical architecture, is a good listener, and has an uncanny ability to design exactly what you are looking for. He is an artist with the ability to both custom design and build, on schedule, with an amazing attention to quality and detail. His knowledge of materials and related design parameters and network of suppliers and skilled tradespeople and artisans is second to none. With Po Ku you get a custom home with old world quality that is built to last at a price that is a pleasant surprise! If you are thinking about building a traditional custom home, I have no hesitation recommending Po Ku to you, and would be happy to discuss our experience with you.

Paul Gray

Managing Director

Coxswain Row Capital Corporation

d:  416 934 2134  m: 416 277 6887

e: pgray@coxswainrow.com

Paul Gray

Susan Feldman

September 18 2016

Po Ku designs and builds extraordinarily unique and beautiful homes and interiors. I am both a fan and repeat customer.  I truly respect and endorse Po’s creativity, integrity and professionalism and would recommend him to anyone who wants to design renovate and/or build a home. I have known Po since 1999.

My first experience was to build a home with a French country accent.  We worked together and came up with a design that incorporated the architectural elements of this design direction and at the same time meaningfully complimented and enhanced my collection of Art Deco furniture.  It was the quality and detail that he brought to his work–a line of mouldings, an inlaid border, a wrought iron pattern– all essential elements that were custom designed and executed by a group of trusted and highly skilled craftsmen– that makes Po stand apart.

I am a repeat customer and am living in a gorgeous apartment that Po has renovated for me a couple of years back.

Po invests his time and energy — and his heart– when it comes to making things right.  His cost estimates are meticulously detailed and accurate and he delivers on time.

He is a true multi-talented professional who can be trusted to conceive of and execute any project.

Susan Feldman

Leslie

September 20 2016

Dear Po,

We want you to know that we are very pleased with the work you and your team did to our condo unit. When we first met to discuss our project, I had only a vague notion of what I needed, but you translated it into great result. The extra time and effort you put in were certainly worthwhile. It is a joy for me to work with you. We have recommended you to others because of our satisfaction with your work and we look forward to working with you again on our next project.

Best,

Leslie

Jo-Anne O’Connor-Wood

September 20 2016

Building your dream home can be hard work.

By choosing Po Ku Design Build our building was never work.  My experience with Po Ku was an absolute joy and great collaboration.

From the design process, through every detail, even to this day (years later), my experience has been nothing but professional on every level.

Po Ku’s philosophy on design and attention to detail and craftsmanship is unrivaled.

Guests throughout the years have commented with words such as : exquisite finishes, tasteful, beautiful home, incredible workmanship….

I would highly recommend Po Ku to anyone looking to build a custom home and have years of family enjoyment.

Jo-Anne O’Connor-Wood