Personal Anecdotes

We are counting down to the end of yet another year. I hope 2014 was a good and successful one for you.

Last year on New Year's Eve I wrote a letter to myself in the past tense, as if it was already December 31st 2014.

I reviewed that letter today and almost everything I envisioned and wrote down in it has actually come to be.  This makes me all the more happier to share with you the highlights of my year.

Operation and recovery. I had a complicated Achilles tendon repair surgery that had me laid up for several months.  While the recovery period was longer than expected, it was a very interesting experience and a positive one indeed. I started to walk freely again 3 months ago and since then have gotten myself in the best shape I have ever been in.  I feel lean, strong, full of vitality and energy, with great mental clarity and focus.

My son Jack is an endless source of joy and inspiration to me.  He has an innate wisdom and an insatiable curiosity. Jack makes me strive to be a better person every single day.

My older son Alex has made terrific progress on the artistic front, running his own successful gallery promoting young talented emerging Canadian artists ( For those of you who have not met Alex, he is a class act in every respect.  I am so proud of his personal growth and his professional accomplishments.

A family health-related challenge has required attention to provide care for my mother who is afflicted with Alzheimer's (for those familiar with this condition, you know what's involved). I am so grateful that I have been afforded the time and the where-with-all to arrange for proper home care, manage her health needs and provide for her ongoing social interaction with her friends and community.  I don't know of a more deserving woman.  She spent 60 years as a medical doctor giving all of herself for the benefit of others. Providing this support to enable her enjoyment of these years is for me a privilege.
I had yet another successful year in my real estate career (That's 34, but let's not count shall we?). I am truly blessed in being able to serve people I like, doing the business that suits me to a tee.  A business where I can put the skills and expertise I've developed to good use for good people.
Unexpectedly, the opportunity presented itself for me to acquire the very special and unique cottage of a well known and accomplished contemporary Canadian artist Charles Pachter  ( and http://www.vladbregman/cottage) It is an old icehouse on the shores of Lake Simcoe, built in 1926. Long before fridges and freezers, there were iceboxes and ice came from the frozen lakes in winter where ice was cut up, hauled and stored and kept for the summer. This icehouse served the cottagers of Lake Simcoe who came by boats to get their ice. Charles spent 13 years painting here, creating a vast number of his masterpieces, and I am so proud to continue his creative legacy with two artists of my own.  Both Alex and Jack are excited to take over and create in Charles studio.  My family, friends and I will treasure this place for years to come.
While still in post-surgical recovery in the late summer, I was able to spend 3 weeks enjoying one of my long outstanding bucket-list items… exploring the Maritimes.  I know I promised pictures months ago!  Well, here they are. It was yet another great bonding experience for the Bregman boys, rich in culture, unbelievable scenery, imbued with deep historical elements. 

As they say – "and now for something completely different",  we went to one of the most amazing Art shows in the world: Art Basso in Miami ( and

At this annual event, nearly 3 billion dollars are spent in a week of art exhibits and sales. Out of this world art, sites, outdoor installations, the city abuzz and alive with people, in one of America's most iconic and dynamic cities… and deep, free-flowing wallets :) 

Lastly, while not actually part of 2014, I've spent a lot of time this year planning a special trip to the British Virgin Islands.  It's long been a dream of mine to be able to treat close family and friends to a very special experience.  We'll be in Tortola in February of 2015 on a 62 foot Catamaran complete with Captain and chef. I promise lots of photos.

Real Estate investments:
As you know, a good building with good income and location always demands a premium in any market, especially in the one we are in now. I am diligent about maintaining the highest standards for the investment properties I own and operate. This year, as with most years, I have undertaken a few projects to improve my real estate holdings, a process I quite enjoy. I am a long term investor and continuous improvement of my properties pays great dividends over time.  Well positioned and maintained properties attract the highest paying tenants with minimal turnover.  They require minimal maintenance and subsequently less of my time to manage them. This philosophy has benefited me and all of my investing clients substantially as the market continues it upbeat march, now in it's 14th year. 

In recent years I have expanded my philanthropic pursuits. From close-to-home social ethics initiatives such as sponsoring The Tour of Humanity ( to visit Jack's school, to providing some guidance and coaching to Rothman's Business school graduates, to supporting the Toronto Botanical Gardens. I am always energized by seeing the impact of giving back.

My greatest mentor, Jim Rohn, who has helped me shape and crystallize my values, views and philosophies of life, says “It is not the job we do or the income we earn, but the person we become by it.” (

I am proud of my 2014 accomplishments. This year, over the holidays, while at the cottage with friends and family, I will write another letter of all the things I have already accomplished in 2015.  I highly recommend these 2 things: write it down as if it has already happened and been accomplished. If you feel so inclined, send them to me and I would love to read them.  Trust me, the results will amaze you.

I wish you a very special, happy and safe Holiday Season.

Vlad B

Russia Christmas 2011

January 11, 2012 Personal Anecdotes

Jack and I have just returned from Moscow and what a memorable trip we had. I have done a lot of traveling with many different people, but Jack, at the age of 8, is without doubt the most incredible traveling companion I have ever been on the road with.

Read More…

Great idea for a unique and personal gift

December 14, 2010 Personal Anecdotes

Here is a great gift idea for your friends, family or for yourself. Alexander is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design with 5 years experience…

Read More…