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He underwent 18 months of speech therapy before he could speak again, and endured years of physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Photo: Geoff Coleman.

No quit in Trevor White: Wheelchair can’t stop Fenelon man from contractor work

in Around Town/Business/Local News by

On a wall in Trevor White’s house hangs a photo that reveals a lot about the Fenelon Falls resident. He is in a hospital bed, chatting with Toronto Maple Leaf greats Darryl Sittler, Lanny McDonald, and Dave “Tiger” Williams.

Taken days after a car accident that left him with a severe brain injury and without the use of his legs, the hockey legends were not on a goodwill hospital tour — they came to see him because White was building Sittler’s house when the accident occurred.

White had a thriving construction business based in Pickering at the time of the 2006 roll-over, employing over 40 workers, and he had moved just outside Fenelon Falls 10 days earlier to slow life down a bit and give his twin girls an opportunity to keep horses. Needless to say, with a punctured lung, broken scapula, a torn aorta that required three operations, all of his left side ribs broken, a brain injury, and spinal damage from T5 to T9, plans changed suddenly.

He spent seven months in the hospital, giving up his interest in the construction company in that time. He underwent 18 months of speech therapy before he could speak again, and endured years of physiotherapy and occupational therapy. Through it all, his desire to work again motivated his recovery. White had substantial savings in the bank, and during his rehabilitation he considered using it to finance a restaurant or purchase a coffee shop franchise. Instead, he was urged to pursue a lawsuit that ultimately really only benefited the lawyers on all sides. When that was settled, he looked for other ways to fill his days.

Music was his first love, and as a 14-year-old he toured Quebec and Newfoundland with his uncle in a four-piece band, playing bars and Canadian Legions before graduating to gigs as big as playing New Year’s Eve at Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto. A skilled guitar player and singer before the accident, he worked hard to regain his voice and dexterity and got a band going, but he still felt the need for a full time job.

When an opportunity arose to mentor a local general contractor on some of the finer points of the business side of running a business, he leapt at the chance. With his feet wet in the business world again, he soon decided to see if he could resurrect his construction company in the Kawarthas he now called home, and One Stop Home Solutions was born. Though he has trouble recalling names and searches for the right word at times, White still has a head for numbers, possesses great people skills, and retains the construction know-how accrued during more than 30 years of on the job training. His resume includes work ranging from supervising the largest knock down furniture factory in North America, to running a real estate management company that oversaw completion of condos for the CIBC Mortgage Company.

His greatest strength however, was taking over projects that were spiralling out of control and turning them into profitable, efficient operations. He brings those same proven methods to One Stop Home Solutions. White visits about half of the work sites in person, but when conditions don’t allow him access, he has his employees take photos and video on their phones which are sent to him to help with estimating, problem solving, and quotations. Training and mentoring of young tradesmen and tradeswomen are high on his list of priorities.

Three and a half years into the venture, he is ahead of the goals he set, and is always thinking of ways to grow the business. He recently took over a building near the Salvation Army store in Fenelon Falls, and plans to have it serve double duty as a showroom for his lines of windows, doors, kitchen cupboards, siding, and flooring, and as a multi-purpose business space that could serve the needs of contractors, handymen, and business professionals from any walk of life. One Stop may be the official name of White’s company, but with so many different options on the horizon, non-stop would suit as well.

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Geoff Coleman lives in Fenelon Falls and has been a freelance writer since the time of the Commodore 64. When not fishing or spending time in his woodworking shop, he can usually be found behind a guitar.

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