Meet 2016 Light Up Riverside Sponsor: Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP

Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP  Help Light Up Riverside for the Holidays

President & CEO Philomena Comerford with her sons Dylan Luft (right) and Austin Luft (left)


This year the Riverside BIA is partnering with long-time BIA member Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP to present Light Up Riverside – the area’s annual tree lighting and cheer event, inviting the whole community! The fun festivities are happening on November 26, 2016, from 5pm to 7pm in the Mustard Seed Courtyard (791 Queen E – just steps west of the Baird MacGregor offices).

Originally formed in 1979, Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP eventually relocated to and purchased their Riverside home at 825 Queen Street East in 1988. The company has over 30 years of history supporting individuals and the community. At the helm of the company is President and CEO Philomena Comerford, a woman with an outstanding career and a proven leader who is equally compassionate about her employees as she is about her clients.


1950s-style diner on 2nd Fl of Baird MacGregor offices


Like the eclectic Riverside community itself, Baird MacGregor has grown to include some unique features. For example, the second floor of the firm’s office – the 100 year-old building at 825 Queen Street East – includes a 1950s-themed diner complete with leather booths, a jukebox and lunch counter. The diner serves as employee lunchroom and party venue. Furthermore, the brokerage is 85 members strong, with many longtime employee who now have the opportunity to have their children work alongside them. In fact, an example of this familial workplace relationship is Philomena Comerford herself and her son Dylan Luft.

We interviewed Philomena to find out more about the firm’s long time ties to Riverside, what the company stands for, and why supporting Light Up Riverside is important to them.

 (Q &A)

Tell us what you’d like the neighborhood to know about your company.

Baird MacGregors Insurance Brokers LP are not the traditional insurance broker. The firm has a long track record of success through caring for its clients, strong family ties and taking the time to have fun. Employees at Baird MacGregor have to be people persons. This is furthermore exemplified in Baird MacGregor’s long tradition of giving, whether it is to clothing drives, Interval House or the Fred Victor Centre.

You’ve been in this neighborhood for nearly 30 years – what’s made your firm stay here in Riverside?

As an east-ender myself, much like many of the associates at the firm, Riverside has always felt like home and from the start it suited the firm’s ‘outside of the box’ character. Originally, Riverside was a rougher neighbourhood but we saw its potential as a place that was changing for the better and we were right. Today, Riverside is a vibrant, colorful and artistic neighborhood that has an eclectic feel to it. It’s a bit of an oasis outside of the city. The area is convenient considering its closeness to downtown and major  highways so it was not a difficult choice to settle here.  Finally, we have invested a lot in the neighbourhood, and last year our building (825 Queen Street East) turned 100 years old –  it has become an important part of our identity.



Awards from the firm’s many successful years hang in their offices


Why did you decide to sponsor Light Up Riverside 2016? How does it connect to Baird MacGregor’s values?

Light Up Riverside is all about family, fun and warmth: virtues that Baird MacGregor values very deeply. The event is an opportunity to combine some of our favorite things about the season with the aspect of giving, making it an enjoyable time for the community and for us. Sponsoring the event continues in our tradition of giving back while being able to take part in the festive ceremony and meet the community.


Sketch of Baird MacGregor’s offices by CEO Philomena Crawford, who is also an artist(!), 1989.


What is a fun fact people may not know about Baird MacGregor Insurance LP?

One of the more unknown parts of our firm is the 1950s-themed diner as well as the gym on our second floor. Also, our building has a long history – it turned 100 years old in 2015. Our newest addition is our Art Deco front door, designed and installed by my brothers (Comerford Architectural).


Art Deco front door by Comerford Architectural


What is your favorite part about the work that you do?

The relationships we build with clients, that is: supporting people in times of need, being of value to them, and earning their trust. The feeling of helping others is unmatched, and being able to do that must be part of your DNA in order to work here.


A BIG THANK YOU to Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP for sponsoring the Light Up Riverside 2016 festivities!

Let us know you’re coming, join in the fun and meet our sponsors.