MARTIN ATKINS 'Marty' May 19, 1946 - October 21, 2018 'If you lived here you would be home by now.' One of the many slogans Martin Atkins came up with during his over 50-year career in real estate. He helped redefine the Toronto skyline and the Canadian real estate market. Marty grew up fast in Montreal and eventually moved to Toronto. Just like his father before him, Marty was proud of his Jewish identity and heritage. He fought anti-semitism on the streets of Toronto as his father, Lee, did growing up in London, Ontario. His family proudly continues this tradition. In high school, Marty became the premier athlete in Ontario. From football, baseball, basketball, track and field, and tennis, Marty excelled in everything he did. He was an incredible athlete and had numerous articles written about him. He was recruited by multiple U.S. and Canadian Universities and Colleges for full scholarships. Marty eventually attended Kent State and married the first love of his life, Florine. After surviving the Kent State massacre he moved back to Toronto to raise a family. Marty quickly took his competitive nature to business and got his real estate brokers license and ran Tridel's sales and marketing team before eventually leaving to start his own company, Martin Atkins Limited. It wasn't long before he had hundreds of employees and the city began to refer to him as 'King Condo.' In the late 1980s to early 1990s, it was hard to find a condominium building that King Condo was not involved in. Marty was the maestro of creating marketing materials that would have buyers coming out in droves, so much so that he would have to hire security to manage the buyers when they would arrive on opening sales day. Buildings would sell out quickly before breaking ground, all because of Marty's masterful touch. He was a real estate innovator and revolutionized the way condominiums were sold in Toronto. Few were immune to Marty's charisma and will; he was a natural born salesman. He could adeptly convince those in his presence of just about anything - even if they disagreed again when he left the room and his magic wore off. Marty's life can't just be defined by what he accomplished in Toronto. He moved south and began building a large custom home business in South Florida and Nantucket. He continually evolved from a builder to a developer while still utilizing his marketing genius. Here he remarried and Marty and his second wife, Erika, had two beautiful children together. When one of Marty's brothers was living in Hong Kong, a very prominent person there told him that Marty Atkins 'can swim with the sharks.' His brother felt that his "old school" prowess in deal making was in large part derived from that uncommon ability. We can liken Marty's life to that of a Phoenix, endlessly rising from the flames of numerous passionate endeavors. He tirelessly transformed himself from the boy who grew up on St. Urbain Street in Montreal through his years as a real estate mogul to the latter part of his life where he retired and moved to Mexico. In his characteristic way he made new friends and became part of the colorful community there in Ajijic. Soon Marty was the talk of the town, hosting lunches, befriending the locals, learning new cooking techniques and most importantly, at peace. Although Marty had an impressive business prowess, he was an even better father. He was a strong, independent, protective, affectionate and very loving 'dad.' He put his kids before anyone and anything else. All five of his children have similar yet unique memories of him taking them and coaching them to their sporting activities. Marty continued these amazing traits and characteristics as a father into his next journey as a grandfather. Marty led a creative, energetic, constructive and loving life, not nearly long enough, and we will likely never see one like it again. He was a very generous (raising and donating millions of dollars throughout his life), caring, passionate man. On October 21, 2018, Martin Atkins passed away in Florida after a brave battle with cancer surrounded by his loving family. He is survived by his daughters, Lara (Dan), Jana (Covey) and Hunter; his sons, Lucas (Hayley) and Joey; brothers, Harman and Jason (Kelly); sister Aprill (Allan) and mother, Frances. In addition he leaves granddaughters, Ryann and Harper; and grandsons, Nate, Logan, Jackson, Chase and Jax. He will be missed by all of the people he touched everywhere he went.
Published in The Globe and Mail from Oct. 23 to Oct. 27, 2018.