This Entrepreneur Started His Masonry Business With Ownr

Every Friday, we feature a Canadian business that was founded with Ownr. If you started your business with us and would like to be featured here, let us know in an email to marketing@ownr.co.

Irishman Stephen Mason spent six years in the construction industry before starting Toronto Masonry Restoration in 2019. The business, which he incorporated with Ownr, is a bespoke masonry company that specializes in restoring Toronto’s heritage properties. Here, Stephen speaks with Ownr about the craftsmanship involved in repairing old buildings, his tricks of the trade, and how he manages the business from the job site.

Ownr: Tell us about Toronto Masonry Restoration.

Stephen: We are a masonry company that specializes in the restoration and conservation of old buildings. From replacing a single brick to rebuilding the full facade, we aim for our work to be seamless and true to the period. Old buildings were not constructed the way modern buildings are and require a different approach. Our working knowledge of heritage materials and building principles, places us in a position to effectively deal with any building’s masonry.

Stephen Mason, the Founder of Toronto Masonry Restoration

Ownr: Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

Stephen: I got to the stage where my career was halted, and I felt the only way to progress was to go out on my own and start a company. The freedom to decide what projects I work on lured me to start my business.

Ownr: What do you remember about the initial days of starting Toronto Masonry Restoration.

Stephen: I faced all the typical challenges and requirements that come along with setting up a company. As a business owner you have to wear many hats. I knew how to use a trowel, but when issues arose with my website I was less knowledgeable in overcoming those.


“I knew how to use a trowel, but when issues arose with my website I was less knowledgeable in overcoming those.”

– Stephen Mason, Founder of Toronto Masonry Restoration

Ownr: What’s been your biggest success with the masonry business, and what’s the most difficult thing about running it?

Stephen: Securing our first full facade restoration on a Victorian style residence was promising. We start that project soon.

Dealing with factors that are outside of my control is difficult. You can schedule your week as best as you can, but if the weather decides to turn for the worse or another trade is holding you up, it can affect your bottom line in this business.

Stephen Mason, the Founder of Toronto Masonry Restoration

Ownr: What does a typical day look like for you?

Stephen: I wake up early. I like to get out on the road before the traffic gets bad. I might pick up supplies or visit our storage yard to collect tools and equipment. When I get to the job site, I give myself a target for the day on what I want to get done. I might finish work at 3 pm or go as late as 8 pm depending on how the week is scheduled. When I get home I catch up on administrative tasks.

Ownr:  What do you love about being your own boss?

Stephen: I reap what I sow. The ability to choose your own hours is great. There is also a respect and admiration for small business ownership that you don’t come across as often as an employee.


“Don’t be afraid to spend money on things that will save you time. It’s important to be frugal, but if that frugality comes at the expense of your time, you will exhaust yourself.”

– Stephen Mason, Founder of Toronto Masonry Restoration

Ownr: What do you wish you knew before launching your business, and any tips you can share with other entrepreneurs?

Stephen: Of course, but I wouldn’t have known about those things unless I had started a business in the first place. And my advice is, don’t be afraid to spend money on things that will save you time. It’s important to be frugal, but if that frugality comes at the expense of your time, you will exhaust yourself.

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