When Edgar Sigal founded Chateau Window & Door Systems he couldn’t have envisioned this: a wall of windows overlooking a ravine, with only a fireplace to break the magnificent view.
The year was 2003, and the average price of a detached house in Toronto was just over $330,000. Sigal had spent years working in the dot-com world, but he’d always been mechanically inclined, having grown up in his father’s manufacturing business. Now, he wanted to do something more tangible. Looking around the city he saw construction everywhere, and he recognized an opportunity and had an idea. He approached a Quebec-based window manufacturer and asked to be their Toronto distributor, and his company was born.
Much has changed in the intervening years, and Chateau has grown along with the Greater Toronto Area’s real estate boom. Chateau’s team has grown—including service technicians, customer service agents and sales people—allowing Sigal to provide the service of which he is justifiably proud. It all starts with in-depth meetings with clients and architects to ensure that they are using the best possible product for their needs. Sigal takes pride in being part of the creativity that brings clients’ visions to life. But it doesn’t end there: Chateau is serious about standing by its jobs after installation. “We look at each project as if it were our own home, wanting to understand what’s important,” he says. “I think that’s the underlying philosophy that’s ingrained in everybody who works here—it makes the difference between just selling the product and being able to provide a value-added service.”
Chateau has long-standing relationships with leading companies like Lepage Millwork, for example, but Sigal is always on the lookout for new, unique lines to complement their existing products.
“The trend in design is more modern—sharper edges, cleaner lines, minimal frames, bigger glass,” Sigal says, noting that technical advances in glass and hardware have allowed for larger window and door units like lift-and-slide or bi-fold doors. “Larger door systems allow for expansive openings that let people flow in and out and let the outside and interior spaces connect with one another,“ he says.
To meet this appetite for modern design, Chateau represents brands like Bliss Nor-Am— the company whose steel products allow for that expansive wall of glass overlooking the ravine.
Earlier this year, the company also brought on a German line called Unilux, which specializes in customizable modern designs with options like wood interior curtain wall windows. “When I’m representing a product, it’s very important to me that I really believe in its quality,” he says.
Chateau is also installing products in new and innovative ways: steel-framed windows act as dividers in Google’s Toronto office, as doors to a wine cellar, and delineate a homework area in an architect’s home.
But primarily, they still act as the homeowner’s connection to the outdoors. “At the end of the day, what do we really put windows in our house for?” asks Sigal. “So we can look outside, get some natural light, bring the outside in.”