Pioneers in Excellence

On November 18, 2021 we celebrated an extraordinary evening in honour of Carlo and Angela Baldassarra and Dr. Antonio Finelli.

The intimate evening was filled with heartfelt moments dedicated to the work and philanthropic impact our honorees have made on our community and the world around us.

Extra special thank you to our sponsors and donors who made this evening an overwhelming success.

We are pleased to share our tribute videos from Pioneers in Excellence II



The Urology Division at University Health Network (UHN) is Canada’s premiere urological health provider, with a dedicated team providing patients the best treatment available using the latest surgical techniques. 

Dr. Antonio Finelli is Head of the Division of Urology at UHN. He is a urologic oncologist, surgeon within UHN’s Sprott Department of Surgery, and an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. As a clinician investigator, his research is focused on minimally invasive surgery techniques to diagnose and remove kidney tumours.

Dr. Finelli’s cutting-edge research has enabled the Division of Urology at UHN to become a leading centre for small kidney tumour biopsy, obtaining samples in the least invasive way possible. Now, he is working to advance the surgical treatment options, developing more precise techniques that will improve patient outcomes.

Dr Finelli
Dr Finelli


Carlo and Angela Baldassarra first arrived in Canada from Italy in the late Fifties. Upon emigrating, Carlo, only 19 at the time, worked as a carpenter and quickly began showcasing a powerful work-ethic and clear business sense.

Carlo and Angela were married in 1963 and in 1966 Carlo built his first house. Greenpark Homes was founded shortly after in 1967 by Carlo and his partners. A visionary with a keen eye for potential and a solid understanding of the building industry, Carlo adopted forwardthinking strategies that resulted in Greenpark communities quickly spanning the Greater Toronto Area.

Greenpark Group has now been in business for over 52 years and with over 75,000 homes built to date, has become a name that is recognized and trusted throughout Canada. Carlo and Angela, along with their three sons – Mauro, Armando and Michael – by their side, built Greenpark into a thriving empire that continues to grow steadily on an international scale.

Carlo’s legacy in the home building industry was honoured in 2014 with a BILD Lifetime Achievement Award, paying homage to the impact that his unique and powerful methods had on the lives of thousands of homeowners across the country.

The Baldassarra family legacy, built through Greenpark, has continued to expand beyond the building industry with Carlo and Angela’s philanthropic pursuits that have made an impact throughout Southern Ontario.

Carlo and Angela Baldassarra


Your support will allow Dr. Finelli and his team to pursue the knowledge that makes  lives better.

RESEARCH – Up until recently, treating a tumour  on the kidney involved removing the entire organ, without much context about the tumour itself.  Unfortunately, this context is critical.  Dr. Finelli’s research will transform current surgical procedures. A less-invasive biopsy approach will unlock information on the history of the tumour as well as the best way to treat it. With an understanding of the origin of the tumour, surgery can be individualized, leading to better outcomes for patients.

INNOVATION – Dr. Finelli is a leader in the use of robotic surgery in urologic surgery at UHN. This type of surgery allows even the tiniest of masses to be removed with ultra precision in minimally invasive ways – speeding up recovery times and boosting remission rates. Dr. Finelli is recognized nationally and internationally for his contributions to minimally invasive and robotic surgery, and he will continue to refine urologic surgical procedures that will save more lives. 

Villa Charities Inc. (VCI) is proudly celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1971. A registered charity, Villa Charities enriches lives through experiences and services that honour Italian culture and heritage. For 50 years across the GTA, the organization has provided cultural and educational programs and supported culturally sensitive long-term care and independent living apartments for seniors. VCI fulfills their mandate through a broad range of activities, services, and facilities, both directly and in conjunction with its affiliates and independent organizations. Affiliates include Columbus Centre and Joseph D. Carrier Art Gallery; Villa Charities Foundation; Villa Colombo Homes for the Aged Inc. in Toronto; Villa Colombo Seniors Centre (Vaughan) Inc. Di Poce Centre; and Italian Canadian Benevolent Seniors Apartments Corporation/Casa Abruzzo Benevolent Corporation with apartments for independent seniors (Caboto Terrace, Casa Del Zotto and Casa Abruzzo). Each of these organizations is an integral part of the Villa Charities family with separate legal status and its own governance Board. For more information visit

As of April 1, 2021, Toronto General & Western Hospital Foundation is amalgamating with Toronto Rehab Foundation to form a new organization, under the name UHN Foundation. Donors will now be able to support research, education and the entire spectrum of the patient journey at UHN –right through to rehabilitation –through a single Foundation. Going forward, this will enable our community of supporters to choose to make an even bigger impact, helping UHN pursue even more knowledge to build a healthier world. For more information visit

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