Former defensive back’s new T.O. show helps reno rookies

Toronto’s own Sebastian Clovis hosts HGTV Canada’s home renovation series Tackle My Reno

When a reality television crew showed up on his construction site, Sebastian Clovis knew his work life was about to get a lot more interesting.

Clovis, a builder and home designer, was working on independent contracts in the GTA when he was scouted out by HGTV Canada to host his own home renovation show, Tackle My Reno.

Although many fantasize about turning their daily grind into the stuff of TV magic, Clovis was never one to seek out the spotlight.

“To be honest, I’ve always considered myself to be somewhat of an introvert, so it was kind of funny that I ended up in this field,” he says.

Of course, he was not plucked out of total obscurity — CFL fans will recognize his name from his Grey Cup-winning run with the BC Lions in 2006.

Few of those fans, however, know of Clovis’s second career or that he’s been developing his building know-how for just as long as his athletic skills.

Growing up in the east end of Toronto, Clovis was a track and field and football star by the time he reached high school.

At 15, he also began to nurture a passion off the field. His parents planned a kitchen renovation, and knowing of their son’s budding interest in construction, they negotiated a deal with the contractor that allowed Clovis to apprentice with him during the project.

It was a perfect fit. Clovis landed himself an annual summer job until he left for university on a football scholarship.

“I worked really well with that contractor and we built a great rapport,” recalls Clovis. “I really got the fundamentals of building at an early age. I could install a window and frame a door before I graduated high school.”

His talents were on display in more than one room at home. Once the kitchen was done, Clovis convinced his parents to let him renovate their unfinished basement so he could use it as a bedroom.


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