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Mike Holmes is a famous Canadian TV personality and professional residential home improvement contractor. He is the host of the television show Holmes on Homes. He is also a judge on Handyman Superstar Challenge and its American counterpart All American Handyman. Mike actually had never sought a career on television. His success on TV came about as more of an accident than the result of his conscious effort.
Holmes is the author of two home improvement books. One of them is titled Home Renovation with Canada’s Most Trusted Contractor and the other one was titled Holmes Inspection. Mike is acknowledged as an extraordinary craftsman and an accomplished master builder. His reality TV shows Holmes Inspection, Holmes on Homes, and his latest series Holmes Makes It Right air in multiple countries around the world.
Mike’s first passion was contracting and he focused all of his energy towards becoming a master in his industry. He was named the second most widely trusted person in Canada by Reader’s Digest in 2010. He has received many awards for his successful work.
Michael James Holmes was born on August 3, 1963 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. In Canada, Holmes grew up in a modest three-bedroom home with his mother Shirley and his father Jim. Mike grew tired of not having his own space and took it upon himself to renovate his closet into a bedroom. That marked the earliest building project he completed in his life. Growing up in a blue collar working class family, Holmes described his childhood as poor but content. Having such a childhood taught him how important it is to “do things right the first time.” It’s better to prepare and do it right than to spend time fixing mistakes that were avoidable.
In a television interview, Mike credited his father for inspiring him at an early age to dive headfirst into craftsmanship: “In my eyes, he was Superman. I talk about my dad all the time. Sometimes I get the feeling I talk about him too much. But he is the inspiration behind what I do for sure. My mom was my really good friend and my dad was my buddy, and they brought me up the right way.”
While Mike described his dad as a “tough guy with a heart of gold,” he described his mother as “an intelligent woman who was ahead of her time.” He noted that his mother taught him and his siblings sex education from a very young age at a time when doing so was considered taboo. She wasn’t shy about teaching her children real issues that they would have to deal with in the real world.
At the young age of 19, Mike married his first wife, Alexandra Lorex. After the marriage, he began his career as a full time contractor. That same year he started his first contracting company with 13 employees.
At the age of 21, he became the father of a sweet little daughter named Amanda. Later, he started his own renovation company. Mike and his wife decided to have more kids because of the extra income they were earning. They had a daughter named Sherry and a son named Mike Holmes Jr. After they got old enough, Mike Jr. and Sherry ended up working with Mike’s regular work crew on his show Holmes Inspection. His other kid, Amanda works in his office doing administrative duties. Mike is very proud that his children have followed in his footsteps.
After 2 decades into his career, Mike was the successful owner of two companies. The economic recession hit the construction industry and Mike’s business was not protected from it. Mike went bankrupt and even reached a point where he considered selling his business. He started feeling like a burden on his family. His marriage crumbled because of financial stress.
Mike forced to sell his car due to the excessive amount of time he was spending getting his work started again. Soon after, he was separated from his wife. The divorce ended his marriage occurred when he was 30 years old. To make things more difficult, a month after the split-up, Mike’s father died at the early age of 55 due to an accident that happened while walking down a narrow staircase that had no handrail.
Mike hasn’t been married since the divorce. However, he doesn’t hide being in a relationship with his girlfriend, Anna Zapia. He refers to Anna, a showroom model, as his wife even though they are not legally married. Mike and Anna live in a mansion that is located in Georgetown. They have many exotic pets including a polar bear, a cobra and an iguana named Pippa.
At the age of 17, Mike got a tattoo on the lower area of his right bicep. The art was an English bulldog wearing a hat. He never explained what the meaning of the tattoo was but it was assumed that he got it done randomly. A year later he got another tattoo of a Cobra on the lower area of his left bicep. His tattoo frenzy has never stopped and he continues to ink his body.
Mike’s right arm sports a half sleeve cover up tattoo. It depicts a large bulldog folding his arms, wearing his trademark overalls against the backdrop of a brick wall. “Make It Right” is a phrase that is highlighted in a banner. He also has a hammer and saw crisscrossed “skull and crossbones” style that sits just above his elbow. The half sleeve on his left arm displays a black and grey Viking on bended knee which is a tribute to Mike’s Nordic heritage.
Other than being a successful self-made businessman, a father and a TV celebrity renowned for his home improvement skills, Mike also loves to give back to society. He does so through his foundation called Holmes Foundation Make It Right. On the home page of the foundation’s website, Mike’s mission statement is to “stop shoddy work at its root and help skilled trades students get the education they need to become top professionals.”
Mike constantly finds new ways to combine his charity work with his professional business. The latest example was the Helmets for Charity auction. The initiative received generous personal donations. The auction sold numerous construction helmets with 28 beautiful designs in total.
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