For years, contractor Mike Holmes has been hard at work constructing, renovating and changing the lives of homeowners from coast to coast. Throughout his journey, the Toronto native has had a very special colleague helping him every step of the way – his son, Mike ‘MJ’ Holmes Jr. Now, the father-son duo are teaming up for their latest venture, the reality competition series Home Free.
“I’m a carpenter by trade and my dad’s been doing this for I don’t know how many years now … this show is as real as it gets,” the 26-year-old told Good Day Atlanta in advance of the series’ debut on July 22 (Fox). Home Free sees nine teams competing in home renovation challenges in hopes of winning the grand prize of a dream house. The show is the latest offering from the Holmes family, who have produced a variety of shows including Holmes Makes it Right, Holmes on Homes and Holmes Inspection. And with this series hitting primetime on a major network, the spotlight on Mike and his only son, MJ, is set to shine even brighter.
Here are 5 things you need to know about Mike Holmes Jr:
Sorry ladies, he’s taken.
One look at MJ’s social media accounts and it’s clear that he is a man in love. He is quick to praise his girlfriend of eight years, Lisa, for joining him on the road and thanks her for making him the “ happiest man in the world.”
— Mike Holmes Jr (@mike_holmesjr) January 22, 2015
He has big plans for the future.
The down-to-earth carpenter might stand by his father’s side today, but down the road he sees himself taking over the family business. “Someone’s got to take over the company one day, and I figure who better than his son? We share the same blood, the same passion. Who better to carry on the legacy?” he told the Ottawa Citizen.
He loves the outdoors.
The handsome carpenter (he graduated from George Brown College in Toronto) is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hit the water with his family, including dad Mike. He often shares pictures from his adventures, whether vacationing in cottage country or fishing and surfing out on the ocean.
— Mike Holmes Jr (@mike_holmesjr) June 18, 2015
He gives back.
Apart from supporting the work of his father’s Holmes Foundation, MJ is also a strong advocate for Skills Canada – a non-profit organization that helps Canadian youth pursue careers in skilled trades and technologies. He says that his passion for giving back started when he was a youngster, telling the Toronto Sun, “As a kid that's what I wanted to do, I wanted to help people, I wanted to save people, I wanted to be a superhero,” Mike Jr. said. “I guess this is the closest thing I can do to that.”
He had other childhood dreams.
The dedicated Toronto Maple Leafs fan admits that being in construction wasn’t his number one job of choice when he was younger. “For me, I wanted to get into firefighting,” he told B.C’s The Provence newspaper. But at the age of 14 he helped his dad out to make some extra money and ended up “falling in love with it,” and has been building his career ever since.