After finishing her university degree in geography and urban planning, Nancy began working for the Exposition Center (Government of Canada) designing exhibits and trade fairs. At that point, Nancy never imagined that she would use these business and people skills for her future career in real estate. With a background in urban planning, construction and renovation, her vast experience and knowledge has allowed her to assist clients to visualize and in some cases assists with planning renovations in their future home. When it comes to visualizing, Nancy has always had a knack for helping clients see the potential in their new space, whether it is a condominium, apartment or older home in one of the established neighborhoods throughout the city.

As a realtor with 30 + years of experience, Nancy operates a full-service office at RE/MAX Hallmark Realty in Ottawa Ontario.  RE/MAX has offices throughout Ontario and International offices in most countries throughout the world. Under the trade name Nancy Benson & Associates, Nancy and her team have continued to be among the top realtors in the region (according to Ottawa Real Estate Board statistics) year after year.

As one of Canada’s Top Realtors she attributes her success to her ability to match buyers with just the right property. For her seller clients what sets Nancy apart from other realtors is the elegant and professional way she markets properties. Nancy and her associates pride themselves on their unique presentation and marketing skills.


Nancy’s clientele is primarily Foreign Services Officers, Military, RCMP, numerous international investors and young urban professionals who have decided to make Ottawa home. Nancy also provides planning services for those soon to retire. Whether they are looking for a country retreat, a winter property in the south, or a cottage closer to home Nancy has a vast network of colleagues and professionals throughout the world! As a consistent top producer in her field with numerous awards for marketing and sales, Nancy is the go-to realtor for your next real estate venture.

Nancy Benson & Associates is a supplier to two major organizations offering relocation assistance to their employees: Brookfield Global Relocation Services (Brookfield GRS) and The MI Group who are the main contract companies for large corporations who move staff to the Ottawa Carleton area.

Brookfield works under contract with the Government of Canada and its various departments, the Canadian Forces (DND) and the RCMP to provide assistance in relocating to Ottawa. The MI Group is a relocation management company for the global corporate community. As a key supplier many of Nancy’s clients are referred by these organizations.


Tia Maria in Hunter Derby Vermont 2019- Nancy Benson Show Jumping
Tia Maria in Hunter Derby Vermont 2019

When she isn’t showing or selling homes, you’ll often find Nancy involved in her other passion: equestrian show jumping. Nancy first became involved in the sport in her teens, and after putting it on hold while she established her real estate career, she returned to show jumping more than a decade ago. She participates in show jumping in the U.S. and Canada and continues to be in the top placings at numerous international events.

She is a member of the Canadian Equestrian Foundation and the United States Equestrian Foundation. You can read more in the article below, which was written a few years ago and is reprinted with permission. Since the article was written, Nancy has moved her horses closer to home, to Lincourt Stables in Laval, Quebec.


Source: Horse Sport. Appears with permission.

A glance at the results of the low adult jumper and Masters jumper division at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) as well as the amateur jumper classes at major Ontario tournaments shows Canadian rider Nancy Benson peppered among the top placings. This busy Ottawa native manages a hectic career as a real estate agent buying and selling “unique urban properties” interspersed with traveling a daunting number of miles every week to train and show her horses.

Nancy & Britain 
Rockwood, Ontario
Nancy & Britain ~ Rockwood, Ontario

Benson began riding hunters in her teens, coached by Robert Meilsoe. But after graduating, the reality of realty dictated that she gave up horses for the next 20 years while she built her business. About 16 years ago, she felt she needed a change from skiing and a few other pursuits, and longed to return to her first love. She purchased a couple of prospects and decided that if she was taking another shot at the sport, she would get serious. “Rather than keeping my horses here in Ottawa, I moved them to Torrey Pines (in Schomberg) so I could train with Eric Lamaze and Courtney Vince. Mostly I did hunter at first with Courtney and bought and sold a few horses through Eric.” Her two current horses – Joli Coeur and Quannan De Bray – were imported from Europe through Lamaze and Vince’s overseas connections. Joli Coeur (known as Cracker in the barn) is a 23-year-old chestnut Selle Francais gelding. “He is sort of the barn pet,” says Benson. Quannan De Bray (nicknamed Britain) is a 20-year-old bay Belgian Sport Horse gelding that came from Michael Whitaker’s barn. His sire, Kannan, was a talented member of the French jumping team who was named French national champion in 2005.

Following the Beijing Olympics, Lamaze and Vince became stationed primarily in Europe, so Benson decided to move on. and the horses like me!” she says, adding that while she doesn’t have children, “my “kids” are the Benson Boys – that’s what they call them at the barn.”

The logistics of working, riding and showing (not to mention home life with hubby Bill Stanyar) requires a precision balancing act from Benson.

On winter weekends, the 60-year-old Benson flies back and forth to Florida for WEF. “The idea was to have a holiday in the winter and a bit of a break from real estate.” That “break” is open to interpretation, however. “I’m usually not away for more than three or four days at a time, and I have a full office set up in Florida. Many of my clients also go to Florida and I find myself meeting with them their to discuss their real estate requirements. Typically, I work in the morning and ride in the afternoon, or vice versa.” Thanks to the internet and a team of four assistants I am able to continue to work seamlessly, she is able to make appointments, set up tours and manage her business from any location. “I also do referral work with agents in Florida for horsey people who are looking for, rentals or purchases.”

Arlequin du Mazes - Wellington, Florida
Nancy Benson
Arlequin du Mazes – Wellington, Florida

While in Wellington, Benson keeps her horses with Melissandra Lincourt from Laval, Quebec who is Grand Prix rider on the Canadian Show Jumping Circuit.  “The horses go down in early November and come back end of April,” says Benson, who usually manages to do eight or nine shows during the 12-week tournament.

Benson is pragmatic about the amount of life-juggling effort it takes to keep all the balls in the air. “I guess it comes naturally, as I have been doing this balancing act for 16 years or so. It takes a lot of planning and organization to ensure that my work runs smoothly and that my clients never think that I am out of the office. Technology now allows me to follow both passions – real estate and show jumping.”.

Joli Coeur aka "Cracker" Gatineau 2020
Nancy Benson
Joli Coeur aka “Cracker” Gatineau 2020