Jonathan Silver Scott (born John Ian Scott, April 28, 1978) is a Canadian reality television personality, contractor, illusionist, and television and film producer. He is best known as the co-host—along with his twin brother Drew—of the TV series Property Brothers, as well as the program's spin-offs Buying and Selling, Brother Vs. Brother, and Property Brothers: At Home, which are broadcast in the US on HGTV. Scott is also co-founder and executive producer of Scott Brothers Entertainment, which creates TV, film, and digital content for North American and international broadcasters. In addition to entertainment, the twins have launched the lifestyle brand Scott Living and its extension, Dream Homes. He splits his time between a home in Las Vegas, Nevada he owns with his twin brother, and a home in Toronto that he shares with his girlfriend.
Early life and education
John Ian Scott was born on April 28, 1978—four minutes before his identical twin brother Drew—in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. He has an older brother, JD, and is the second son of James and Joanne Scott. James had fostered dreams of being a cowboy as he had seen on television, and so emigrated from Scotland to Canada as a teenager. He began working in the film industry as an actor, stuntman, and assistant director until the late 1970s. It was around that time when he decided to focus on raising his family, and they moved to a horse farm in the nearby town of Maple Ridge, British Columbia. James worked as a youth counselor and Joanne continued her career as a paralegal in downtown Vancouver. On their seventh birthday, their father encouraged the twins to get a job. They looked through the help wanted ads, but ultimately began a business with their mother called JAM (for Jon, Andrew, and Mom) making nylon-wrapped clothes hangers. In interviews, they have related how they would sell them door to door, eventually selling thousands to a woman who sold American paraphernalia in Japan.
The boys' continued job search led them to an ad recruiting child clowns to perform in parades. After completing classes with the local Parks and Recreation Department, they were hired at C$10 a gig, eventually making as much as $100 per hour. John, however, grew tired of making himself up, and began to transition as a performer. As a child, he'd seen a magic show on New Year's Eve that inspired him, and by the age of ten, he was making his own magic props; by 15 he was using the barn as a workshop to create large-scale illusions. He studied the definitive volumes of Tarbell Course in Magic, and sought out professional illusionists David Wilson and Shawn Farquhar, who became mentors and friends. He joined the Vancouver Magic Circle and the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and over the next decade he won several awards, including 3rd Best Stage Performer of the Pacific Coast Association of Magicians at 16.
James would commonly renovate the family properties and, from when they were as young as eight years old, he paid the boys to build and repair fences, decks, and barns. Even as kids, the twins would often rearrange the furniture in their family home. At 14 years old, John and his father moved to Alberta, where they begin building the parents' dream house from the ground up. He spent his sophomore year there, and it is during that time that he took on Jonathan Silver as a stage name, using it privately as well. After his grades began to decline, Jonathan moved back to Maple Ridge to complete high school, returning during school breaks with his family and best friend Pedro to assist in construction.
The boys attended Thomas Haney Secondary School and, while they both played on the basketball and volleyball teams, Jonathan gravitated more to theater and clubs, where he was president of various committees including student government and the graduation committee. After graduation, the family moved into their newly built home, just as the twins were leaving for Calgary to go to university.
After graduation he enrolled at the University of Calgary, majoring in business management. Despite having interest in going into entertainment, the twins didn't want to be "starving artists," and—after researching the topic and getting advice from their mother's legal firm,—they thought real estate would "ease the financial purgatory of being out-of-work actors." During their first semester in college and using a vendor take-back mortgage, they made a $250 down payment on and assumed the mortgage of a seven-bedroom property across the street from their university. They then cleaned and repaired it, and sublet the remaining five rooms for a profit of $800 a month. They sold the house a year later for a $50,000 profit. They continued to purchase and "flip" homes at large profit margins by making only modest repairs that they completed themselves, sometimes living in the homes they were renovating.
Scott moved to Vancouver and began to build large-scale illusions with the goal of eventually developing a touring theater show. While looking for a management company to work with he was approached by a fellow magician who claimed to be a friend of a friend who was currently out of the country. After negotiations, Scott agreed to rent him several of his illusions: however, the man stole the entire production, effectively destroying the show and leaving Scott $80,000 in debt. Even after a successful lawsuit, Jonathan was unable to collect what he was owed. Depressed and embarrassed, he did not tell his parents about what happened, and at 20-years-old filed for bankruptcy—a decision he now regrets. Drew convinced Jonathan to join him as a flight attendant at WestJet, which at the time was a small, startup airline that allowed them more time to dedicate to flipping houses.
Jonathan transferred to the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Home Builders Institute of Alberta to study construction and design, and became licensed as a contractor. In those roles more or less, the brothers renovated and sold properties for 15 years. Along the way, they supported themselves with a string of jobs that included flight attendant, store manager, busboy, website designer, and mall cop. Still planning to pursue careers in entertainment, however, the twins —along with their older brother— co-founded Dividian Production Group in 2002, an independent film production company.
After several negative experiences with realtors, Drew enrolled in a real estate program in 2004 to get licensed. Jonathan got his license soon after. That same year, the twins founded Scott Real Estate Inc., a company which sought to provide clients with a "one stop shop" for services in the buying, selling, and renovating of homes, as well as in design consulting and staging open houses. In January 2006, however, Drew moved to Vancouver and gave himself a year to pursue his acting career in earnest. As the year came to a close, he took out a license in Vancouver, and opened a Scott Real Estate branch there. Jonathan remained in Calgary to run the business, and married his fiancée in July 2007.
Before getting married, Jonathan and his first wife had regularly visited Las Vegas, drawn to the city's live entertainment scene. When the Canadian real estate market collapsed in 2008, Jonathan saw an opportunity to buy cheap properties in the U.S., where the recession was further along. Convincing JD to come with them, Jonathan and his wife left for Las Veagas that December, and made their home in the nearby suburb of Summerlin, Nevada. Jonathan opened a third branch of Scott Real Esate and, considering the depressed market, switched to leasing properties, but for only 80-percent of the market rates to help renters who were recovering from the ongoing recession. At the same time, the move to Las Vegas put him in proximity to live venues and opportunities to perform magic, and he began to explore ways to revive his career as an illusionist, at least part-time.
Transition to television (2009–present)
In Vancouver, Drew was offered an audition for a show called Realtor Idol, based on the American Idol format. The show never materialized, but when the producers learned he had a brother who was a contractor, they developed a show around the pair tentatively called My Dream Home; that company would later film their pilot for Property Brothers. The show, however, was turned down by multiple North-American networks before being picked up for a full season by the W Network in Canada. After becoming the number-one rated show on the network, HGTV (under Scripps Networks Interactive) signed on as a distributor, having previously passed on the show. Meanwhile, the brothers delegated their private clients to colleagues in their network of realtors and trade professionals, and Jonathan put his magic aspirations on hold.
In 2010, Dividian Production Group became Scott Brothers Entertainment, and the brothers expanded it into a TV, film, and digital production company with offices in the US and Canada. The success of Property Brothers spawned several spinoffs, including Buying and Selling (2012 – present) and Brother vs. Brother (2013 – present). By 2014, the shows combined had more than 26 million viewers. As their filming schedule increased, they stopped accepting private clients. The franchise has since expanded to include other one-off series like Brothers Take New Orleans and the 2016 web series In the Scott Seat.
The twins decided to sell their individual homes and purchase a joint property in 2011, with the goal of establishing a hub for their extended family and friends. Jonathan (no longer married) began searching for a place that met all of their criteria (e.g. within 20 minutes of the airport), and they ultimately purchased a foreclosed house for $400,000. Jonathan moved in first, living there alone for three years before they began improvements. With a renovation budget of $2 million, the project became the basis of a fourth television series, Property Brothers: At Home. It was also the first production under the umbrella of Scott Brothers Entertainment. The show premiered in 2014 in the United States, as well as in 2015 on the W Network in Canada. With the success of Property Brothers: At Home, in 2015, Scott and his brothers created another spin-off series called Property Brothers: At Home on the Ranch, where the brothers went back to Alberta to complete a 10-week renovation on a family friend's Rocky Mountain estate. Scott will be co-starring in the series' third installment, Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House, a five-episode chronicle of Drew and his fianceé, Linda Phan, remodeling their home in Los Angeles in time for their rehearsal dinner. The program is set to premiere on November 22, 2017.
In 2013, the twins—along with their brother JD—hosted the radio show Off Topic with the Scott Brothers for Canada's Corus Entertainment. The twins also appeared on a 2016 episode of the NPR radio show Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!.
In 2015, the twins created an outdoor furniture line called Scott Living that was launched on QVC. It has since expanded to include indoor offerings, and their products are available at retailers including Lowe's, Costco, Orchard, and Bed Bath & Beyond. By the end of 2016, the brand had crossed 100 million in revenue. Dream Homes (an extension of the brand), designs high-end, customized architecture and home elements for homeowners with budgets in the millions of dollars. Every aspect can be customized, and design ideas are provided by a team of designers based out of Las Vegas. Clients ask for features like "a helipad, a 20-car garage, or a million-dollar theater room."
The brothers have been sought out as experts in their respective fields and are invited to lectures and workshops as guest speakers to provide insight on the real estate business. Scott, in particular, is a vocal proponent of renewable energy; around 2000, he converted his home of the time to run on wind energy, and his current home in Las Vegas runs off solar engery. On December 6, 2016, Scott participated in the sixth annual 24 Hours of Reality broadcast, and advocated for the revocation of legislation that discourages residential solar power installation. That same year, he began work on a documentary series about the energy landscape in North America, emphasizing the viability of solar energy; the series will be completed later this year. The brothers have also accepted invitations to such notable events as the Realscreen Summit, CES, and RootsTech.
They are also regulars on the talk show circuit, often in promotion of their latest ventures, and have appeared on shows including Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Chelsea, and Today. Great American Country’s end-of-the-year Top 50 Country Countdown reached out to the brothers to host the annual program on December 22, 2013. The twins appeared as chef's table guests in the sixteenth season of Hell's Kitchen, where Drew sat with Melissa Rivers in the blue kitchen while Jonathan sat with Ashley Greene in the red kitchen. The brothers designed a house for the models on America's Next Top Model.
Jonathan and Drew hosted a Carnival cruise called Sailing with the Scotts in November 2015, and by the end of the year finished writing their first book, titled Dream Home. It was released April 4, 2016 and debuted at number nine on the New York Times bestsellers list for advice/how-to, and number three on the Wall Street Journal bestsellers list for nonfiction. He and Drew appeared in the first five episodes of the webseries "Tiny House Arrest," which debuted on January 1, 2016 and was produced by their production company. The brothers released their second book, It Takes Two: Our Story, on September 5, 2017. It's a memoir. Both brothers were invited to appear on the 25th season of Dancing with the Stars, but Jonathan declined saying he "physically couldn’t do it with all of [his] construction projects." Drew appeared without him. Jonathan surprised the audience by joining Drew's jive performance, mid-routine, on the October 9, 2017 episode.
As part of the At Home on the Ranch, the twins sang and recorded (for the first time as The Scott Brothers) two country singles. The first, "Hold On," premiered during the third episode of the series, and "Let the Night Shine In" debuted during the fourth. Both tracks were co-written by the brothers along with Nashville songwriters Victoria Shaw and Chad Carlson. "Hold On" hit number 38 on Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart and was accompanied by a music video that has more than 5 million views on Vevo. Jonathan performed "Hold On" at the Country Music Association's celebration of music education in New Orleans in September 2016. The songs opened the door for Jonathan and Drew to be invited as guest presenters at the Grand Ole Opry in March 2016, and they hosted the Friday night Nissan Stadium show of the CMA Music Fest 2016. On January 12, 2017, The Scott Brothers released a third song, "My House," featuring Eric Paslay, and announced that 100 percent of the proceeds would be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. The song's accompanying music video was filmed at Jonathan and Drew's home in Las Vegas and features various celebrity cameos, including Carrot Top, Lindsay Ell, and RaeLynn.
The Scotts' high school drama teacher used her connections to get them small TV roles, including in a Molson Canadian commercial that aired during the Grey Cup. Jonathan also made appearances on teen comedy Breaker High and the X-Files. This led to his sitting on the executive board for ACTRA (the Canadian equivalent of SAG) for years. Scott caught the attention of producers for The Bachelor, but he turned down their offer to star on the show. To publicize the 2013 release of Bob Dylan's 35 album box set, an innovative video of the song "Like a Rolling Stone" was released on Dylan's website. The brothers were invited to be among the characters who are lip-synching the lyrics. Both he and his twin played themselves in the USA Network comedy Playing House in 2015.
Scott considers David Copperfield as an inspiration, and he first saw him perform live in Vancouver at 12 years old. He met the senior magician many times after moving to Nevada. As an adult, Scott has performed shows in Las Vegas, including at Murray SawChuck's show at the Laugh Factory. He occasionally performs tricks during media appearances, or for charity events as well. He has been a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for more than 20 years, and has created illusions for other magicians in Las Vegas. He has expressed his desire to pursue magic as a career again in the future.
The Scott brothers are known for their sense of humor and playful sibling rivalry. In contrast with Drew (who is often in a suit and tie), contractor Jonathan is more casual, or the "rugged, flannel-shirt-outfitted half." He's also partial to plaid. Drew has referred to Jonathan's aesthetic as "slow-motion renovation in tight jeans." Both men stand over 6'4" tall.
The twins have become sex symbols. ET Canada included them on its Hottest Bachelor list in 2011. The twins made People’s list of Men of the Year in 2014, the magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People issue in both 2013 and 2014, and the magazine's Sexiest Man Alive issue in 2013, 2014, and 2017. They were 13 on HELLO! Canada's Most Beautiful List of 2014. BuzzFeed included them on their 2015 list of HGTV's "15 All-Time Hottest Hotties." They garnered the second-largest crowd ever at Mall of America, second only to the British boy band One Direction. HGTV has recognized their status, saying "We know that twin brothers and HGTV fan favorites Drew and Jonathan Scott are good-looking, talented and ever-so-popular with the ladies." Kathleen Finch, the president of HGTV, has called the twins "the cable equivalent of box-office movie stars." After the debut of Brother Vs. Brother, Glamour wrote, "Yes, we've all always harbored massive crushes on the twins, but let's just say they are taking their sex appeal to all new levels—ripped-shirts, greased-muscles, water-sprayed levels of hotness." Even so, Jonathan has been called the "hot Property Brother," and tends to be the more popular one with female fans.
Scott has sizable followings on various social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Periscope, where he universally uses the handle "MrSilverScott". Mashable even called him a "master" at social media. With brother Drew, he would also create videos on the now-defunct platform Vine. The two worked with famous "Viners," including Vincent Marcus, Manon Mathews, Sara Hopkins, BrittleStar, NeatDude, and Gregor Reynolds. People named one of his Vines—of him and Drew doing pull-ups—a "Vine of the Day."
Scott is actively involved in youth initiatives, having performed magic for children in a hospital's oncology ward, raised money for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and partnered with First Lady Michelle Obama on her 5th Annual "Let's Read Let's Move" campaign. Designed to encourage kids to be more active, he and Drew's involvement in the campaign included reading to more than 100 underprivileged kids and leading them in an obstacle course. With his brothers, he is also a global ambassador for World Vision, a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization. The three Scott brothers went to New Delhi and visited slums as part of their commitment to No Child For Sale, which targets the fight against child labour and trafficking. They participated with Target for a school library makeover, which seeks to "remodels school libraries to ignite a love of reading and help put more children on the path to graduation." They also support pediatric cancer research through St. Baldrick's Foundation. He has collaborated with the network of artists involved in Paul Haggis's Artists for Peace and Justice, a nonprofit organization that supports communities in Haiti through programs in education and health. In November 2017, both brothers were selected by Habit for Humanity for its highest honor, Habitat Humanitarians. According to the organization, the honor was "in recognition and furtherance of their dedication to Habitat for Humanity’s vision of a world where everyone has a decent place to live.
In the summer of 2007, Scott married WestJet crew scheduler Kelsy Ully. He explains in his book, however, that after moving to Las Vegas, her job at a day club set in motion a series of challenges that damaged their relationship. After being together for more than seven years (two of them married) they separated and eventually divorced. Despite being in the midst of filming the first season of Property Brothers, he relates that he fell into a depression, not socializing for over six months, and credits Drew with helping him through that.
He is currently living with his girlfriend Jacinta Kuznetsov. They met in 2015 at a charity event, and Scott was interested in her but did not have any way to contact her. They reconnected after he saw her in a photo his friend posted on social media. She was formerly a producer for the Canadian radio program, The Strombo Show, and is currently a development producer for Scott Brothers Entertainment. They share homes in Las Vegas and Toronto, with his two small dogs, Gracie and Stewie, whom he calls his "kids." They are searching for a property in New York City.
In April 2016, Scott was caught in an altercation at a Fargo bar at closing time, where he was restrained by the bar's bouncers. He called the police to report he had been assaulted, and an investigation was conducted, but ultimately, no charges were filed against any of the parties.
With his twin, Scott has twice played in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game. He is a second-degree black belt in Shotokan karate, and plays the bagpipes. He also enjoys taking cruises, and visiting escape rooms.
While not an American citizen, Scott tends to have Democratic views. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in March 2016. He and his brother have shared that they have donated to the Clinton Foundation, to "work towards a better world". The twins—along with their brother—maintain a "no B.S." policy that means they are always honest with each other when something bothers them, and then try to move on from it. They credit the policy with helping them get along.
After being nominated in 2011, Drew and Jonathan won the 2012 Leo Award (the awards program for the British Columbia film and television industry) for "Best Host(s) in an Information or Lifestyle Series" for Property Brothers. In 2012, they were nominated for a Rose d'Or award in the lifestyle show category. Property Brothers was nominated for Outstanding Structured Reality Program at the 2015 Emmy Awards.
- The X-Files, "Little Green Men" (1994) – Blue Beret (uncredited)
- Breaker High, "Chile Dog" (1998) – Angry Student
- Property Brothers (2011 – present)
- Buying and Selling (2012 – present)
- Pumpkin Wars (2012)
- Brother Vs. Brother (2013 – present)
- Property Brothers: At Home (2014)
- Playing House, "Sleepless in Pinebrook" (2015) – Himself
- America's Next Top Model, "The Girl Who Walks Away" (2015) – Himself
- Property Brothers: At Home on the Ranch (2015)
- All-Star Gingerbread Build (2015)
- All-Star Halloween Spectacular (2016)
- Brothers Take New Orleans (2016)
- Hell's Kitchen (2016)
- My Brother, My Brother and Me, "Dorms & Ghoulsmashing" (2017) – Himself
- Home to Win (2017) – Himself
- Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House – (2017)
(credited as The Scott Brothers)
- "Let the Night Shine In" (SB Records, November 24, 2015)
- "Hold On" (SB Records, February 10, 2016)
- "Home" (SB Records, May 16, 2016)
- "My House" (SB Records, 2017) – cover of the Flo Rida song of the same name
- Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House (2016)
- It Takes Two: Our Story (2017)