Canada’s Top 20 General Contractors: A special report

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By Kristen Frisa

Special to Canadian Design and Construction Report

The construction industry does a lot for our communities: beautification and usability are constantly improved by hardworking and innovative companies and owners who drive the process. Each company is driven by a unique vision of how best to contribute to its surroundings, and all have histories built on hard work and flexibility in the face of change.

The following list is presented alphabetically within three Canadian geographic regions.

Western Canada (BC, Alberta and Saskatchewan)

Century Group Inc.

Century Group, with corporate headquarters in New Westminster, BC, provides construction services to national and international clients from offices across Canada. CGI was established in 1978, and provides services in construction management to “fast-track” clients’ projects, general contracting, and in design build. Supported by a web-based reporting system, the company is able to keep all stakeholders involved in each stage of the process. CGI continues to grow its team of experienced leaders to continue its tradition of quality and expertise.

Clark Builders

Clark Builders was established in 1974, establishing a name with its first project in Yellowknife. Since then, the company has spread throughout western Canada. Clark emphasizes a positive environment for its employees, and has been repeatedly recognized on the Aon Best Employers list. Work at Clark Builders carries on the company’s history of innovation, maximizing efficiencies to make the most of each project before ground is broken.

Graham Construction

For more than nine decades, Calgary-based Graham Construction has forged a legacy of dependability and commitment, while gradually increasing its repertoire of offerings to include infrastructure and industrial projects. Now Canada’s sixth largest construction company, it boasts 14 offices across North America. Graham was listed as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers 2019, the fourth consecutive year to have been given the honour. Graham Group is an employee-owned company with a team-player attitude.

PCL

PCL construction is an Edmonton-headquartered company, with locations across Canada, and in the United States, Australia, and the Caribbean. The company reaches out with good works and charitable donations entrenching it firmly in the fabric of the community, and is consistently named a Top Green Contractor by Engineering News Record (ENR). PCL, originally called Poole Construction, was founded in 1906, and has since grown to the largest contracting organization in Canada.

Ledcor Construction

Ledcor Construction turned 70 years old in 2018, and the company does not seem to be slowing down. While its roots are firmly planted in construction, Ledcor is also involved in communications infrastructure, mining, transportation and more. The company uses its diversity of expertise to improve efficiency for all its clients’ projects. Ledcor Cares is the community spirit within the company, helping others through charity (like the half-million dollar donation to Make a Wish Foundation in honour of Ledcor’s birthday), and growth.

Quorex Construction Ltd.

Quorex is a Saskatchewan-based company with experience at diverse industrial and commercial construction projects. The company has offices in Regina and Saskatoon. Completing community projects like apartment buildings and a shared library and school building, Quorex adds value to the Saskatchewan landscape. Holding to a benchmark of quality, organization and experience in their work, Quorex has built a reputation for ability and dependability.

Scott Builders

Scott builders (based in Red Deer, Alberta) is built around the purpose of creating great workplaces. Scott began as a regional general contractor, expanding into design build project capabilities a few years later. Now, the company has two full-service offices, and handles large construction projects from start to finish. Scott’s commitment to doing the job right is evident in its client retention. Today, 70 per cent of the company’s client list is made up of repeat customers.

Westridge Construction Ltd.

Established in 1989 in Regina, Westridge boasts the diversity of skills of a national construction company, but with the customer service of a local business. The company offers services in general contracting, construction management, and design-build. True to its motto, Building with Teamwork, Westridge works closely with contractors, clients, and consultants to get the job done efficiently and beautifully.

Wright Construction Western Inc.

Wright represents Saskatchewan’s longest running construction company, operating since 1905. For three generations the company has had a member of the Wright family at the helm. Wright, steeped in Saskatchewan’s history, is also deeply involved in building up the province’s future, building new landmarks – retail spaces and schools, as well as industrial projects. In addition to the base trio of construction services including general contracting, design build, and construction management, Wright also participates in public-private-partnership and pre-engineered building projects.

Central Canada – Manitoba/Ontario/Quebec

Aquicon

Aquicon is a diversified construction leader in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). The company has a reputation for solid customer service, borne of a commitment to personal attention for its clients.

Cover profile: Aquicon’s strong foundation lets it reach new heights

Though Aquicon started out as a school builder, the company has branched out to work on many diverse projects, many within the public sector. Aquicon has made sustainability a priority in its work, with industry experts making sure environmental footprints are minimized during construction.

Bird Construction

Bird Construction has been around for over 90 years, and it’s firmly entrenched as a leader in Canada’s construction industry. Bird has built itself into communities, right along with the structures it creates. Employees of this publicly traded company represent a large portion of its shareholders; they also act as ambassadors in the community, representing Bird in charity drives and other philanthropic pursuits. This teamwork attitude means Bird works with local stakeholders and clients, to successfully build communities together.

Eastern Construction

Eastern is especially adept at adaptive re-use of heritage structures, high-performance sustainable buildings, and tall wood structures. The company employs approximately 120 construction professionals full-time, and strives to keep them safe on the job with consistently strong safety records. Eastern’s health and safety program is Certificate of Recognition (COR) certified by Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA), and Eastern has been awarded the OGCA Zero Injury Frequency Award. Eastern is currently working towards 2 million hours without a lost-time injury.

EllisDon

EllisDon offers construction services covering all aspects from a project from conception to completion. That said, it’s more than just a construction company, it’s a construction services company, covering aspects of the business like financing and digital services that take its “cradle to grave” approach to a whole new level. Headquartered in Mississauga, and with offices across Canada and in the Middle East, the company fosters a culture of trust in the decisions of its workers, so each one is empowered to do what it takes to get jobs done well and quickly.

Pomerleau

For 50 years Pomerleau has focussed on innovation and quality in the construction industry. Growing throughout Quebec during the 1960s, the company established itself as a fixture during a building boom in that era and beyond. Pomerleau grew quickly through expansion into Eastern Canada and vertical integration to complete its suite of services. Since the 1980s Pomerleau has been a top contractor in the province of Quebec.

Westland Construction Ltd.

Winnipeg-based Westland is a company with an eye for constant improvement. This process starts with employees, who are supported with ongoing professional training, and empowered to make decisions to meet and exceed customer expectations. This emphasis on strong and self-directed employees improves client contact, and the company is able to boast over 80 per cent of its business flows from repeat customers. In its commitment to doing its best work, Westland has adopted a Quality Management System (QMS), a set of processes, procedures and objectives that direct operations. The effort is a way of being mindful of each task at hand to maximize efficacy.

Eastern Canada

DORA Construction Limited

DORA is a company with strong roots in Atlantic Canada. While the company specializes in commercial building and construction, it also branches out into residential, educational, and historic restoration work. Experience and expertise honed over years in business allows the people at DORA to offer the right services and people to every project, no matter the size or style. DORA takes pride in its history, but looks forward to the best innovations it can incorporate into its work, and that will make each of its buildings effective throughout its lifetime.

Flagship Construction Limited

Flagship sets out to make amazing spaces for work and play, every time. Flagship has been building in Nova Scotia and Eastern New Brunswick for more than 30 years, building a reputation for getting projects done right, and on time. Flagship works closely with clients to discern their needs, focussing on creating the best possible finished product. The company believes in giving back to the community, both through its work with not-for-profit partnerships, but also through providing a great place to work for its employees.

King Construction Ltd.

King Construction has a solid history in New Brunswick’s construction industry. The company has been in business for over 30 years, and continues to focus on honest dealings with all its clients. With versatile offerings in design build, historical renovations, custom cabinet work, as well as residential and commercial construction, King Construction can handle projects of any size.

Sperra Construction Group

Sperra Construction Group is always looking for a better way of doing things. The company uses the newest technology to streamline processes, and is mindful to adopt lean construction methods for minimizing wasted time and materials. Sperra capitalizes on its fresh viewpoint and medium-sized stature to maintain adaptability to changes in industry and technology quicker than its competitors. The company’s medium size also means Sperra can foster strong connections with clients.

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