Pomerleau has opened a new office in Etobicoke, Ont. to facilitate its growing operations and expansion into the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) construction market.
The official opening for the new Toronto regional office was held Oct. 17 and was attended by employees, clients, friends and family who were invited to take a tour.
"We would like to tell you today that we’re focusing on growing our operations here in the GTA," said Francis Pomerleau, president, building division Canada at Pomerleau.
The Quebec-based company, a prominent builder in the institutional, industrial, commercial, infrastructure and civil works sectors, joined forces with Giffels Westpro, a global organization active in construction, architecture and engineering, and decided they needed more space to house the growing business.
"Last year, as most of you know, Giffels Westpro joined Pomerleau to reinforce our presence, our footprint here in the GTA," said Pomerleau. "We doubled the number of people in the office and we had to move quickly. The Giffels office is not far from here so we thought it was a good location — close to the airport, close to the highway and downtown."
This is the company’s third office in the GTA with the first on the jobsite and the second at Bloor Street and Islington Ave. in Etobicoke, states Pomerleau.
Located on the 11th floor of an existing building, the new space was completely gutted to create a mix of open concept and enclosed areas where employees can collaborate.
"We have dozens of offices like this in major cities across Canada from St. John’s to Vancouver," explained Pomerleau. "We like the space and our plan is to grow this to a bigger operation."
Dalton McGuinty, the former premier of Ontario and a Pomerleau board member, was also on hand for the grand opening.
He spoke about Herve Pomerleau, the founder who started the business in a rural part of Quebec in the ’60s.
"About 20 or 25 years later, Pomerleau became the Quebec construction powerhouse dominant in its field, more than twice the size of its nearest competitor. It got that way not because Herve Pomerleau was a soft-spoken, gentle kind of a guy," said McGuinty. "This guy was stubborn and strong willed, determined, resourceful and resilient. He wasn’t an easy guy to work with, but if you were lucky enough to be one of his clients then you always got good value and great quality."
In the 1990s Francis and Pierre Pomerleau decided they were going to follow in their father’s footsteps and get into the family business.
"Their work ethic is extraordinary. Secondly, they are people of high integrity, highest ethical standards. They love and respect their employees, it’s like an extended family," said McGuinty, adding construction is becoming an increasingly more globalized industry with more international players knocking on Canada’s door.
"One of the ways to compete and win not just here at home but abroad is by working hard and well together and by pursuing innovation. We can’t keep doing the same things in the old ways. These guys are all about finding new ways to do new things."
Francis Pomerleau said the company completes about 150 projects across Canada every year with 15 active construction projects in Toronto currently.
"You will see more of us here in the GTA, get used to it," Pomerleau stated. "We want to change the industry."
Pierre Pomerleau pointed out there has been no improvement in productivity in the construction industry in last 30 years, but Pomerleau wants to change that.
"If there is one thing I would like to leave you with it’s that we are technology and innovation driven and our mission really is to reinvent construction — that’s what we’re doing. That’s why we have success and that’s why we have an office here and we want to be part of this community," he stated.