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Pomerleau - 50 years of history

50 years of history

Pomerleau’s story is, first and foremost, one of strong family values and a solid work ethic, infused with entrepreneurial spirit and leadership. It is a story of growth and evolution, propelling this little company from the Beauce to the coast-to-coast business it has become.

It is also a story closely linked to the history of Quebec. The Quiet Revolution in the 60s led to a boom in infrastructure development across the province and Pomerleau was uniquely positioned to benefit from this pivotal shift.

For 50 years, and now with over two thousand projects under our belt, the family business has stayed true to the values of Hervé Pomerleau, the company founder: respect, rigour, relationships, solutions and innovation. Pomerleau’s goal for the years to come: to further strengthen its position as a major player in the Canadian construction industry, equally focused on buildings and civil work.

“Why try to earn a spot in a field that already exists? It’s much better to be on the cutting edge and create the field.”

Hervé Pomerleau, Founder

The beginning

Hervé Pomerleau knows he is an entrepreneur at heart. So in 1964, he seizes the opportunity to go into business with five employees. Two years later, he incorporates his company, Hervé Pomerleau Inc. The guiding principles he instills from the beginning are the same ones that govern the company today: innovation, hard work, a focus on quality and most importantly, strong relationships—with employees, clients and partners.

1964

Starts with 5 employees; after the first year, annual sales are $18,000.

1966

First contract is the expansion of the primary school in St-Bernard, QC.vv.

1967

Lands contract to build the city hall for St-Georges Ouest, QC.

1967

The high school and CEGEP boom begins; Pomerleau builds nearly 100 educational institutions over the next 5 decades.

1967

Primary school in St-Prosper, QC.

1969

Annual sales increase from $18,000 in 1964 to $1.6M in 1969.

A decade of growth

The 1970s are characterized by growth and Pomerleau’s reputation as a seasoned construction company flourishes. Within 10 years of its founding, Pomerleau becomes one of the two largest builders of regional shopping centres in Quebec using the design-build delivery method. It even takes this expertise to Newfoundland. Pomerleau also begins building regional administrative centres for Hydro-Québec under the design-build-lease formula, a precursor to the current public-private partnership. As it grows, Pomerleau diversifies and focuses on vertical integration, creating companies to complete its offering.

1970

CFB Valcartier Hospital is the first contract outside the Beauce region and the first in a series of 60 hospitals to be built, renovated or enlarged.

1974

Deferred profit-sharing plan implemented for employees.

First shopping centre in Jonquière, QC, leads to building close to 100 shopping centres in Eastern Canada.

1975

The real estate division Les Entreprises HLP inc. is created. Receives first contract in Montreal, QC, for the construction of low-income housing in the borough of Pointe-aux-Trembles.

1977

Creation of Ébenisterie Beaubois ltée, specialist in the manufacture and installation of built-in furniture and fine architectural woodwork.

1978

Design-build-lease contract for Hydro-Québec administration and service centre in Montmagny, QC, is the first in a series of similar projects.

1979

Sales are close to $50M.

Presence in Quebec’s major centres

This decade is defined by an explosion in the construction market. For Pomerleau, it begins and ends with the opening of two offices: Montreal in 1980 and Quebec City in 1988. Along with the acquisition of several companies, this secures Pomerleau’s leadership position in the province. Major contracts follow and, by 1986, Pomerleau is ranked the #1 general contractor in Quebec, a position it holds to this day.

1981

The new Palais de justice de Québec in Quebec City, QC, displays Pomerleau’s expertise in structural concrete construction; Beaubois is involved in the interior finishing work.

1982

Acquisition of Béton Bolduc inc., a manufacturer of precast concrete products. Begins work on its first major private contract in Montreal, QC, renovating and enlarging the Centre Rockland, an upscale shopping complex.

1983

Obtains first major project in civil engineering: 75,000 m3 of concrete is poured at the Reynolds smelter in Baie-Comeau, QC, which is completed in only 5 months.

1983

Converts the Windsor Hotel in Montreal to an office building.

1983

Builds La Laurentienne in Montreal, a 32-storey office tower, which is completed in 20 months.

1986

Enters the hotel industry with the acquisition of Château Bonne Entente in Quebec City.

1989

Wins contract for the construction of Montreal’s tallest building, the 56-storey Le 1000 de la Gauchetière.

1989

Le 1000 de la Gauchetière under construction.

1989

Founds Pomerleau Group USA. A 412-unit residential complex in Florida.

1989

Over $320M in sales.

Highs and lows

The 1990s started with the granting of major contracts using new types of contracting methods. Client relationships evolved to become true partnerships. However, the company faced difficulties and had to enter survival mode; reorganization, restructuring and the sale of divisions became the norm to survive the recession. In parallel, a Board of Directors was created. Hervé’s sons, Pierre and Francis, both of whom held engineering degrees and MBAs, took the wheel.

1990

French construction giant, Bouygues and Pomerleau partner to build LG-1, the first run-of-the-river power station at the James Bay hydroelectric complex. This $300-million project is the largest lump-sum contract awarded by the Société d’énergie de la Baie James.

1995

Project management contract awarded for the construction of the Canadian Embassy in Algiers, Algeria.

1995

Lands prestigious project management contract for the construction of the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Hull, QC, accomplished in a mere 12 months.

1995

Pomerleau forms a board of directors composed of the president, several vice presidents and 3 external advisors, to provide a strategic perspective on decision-making, discipline, risk assessment and succession planning.

1996

Wins its 1000th contract: the Intermunicipal Wastewater Treatment Plant in St-Nicolas, QC.

1997

Pierre Pomerleau is appointed President and CEO.

1999

Begins work on the Montreal–Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport with subsequent contracts that continue to this day.

1999

Sales at $252M.

Building on core competencies

Pomerleau starts the new millennium with the wind in its sails. This decade is characterized by solid growth resulting from expanded geographic markets and new expertise. The company leaves its mark by undertaking, alone or in partnership, the most significant projects in Quebec and elsewhere. By the end of the decade, Pomerleau is carrying out projects in six provinces.

2001

Pomerleau chooses Ottawa, ON, as the location for its third regional office and its first outside of Quebec.

Francis Pomerleau is appointed to lead the Ottawa office, responsible for Ontario and Western Canada.

2001

Complexe Les Ailes – Édifice Eaton, Montréal, QC (2000-2002).

2003

Settles permanently in the Atlantic provinces by opening an office in Halifax, NS.

2003

Work begins on the hydroelectric power plant in Péribonka, QC.

2004

UQAM – Pierre-Dansereau Sciences Complex, Montreal, QC (2003-2006).

2004

Lands first major design-build contract in the Atlantic region for the construction of Halifax Harbour Solutions, 3 rainwater and wastewater treatment plants.

2007

Acquires the assets and staff of Genivar Construction Inc., a division of Genivar Inc.

2007

Cité Multimédia, Montreal, QC (2000-2002).

2008

Forges alliance with Blattner, an experienced U.S. partner, to create Borea Construction ULC, a wind energy subsidiary.

2009

Wins major contract from Hydro-Québec for the Romaine hydroelectric complex.

2009

Sales reach $734M.

2009

Mount Washington Challenge. 30 Pomerleau senior management employees.

2009

Mount Washington Challenge. More than 15 hours of hiking over five summits. Four months of training.

Blazing the innovation trail

Pomerleau continues on its path of expansion. Growth is heralded by opening the Toronto (ON) and St. John’s (NL) offices and acquiring five companies. Pomerleau realizes that the technology revolution is an industry game-changer and vows to lead the charge. The company bolsters worksite health and safety efforts by investing in a corporate-wide training and awareness program.

2010

Wins contracts to build the Université de Montréal Health Centre – Research Centre (CRCHUM) and the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) – Research Centre, Clinical Labs and Central Thermal Plant, both in Montreal, QC.

2010

Ottawa – Halifax Challenge. 100 Pomerleau employees.

2010

Ottawa – Halifax Challenge. Each cycled 15 hours. Covered 400 km, six months of training.

2011

Completes prestigious Centre for Sustainable Development in Montreal, the first building in Canada to obtain LEED® Platinum certification.

2012

Acquires Neilson Inc, expanding its range of services in the heavy civil market.

École de technologie supérieure (ETS) inaugurates the Pomerleau Industrial Research Chair, co-founded by Pomerleau, Hydro-Québec, and the National Research Council to study the integration of construction practices and technologies.

2013

Finishes renovation and expansion of the Ritz-Carlton, a luxury heritage hotel in Montreal.

2013

Buys Eagle West Wind Energy (EWWE) which is integrated into Borea.

First major project in Toronto, ON, underway: TTC Leslie Barns (street car maintenance and storage facility) and Leslie Street connection track.

2013

Acquires Santerre électrique inc., bringing high-voltage expertise to Pomerleau’s buildings and civil divisions.

2014

Wins contract for Place Bell in Laval, QC.

2014

Completes Lansdowne Park redevelopment in Ottawa, ON.

2014

Montreal - New York Challenge. Almost 200 employees.

2014

Montreal - New York Challenge. Each ran approximately 80 km in 10-km relays. Total of 609 km in 72 hours, 11 months of training.

2015

Completes construction of Vidéotron Centre in Quebec City, QC.

The City of Quebec was the first client to buy Building Information Modeling (BIM) services as part of its contract.

2015

In quick succession, acquires Aecon Group Inc.’s Atlantic Buildings Division and certain assets of Quebec-based builder Verreault Inc.

Solid and dynamic

With 50 years of expertise, knowledge and integrity, Pomerleau is ready to face tomorrow’s challenges. A leader in Canada’s construction industry and among the top 10 contractors in the country, it is present coast-to-coast.

Pomerleau will continue to find ways to innovate and bring sophistication to construction. Our focus is on transforming our clients’ visions into reality and building long-lasting partnerships.

Half a century later, the company’s greatest achievement remains its employees. These dedicated professionals enable Pomerleau to manage more than 125 construction sites simultaneously while upholding its solid reputation as a reliable and safety-driven company.

2016

Lands contract to refurbish the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

2016

Sales of $1.7 billion in 2015; expected to reach $1.8 billion in 2016

2016

Rising to the challenge.

2016

80-MW Wind Farm, St-Robert-Bellarmin, QC

2016

Cruise Ship Dock (#12), Sept-Îles, QC

2016

Potable Water Production Plant, Corner Brook, NL

2016

ABB – Outaouais Interconnection Station, L’Ange-Gardien, QC

2016

Hydro-Québec – Romaine 3, Côte-Nord, QC

2016

Alexandra Bridge, Ottawa River, Ottawa, ON-Gatineau, QC

2016

York University – The Glendon Centre of Excellence, Toronto, ON

2016

La Capitale Groupe Financier – Head Office, Quebec City, QC

2016

All Seniors Care – Auburn Heights Retirement Residence, Calgary, AB

2016

Nova Scotia Power – Corporate Offices, Halifax, NS

2016

Casino de Montréal, Montreal, QC

2016

Interchange for Highways 20 and 30, Boucherville, QC