Deconstructed: 6 demolition experts breaking down walls

Tearing things down can be just as important as building them up. These contractors make sure the process protects people and the environment.

Priestly Demolition crews work on Simcoe St. Bridge in Ontario. – Priestly Demolition

While constructing a building can pose a multitude of challenges, tearing one down presents its own. With a variety of environmental concerns and even some surprise discoveries, demolition contractors have to be experts in taking a structure down in a way that makes sure the environment is protected and people are kept safe. They are paving the way for the structures of the future.


Clearview crews help demolish a stray barge in Vancouver’s English Bay. – Clearview

All Vancouverites remember the iconic moment in 2021 when a giant steel barge washed  ashore in English Bay. Western Canadian demolition contractor Clearview was part of the team that chopped up the barge and cleared the beach (sorry, barge fans). The company’s history goes back to 2006, when they began doing small demolitions with an excavator and a wood chip grinder, with a focus on recycling and land clearing. In 2009, the team saw the opportunity to take on new challenges with hazardous materials abatement. Since then, Clearview has grown into a full-service demolition company, capable of taking down the biggest and most complex projects, with a large fleet of heavy equipment and a dedicated team of professional technicians and operators. Their project resume includes several major pulp mills, the Centerm Expansion Project, Playland’s Corkscrew roller coaster and more.

QM Environmental 

Started by Dragons Den star and expert investor Wes Hall, QM Environmental has more than 600 employees in locations across the country and is one of Canada’s leading environmental and industrial services companies. They have worked on projects at Gunnar Mines, Harbour Towers Hotel, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Halifax Shopping Centre, Elbow Park School and more with a focus on protecting the environment. In 2022, the company successfully completed the acquisition of HighPoint Environmental, a Toronto-based environmental services company, as part of its growth strategy.

JMX Demolition

A demolition robot looks out over English Bay in Vancouver while carefully deconstructing the Empire Hotel. – Brokk

After being incorporated in 2000, JMX swiftly rose to prominence as a national leader in commercial, industrial, and institutional environmental contracting services. With numerous successful projects completed across all provinces in Canada, they started expanding the demolition business to better serve current clientele and support the areas where other national companies are pulling out. One of their most eye-catching tasks was demolishing Vancouver’s 42-storey Empire Landmark Hotel, the tallest demolition in the city’s history. They did this over 21 months, floor-by-floor, using cutting edge robots.

Dallas Watt

Dallas Watt Demo is an industry veteran that has been providing demolition and specialty contracting services since the 1980s. Their services include the complete demolition of any building and/or on-site improvements, selective demolition, and asset recovery for renovations to heritage buildings, residential, hospitality, institutional, commercial, industrial, and warehouse, as well as seismic upgrades and building envelope projects. Dallas Watt is part of the BM Group of Companies, an alliance of integrated companies within the construction sector.

Priestly Demolition

Priestly Demolition is a giant in North American but has stayed true to its family business roots. Founded as Priestly Contracting in 1971 by Vic Priestly, Priestly Demolition Inc. (PDI) was incorporated as a unionized company with 10 employees in 1993. Since that time, PDI has provided demolition, excavation, remediation, hazardous material abatement, and salvage services to the commercial, industrial, and institutional sectors of the construction industry in Canada and the United States. Today, it has over 400 employees and operate in the Greater Toronto Area, Ottawa, Calgary and Virginia. And its executive team is still led be the Priestly family. Their team was instrumental in projects like the Gardiner Expressway demolition, the Nipigon River Bridge, Humber Hospital and even parts of the CN Tower. They also produce some of the most epic demolition photos in the industry.

Inflector Environmental Services

Started in an Ottawa basement with Jeffrey Clarke Sr. in 1994, Inflector Environmental Services‘ legacy has carried on with his son, Jeff W. Clarke. Under his leadership, the company grown into the largest environmental services contractor in all of Atlantic Canada with offices in Halifax, N.S. and Moncton, N.B. Part of their growth strategy has been through acquisitions, including Donalco and EnviroBate. The company also caught the eye of Fengate Asset Management, which announced a minority equity investment in Inflector in 2022 to fuel its growth. This month they marked 30 years of doing business. Their project resume includes Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Brockville General Hospital, Toronto Transit Commission: North York Centre and more.


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