Engineering giants: 7 firms creating Canada’s biggest projects
Bridges, tunnels, dams and more – These firms are helping build some of Canada’s most important infrastructure.
Projects are getting bigger, more complex and more expensive, require more and more sophisticated engineering feats.
And with so much infrastructure at stake, this work has never been more important. These projects transport Canadians from one place to another, clean our water, generate our power and ensure that the economy can keep moving forward.
This list includes engineering firms that are lending their brainpower to bring Canada’s mega projects to life.
Klohn Crippen Berger
Klohn Crippen Berger (KCB) is an engineering, geoscience, and environmental consulting firm with offices in Canada, U.S., U.K., Peru, Brazil, and Australia. They are currently working on one of the largest, most complex projects in the nation, Site C Dam. KCB has been involved in the design, construction support, regulatory, environmental, and procurement support portions of the $16 billion project providing multi-disciplinary engineering services for the main civil works, the generating station and spillways, and the balance of plant contracts. Their work on the site spans decades. From 1989 to 1991, KCB was involved with the preliminary and final design activities. Since 2007, KCB has provided preliminary, optimization, tender and final design engineering services, technical reviews, support services through the environmental assessment process into construction with resident engineering services.
AtkinsRealis, formerly SNC Lavalin, is no stranger to large, complex projects. Started in 1911 by Quebec engineer Arthur Surveyer, they rode the first wave of the electrification revolution. Today, they work on some of the nation’s biggest energy and transportation projects. They’ve worked on the $8 billion Réseau express métropolitain (REM) in Montreal, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, Darlington Refurbishment, Bruce Power Refurbishment, the Ontario Line and more, representing tens of billions in project value.
Starting as a one-person firm in Edmonton, Stantec has grown to a company of 28,000 employees. And the growth is continuing. Some of its notable projects in Canada include the 100 MW De l’Érable Wind Farm in Quebec, the 152 Shanley Street Redevelopment in Ontario, and the 201 Portage Concourse in Winnipeg. Additionally, Stantec has been engaged in engineering Canada’s largest lithium-ion battery cell plant in B.C. The company also recently announced plans to acquire engineering firm Morrison Hershfield, which will increase its Canadian workforce by approximately 10%.
WSP, which originally stood for Williams Sale Partnership, was established in 1969 in England by engineer Chris Cole and three other partners. After years of acquisitions and mergers, the company now has its global headquarters in Montreal and works on major Canadian projects. These include the Centre Block Rehabilitation, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, GO Rail Expansion, Calgary’s Green Line and more. Their commitment to the communities they work in have turned heads. Last year they ranked 6th in Corporate Knights’ Best 50 Corporate Citizens in Canada.
When it comes to getting Canadians from one place to another, AECOM is one of the best. They have been involved in the Ontario Line, Gordie Howe International Bridge, Réseau express métropolitain (REM), Edmonton Valley Line, Ottawa LRT and many more. AECOM says it launched when a handful of employees from design and engineering companies shared a dream of creating an industry-leading firm dedicated to delivering a better world. It became an independent company formed by the merger of five entities in the 1990s. While it has offices all over the globe, it’s main headquarters sits in Dallas, Texas.
COWI, a leading international consulting group, has been involved in many significant projects in Canada. Some of its biggest projects include design for an eight-lane immersed tunnel in Vancouver, the Ontario Line and a major bridge replacement over Alberta’s Chin Coulee Reservoir. While it has a major footprint in North America, COWI was created by 29-year-old engineer Christen Ostenfeld in the 1930s in Copenhagen, Denmark. His firm went on to design some of Denmark’s most iconic buildings of that decade. Today, at any given time, COWI is involved in approximately 9,000 projects across the globe.
While this engineering giant’s headquarters is in Texas, it boasts 40,000 employees around the world and it’s contributions to Canada have been substantial. Perhaps its crowning Canadian achievement, Fluor was selected to be part of the engineering, procurement and construction team for LNG Canada, one of the largest projects in the history of the nation. They also have been involved in the Gordie Howe International Bridge, Hamilton LRT, the Jansen Potash Project and many other projects. The company began in 1912 with John Fluor.