Our History

EllisDon has strong ties to its humble beginnings. This marks a time when our company first directed its reach to the skies, before the thought of not having EllisDon around was unimaginable. Since then, every achievement has added to a rich tapestry that is our history. We are focused on the future, and still very aware of where we came from. No matter how much– or how grand– we build, EllisDon will always have the heart and hunger of an underdog, which is what drove us to accomplish everything below, and what will expand that list for years to come.  

1951 EllisDon begins as a local contractor in London, Ontario, formed by brothers, Don and David Ellis Smith, and two silent partners.
1956 EllisDon becomes the first contractor in Canada to purchase and operate a own tower crane.
1968 EllisDon is the first construction company in Canada to computerize its accounting and cost control systems.
1971 EllisDon is one of the first construction companies to launch a Corporate Safety Strategy to improve safety on all job sites.
1976 EllisDon opens an office in Edmonton.
1986 EllisDon is awarded the design-and-build contract for Toronto's SkyDome, and makes history by building the world's first retractable-rooftop stadium.
1988 EllisDon completes the $500 million CAMI (Canadian Automotive Manufacturing Inc.) Plant, the largest car plant in North America completed under a Design-Build/Guaranteed Price Contract.
1989 EllisDon establishes operations in Seattle, US – and has since successfully completed projects in ten states.
1990 EllisDon establishes the construction industry's first freestanding Research and Development Department, dedicated to providing leadership in building sciences for clients.
1994 EllisDon is awarded the Lump Sum Contract to build the Athlete's Village for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, US.
1997 EllisDon completes its first project in Malaysia and has since completed work in thirteen different countries.
2000 EllisDon implements a Client First Program to understand and prioritize client needs.
2001 EllisDon celebrates its 50th Anniversary.
2002 EllisDon ranks 29th (highest-ranking construction company) in Aon Hewitt's Canada's 50 Best Employers survey, and also places in Deloitte's Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies survey.
2004 EllisDon sets a new precedent for a new hospital funding model with the $450 million William Osler Health Centre in Brampton (P3).
2006 EllisDon is recognized by Deloitte as one of Canada's Best Managed Companies.
2011 EllisDon is ranked one of Canada's "Greenest" companies for the second year-in-a-row, as part of Aon Hewitt's Green Index.
2011 EllisDon collaborates with Cisco Systems to fully computerize the PwC Tower, known as one of Canada's most advanced IP-networked commercial buildings, and as one of the first commercial towers in North America to feature a unified base building network.
2011 EllisDon places first– for the third time– in Maclean's Magazine's 50 Best Employers in Canada. EllisDon is only one of two construction services companies in history to achieve the number one status three times.
2011 The Ontario General Contractors Association (OGCA) presents EllisDon President and CEO, Geoff Smith, with the Jock Tindale Memorial Award for his influence, contribution and leadership within the construction industry.
2011 EllisDon unveils Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Canada's first LEED Airport.
2012 EllisDon is awarded its first Managed Services Contract for the PwC Tower by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC).
2012 EllisDon acquires PME Group, an Alberta-based civil group.
2013 Beloved EllisDon founder Don Smith passes away at 89 years old. A celebration of life is held in his memory at the London Hunt Club, and is attended by family, friends, and employees.
2013 Geoff Smith, wins Ernst & Young's EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award, after having won the 2013 Ontario EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award.
2014 EllisDon wins Waterstone Human Capital's Canada's 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Award.