2019: A Year in Review

In 2019, Modern Niagara helped building owners, facility managers, and general contractors meet the mechanical, electrical, and building controls needs of their properties, while supporting them with building services that include preventative and emergency maintenance programs.

We enabled our clients to save on energy costs and to simultaneously reduce their carbon footprint. For example, not only did our work for FCT result in $88,500 worth of annual savings on energy costs, but its reduced carbon footprint was equivalent to having 2,227 trees planted annually. Meanwhile, CKF’s manufacturing facility netted approximately $150,000 in annual savings and $100,000 in incentive dollars. Beyond the positive impact we had on energy costs and the environment, here is a run down of some of our greatest achievements in 2019.

Commitment to continuous improvement

Over the last 12 months, more than 260 employees completed one or more course(s) from Modern Learning, our in-house soft skills training. We also launched a national mentorship pilot program alongside an internal recognition program.

The industry has acknowledged our commitment to having a winning culture led by a strong team of passionate safety-conscious experts in their areas. This year, we received the following recognitions:

  • Canada’s Best Managed for the 21st consecutive year;
  • Canada’s Top 100 Employer for the second consecutive year;
  • Canada’s Safest Employer in the Building and Construction sector;
  • Canada’s Employer with the Best Health & Safety Culture silver recipient;
  • SMACNA’s Safety Excellence Award in Ontario; and,
  • VCRA Award of Excellence silver recipient (2 awards).

Making Canada’s buildings work

In 2019, our tradespeople came together to deliver craftsmanship that is unmatched in the industry across the country. In the following paragraphs, we provide a brief overview of the vast impact that our teams have had on Canada’s infrastructure, noting that our work extends far beyond the sectors listed below.

Healthcare facilities
In British Columbia, we installed mechanical systems at the BC Children and Women’s Hospital, Royal Columbian Hospital, the University of British Columbia Hospital, Nanaimo General Hospital, and Vancouver General Hospital. In Alberta, our work extends beyond our mechanical and controls work at the Calgary Cancer Centre. For example, we took over the mechanical package at Grand Prairie Regional Hospital and we are upgrading water systems at the Walter C. Mackenzie Health Sciences Centre at the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton. In Ontario, our mechanical team contributed to several Ottawa Hospital campuses, Carleton Place & District Memorial Hospital, and Baycrest Hospital, while our electrical team started work on the new Orleans Health Hub. Also, our Toronto multi-trade teams continued their work at Groves Memorial Community Hospital and Michael Garron Hospital.

Having completed our work on the newly renovated West Block on Parliament Hill, Modern Niagara began work at Centre Block. Out West, we provided mechanical services to the Edmonton Law Courts, Esquimalt Canadian Forces Base, and the New Westminster Courthouse, the latter of which involved upgrading mechanical and electrical systems while the building was operating.

Office buildings and commercial spaces
In every city where we operate, downtown cores have become familiar with the faces of Modern Niagara’s team members and our service trucks. In Vancouver, we completed our first controls project in British Columbia for Quadreal. We carried out mechanical renovations for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta and the Union of Operating Engineers in Edmonton. We also provided, and continue to provide mechanical services to some of Toronto’s largest infrastructure projects, including The One, The Well, and Macdonald Block.

Higher education
Our building controls and services teams have taken over the preventative maintenance portfolios at the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, and NAIT. Further west, our teams completed their mechanical services at Simon Fraser University’s Student Union building, while replacing and refurbishing boiler plants for the University of Victoria’s District Heating System. Simultaneously, our team in Ottawa supported the extension of Algonquin College’s piping network.

Food processing and manufacturing
In Kingston, our expert teams performed the electrical, controls/BAS wiring, sheet metal, and plumbing work for Canada Royal Milk. This is the first facility in North America to manufacture infant formula from both cow’s and goat’s milk and the first in Canada to use we-dry processing. On the west coast, we installed HVAC systems, plumbing, and piping for Saputo’s milk processing facility, while we installed mechanical systems at the Richmond manufacturing plant Sunrise Soya, a leading tofu manufacturer.

On the transportation front, Modern Niagara delivered electrical and mechanical services, including sheet metal and piping insulation, for several Ottawa Light Rail Transit stations. Our team in Toronto is also delivering mechanical services at the Eglinton Crosstown LRT’s Science Centre Station.

Technology and data centres
In Ottawa, our controls team began a new service contract following a successful base building a controls retrofit for IBM’s facilities in the capital. In the meantime, our controls team in Alberta is responsible for servicing and maintaining all Rogers data centres in the province.

Cannabis production
We provided mechanical and electrical services as part of the fit up of HEXO’s cannabis processing plant in Belleville, Ontario. In Calgary, we have assumed responsibility for HVAC, sheet metal, plumbing, irrigation, and more for Bloom Cultivation’s facility.

Giving back to local communities

Modern Niagara’s staff are committed to giving back to the communities where we and all Canadians live, work, and heal. In 2019, each of our regional offices has taken on a portfolio of both company- and employee-led initiatives. For example, staff participated in Habitat for Humanity Build Days in several cities, while Modern Niagara cyclists participated in the Ride to Conquer Cancer in both Alberta and British Columbia. In Calgary, alongside a team that included PCL and other Calgary Cancer Centre contractors, over $100,000 was raised, with over $35,000 raised by Modern Niagara staff. In Vancouver, the Royal Blue Cycling Club team representing Modern Niagara staff raised more than $26,000 for the British Columbia Cancer Foundation.

In Ontario, we participated and raised money at volleyball tournament fundraisers like HeatWave SickKids Volleyball Tournament in Toronto as well as Hope Volleyball SummerFest in Ottawa. In the National Capital Region, an employee-led group volunteered to support Ottawa’s flood clean up effort in the summer of 2019 followed by proudly marching in the Capital Pride Parade.

Modern Niagara sponsored the 2019 Special Olympics Ontario Youth Invitational Games that took place in May in Toronto. We also sponsored two teams, one from Ottawa and one from Sault Ste. Marie.

Later in the year, following the launch of the Ernie Phillips Memorial Bursary for sheet metal apprentices, Modern Niagara held its second annual Community Day, a workday where staff dedicate their time and effort supporting employee-recommended charities and organizations. Over 500 Modern Niagara volunteers participated, dedicating over 4,000 volunteer hours to support 33 charities across the country. Activities included preparing meals and sorting food, planting trees, raking leaves, cleaning shorelines, and many other activities. A list of the charities and organizations we supported can be found here.

Looking forward

On all fronts, we are proud of the work we have accomplished and the invaluable lessons we have learned in 2019. We continue to be committed to providing exceptional service to our current and future clients in order to efficiently build Canada’s infrastructure, together. Through our projects and our community work alike, we look forward to having a positive impact on communities in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and the rest of the country.