The Generals - Spring/Summer 2011 - (Page 29)
Century Group Inc.:
Providing Great Service to Clients
By Steven Cutler CENTURY GROUP INC., acknowledged today as a proliﬁc general contractor serving high-proﬁle clients in the retail, ofﬁce, gaming, healthcare and education industries throughout Canada, began just over three decades ago as a small shop in the Toronto area assisting a sister company in the millwork industry. According to Tom Phelan, director of eastern operations for CGI, back in the early days, while they did their millwork installations, “clients would ask, ‘could you put a sink in there, add a light switch — maybe build a wall around it.’ That’s how the ﬁrm developed into a general contracting business.” The business grew steadily in scale, but, Phelan says, throughout its growth it has held tight to its original mission, which is, “to provide great service to clients.” CGI does jobs in the wide range of $50,000 to $18 million and over. The company is national, with ofﬁces in Missiauga, Ontario and Victoria, BC, and a fulltime management staff of about 35, to which it adds tradespeople according to the needs of particular projects, but not so large as to be forced to compromise its quality standards. “All our staff is continually in training,” says Phelan, “calling in to regular telephone conference meetings from wherever they are, to keep abreast of the latest safety and quality protocols. That way they can hear exactly our concerns about health and safety and achieving client satisfaction. Some companies because of their size don’t have the ability to have intimate meetings with all of the superintendents and project managers.” CGI’s territory has grown along with its clients’, which have used the contractor to build their new structures as they expand into new markets across Canada. It has supervised the construction of locations for Town Shoes, Nike, Shoe Company, Petsmart, Indigo, Chapters, Leon’s and Citiﬁnancial, for which it helped build 185 locations. Clients also include RBC Dominion Securities, Manitoba Lotteries Corporation, EFG International, College Boreal and Hermes. Phelan cites two recent locations for Leon’s Furniture as particularly interesting additions to CGI’s portfolio. The Leon’s store in Thunder Bay, Ontario, was exceptionally challenging for its very tight schedule, as well as its complex foundation. “The foundations are on piles — structural slabs,” recalls Phelan. “It’s different than a slab on grade and typical concrete foundations.” It was a “pre-loaded” area: the soils were topped with nine feet of granular material and left to compress for several months. “And then we started doing the piling,” recalls Phelan. “It became a great job I must admit — getting it done on time and meeting the client’s quality requirements.” Another Leon location of which the CGI crew is particularly proud is the 40,000-square-foot Roundhouse in Toronto, which is set to receive LEED certiﬁcation. “It looks like we’re going to get LEED Gold,” boasts Phelan. Reﬂecting on the construction industry in Canada, Phelan notes that the government’s stimulus programs, investing money in infrastructure, has buoyed the industry through the worst of the economic downturn. “2011 is still going to be a challenge because that infrastructure money is slowly being terminated,” he says. But he is conﬁdent the government will step in with a fresh plan and other expenditure methods. And as for CGI, says Phelan, “in general I am pretty upbeat. I think it’s a great time for clients who want to build and renovate, because of the pricing structure right now. It bodes well for them and that eventually will help us in the marketplace. And the fact that we are smaller and we’re fairly nimble, this has helped us keep meeting our clients’ needs contributing to our success in these challenging times.” To view a selection of Century Group Inc. projects, visit www.cgigc.com
The College Boreal Trades school addition.
The Roundhouse in Toronto.
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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Generals - Spring/Summer 2011
The Generals - Spring/Summer 2011
The Women of OGCA
Infrastructure Ontario: The 10-Year Plan
Life AFTER Stimulus
Are Higher WSIB Rates Inevitable?
Let’s Take a Trip Down Memory Lane
Buttcon Ltd.: Earning Loyalty Through Fairness
Century Group Inc.: Providing Great Service to Clients
Index to Advertisers
The Generals - Spring/Summer 2011