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EllisDon Corporation
Industry Construction
  • Don Smith
  • David Ellis Smith
Headquarters Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
Number of locations
15 offices
Area served
Key people
Geoff Smith, Pres./CEO
Products Construction Services
Revenue In excess of $3.3 billion annually
Number of employees
Website www.ellisdon.com

EllisDon is an employee-owned construction services company that was founded and incorporated in 1951 in London, Ontario, Canada by brothers Don and David Ellis Smith.[1] Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, EllisDon's revenues are currently approximately $3.5 billion.[2]


EllisDon construction crane at York University.


Don Smith was born March 23, 1924 in Provost, Alberta, to Donald Bennett and Florence Smith.[3]

At age 27, Don quit a construction job to start his own company with his brother David Ellis Smith. On April 1, 1951, EllisDon was launched. Their first project was a small home renovation followed by Northdale Public School, a three-room schoolhouse located in London, Ontario.[1] David left the company shortly after inception.[3]


Between 1956 and 1968, EllisDon computerized its accounting and cost control systems, and operated a purchased tower crane – the first construction company in Canada to do both.[4] In 1971, EllisDon launched a Corporate Safety Strategy to improve job site safety.[5] Between 1974 and 1976, EllisDon expanded, establishing operations in Edmonton, Alberta and in Saudi Arabia.[4][6][7] In 1978, and in the next three years that followed, EllisDon took on local projects that included the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario; Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta; a Bank of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario; and Peel Regional Police Headquarters and 22 Division in Brampton, Ontario.

Once EllisDon was awarded the Construction Management Contract for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre project in 1982,[1] it moved on to build the Rogers Centre (formerly, the SkyDome).[8] This project was completed in 1989, and was the world's first retractable rooftop stadium.[9]


In 1990, EllisDon established the construction industry's first freestanding Research and Development Department.[4] Following that, EllisDon in 1993 became the first Canadian company to build in Latvia and Lithuania following the removal of the Iron Curtain in the USSR.[10][11] A year later, EllisDon was awarded the Lump Sum Contract to build the Athlete's Village for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.[11] In 1997, EllisDon completed its first project in Malaysia.[4]

In 1996, Don Smith's son, Geoff Smith– who joined the company as a full-time employee in 1982– became EllisDon's President and CEO.[12][13]


In 2004, EllisDon participated in a new hospital funding model, a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the $450 million William Osler Health Centre in Brampton, Ontario.[10] Later, EllisDon delivered Toronto's MaRS (Medical and Related Services) Convergence Centre (Building B) in 2005.[14]

In 2008, EllisDon completed construction and installation work in the Dubai Waterfront, the largest waterfront development of its kind in the world.[15]

In 2010, EllisDon completed Winnipeg International Airport Terminal Building, Canada's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified airport terminal.[16]

In 2012, EllisDon was awarded its first Managed Services Contract for the PwC Tower by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC).[4]

In 2013, EllisDon's founder, Don Smith, died at 89 years old.[1]

Selected projects[edit]

The Halifax Central Library, completed 2014.

Alternative Energy

Civil & Transportation

Culture & Recreation


Healthcare & Research

Public & Government

Residential & Hospitality

Retail & Commercial Offices

Industrial & Automotive

Judicial & Correctional


  1. ^ a b c d "Donald J. ("Bus") Smith O.C.". EllisDon. Retrieved 1 July 2014. 
  2. ^ "Doing Business in the Middle East". 
  3. ^ a b Perkins, Tara. "Donald Smith, founder of EllisDon had visible impact on lives of Canadians". Globe & Mail. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Our History". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 2014-09-22. 
  5. ^ "EllisDon". Building and Construction Canada. 
  6. ^ "Our Locations". EllisDon. 
  7. ^ "Making a Permanent Home in the Middle East". EllisDon. 
  8. ^ "Donald J. ("Bus") Smith Obituary". Legacy. 
  9. ^ "Rogers Center History". Rogers Center. 
  10. ^ a b "EllisDon Industrial Services Inc.". Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b White, Linda. "Building on solid foundations". Career Connection. 
  12. ^ Maldonado, Melinda. "Ellis-Don founder Don Smith dead at 89". Toronto Star. 
  13. ^ "Our Board of Directors". EllisDon. 
  14. ^ "The MaRS Discovery District". HGC Engineering. 
  15. ^ "Sr. Planning Engineer, EllisDon Construction Inc., Dubai, U.A.E., Badrah Development, Dubai Waterfront". Planning Planet. 
  16. ^ Jones, Kathryn. "Winnipeg Airport Authority". Building & Construction. 
  17. ^ "Alberta Children's Hospital sets a new standard in family-centered care". Canada's Healthcare Newspaper. 
  18. ^ Petersen, Chris. "EllisDon - Toronto South Detention Centre". Building & Construction. 
  19. ^ "Confederation Line LRT Named Top PPP Deal of the Year by Project Finance Magazine". SNC Lavalin. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Union Subway Station: Second Platform and Concourse Improvements". Urban Toronto. 
  21. ^ "Highway 7 East Rapidway (H3)". EllisDon. 
  22. ^ Davidson, Staci. "EllisDon – Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan". Building & Construction. 
  23. ^ Misener, Kevin. "Rogers Centre opened as 'Skydome' 25 years ago today". City News. 
  24. ^ "Ontario Wind Turbine Noise ReportOne Bloor East goldring-centre-sport-centre noise-control vibration control toronto ontario Goldring Centre for High Performance". HGC Engineering. 
  25. ^ Harris, Jim. "EllisDon". Building & Construction. 
  26. ^ "EllisDon chosen as construction manager for $100-million Ivey building". Richard Ivey School of Business. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011. 
  27. ^ "NSCC's Centre for the Built Environment". Atlantic Green Building. 
  28. ^ "EllisDon Awarded Largest Contract in Company's History". Canadian News Wire. 
  29. ^ "Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) - University of British Columbia". EllisDon. 
  30. ^ Toyoda, Lina. "Surrey Memorial Hospital launches campaign to build new tower". The Province. 
  31. ^ "Alberta Children's Hospital sets a new standard in family-centered care". Canada's Healthcare Newspaper. 
  32. ^ "Rehabilitation of the Sir John A. Macdonald Building". Public Works and Government Services Canada. 
  33. ^ "Hamilton City Hall". McCallum Sather Architecture. 
  34. ^ "EllisDon wins $200M hotel construction deal". Ottawa Business Journal. 
  35. ^ Jermyn, Diane. "How's this for an employee perk? Reduced rate at a resort in St. Lucia". Globe & Mail. 
  36. ^ Petersen, Chris. "EllisDon - Yorkdale Shopping Centre". Building & Construction. 
  37. ^ "EllisDon to manage 110 million makeover of Cadillac Fairview mall in Markham Ontario". Daily Commercial News. 
  38. ^ "Experience in Facilitating Partnering Workshops". Agree. 
  39. ^ "Brentwood Town Centre". Tboake. 
  40. ^ "Denso Manufacturing - Auto Parts Facility and Office". Roberts Onsite. 
  41. ^ "Palm District Cooling Plant - DCP4". Canadians at Work. 
  42. ^ "Chrysler Corporation Assembly Plant AMC". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2017. 
  43. ^ "EllisDon – Saskatoon Police Service Headquarters". Building & Construction. 
  44. ^ "A Precedent-Setting Case". McGraw-Hill Construction. 

External links[edit]