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EllisDon Corporation
Private (employee-owned)
  • Don Smith
  • David Ellis Smith
Number of locations
15 offices
Area served
Key people
Geoff Smith, President and CEO
ProductsConstruction services
RevenueIn excess of $3.5 billion annually
Number of employees

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] The company is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.


EllisDon construction crane at York University


Don Smith was born March 23, 1924 in Provost, Alberta, to Donald Bennett and Florence Smith.[2] 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.[2]

In 2013 Don Smith died at age 89.[1]


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.[3] In 1971, EllisDon launched a Corporate Safety Strategy to improve job site safety.[4]

Between 1974 and 1976, the company expanded, establishing operations in Edmonton, Alberta and in Saudi Arabia.[3][5][6] Since then EllisDon has expanded its current operations to its offices around the world.[7]

Once EllisDon was awarded the Construction Management Contract for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre project in 1982, it moved on to build the SkyDome (renamed Rogers Centre in 2005).[8] This project was completed in 1989, and was the world's first retractable rooftop stadium.[9][1]


In 1990, EllisDon established the construction industry's first freestanding Research and Development Department.[3] 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] In 1997, EllisDon completed its first project in Malaysia.[3]

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]


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]

EllisDon delivered Toronto's MaRS (Medical and Related Services) Convergence Centre (Building B) in 2005.[13]

In 2008, EllisDon completed construction and installation work in the Dubai Waterfront, the largest waterfront development of its kind in the world.[14]

In 2010, EllisDon completed Winnipeg International Airport Terminal Building, Canada's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified airport terminal.[15]

In June 2016, EllisDon launched The Carbon Impact Initiative Action Plan[16] in support of Canada’s international climate change commitments. Industry executives, in collaboration with government leaders, established the initiative outlining strategies to transform the market toward a low-carbon economy.[17] Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation Building[18] is Ontario’s first net-zero institutional building as well as the first pilot project under the Carbon Impact Initiative.[19]

In March 2018, EllisDon acquired the interests of joint venture partner Carillion (in liquidation in the UK) in four Ontario hospital projects, becoming the sole service provider at Royal Ottawa Hospital, Oakville-Trafalgar Memorial Hospital, Brampton Civic Hospital and Sault Area Hospital.[20]

Selected projects[edit]

The Halifax Central Library, completed 2014

Alternative energy

Civil & transportation

Commercial office/retail

Culture & recreation


Healthcare & research

Industrial & automotive

Judicial & correctional

Public & government

Residential & hospitality



  • 2018 Renew Canada’s Top 100 Infrastructure Projects.[47] Achieved Platinum Status.[48]
  • 2018 Mediacorp's Top 100 Employers[49] (8th consecutive year).[50]
  • 2017 Mediacorp Canada’s Greenest Employers[51]
  • 2017 Deloitte 50 Best Managed Companies[52]
  • 2016 Canada’s Safest Employer[53]
  • 2016 Financial Post's Ten Best Companies To Work For[54]


  1. ^ a b c d "Donald J. ("Bus") Smith O.C." EllisDon. Archived from the original on 26 June 2014. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b Perkins, Tara. "Donald Smith, founder of EllisDon had visible impact on lives of Canadians". Globe & Mail.
  3. ^ a b c d "Our History". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 2014-09-22.
  4. ^ "EllisDon". Building and Construction Canada.
  5. ^ "Our Locations". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 2014-06-26. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  6. ^ "Making a Permanent Home in the Middle East". EllisDon.
  7. ^ "EllisDon - Offices". www.ellisdon.com. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  8. ^ "Donald J. ("Bus") Smith Obituary". Legacy.
  9. ^ "Rogers Center History". Rogers Center. Archived from the original on 2014-06-25. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  10. ^ a b "EllisDon Industrial Services Inc". Kitimat Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on August 27, 2014.
  11. ^ White, Linda. "Building on solid foundations". Career Connection.
  12. ^ Maldonado, Melinda. "Ellis-Don founder Don Smith dead at 89". Toronto Star.
  13. ^ "The MaRS Discovery District". HGC Engineering.
  14. ^ "Sr. Planning Engineer, EllisDon Construction Inc., Dubai, U.A.E., Badrah Development, Dubai Waterfront". Planning Planet.
  15. ^ Jones, Kathryn. "Winnipeg Airport Authority". Building & Construction.
  16. ^ The Carbon Impact Initiative Action Plan
  17. ^ "The Carbon Impact Initiative: an industry-led action plan in response to Canada's International climate change commitments". 2016-05-21. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  18. ^ Mohawk College’s Joyce Centre for Partnership and Innovation Building
  19. ^ "The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation". The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  20. ^ "EllisDon announces purchase of Carillion health care assets". Daily Commercial News. 1 March 2018. Retrieved 1 March 2018.
  21. ^ "Alberta Children's Hospital sets a new standard in family-centered care". Canada's Healthcare Newspaper.
  22. ^ Petersen, Chris. "EllisDon - Toronto South Detention Centre". Building & Construction.
  23. ^ "Highway 7 East Rapidway (H3)". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 2014-07-09. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  24. ^ "Confederation Line LRT Named Top PPP Deal of the Year by Project Finance Magazine". SNC Lavalin. Archived from the original on September 3, 2014.
  25. ^ "Union Subway Station: Second Platform and Concourse Improvements". Urban Toronto.
  26. ^ "Brentwood Town Centre". Tboake. 25 September 2005. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  27. ^ Petersen, Chris. "EllisDon - Yorkdale Shopping Centre". Building & Construction.
  28. ^ "Ontario Wind Turbine Noise ReportOne Bloor East goldring-centre-sport-centre noise-control vibration control toronto ontario Goldring Centre for High Performance". HGC Engineering.
  29. ^ Harris, Jim. "EllisDon". Building & Construction.
  30. ^ Misener, Kevin. "Rogers Centre opened as 'Skydome' 25 years ago today". City News.
  31. ^ Davidson, Staci. "EllisDon – Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan". Building & Construction.
  32. ^ "NSCC's Centre for the Built Environment". Atlantic Green Building.
  33. ^ "EllisDon chosen as construction manager for $100-million Ivey building". Richard Ivey School of Business. Archived from the original on November 17, 2011.
  34. ^ "Alberta Children's Hospital sets a new standard in family-centered care". Canada's Healthcare Newspaper.
  35. ^ Toyoda, Lina. "Surrey Memorial Hospital launches campaign to build new tower". The Province.
  36. ^ "Advanced Rare Isotope Laboratory (ARIEL) - University of British Columbia". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  37. ^ "Chrysler Corporation Assembly Plant AMC". EllisDon. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
  38. ^ "Denso Manufacturing - Auto Parts Facility and Office". Roberts Onsite.
  39. ^ "EllisDon – Saskatoon Police Service Headquarters". Building & Construction.
  40. ^ "The Elgin County Courthouse". www.ellisdon.com. 2014. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  41. ^ "Hamilton City Hall". McCallum Sather Architecture. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  42. ^ "Rehabilitation of the Sir John A. Macdonald Building". Public Works and Government Services Canada. Archived from the original on 2014-08-05. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  43. ^ "EllisDon wins $200M hotel construction deal". Ottawa Business Journal. Archived from the original on 2014-08-27. Retrieved 2014-08-26.
  44. ^ Jermyn, Diane. "How's this for an employee perk? Reduced rate at a resort in St. Lucia". Globe & Mail.
  45. ^ "A Precedent-Setting Case". McGraw-Hill Construction.
  46. ^ "Palm District Cooling Plant - DCP4". Canadians at Work.
  47. ^ "Project List 2018 | Top100 Projects". top100projects.ca. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  48. ^ "Project List | Top100 Projects". top100projects.ca. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  49. ^ Employers, Canada's Top 100. "Canada's Top 100 Employers (2018)". www.canadastop100.com. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  50. ^ "Top Employer: EllisDon Corporation". content.eluta.ca. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  51. ^ "Top Employer: EllisDon Corporation". content.eluta.ca. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  52. ^ "Meet our winners | Canada's Best Managed Companies | Deloitte Canada". Deloitte Canada. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  53. ^ "Announcing the 2016 Canada's Safest Employers | Canadian Occupational Safety". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  54. ^ "EllisDon Selected as One of Ten Best Companies to Work For". www.newswire.ca. Retrieved 2018-06-04.

External links[edit]