Saskatchewan was the birthplace of the PCL family of companies, one of the largest general contracting organizations in North America, with annual billings of more than $3 billion. PCL’s founder, Ernest Poole, laid the groundwork for the organization in 1906 in the southeast community of Stoughton, where he established a reputation for the quality construction of farm houses, barns and stores.
In 1910, the headquarters for the company, then named Poole Construction Co. Ltd., moved to Rouleau, as Poole’s crew of about thirty carpenters tackled larger, more demanding projects, such as town halls, schools, banks and rinks throughout Saskatchewan and into Manitoba. The company headquarters moved to Moose Jaw in 1913, and then to Regina in 1914. In 1932, after nearly ten years of working in the Edmonton market, Poole moved its headquarters there. Edmonton remains the corporate hub of the international organization today. However, over the years, PCL has maintained its commitment to Saskatchewan through district offices in Regina and in Saskatoon.
PCL has helped shape the Saskatchewan skyline, having built many significant projects such as the McCallum Hill Twin Towers, Regina General Hospital, and Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, all in Regina; numerous buildings at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, including the Chemical Engineering Building and the Geology Library; the Town ‘N Country Mall in Moose Jaw; and the Northern Lights Casino in Prince Albert.
An important historical milestone occurred in 1977, when the employees purchased Poole Construction from Poole’s sons, John and George. Two years later, the name of the company changed to PCL Construction Ltd. The sale, and accompanying transition to employee ownership, represented a huge cultural shift: the employees now had a vested interest in the success of the organization.
PCL now has offices in approximately twenty-five major centres in Canada, United States and the Bahamas, with each office operating in different construction sectors or geographic areas.