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Prairie piling company Cam-Arrow Drilling demonstrates the benefits of generational companies

By Vanessa Kunderman

Many parents glow with pride as they watch their children grow, but watching your son take over the company you built from the ground up is something only a few get to experience.

The soft-spoken father-son duo at Cam-Arrow Drilling Inc. has been hauling their rigs all over Manitoba since the year 2000. From helping build homes for Manitoba Hydro up north in Gillam, to developing some of the most bustling business parks in Winnipeg, Cam and Derek Henry have been busy. But over the course of 2014 and 2015, Cam-Arrow ownership is changing hands from father to son.

As the Winnipeg piling industry continues to grow, the Henry team is hoping to keep Cam-Arrow thriving at a steady pace. And a burgeoning company doesn’t have time for failing equipment, so keeping their rigs, trucks and skid steers top of the line is a major priority, regardless of which Henry is calling the shots.

“I think our equipment speaks a lot for what we have accomplished,” said Cam Henry, owner of Cam-Arrow. “I think we have the nicest drill rigs in town – we don’t have the most equipment, but ours is top of the line.”

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Keller Foundations’ role in Toronto’s new underground transformer station

By Jim Chliboyko

When the construction of Toronto’s new downtown transformer station was announced, what was arguably the most amazing thing was the news that it was to be the city’s first downtown transformer station built since 1955. The power being routed through the new transformer station will not only supply Toronto’s financial district, but will give the existing infrastructure a bit of a break and an opportunity to get some maintenance done on the rapidly aging Windsor Transformer Station, a half-kilometre to the north.

Toronto Hydro’s estimated $195-million new station – located by the John Street CPR Roundhouse, a block or so away from both the CN Tower and Rogers Centre (the SkyDome) – is seen as the next step in strengthening the city’s electrical infrastructure. The company points out on its website that the population of the downtown area increased by 50 per cent in one five-year period alone (2006 to 2011), adding to increased electrical demand, and adding to the pressure on the Windsor station. The new station will add 144 MVA of capacity.

Occasionally, the transformer station is still referred to as the Bremner Transformer Station, though it’s recently been renamed the Clare R. Copeland Transformer Station (after a former chair of the Toronto Hydro board, who only just left the position in 2013 after 14 years as chairman). The area in question is at the southwestern corner of Rees and Lakeshore. It’s actually part of Toronto’s municipal parks system, known as Roundhouse Park, and the Roundhouse itself is considered a National Historic Site of Canada.

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Constructing the Glacier Skywalk

By Heather Hudson

The best things in life are rarely exactly the way we imagine them. And the breathtaking Glacier Skywalk in Jasper National Park is no exception.

Back in 2010, Brewster Travel Canada put out an Expression of Interest to three construction firms to create a tourist attraction featuring a “cliff-edge pedestrian walkway” snaking its way along the Canadian Rockies.

Though the initial concepts included cable- supported structures, when Dr. Simon Brown of Read Jones Christoffersen (RJC), a consulting engineering firm, and construction manager Scott Updegrave of PCL Construction Management took a trip up the side of the mountain, they were inspired to create a new design.

“After seeing what the site had to offer, we changed our minds based on the spectacular scenery,” said Brown. “We didn’t want anything above the viewing place to obstruct the view and we wanted to maximize the excitement of the glass floor element.”

The tide is turning for women seeking employment in the construction industry

By Lisa Kopochinski

Like many industries across Canada, heavy construction continues to face a looming shortage of skilled workers.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters predicts that Canada will have 1.3 million vacant skilled labour job positions by 2016, with no one to fill them. Between now and 2020, more than 200,000 construction industry employees are expected to retire. And an estimated one-third of the construction worker shortage is Alberta-based. According to the Government of Alberta, there are nearly 800 major capital projects – those valued at more than $5 million – planned or in progress, valued at a total of more than $220 billion. Meanwhile, Alberta’s unemployment rate sits at 4.7 per cent as of April 2014.

According to the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training 2013 Statistics Report, the top trade choices for women in construction-related apprenticeships are welder (662); electrician (607); parts technician (399); steamfitter/pipefitter (245); and carpenter (209).

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Piling Canada is the premier national voice for the Canadian deep foundation construction industry. Each issue is dedicated to providing readers with current and informative editorial, including project updates, company profiles, technological advancements, safety news, environmental information, HR advice, pertinent legal issues and more.