Piling Canada

Strength in Numbers

SPL Consultants Limited offers a wealth of engineering expertise under one roof
Written by Kelly Gray
September 2018

SPL Consultants Limited offers a wealth of engineering expertise under one roof

Strength in numbers is behind the growth of Toronto-based SPL Consultants Limited (SPL), a full-service, multidisciplinary ground engineering firm with offices in seven locations

(Toronto, Vaughan, Cambridge, Ottawa, Markham, Barrie and Colllingwood) across Ontario. The company’s wide-ranging specialties have allowed it to grow in five years from a group of five employees to a cohort that offers more than 250 highly experienced engineers, environmental scientist, hydrogeologist, technologist, biologist and support personnel. Since opening in 2009, SPL’s capabilities have had them working on ten of the top 100 jobs in the country as cited by Renew, and had industry watchdog Ernst & Young nominate them for Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year.

Behind their success is a willingness to be marke sensitive.

“We have grown thanks to our quality of service, our ability to bring value into the engineering model and establish fair pricing,” said SPL Consultants principal, Fanyu Zhu, Pd.D., P.Eng., who adds that they are competitive without sacrificing quality.

“We saw from the outset that there was a business opportunity that could be maximized if we could attract the people with the right skill sets and talent. I believe we have done just this.”


SPL has sought to create a practice where everything is under one roof.

“It is costly to have different companie working on engineering.” said Zhu. “We have the professionals all under one roof. This way, we can limit complexity in project management and be a more cost-effective solution provider.”

SPL offers nine key fields of specialty. These include geotechnical, hydrogeology, environmental, materials inspection and testing services as well as instrumentation and monitoring. They also advise on pavement engineering, concrete technology, building science and natural science. So, when Ontario transit leviathan Metrolinx looked for an engineer to assist with its massive East Rail Maintenance Yard in Whitby, they chose SPL to undertake the geotechnical investigation of the site. The same is true for the pile installation of the Bolton By-Pass on Highway 50 project.

“The job was very complicated with 291 piles installed. We found that the soil changed in just a few feet and had to come up with a plan that saw piles going in to variable depths of 35 meters to 60 meters,” said Zhu. “In some cases, we would have to sink a pile very deep and then a few feet away would have to place a pile to half the depth. It was a challenge, but we were able to turn to our expertise and knowledge to get it done properly.”

Experienced staff

Indeed, expertise is a key cornerstone for SPL.

“Many of our staff already have lengthy careers in Ontario. In fact, many have 20 years’ experience or more. This means when a project is undertaken in the province, there is a good chance our people were already involved at the site in some manner previously,” said Zhu. He further commented that Ontario’s geotechnical engineering community is not large, with perhaps just a few hundred professional participants in Toronto and maybe that many again across the rest of the province.

“We have the contracts and are continuing to build our base of talent and expertise to make us the leaders in Ontario’s engineering sector. We are already adding new offices such as Collingwood that we opened about six months ago, and most recetly Barrie. We also continually expand on our capabilities whether its air quality monitoring or steel inspection. Our goal is to be at the top of the class with the industry leading engineers and other professionals.”

Zhu says that the main idea is to offer the widest range of services under one banner. This includes tunneling and infrastructure to testing, in-depth monitoring and soil science. SPL is a one-stop start to finish shop where they can handle it all.

“Environmental, geotechnical and hydrogeology can now be done with one call. This means jobs get done faster and faster means more cost effective,” said Zhu, concluding that their services offer numbers that every business understands. 🍁

Category: Profile

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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.

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