PCL Construction builds its legacy in Calgary

June 25, 2024
General Business Team Calgary Real Estate & Development
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Alistair McKnight is PCL Construction’s vice-president and district manager for southern Alberta.

Photo Credit: Wil Andruschak © Postmedia Network Inc.  

Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.

Consider it new digs by and for a company with deep roots in building Calgary.

PCL Construction recently combined its offices into one location on 2nd Avenue Southeast.

“We’re pretty proud that our new office was built by us, and we’re very happy to have everyone under one roof because we do really value the spirit of teamwork,” says Alistair McKnight, PCL’s vice-president and district manager for southern Alberta.

Founded by Ernie Poole in 1906 and headquartered in Edmonton, PCL today employs about 9,800 workers worldwide, including several hundred in Calgary, where it has operated for 77-plus years.

“We’re known for building office towers, hospitals, shopping malls,” McKnight says.

In Calgary, major projects include the BMO Centre expansion on the Stampede grounds and the UXBorough mixed-use development across from the Arthur J.E. Child Comprehensive Cancer Centre, among countless others.

PCL is also an industry leader in undertaking major infrastructure developments — from bridges and light-rail transit to flood mitigation projects. More recently, the company has become a major player in constructing solar projects across southern Alberta.

“We also have a very active special projects group that does dozens of smaller high-quality projects annually, from refitting an office, to life sciences and health care, to hospitality and entertainment,” McKnight says.

Yet, what truly sets PCL apart, is that it doesn’t just manage major projects; it builds much of the work with its own craft labour.

“We are a large local employer of directly hired skilled workers and trades,” McKnight explains. “That offers a lot of efficiencies and, most importantly, allows us to reinforce our safety culture, making sure everybody goes home safe each day — which is central to our success.”

As PCL has grown, the company and its employees have offered more and more support to local communities, building decades-long relationships with local charities such as the United Way of Calgary and Area, which PCL has been involved with for more than 50 years.

“We take great pride in all we do for the Calgary community,” McKnight adds. “It’s incredibly rewarding.”

This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.

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