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. Headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, EllisDon's revenues are currently approximately $3.5 billion.
Don Smith was born March 23, 1924 in Provost, Alberta, to Donald Bennett and Florence Smith.
At age 27, Don quit a construction job to start his own company with his brother David Ellis Smith. On April Fool's Day in 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. David left the company shortly after inception.
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. In 1971, EllisDon launched a Corporate Safety Strategy to improve job site safety. Between 1974 and 1976, EllisDon expanded, establishing operations in Edmonton, Alberta and in Saudi Arabia. In 1978, and in the next three years that followed, EllisDon took on local projects that included the Grand Theatre in London, Ontario; Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton, Alberta; a Bank of Canada in Ottawa, Ontario; and Peel Regional Police Headquarters and 22 Division in Brampton, Ontario.
Once EllisDon was awarded the Construction Management Contract for the Metro Toronto Convention Centre project in 1982, it moved on to build the Rogers Centre (formerly, the SkyDome). This project was completed in 1989, and was the world's first retractable rooftop stadium.
In 1990, EllisDon established the construction industry's first freestanding Research and Development Department. 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. A year later, EllisDon was awarded the Lump Sum Contract to build the Athlete's Village for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. In 1997, EllisDon completed its first project in Malaysia.
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.
In 2002, EllisDon completed the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) Sheppard-Yonge Subway Station.
In 2008, EllisDon completed construction and installation work in the Dubai Waterfront, the largest waterfront development of its kind in the world. In 2009, EllisDon completed both the Bay Adelaide Centre in Toronto and the Jamieson Place skyscraper in Calgary, Alberta. In 2010, EllisDon completed Winnipeg International Airport Terminal Building, Canada's first LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified airport terminal. In 2011, EllisDon built the PwC tower with Cisco Systems.
In 2012, EllisDon was awarded its first Managed Services Contract for the PwC Tower by the British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (bcIMC).
In 2013, EllisDon's founder, Don Smith, died at 89 years old.