Halsall Ottawa office marks 50 years

Fifty years is certainly something worth celebrating and that is exactly what the Halsall Associates Ottawa office will do Thursday night as the national engineering firm marks its golden anniversary in the capital.

From it’s first project in 1964 to the present, the company has kept evolving. For example, in 2012, it was back at 300 Powell Ave, site of its first building ever, Borden Public School, performing a comprehensive reserve fund study before that building was repurposed as condominiums.

Halsell’s regional manager for north and eastern Ontario, Tom Stevens, has worked out of the Ottawa office for the last fourteen years.

He said Halsall has had a huge impact on the city through the four services it offers.

“We’ve been involved in buildings as small as residential houses up to the big commercial towers in the downtown core,” he said.

The company began in Ottawa as a structural engineering company before adding restoration and audit services in the 1980s. Then as the new century rolled along, the emphasis turned toward green, sustainable buildings. That, as well as urban intensification or “building up”, will continue to be a huge part of their business moving forward, Mr. Stevens said.

The company has built hundreds of schools across the city – something Mr. Stevens calls its “bread and butter” – and has designed a number of other city buildings, and most recently worked on the TD Place stadium at Lansdowne Park.

Mr. Stevens said through its restoration services, Halsall has had the opportunity to work on a number of the city’s heritage buildings, including the Museum of Nature, where the 50th anniversary celebration will take place Thursday.

“It’s an event to take an opportunity to showcase what our impact has been on the city over the last fifty years and to say thank you to our partners who have helped us get to where we are after fifty years,” Mr. Stevens said, adding about 200 people – past and present employees and clients – are expected.

There will be slide shows highlighting some of the company’s biggest projects over the years and a different food station for each decade as guests will get a chance to travel through time.

“We’ve worked with an event coordinator to sort of do more than just the typical engineering cocktail party so we’re hoping people, when they get there, have a good time,” said Mr. Stevens.