We have come a long way over our hundred years of hard work. Our Sullivan story inspires the Sullivan Way with its heritage of collaboration, stout and steadfast character, and continuous learning. We are proud that our strong foundation enables us to build people up and bring them together to this day.
Maurice Sullivan grew up in a cottage given to his parents by generous neighbours as a place to raise their family. He knew first-hand how a building and sense of community could make an impact. He founded Sullivan in 1914. A perfectionist by nature, Maurice gathered a few skilled hands to help build his vision of bringing people together through quality craftsmanship that lasts. His sons Harry, Dom, and Mort joined in soon, and today, Sullivan's first building—the St. Thomas Anglican Church in Woodlawn—still stands proud.
Sullivan had only been in business for four years when the Huycks expanded to Canada. The Huyck Corporation was an established felt manufacturer from New York State that needed a big mill in a Canadian town with plenty of resources. Maurice and Harry pitched them together, and the result was a new and improved Kenwood Mills. Much-expanded and retooled, the updated mill soon became Arnprior's top employer. It supported locals during the Depression and WWII and was a loyal Sullivan client for 74 years.
In late 1939, most of the Sullivan team and supplies were already spoken for. The war effort had begun. Every nearby construction firm soon closed, but Sullivan was lucky—they had hired veterans of WWI since 1918 and served the Department of Munitions and Supply in the past. Now, they were the only firm in Eastern Ontario to be granted open supply by the government. Hangars, training schools, messes, barracks, garages, and more—Sullivan built them all, both in Petawawa and beyond. Sullivan still builds proudly for DND today.
With the war over and the economy booming, Sullivan was ready to expand, and Kingston was ready with the work. Kingston General Hospital and Queen's University had big projects planned, and Sullivan wanted to build them. The firm continued to construct dozens of facilities in the Ottawa Valley, and with that same energy and drive built the Victory Wing and McLaughlin Hall in Kingston. Sullivan soon opened a new branch in the Limestone City, and from 1948 onward, they built places of higher learning for Queen's. Sullivan is still honoured to create space for new generations of visionaries at the university today.
At Sullivan, business was best when its communities were doing well. Kenwood Mills had brought success to Arnprior since 1918, as did the Pfizer plant Sullivan built in 1956. So, in 1968, bringing more business to Arnprior became Sullivan's next big project—it was time for a full-scale industrial park. 100 acres soon became a hub for local business, employing over 600 locals and even inspiring a celebration of gratitude in 1976.
The eighties and nineties were a time of growth for Sullivan—a time of new tech, big projects, and evolving leadership. It prepared the firm for a brand new chapter of building in the 21st century. In 2003, Sullivan was proud to become a Deloitte Best Managed Company. In 2010, Silver and Gold LEED® certification boosted the firm's sustainability practices. More recently still, heavy timber ensured great quality with the latest materials. The Sullivan team was ready for the future—and more ready than ever to get building.
A strong foundation is just the beginning, and at Sullivan, we look forward to moving forward. That is what we do best—building teams, processes, and checklists that get projects up, running, and ready on time. It is how we foster communities, as we have since our founding in 1914. It is how we have built quality to last since our first project in 1918. And it is how we have built futures for young visionaries since Harry helped Maurice pitch the Huycks. We have built Sullivan by building for and with people. What can we build for you?