Our Evolution

We're proud of our long history

Stantec's story is the story of our relationships with our clients. It's the story of how we've continued to improve the quality of life in communities around the world while working behind the scenes through our projects. We take pride in a long history of being part of the communities we serve. We started in 1954 as a one-person firm, and today, the Stantec community unites approximately 31,000 employees working in over 450+ locations across 6 continents. This growth has been guided by our founder and first chief executive officer (CEO), Dr. Don Stanley, and our previous CEOs, Ron Triffo, Tony Franceschini, and Bob Gomes. Our fifth and current CEO, Gord Johnston, continues a legacy of tenacious leadership and community focus.

2020 to Present

2020 challenged the world in an unprecedented way: in March, the World Health Organization announced COVID-19 as a global pandemic. Stantec maintained business continuity by immediately mobilizing nearly all 22,000 employees to work remotely during the pandemic, under the rally cry “better together, even if we’re apart.” Despite the pandemic, the company completed three acquisitions focused on environmental services and renewable energy, including an expanded presence in the Netherlands.

In early 2021, Stantec was named the fifth most sustainable company in the world, first in North America, by Corporate Knights. Further reinforcing its commitment to sustainability, the company also pledged its commitment to carbon neutrality by 2022 as a first step in achieving net zero operations by 2030. 

2014 to 2019

In 2014, the Company celebrated its 60th anniversary. Between 2014 and 2015, acquisition growth continued, resulting in a new presence in Alaska, and expanded operations in Quebec and Texas.

In 2016, 40 years after completing its first acquisition, Stantec completed its largest-ever acquisition: MWH Global, a 6,800-person engineering, consulting, and construction management firm. The transaction marked an important step forward in Stantec’s journey to become a top 10 global design firm. With the addition of MWH, Stantec elevated its water services, offering top-tier design service to water clients around the world. The Stantec team grew to approximately 22,000 employees in over 400 locations across 6 continents.

In 2017, Stantec reached its goal of becoming a top 10 global design firm (ranked by Engineering News-Record magazine and based on revenue for design services). This major milestone was accompanied by the launch of an enhanced brand and new website, which are reflective of the Company’s growth and transformation as a global organization.

In 2018, Gord Johnston became Stantec’s fifth president and chief executive officer. That same year, the Company completed the divestiture of its construction business, returning to its consulting roots as a pure design firm. The Company continued to grow its global presence outside North America with acquisitions in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

2019 marked the company’s 65th anniversary and the launch of a new three-year Strategic Plan. Stantec also further expanded its footprint in Australia.

2004 to 2013

Stantec had a milestone year in 2004: employees celebrated the Company’ 50th anniversary and employee numbers grew to 4,000.

Growth in the United States continued to be a focus as more offices, regions, and practice areas were added. In 2005, Stantec was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and in 2006 it added a region in New England to enhance its presence in the eastern United States. With these additions and further growth throughout the Company, employee numbers topped 8,700 at the end of 2007

In May 2009, Robert (Bob) Gomes became the Company’s fourth president and chief executive officer. Stantec reaffirmed its business objective to be a top 10 global design firm, and with its proven track record and strong business model, it continued to pursue a prudent growth plan.

The Company continued to grow through acquisition, adding new regions in Atlantic Canada, Northern Canada, US South, and the Great Lakes, as well as  internationally to the United Kingdom, India, and the United Arab Emirates. At the end of 2012, employee numbers topped 12,000.In September 2013, Stantec launched its new brand positioning—centered on its purpose of creating communities and promise to design with community in mind—to the world. The Company also launched a new logo and visual identity.

1994 to 2003

Milestones and transitions marked 1994 to 2003. In 1994, the Company was listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The Company began the decade with more than 800 employees. Tony Franceschini was appointed president and chief executive officer in 1998, and the Company introduced its single-brand identity: Stantec. In 1997, the Company made history with the completion of the Confederation Bridge. Stantec had almost 4,000 employees by 2003 and a strong presence in 10 states, 6 provinces, and Barbados.

1984 to 1993

The decade of 1984 to 1993 saw the continued diversification of the Company's services and geographic locations. For example, it added pavement management, interior design, and structural engineering to develop bridges and sports facilities, thereby creating work with new clients and offering an increased number of services to existing clients.

The Company also completed its first US acquisition in Phoenix, Arizona, in 1991. This addition established a base for specialty services and future growth in the US Southwest.

In 1993, the $1.3 billion Alberta-Pacific (Al-Pac) Forest Industries Pulp Mill codesign project was completed. When commissioned, the Al-Pac mill was the largest of its kind in the world, and the project introduced the Company to the forestry industry. By 1993, the Company had over 800 employees.

1974 to 1983

The Company completed its first acquisition in 1976, adding urban land to its growing list of service areas. In the mid-1970s, the Company also added five regional branch offices and established an International group to focus on overseas projects.

When the economy in western Canada took a downturn in 1983, staff reductions were necessary, and the Company implemented a major strategic redirection. The Company survived because of geographic and practice diversification. This was also a time of organizational transition. In 1983, Ron Triffo was appointed president, and Dr. Don Stanley became chairman and chief executive officer.

1964 to 1973

In 1967, with close to 50 employees, the Company obtained its first international project—a sewerage system for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Other international projects soon followed, including the installation and rehabilitation of water systems in Jamaica. By 1973 Stanley Associates continued to diversify.

Among other projects, the Company was actively engaged in the expansion of the Town of Fort McMurray, including sanitary and storm sewers, a water distribution system, curbs, sidewalks, and roadways.

1954 to 1963

D. R. Stanley Associates was founded in 1954 in Edmonton by Dr. Don Stanley, a Harvard graduate in environmental engineering. In search of work, Dr. Stanley sent out 600 letters and drove 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) in 4 months, visiting small communities in western Canada.

The Company's first decade saw the transformation of a one-person firm—doing water and sewerage projects in small, rural municipalities—into a company with close to 30 employees—working on major projects extending across Alberta and into British Columbia.

While continuing to focus on upgrading water systems in small communities, the Company extended its services to include transportation engineering. In 1958, it was contracted to redesign the Peace River Bridge on the Alaska Highway, a project that, upon successful completion, significantly enhanced the Company’s reputation for bridge engineering.

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