Building New Lives

The dream of home ownership has become reality for two families in St. Catharines, Ontario, thanks to a partnership between Habitat for Humanity Niagara and PCL Constructors Canada Inc. (Toronto), and hundreds of employee volunteers and subtrade partners.


Over the past two years, the PCL family of companies has committed $1 million to support more than 20 Habitat home builds throughout the United States and Canada. PCL’s Toronto operations office was pleased to be able to use $100,000 of that commitment to help Habitat for Humanity Niagara make home ownership a reality for two deserving families with the exclusive home sponsorship of a two-unit, semi-detached home in an area slated as part of the City’s Community Improvement Plan. 
PCL provided general contracting services, all of the volunteer resources, and through the support of subtrade partners, all of the required building materials needed for the St. Catharines homes. Combined, this is the largest gift Habitat for Humanity Niagara has seen in its 20-year history. 
“It has been a tremendous partnership,” commented Habitat for Humanity Niagara CEO Alastair Davis. “This was a chance for a community-minded company like PCL to get involved in an effort that makes a tangible difference, one that changes lives and communities.” 


A PCL-built, prefabricated modular component of a Habitat for Humanity home being placed on-site.A PCL-built, prefabricated modular component of a
Habitat for Humanity home being placed on-site.

The new residents, organizers, and volunteers of the new Habitat home.The new residents, organizers, and volunteers of the
new Habitat home.

PCL volunteers constructed the homes in 15 modules (four to form the ground floor, six for the second level, and five for the roof) at PCL’s new Modular Construction Facility in Mississauga, Ontario, all while excavation and foundation work was taking place in St. Catharines. After just eight weeks, the modules were trucked to the site and assembly began—a 190-ton crane lifted each section into place. It took two days to assemble and secure the homes. For the next eight weeks, PCL employee volunteers travelled to the St. Catharines build site every day to work on siding, flooring, painting, finishes, and landscaping.
The activities were followed intently by local media, the homeowner families, and local residents who were astounded at the efficiency of this incredible build in their neighborhood.
“I have never worked with a more professional and leadership-driven team. Thank you for transforming the lives of these families forever and being part of such an incredible outcome,” said Habitat for Humanity Niagara COO Keith Gowans.


On June 25, 2013, the keys to these two homes were officially handed over to the homeowners. The new neighbors had already formed a significant bond with each other through watching this phenomenal build unfold.
“It is amazing—a dream that is finally coming true for our whole family,” said Abdiaziz Aden, one of the new homeowners. “We would not be able to own a home if it wasn’t for Habitat for Humanity and PCL.”
Aden’s neighbor, and owner of the other Habitat home, Sonia Melnyk, echoed his sentiments.
“We truly feel blessed to have been one of the families chosen by Habitat. Thank you to Habitat and PCL for this life-changing and amazing opportunity,” said Melnyk.

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