Edmonton's PCL Named #1 in Canada

Locally-based construction company is best to work for in the country


IN Report on Business magazine's 11th annual list of the "50 Best Employers in Canada," Edmonton-based PCL Constructors came out on top, recognizing the 104-year-old construction & engineering firm as the best place to work for in the nation!

"Being named the best workplace in Canada is a tremendous accomplishment for our organization and a crowning achievement for our employees who are so passionate about PCL," said Paul Douglas, the president and chief executive officer of PCL.

"Our people take great pride in aspiring to be the very best at what they do," Douglas continued in a news release last week. "Their dedication to excellence and leadership leads to a workplace where people come to work every day wanting to do what they can to deliver unsurpassed value to our customers."

ROB's list (in association with Hewitt Associates) took several important factors into consideration when coming up with the list, including employee engagement, a company's "collective energy," and how well employees work with their leaders in coming together for a mutual vision. PCL came in at #2 last year, behind London-based EllisDon Corp., which came in at #2 this year.

PCL, which currently employs more than 2,000 Canadians, was founded in 1906 as E.E. Poole Contractors, by Stoughton, Saskatchewan native Ernest Poole. From the Stoughton area the growing business relocated to Moose Jaw in 1913, and then to Regina in 1914, and was renamed Poole Construction Company Limited. It moved again in 1932, this time to Edmonton, which has remained PCL's headquarters for the last 78 years.

Ernest's sons John & George Poole bought the company in 1948, only to sell it to its employees in 1977, shortly before rechristening it PCL Construction Limited. To this day PCL remains employee-owned and has become Canada's largest general contracting organization, and the eighth largest in the States, with current revenue projections at $6 billion.

Some of the more well-known projects that PCL has erected include Edmonton's Essex Building (1961), Toronto's Scotia Plaza (1984) and BCE Place (1992), Vancouver's Alex Fraser Bridge (1986), Franklin, Tennessee's Natchez Trace Parkway Bridge (1993), Los Angeles' Staples Center (1999), and the upcoming Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, set to open in 2012. PCL also worked on the 1950 expansion project of our Macdonald Hotel.

The 100% employee-owned firm lists "honesty, integrity, respect, dynamic culture, and passion" as their core values, a corporate recipe that seems to be working.

In addition to PCL there were three other Edmonton-based companies who made ROB's "50 Best Employers" roundup, in Canadian Western Bank at #35, ATB Financial at #36, and Clark Builders at #47.

More than 100,000 employees and 1,200 leaders completed confidential surveys to determine the rank of the 134 organizations that registered to participate. In order to be eligible each business must have at least 400 permanent employees in Canada, and have operated in the country for at least three years. For the complete list click here.

Now, gotta go update my resumè!


  1. Baloney, I was never treated worse by a GC than by people come last. Who makes this bunk up? I had to phone Rudolph Stein at Suncor in Calgary over what happened on the midstream project.

  2. PCL=People Come Last. Another Right Wing manifestation of the Progressive Conservative Government of Hellberta. These guys suck, big time, plain & simple. Want to be treated like crap?, want to be underpaid?, want to be no more than a number on a Donkey? If so please apply today @ PCL Constructors. They need another 10,000 suckers(skilled & non skilled trades). I always use to tell PCL, my truck drives away from this site the same way it drove in. These guys think they are in the same league as the BIG American Contractors. Hah, what a joke, dream on People Come Last. I would not let these guys build a Garden Shed, period.

  3. I am an engineer and worked in management at PCL many years ago and I have to agree, PCL = People Come Last. They treat there employees like numbers, don't give a crap about them as people and once they are done, disgard you like a filthy rag.

    I once heard directly from the Edmonton office "This is PCL, there will always be people ready and willing to work for us". That pretty much sums it up.

    Oh and management salaries are a joke, I got a 10%+ raise as soon as I left.

  4. What's funny is that I was in a restaurant one day last year, waiting for my food to arrive, and started a conversation with a gentleman who was sitting next to me. We got to talking about work, and he happened to be a former employee of PCL and had in fact spent many years with the company.

    He had the same things to say that you gentlemen have. But then the business was also named #1 in the entire country, so they must be doing something right. I can't help but think that you might just have some disagreements with PCL. Not everyone is going to like where they work, even if it's the #1 place to work in the WORLD.

  5. These guys are lucky that the sub contracted companies that work for them know what they are doing, otherwise these guys would not have achieved success in the magnitude that they have. They are the biggest bunch of grinders I've ever worked for, they constantly put out empty threats that lay-offs are coming just to try to instill fear in there workers so they might work faster, even when they are under staffed and midway through projects.They have no concern for the individuals that work for them, atleast not the front line workers like carpenters, labourers, etc. If your considering working for them I hope it is in an administrative capacity, otherwise you better be prepared for whole lot of bull crap, unless of course you like to bag lick!!!! then they will love you

  6. A horrible place to work across the country (not just in Edmonton). Employees are viewed as the working ants who allow the big guys to make their millions, while they get barely nothing in return. I don't know what the operations side is like but the administrative side is crap. Zero work-life balance, zero respect. They'll make your life miserable... guaranteed.

  7. I have worked for PCL two times. Once at C.N.R.L. and again at Kearl Lake. These two jobs were the worst jobs I have ever had. I guess the management experiences things different. It stands to reason its better to be the one abusing workers then then the tradespeople being kicked. A terrible team, I will never work for them again.

  8. PCL = People who Can't Learn


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