The Ontario Electrical Construction Company was born in the summer of 1929. When Frank Dahmer, Jack Greenland and Archie Wright shook hands and launched their modest business, little did they know that in only a few short months the world would be plunged into economic turmoil.
The Great Depression ravaged the economies of Canada and the rest of the world for well over a decade. Frank, Jack and Archie could have easily put plans for their company on hold. But, like many businessmen they had a vision, and found the resolve needed to weather the storm that was gripping the world.
By 1949 the Great Depression was over and much of the world was feeling the effects of a post-WW II economic boom. Ontario Electrical Company was no exception. By then it 20 years old and Frank, Jack and Archie were landing ever bigger and more prestigious projects. The Eaton’s College Street store was already under their belt. In the coming decades OEC would build an increasingly impressive client list, including Toronto’s Simpson’s Tower, the Bell Canada Building and the Massey Harris Plant.
By 1969, OEC was in its fourth decade. It’s projects, including the Canadian Breweries, the Telegram Building, York University and the Women’s College Hospital had, by then, left an irrefutable mark on Toronto’s landscape.
The 1970s and 1980s would see OEC working on iconic projects, like Roy Thomson Hall, and large-scale projects, like Air Canada Terminal II at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport, and the Honda Plant in Alliston.
By 1989, OEC’s projects can be found across Ontario– from the Science North complex in Sudbury, to the Skylon Tower in Niagara Falls, and Queens University in Kingston.
In the coming decades OEC would be involved in the construction of notable projects such as, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto’s Sick Children’s Hospital, York University, University of Toronto, Bombardier, Kodak Canada, the CBC Building in Toronto, Toronto City Hall, Rogers Centre, the Bell (TIFF) Lightbox, and numerous renewable green energy projects.
Since 1929, Jack Greenland, Frank Dahmer, Charles Allan, Doug Wright (Archie’s son) Roy Spence, and John Wright (Archie’s grandson) have all been OEC Presidents, and have all taken active leadership roles in the growth of construction associations in Toronto and across the country.
Today John Wright and his team carry on the long family tradition of running OEC with the same dedication and commitment to delivering quality, cost-effective, and timely projects, that his grandfather Archie Wright, and his partners Jack Greenland and Frank Dahmer set out to do with a handshake, 89 years before them.