100 Years of Construction Excellence
More than just the story of another contracting company, the history of the Cecchetto family is a legacy of simple beginnings, hard work, family values and perseverance spanning more than one hundred years, yielding great success and impressive accomplishments. Closely tied to the history of Sudbury and Northern Ontario, the Cecchetto family has played an integral role in this region ‘s progress by helping build the infrastructure that supports the daily life of the area.
- 1st Gen
From the Ground Up
Upon his arrival in the Sudbury area on April 4, 1903, Agostino’ s skills as a stonemason enabled him to find immediate employment with the Canadian Copper Company. Once settled into his homestead in the area known as “the crow’s nest ” in Copper Cliff, Agostino soon began to work independently, undertaking contracts with the Canadian Copper Company involving earthworks, cement foundations, stone and brickwork. Because of his skills and business acumen, his clients encouraged him to take on larger projects and start his own contracting firm. In 1912, Agostino founded A. Cecchetto Construction and hired skilled trades including labourers, carpenters and masons.
He continued to secure contacts with local mining developments, as well as throughout the
community and abroad. Some notable undertakings during the early years as a general contractor included the construction of St. Joseph’s Church, Christ the King Church, Copper Cliff Public School, Creighton School, Coniston Separate School , Sudbury Technical School, Stanley Stadium , Bank of Toronto in Copper Cliff, Cecchetto, Frawley, Bannon and Arcade Blocks in downtown Sudbury, foundations and stone facade for the original Sudbury Post Office, and many projects for the Canadian Copper Company (CCC), Mand Nickel Company and International Nickel Company of Canada (INCO), including the construction of the original railroad and gravel arterial road between Copper Cliff and Frood Mine, a project that transformed a small mining town into a thriving little community.
During the 1920s, the company frequently worked alongside Fraser Brace Limited and the Foundation Company of Canada, constructing concrete forms, placing and finishing concrete, and providing stone and masonry work for such projects as the High Falls “Big Eddy” and Wabagishik Power Dams. During the same period, the company was contracted by the Canadian Copper Company to rehabilitate and construct a network of wooden crib dams used to control the headwaters of the Spanish River including Biscotasing, Canoe, Indian, Mozhabong, Armstrong and Ministic Lakes. The dams were responsible for equalizing the downstream flow that supplied water to CCC’s No. 1 plant. The company operated a sawmill just northeast of High Falls, where they used to make timber stop logs and other building materials used in the construction of the dams.
In 1926 the company secured a contract to build the first four units of the electrolytic plant at the Port Colborne Refinery for the International Nickel Company at a cost of over $3,500,000.00, a contract that established the firm’s reputation.
- 2nd Gen
Diversification and Growth
In the 1930s and early 40s, Agostino’s sons, Aduino (Chic), Edward (Eddie), Armaldo (Malo), Alfredo (Fat), and Ohndo (Lindo), joined the family business. The decade preceding World War II was a period of successes and hardships. The company’s resourcefulness was especially useful during the Depression era when times were hard, and the Cecchettos manufactured their own bricks and blocks and recycled materials from demolition projects. The economy slowly began to turn around, and in 1936 Cecchetto & Sons built St. Clement’s Church, a congregation of which the family was very much a part.
The post-war years were extremely busy; the company secured contracts to build roads and houses in Copper Cliff, lively and Levack. “At one point, from 1943 to 1956, they also operated a huge gravel pit in Levack, with several 1 ó yard cable-operated shovels loading rail cars, which were pulled by two 30-ton Vulcan locomotives that the company purchased from the Naval Shipyard in Nasperth, New York. The gravel was used as fill for backfilling empty stopes at mines.
In 1948, with the construction industry on the rise, the Cecchetto brothers and other construction industry executives realized the need to establish a membership association for general contractors, trade contractors, manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services. The Sudbury Construction Association (SCA) was founded to provide its members with a voice before all levels of government, to promote suitable and desirable legislation affecting the construction industry, and to champion best business practices and ensure the highest ethical standards in the industry.
During the 50s the company continued to perform major contracts for INCO and secured commercial and institutional developments, including the construction of the Sudbury Star building and the excavations and base foundations for the Sudbury Community Arena.
Chic took over as president after his father’s retirement in 1962. This was also a boom time for the company, which landed most of the mine expansion work in the 1960s and into the early1970s. Cecchetto established itself as one of the largest self-performing heavy civil contractors in Ontario, having constructed many of INCO’s processing plants and pipeline work, from massive earth excavations to building major concrete structures, steel fabrication and erection. Six hundred men were employed in the union trades for Cecchetto & Sons on a full-time basis through the 60s; some were brought in from across Canada and the United States. As prime contractor, Cecchetto’s built major buildings in the mines, the smelter, and the mills, including Frood Stobie mill, the Copper Cliff smelter mill, the Nickel Refinery, and the Iron Ore plant. Some of those buildings are still in operation today.
During the 1960s, with the dramatic increase in workforce, Cecchetto & Sons began to focus on safety. Until this time, safety was a low priority in the construction industry. The company instituted its site-specific safety training program, a program that’s still in practice today.
Cecchetto & Sons ventured into several new markets in the early 70s, including transportation and energy. The company constructed several bridges and rail crossings along the highway corridors leading into Sudbury and took on contracts with CPR and Ontario Hydro.
Throughout the years, the Cecchettos have recognized their successes and have made significant contributions to the community, giving back through sponsorship in community organizations , churches and youth programs, health care and education. Cecchetto & Sons was a major contributor to the development and expansion of the Laurentian Hospital and University.
- 3rd + 4th Gen
Service, Stability and Specialization
The early 1970s saw the third generation of Cecchettos enter the family contracting business: Anthony took over as president in 1977 with his brother, John (both are Malo’ s sons), and cousins Ron (Lindo’ s son), Robert and Dennis (Fat’s sons) came on board. The company expanded its municipal project work and built many water and sewage treatment plants, pumping stations, and water and sewer works; this type of community infrastructure work continues today.
Despite the economic downturn of the 1980s, Cecchetto & Sons managed to secure contracts with the Ministry of Transportation, taking on highway rehabilitation work, including bridge structures. The company also began to expand its municipal and land development work.
During the late 80s and 90s, the company recognized the need to diversify its capabilities and began securing contracts completing heavy civil municipal water and wastewater treatment facilities across Northern Ontario.
Over the years, the company has successfully delivered on many key projects throughout Ontario in both the ICI (industrial, commercial, institutional) and municipal sectors. Today, Cecchetto & Sons Limited stands out amongst industry professionals as one of the most respected general contractors servicing the construction industry.
The company’s history shows a versatility that enables the organization to move quickly into shifting markets, to establish trusting and mutually beneficial relationships with strategic partners, and to adopt new technologies that improve the construction process.
Cecchetto & Sons present leadership has teamed in a unique way to guide the Company into, through and beyond the next phase of its development. Markets continue to evolve in new ways, projects require new approaches, chents depart from long established tradition. Design/build and private market work are a current and future reality. Cecchetto & Sons Limited will continue to apply the lessons learned through the years to continue to provide an exceptional workplace to our people, superior work quality to our chents, a safe-site environment, and always a cost-effective approach to complex construction tasks.
Today, Cecchetto & Sons Limited continues to provide unparalleled dependability to the ICI and municipal markets. The company is active throughout Northern Ontario and employs a wealth of knowledge, expertise and professional project management skills. The company’s present work includes cast -in -place concrete, water and wastewater treatment facilities, pumping stations, linear works, foundations, earthwork, demolition, site servicing, land development, marine construction, maintenance and emergency repair services.