Today, BURNCO’s operations stretch from Fort McMurray in northern Alberta to Medicine Hat in southeastern Alberta to Vancouver, British Columbia in the West. However, this family-owned business started small, and succeeded thanks to the hard work of four generations of the Burns family and their loyal employees.
Back in 1912, a young man named James F. Burns started a concrete and excavating business in a small town known as Calgary.
“When my great-grandfather, Jim Burns, started the business in 1912, he recognized that supplying quality products was not enough,” says Scott Burns, Chairman of BURNCO today.
“Friendly, dependable customer service and good relations with our neighbours were also important.”
J.F. Burns II continued the family tradition of innovation by introducing one of Western Canada’s first central mix plants for concrete in 1950. Concrete delivery by truck permanently replaced job-site mixing.
During the 1950s the third generation of the family joined the company and the asphalt paving operations began.
Five companies consolidated in 1969 to form BURNCO Industries Ltd. With the third generation Burns as president, expansion continued with branches in Canmore, Red Deer, Medicine Hat and Airdrie.
In 1977 a new operating subsidiary was formed, BURNCO Rock Products Ltd, our moniker for many years.
In the 1980s, BURNCO’s asphalt paving operations wound down. BURNCO entered the retail market by supplying do-it-yourself packaged products along with landscaping materials from their Retail Centres. Tremendous growth occurred during the 80s and 90s with new operations opening in Edmonton, Fort McMurray and Lethbridge.
BURNCO became operational in British Columbia in 2004 and now operates from multiple sites in Metro Vancouver and the Shuswap/Okanagan Districts.
Today, BURNCO employs over 1,300 people and had developed into four main operating units:
- Aggregate operations supply a mixture of sand and gravel used in construction.
- Landscape Centres distribute landscape materials to homeowners
- Ready Mix operations provide pre-mixed concrete to sites throughout the two provinces with a fleet of more than 300 mixer trucks.
- Asphalt operations produce a range of hot and cold mixes for paving projects.
We think Jim Burns would be proud of the way BURNCO operates today, following the principles of innovation, fairness and square dealing that helped him get started in 1912.