In 1904, a young Italian immigrant by the name of James F. Franceschini came to Canada with his own pick and shovel to dig basements in Toronto for 15 cents an hour. This opportunity for the teenage Franchescini presented the possibility of finding a better future, and that he did. Through hard work, determination and a passion for opportunity, 1912 signified a year of a new beginnings for James F. Franchescini as he founded what is now known as Dufferin Construction Company, A division of CRH Canada Group Inc. Through his leadership, Dufferin Construction Company became a foundational leader in the development and construction in Canada, laying the history of transportation infrastructure by working on foundation projects like the TransCanada Highway, Alaskan Highway and Dundas Highway.
Through the success of Dufferin’s foundation projects and Franceschini’s vision for growth, Dufferin Construction Company continued to grow through ongoing acquisitions of quarries, ready-mix, ship building and asphalt companies. Franceschini employed the business concept of horizontal and vertical integration in the growth of Dufferin; a concept that was quite innovative for a man with very little formal education. Eventually in the 1940s, Dufferin Construction Company and the many acquired businesses became part of Associated Quarries and Construction Ltd., by which Dufferin was a subsidiary company.
In 1961, Associated Quarries and Construction Ltd. was purchased by the St. Lawrence Cement Company. Through many years of business restructuring and reorganization, the Dufferin Construction name saw many changes over the years: Dufferin Materials & Construction Ltd., The Dufferin Group, Dufferin Construction Company and then Dufferin Construction Company – A business unit of St Lawrence Cement Inc. In 2009, the Switzerland-based company of Holcim Inc. purchased St. Lawrence Cement Inc. and its subsidiary companies, resulting a name change to Dufferin Construction Company Limited, A division of Holcim (Canada) Inc. In spring of 2015 CRH plc acquired Holcim (Canada) Inc. resulting in a name change to Dufferin Construction Company, A division of CRH Canada Group Inc.
Dufferin Construction Company’s business longevity is a result of James F. Franceschini’s vision that still remains today, demonstrated through the company’s values of strength, performance and passion. His legacy and vision for innovation continues since founding Dufferin Construction Company over 100 years ago, and the company continues to lay the foundation and pave the way for transportation infrastructure in Canada.
View an historical time-line of Dufferin Construction Company’s moments in history.
Click image below to launch historical timeline.