The origins of Big Block: How we got to where we are today

July 18, 2021

From 2004-08, the prairies saw huge increases in housing prices and a shortage of housing. There was an affordable housing problem in Saskatoon. The Big Block leadership successfully helped solve that shortage, but we also saw there was a need for affordable housing across Canada.

We knew we had the skills and experience to make a bigger difference in the world, but we didn’t yet know how.

Then in 2018, we had an opportunity to be part of a growth driver program hosted by BDC and the Ivey School of Business. The program identified businesses that had the opportunity to grow, and through the help of executive advisers and academics, we learned what we needed to do to expand our company to meet our vision.

The program matched us with 25 other CEOs from across Canada in all different industries. It was a fascinating opportunity to learn from each other and connect with other business leaders who want to make a difference in this country.

That program gave us the insight and momentum to take the next step and create Big Block Construction.

Making dreams become a reality

Our previous work had been focusing on affordable rental housing, affordable home ownership, and market rental housing on the housing continuum. 

After participating in the growth driver program, we decided to expand what we’d learned from that part of the spectrum and apply it to homelessness, emergency shelters, transitional housing and social housing.

Our goal today is to partner with organizations that have a need for housing in their communities and help them make their dreams become a reality.

We want to help community-minded non-profit organizations provide wellness and prosperity for their stakeholders, and we have the right tool to help.

The Kickstart Kit

Through our previous work, we had completed $350 million in construction, and we’d learned a lot from that experience, investing our own time and money into developing a system that works.

We’ve developed a really efficient process for navigating this journey, and learned about some of the most sustainable ways to build. We also have the financial experience needed to tackle these types of capital projects because we’ve personally invested in projects.

As Big Block Construction, we wanted to share that experience with non-profit organizations to help them reach their goals.

That’s why we created the Kickstart Kit — a repeatable process for sustainable development. 

The Kickstart Kit is the most risk adverse and efficient way to navigate the complexities of a project development. It guides our client through the process from start to finish so no details get lost along the way.

It’s a proven method. We were using a similar approach with our previous endeavours but we hadn’t mapped it out. Now we’ve refined it and clarified the steps so it has become a well-oiled machine that we can use with any of our clients to make their project a success.

We use a truly integrated design process where all of the partners in the project are aligned  from day one, ensuring our clients’ projects move forward in the most cost effective and time efficient manner. This approach provides superior client satisfaction every step of the way.

We started focusing on how to solve the affordable housing problem in Saskatoon, and now our goal is to build a world where communities are responsibly planned and built with such mastery that Canadians find possibilities for wellness and prosperity behind every door.

Sometimes, it’s amazing where our journeys lead us.

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Sustainable developments for generations to come
We help organizations gain traction and accelerate opportunities to serve others.
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