Inner City Outreach Young Mom’s Program Renovation Campaign @ Eva Rothwell Resource Centre

When the doors closed after 90 years at Robert Land Elementary School in Hamilton, proud neighbours and concerned citizens rallied together with one common goal in mind – creating a home for innovative programs and services aimed to help improve the quality of life and enhance the social well-being for neighbourhood families. In 2006, the Eva Rothwell Resource Centre opened its doors and its hearts to the community. The centre has since been a leader in creating a better community in the Hamilton area inspiring bigger dreams and unlocking hidden potential in all the people it has the opportunity to interface with.IMG_0847

In 2015 Ira McDonald Construction was introduced to a partnering opportunity with the Inner City Outreach Ministry  Young Mom’s Program.  As a family-owned and operated company, IMC strongly embraces and fosters family values, therefore this was a very welcomed partnership and we were ecstatic to help support such a wonderful program.  The Young Moms program regularly hosts Young Moms and their children at the Centre. The Renovation Campaign was an initiative created to provide an inviting and comfortable space for the young moms and their children to come together and connect with their peers for mentoring, support and friendship. The basement space where the group met had a cold institutional like feel and the Program Director, Don MacVicar, realizing the need to upgrade the interior space, approached Ira McDonald Construction to help with an interior upgrade.   IMC staff, along with their industry colleagues and subcontractors, volunteered their time, expertise, labour and materials to help give the space a much-needed facelift.

The Inner City Outreach Young Mom’s Program was developed to help improve quality of life and enhance social well-being in the community thus create a better environment to raise a child in the high risk area of Hamilton.  The success of the renovation campaign was dependent on the support and expertise of our community partners.  IMC reached out to many industry colleagues for partnership at various levels of the renovation process, and we are amazed at the overwhelming positive response we have received. We have had VCT Tiles, Paint, Drywall, Electrical Conduits, Sockets, Lighting, HM Doors and Door Frames and various other labour components donated. The Grand Opening of the newly renovated space was held on September 26th. To find out more information about this program, please contact Keziah Folarin-Babatunde.


Left to Right: Chief of Police Eric Girt, Don MacVicar, Deputy Chief Ken Weatherill

IMC Staff

IMC Staff


In Recognition…


Edited November 3rd, 2016: It is projects and efforts like this that make a real change – Individually, for companies like ours, and in the community! The space is now open and is being enjoyed by the participants of the Young Moms Program. “We Love it” according to one mom interviewed in this wonderful article published in the Hamilton Spectator: A new room for young moms. IMC is honoured to be involved in this community initiative, and are proud of all our industry colleagues and subcontractors who contributed . A special thank you to our Keziah Folarin-Babatunde for her dedication and efforts in the project.

The New Space

The New Space

Keziah Folarin-Babatunde and Chief Girt

Keziah Folarin-Babatunde and Chief Girt

The New Space

The New Space

RBG – Rock Gardens Rejuvenation Project

As a follow up to one of our previous posts found here, IMC is proud to share some news on the Royal Botanical Gardens – Rock Gardens Rejuvenation Project.

Rebuilding the original rock gardens, constructed more than 80 years ago, and constructing a new Visitor Centre has been an exciting program since the project’s inception.  Many memories have been created over the years at the Rock Gardens and IMC is taking great pride in helping to not only preserve those special moments, but create many more for generations to come.

The interest and excitement is growing as this iconic project becomes so much more visible and publicized. We are thrilled to share the below images, and encourage all to take a look at the below links, for some great media coverage and videos on the Gardens and the Rejuvenation project as a whole.

Recent Photo of Visitor Centre

Google Earth Image
Google Earth image RBG
It’s been a busy summer at IMC! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email us at
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“The renovations being made to the garden will allow RBG to present one of their signature spaces in a brand new way – respecting the heritage, look and feel of a historic past, and celebrating a new era with a modern, beautiful, sensitive and significant renovation. The rejuvenation will provide more green space, horticultural beauty, accessibility for visitors of all ages and brand-new, world-class facilities.”

IMC partners with McMaster for Continuous Improvement

Ira McDonald Construction has been in the Hamilton area for almost 75 years. IMC has a rich and deep history, and innovation has been a very key thread woven through IMC’s fabric.

Ira McDonald is happy to hear a presentation done by Hector Fernandez (below) who is part of the Walter Booth School of Engineering (WBSE), as it relates to a project he is working with our company on. Working through McMaster University, Hector provided the entire company an update on his project of mapping out the process of the “IMC Way.”

The “IMC Way” is being process mapped and value streamed to ensure effective delivery for the best value to the client. IMC is committed to a Lean approach and ensuring an efficient and focused delivery to the client.

IMC is proud to partner with WBSE on this project, as it is beneficial for IMC’s continuous improvement and customer focus, as well as promoting education and opportunities to McMaster University students.

Exciting times at IMC! If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email us at

Ira McDonald Construction Signs Commitment to COR

Ira McDonald Construction had its quarterly communications meeting and the theme of meeting was COR. COR stands for “certificate of recognition” and is a highly respected safety standard that is recognized by the OGCA.

Ira McDonald is proud to have a 25-year record of no lost time injuries as recognized through the Ontario General Contractors Association. Ira McDonald is committed to ensuring a safe work environment for all employees, sub trades and clients. Safety is a value that IMC is most proud of and will continue to work on as part of IMC’s continuous improvement. It is not a requirement but it is a necessity.

Pictured below is Rob Ellis speaking to our company on the commitment to COR certification. Rob was able to share his life story with us to confirm the path that IMC is taking. He was very inspirational and moving and challenging our company to “always be better.” There is always room for improvement and creating a culture and environment of safety is paramount to IMC.

As shown in the picture, the owners of the company are being asked what level of commitment they have to COR. Our ownership responded with the whole-hearted commitment to obtain COR certification and continue to build on the great foundation that IMC has today. IMC ownership and employees signed the Jersey of Courage to show their commitment to COR.

If you have any questions regarding our quest to COR please don’t hesitate to email

Rob, Wynn, Dale



IMC Project Featured in Hamilton Economic Development’s “The Revival”

In a new video produced by Hamilton’s Economic Development Office, the restoration and preservation of a former Bank of Montreal building is shown to be one of many success stories in the flourishing downtown of Hamilton, Ontario. Built in 1929 in the Beaux-Arts style, the heritage-designated building housed varied tenants before being bought by Gowlings to become their permanent office in Hamilton.

“The building had incredible bones – it’s one of the greatest examples of 1920’s architecture that I can think of,” said Mark Tamminga, a partner with Gowlings. “We ended up with one of the most remarkable buildings in Southern Ontario.”

The project, a renovation and addition performed by Ira McDonald Construction on a construction management basis, entailed a complete restoration and replacement of the electrical and mechanical systems, a replacement of the building’s glazing systems, as well as stonework maintenance, extensive millwork, and furnishing work. The renovation won an Award of Excellence in Heritage Conservation at the City of Hamilton Urban Design & Architecture awards in 2005.

The video features several prominent Hamiltonians, including Maestro Boris Brott, Jeff Feswick of Historia Restoration, Jocelyn Mainville of Yale Properties, Sean Rosen of View Magazine, Tim Potocic of Sonic Unyon Records and Supercrawl, and Mark Tamminga of Gowlings.

As a general contractor and construction manager with over seven decades of history in Hamilton, Ira McDonald Construction is proud to have had many opportunities to contribute to the built environment of an Ambitious City with a very bright future.


IMC Celebrates 15 Years of Construction Safety Leadership

Ira McDonald Construction was recently recognized at the Hamilton-Halton Construction Association’s Christmas Luncheon for 15 years of membership in the Regional Construction Safety Group.
The Safety Group program, funded by the WSIB, guides employers in the integration of health and safety into their management systems, and brings similar organizations together to develop better health and safety practices and policies.

“It is great to be a part of a group of colleagues who are passionate about making sure that No One Gets Hurt. It is an excellent environment where you can share best practices in safety and stimulate continuous improvement.”

-Jake DeJong, Director of Human Resources & Safety

The Regional Construction Safety group is open to members of the HHCA, as well as the Toronto Construction Association, the Niagara Construction Association, the Hamilton-Halton Home Builders Association, and the Ontario Road Builders’ Association.

For More Information, contact:

Jake DeJong

Director of Human Resources & Safety
(905) 297-4653 ext. 45

Wynn McDonald speaks at the IMC town hall meeting on October 24, 2014.

Wynn McDonald speaks at the IMC town hall meeting on October 24, 2014.

Ira McDonald Construction Announces New Leadership Team

Since our beginnings as a small builder founded in 1941 by Ira E. McDonald, we have developed into a successful family-owned general contractor under the leadership of Ira’s three sons; Larry, Dale and Wynn McDonald. Effective October 24th, 2014, we are pleased to announce that Wynn McDonald, G.S.C has been appointed as the new President of Ira McDonald Construction.

Growing up with the family business, Wynn has fulfilled many roles within the company, including labour foreman, site superintendent, estimator, and project manager. These positions, along with his most recent role as Vice President (Operations), have given him the opportunity to understand every facet of the construction process, and we are excited for new opportunities for growth under Wynn’s leadership.

“Over the past seven decades, Ira McDonald Construction has differentiated itself through our attention to detail, accountability, and a client-focused approach. As someone who has been part of Ira McDonald Construction in so many different capacities, it’s exciting to be leading the company as we develop construction solutions for the future.”

-Wynn McDonald, IMC President

Our senior leadership team is designed to deliver excellence in five key business areas, and will report directly to the President:

Director of Business Development: Kristen Balendra, B.A (Hons)

A recent addition to the company, Kristen is going to provide support for the IMC vision of sustainability and growth. She will market our company in new networks that fit our business plan.

Director of Estimating: Kim McCarthy, Dipl.T.Arch, PQS, GSC

Kim brings 18 years of valuable estimating experience in formulating the cost and benefit of new and existing opportunities for Ira McDonald.

Director of Operations: Ron Worrall, Dipl.T.Arch, GSC, LEED AP

Ron has dedicated 20 years of his career to the successful delivery of the project management at IMC, and will be managing the operations arm of the business.

Director of Finance and Admin: Chris Campbell, BBA, CPA, CGA

Chris has been a dedicated resource for 12 years and will provide financial expertise in supporting all business units.

Director of Human Resources and Safety: Jake DeJong, B.A, HRMD

Jake ‘s focus is on growing the Ira McDonald team to support the vision of sustainability and growth. Jake is also very focused on creating a safe environment where “No One Gets Hurt.”

Alongside these new appointments, Dale McDonald, B.A will be acting as Past President and Strategic Director. Dale will take on a supporting role and provide continued strategic advice in research, partnerships and advice drawn from his four decades of experience in the construction industry.

About Ira McDonald Construction:
Ira McDonald Construction Limited is a family-owned construction company that was built on a foundation of integrity, honesty, and quality. We have been Building Vision and Value for businesses and communities in Southern Ontario since 1941.

For more information, contact:

Wynn McDonald, G.S.C

(905)297-4653 ext. 14

A worker pours high-density concrete at the CANS-PIE facility on September 24th, 2014. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

A worker pours high-density concrete at the CANS-PIE facility on September 24th, 2014. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

Hot Cells Project Uses Highest Density Concrete Ever Poured in Canada

On September 24th, Ira McDonald Construction, as construction managers, began pouring the highest-density concrete ever used in Canada for the Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems’ Post-Irradiation Examination (CANS-PIE) facility at McMaster University.

The CANS-PIE facility will be a heavily shielded research lab at McMaster University where highly radioactive samples can be examined and manipulated remotely. Researchers will use this facility to examine the behaviour of materials used in operational nuclear reactors and Generation IV Reactor technology, as well as isotope research.

Because of the high levels of radiation released by ‘hot’ samples, shielded facilities made of steel, lead, specialty glass, and specially-formulated concrete are necessary to protect researchers. Regular concrete has a density of between 1400 kg/m3 to 1900 kg/m3, compared to the concrete used in the CANS-PIE facility, which has a density of over 5000 kg/m3.

“Besides the fact that we’re using unprecedented materials, we’re working in an occupied facility and a small physical space, which makes this project particularly complex. For projects like this to succeed, everyone has to be working closely together. It was great to see representatives from all of the contractors, consultants, and clients involved attending yesterday’s pour – it speaks to how invested all parties are in this groundbreaking project.”

– Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager

In order to provide adequate protection against radiation, the concrete formulation uses large quantities of iron aggregate, which results in a mix that is too heavy to use conventional equipment like concrete pumps. Instead, concrete was poured the old-fashioned way – using one-tonne buckets.

The confined space and unprecedented building material presented unique challenges during the pouring process. (Photo Credit: Ken Johnson, IMC Project Manager)

The confined space and unprecedented building material presented unique challenges during the pouring process.

Because of the extraordinary density of the concrete, one-tonne buckets were used instead of pumps.

Because of the extraordinary density of the concrete, one-tonne buckets were used instead of pumps.

About the Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems:

McMaster’s Centre for Advanced Nuclear Systems is scheduled to open in 2015, and will utilize infrastructure like the CANS-PIE facility and McMaster’s existing nuclear research program to study the effects of radiation on reactor components. The CANS-PIE lab will be the only one of its kind located in a university campus, according to the program director, Dr. John Luxat, a professor at McMaster’s Department of Engineering Physics and the NSERC/UNENE Industrial Research Chair in Nuclear Safety Analysis.

Read More: McMaster Daily News